Akhenaten – The leader (300 words)
Egyptology has always been my passion since I was a child. When I first visited the UK in 2000, the first place I wanted to see was Gallery 4 of the British Museum where I met the Sun King, Akhenaten, for the first time. His sculpture the features of an unusual man who sported an elongated skull, a pot belly, and a peculiar set of eyes. The image was different from those perfectly chiselled statues of other Egyptian pharaohs. I was so intrigued that I decided to follow him to his homeland. Akhenaten built Amarna from the sand so that he could reinvent the religion for Egypt. At Amarna, he announced to his people the new religion of the Sun God “Aten”. In the process, he denounced eighty two other gods of ancient Egyptian religion which had flourished for thousands of years before his time. Although his real motive behind his action might have been political rather than that of faith; nevertheless, Akhenaten invented the never before seen monotheist religion.
Akhenaten has greatly inspired me with his creativity and leadership. While his creativity was remarkable because he redefined what had been done before for thousands of years, his leadership was even more extraordinary. Only the greatest leader can motivate people to abandon everything they used to know and to believe in him and his guidance. Perhaps his statues that show his realistic features carried the message to his people saying that a king does not need to be perfect but flawed like every other human being. And perhaps that celebration of truthfulness was what won him over his subjects. Standing there in Amarna was, therefore, my most inspiring moment because I felt as though I have come to the place where one of the world’s greatest revolutions had transpired.
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