Tag Archives | Zahi Hawass

Zahi Hawass Conflicts Of Interest Exposed

Zahi Hawass in northern Egypt on 8 May 2010Kate Taylor’s front page article for the New York Times suggests that Dr. Hawass, the controversial Egyptian antiquities minister, is on the way out. I know more than a few people who think it’s more than past due:

Until recently Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s antiquities minister, was a global symbol of Egyptian national pride. A famous archaeologist in an Indiana Jones hat, he was virtually unassailable in the old Egypt, protected by his success in boosting tourism, his efforts to reclaim lost artifacts and his closeness to the country’s first lady, Suzanne Mubarak.

But the revolution changed all that.

Now demonstrators in Cairo are calling for his resignation as the interim government faces disaffected crowds in Tahrir Square.

Their primary complaint is his association with the Mubaraks, whom he defended in the early days of the revolution. But the upheaval has also drawn attention to the ways he has increased his profile over the years, often with the help of organizations and companies with which he has done business as a government official.

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Egypt’s Zahi Hawass Gets Jail Term

Zahi Hawass in northern Egypt on 8 May 2010The soap opera saga of History Channel’s swashbuckling Egyptologist continues. Dr. Hawass appeared to have survived the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, but now finds himself sentenced to a year in jail. He’s appealing of course, but it seems that the controversial Egyptian is on the ropes. Alan Shahine reports for Bloomberg:

Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s minister of state for antiquities, said he will appeal a one-year jail sentence imposed on him yesterday.

The sentence is related to a lawsuit accusing him of refusing to carry out a court ruling, the state-run Middle East News Agency said today. The court had ordered a halt to bidding from companies to run a bookstore in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Hawass said today in his blog.

“Tomorrow, the head of the legal affairs department at the Ministry of Antiquities will go to the court to file our appeal,” Hawass said in the Web log.

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A Revolution In Egyptology: Zahi Hawass Has Finally Gone

Zahi HawassFor most people, Zahi Hawass, star of his own cable TV series, purveyor of his own line of Indiana Jones-style wide-brimmed hats, and most prominently the man in charge of all the top cultural sites in Egypt, personified the swashbuckling adventurer of yore, determined to protect and cherish the many wonders of Ancient Egypt.

There was another side to Dr. Hawass, however, and his reactionary and sometimes capricious rulings on who could visit and research the sites were the stuff of legend among Egyptologists outside of his approved, establishment allies.

I’m a little skeptical that his resignation is anything more than a power play and suspect that he may very well make a well-staged, dramatic comeback — but if he really has gone for good, I’m hopeful that we may enter into a new era of breakthrough research in Egypt (perhaps from some of the great alternative researchers such as Andrew Collins, Ahmed Osman, John Anthony West and Robert Bauval).… Read the rest

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Egypt’s Chief Archaeologist Says Pyramids Were Not Built by Slaves

Zahi HawassEgypt’s irrepressible and media-hungry chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass has taken the rare step of changing the official version of who built the pyramids. The establishment Egyptologists may take years to recover … what’s next, Zahi endorsing Robert Bauval’s Star Correlation Theory?!? From ABC News/Reuters:

New tombs found in Giza support the view that the Great Pyramids were built by free workers and not slaves, as widely believed, Egypt’s chief archaeologist said on Sunday.

Films and media have long depicted slaves toiling away in the desert to build the mammoth pyramids only to meet a miserable death at the end of their efforts.

“These tombs were built beside the king’s pyramid, which indicates that these people were not by any means slaves,” Zahi Hawass, the chief archaeologist heading the Egyptian excavation team, said in a statement.

“If they were slaves, they would not have been able to build their tombs beside their king’s.”

He said the collection of workers’ tombs, some of which were found in the 1990s, were among the most significant finds in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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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.

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