Zahi Hawass: Departure of a Comedian

18 July 2011

The Dutch newssite Nu.nl made an interesting mistake today. The news that Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian minister of Antiquities, had been dismissed, was preceded by another news item: “The end of a great comedian”.

Let’s hope that Hawass’ successor takes more care of his own people and does not prefer to write his books in English. The Egyptians deserve someone who explains their past, and the past deserves Egyptians who understand why they should not loot excavations. Failing to educate his own people is Hawass’ greatest error.

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Zahi Hawass to Jail

17 April 2011
Some historians deserve a box on the ear

Some scholars deserve a box on the ear

Never a dull moment with Zahi Hawass. He left his job, he returned, he launched his own clothing line. And even now that he is sentenced to one year in jail, there’s an unexpected twist: it’s “for refusing to fulfill a court ruling over a land dispute”.

I would have preferred to see a different verdict: neglect of his main duties.We all know him from English-spoken TV-series and English books; he was always occupied with foreigners. If only he had devoted his limitless energy to his real responsibilities and had explained the importance of antiquities to the Egyptian people, he might have achieved really something and might have become a truly great scholar. The excavations would not have been looted this February. A trial in which he were accused of “failure to educate the nation” would have been far more interesting than the present one.