Egyptian Official at the Great Pyramid: Beyonce Is A “Stupid Person”

Bikya Masr reports on the rude behavior of Zahi Hawass, a man who has often tangled with anyone daring to challenge his “official” opinions on the Giza Pyramids or any other aspect of ancient Egypt:

CAIRO: In a shocking display of poor diplomacy, Egypt’s chief Egyptologist Zahi Hawass allegedly called American pop-star Beyonce a “stupid person” during her brief tour of the Giza pyramids earlier this week. Writing in al-Shorouk newspaper, Summer al-Gamal said that Hawass became fed up with the pop star’s attitude after she did not show the interest Hawass felt was deserved of the pyramids.

According to Gamal, during Hawass’ self-guided tour, he said “I showed her the Sphinx and I gave her a book on King Tutankhamen,” but then his anger and frustration made its way to the forefront.

“Then he stopped being diplomatic and said in anger, ’she’s a stupid person and she doesn’t understand a thing and she doesn’t want to understand’,” wrote Gamal.

Hawass is known for his outbursts. A number of foreigners have told Bikya Masr that he has employed Arabic to insult others at dinner events and gatherings, believing the non-Egyptians will not understand his Arabic. Beyonce, obviously, did not understand his jabs, Gamal said.

“She’s coming here to take pictures and that’s it,” Gamal quoted Hawass as saying.

He then assigned one of his assistants to take the American star and her entourage to a designed location nearby to shoot the photos. Similar to any high profile guest, pictures by the pyramids have become almost routine. When American President Barack Obama was in Cairo last June, Hawass personally escorted the president around the monstrous pyramids, allowing Obama to have his photo taken on the plateau.

Gamal added that Beyonce did not win over the journalists following her, however, as at least one bodyguard threatened a cameraman with violence if he did not give the pop-star her space. “One of the bodyguards threatened the cameraman, saying he would smash the camera if he continued to film,” Gamal wrote…

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  • radiac

    A rude American tourist? Shocking.

  • emperorreagan

    If you're not interested in learning more about the pyramids, why would you arrange a tour with the chief Egyptologist? Does your ego require that you find the most important person available to guide you on your photo tour?

  • Word Eater

    Holy biscuits. A personally guided tour of the last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by the living expert on the subject?

    Sign me up, please!

    Oh wait. I have to a pop star or some other famous person who doesn't give two figs about the pyramids before I can have the opportunity.

    Yes. This makes perfect sense.

    I understand his frustration and applaud him for speaking his mind.

  • joenolan

    Hawass, seems to be both the best AND the worst thing that's happened to the field of Egyptology – ever. On the one hand, he's put Egyptology back in the hands of Egyptians where it belongs. On the other hand, his grandstanding and publicity seeking has overshadowed his scientific methods leading to shoddy data and mistaken claims – according to his critics. A very complex man who seems to have no ear for modern R and B.

    There is a great interview/story with Hawass in last week's New Yorker. Here is the abstract: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/11/16/0

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

      he is an egomaniac, I've heard he refuses requests of anyone who's work doesn't follow his own opinion,
      and why does it “belong in the hands of Egyptians” research belongs to the most skilled, not who has the proper racial background.

  • tonyviner

    That just goes to show you that Egyptians are out of touch with the world today. Everyone in America knows that Beyonce is a stupid, dim, dumb, whore of an idiot.

  • Anonymous

    She’s the one paying for the tour, she can take whatever aire interest or disinterest she likes. I am sure it wasn’t free. Secondly, I doubt he was personally requested; more like he wants to be the one to show around the famous people. Lastly, the fact that a “professional” would conduct himself in such a distasteful way speaks only to his character, not hers…after all what was her offense? Not seeming interested enough? Please…

  • kevinjmckenzie

    She's the one paying for the tour, she can take whatever aire interest or disinterest she likes. I am sure it wasn't free. Secondly, I doubt he was personally requested; more like he wants to be the one to show around the famous people. Lastly, the fact that a “professional” would conduct himself in such a distasteful way speaks only to his character, not hers…after all what was her offense? Not seeming interested enough? Please…

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