I am constantly amazed at what the media does to well-known people. In this case, I’m referring to Dr. Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.
His major mistake, which is why protesters want him ousted, was because he accepted the leadership of the SCA, several months ago, under Mubarak. This is the real reason they have for wanting Hawass gone.
Hawass is truly the face of Egyptology…..and Egypt. He is also one of the main reasons that people vacation there…..to see the pyramids and what Hawass has discovered in the last 30 years.
Under Mubarak’s regime, Hawass had to do pretty much what he was told or face the consequences. He couldn’t speak out against the regime, he could only make shadowed comments about it. You can see it, and hear, it when you watch his documentaries. In them, you can see he gets angry about what he cannot do and what he has to do to keep the government off his back and let him do his work.
I truly understand the people’s reason for protesting. Better wages, contracts and an end to corruption and nepotism. Hawass didn’t set the wages, nor did he have the authority to give contracts to certain people. His predecessor did. As for the corruption and nepotism, every government has it, some just have less than others. Egypt was one of the ones that was really corrupt UNDER Mubarak. Things do change when leadership changes.
This is a man who has discovered many wonders and increased our knowledge of ancient Egypt. He has hunted tomb robbers with success, and he has brought archaeology into our homes so that lay people, who have no knowledge of it, can understand it.
Yes, he lied about the robbery that occurred at the Cairo National museum. Or, perhaps, he hadn’t had the chance to do a full inventory before the press was hounding him for answers. He later stated that 18 items were stolen, but that doesn’t matter to most people. All they see is that he lied in the beginning and was appointed by Mubarak. They want him gone. Here is his direct quote from his website:
“The staff of the database department at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo have given me their report on the inventory of objects at the museum following the break in. Sadly, they have discovered objects are missing from the museum. “
There are thousands of pieces in the Cairo museum, obviously, it took time to do a complete inventory. Which is what the media and most people don’t understand. In this day of instant information certain things still take time to complete.
Give Hawass a chance to prove himself a good leader of the SCA. Give him a chance to change the bad stuff into good stuff. Quit associating him with Mubarak’s regime and let the man just do his job………one he does supremely well.