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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  History and Archeology (Moderator: David Atherton)  |  Topic: Hawass fired! 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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« on: July 17, 2011, 06:20:58 pm »

Jul 17, 6:08 PM EDT


Egypt's iconic antiquities chief fired


By SARAH EL DEEB
Associated Press


CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's antiquities minister, whose trademark Indiana Jones hat made him one the country's best known figures around the world, was fired Sunday after months of pressure from critics who attacked his credibility and accused him of having been too close to the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.


Zahi Hawass, long chided as publicity loving and short on scientific knowledge, lost his job along with about a dozen other ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle meant to ease pressure from protesters seeking to purge remnants of Mubarak's regime.


"He was the Mubarak of antiquities," said Nora Shalaby, an activist and archaeologist. "He acted as if he owned Egypt's antiquities, and not that they belonged to the people of Egypt."


Despite the criticism, he was credited with helping boost interest in archaeology in Egypt and tourism, a pillar of the country's economy.


But after Mubarak's ouster on Feb. 11 in a popular uprising, pressure began to build for him to step down.


Hawass was among a list of Cabinet ministers protesters wanted to see gone because they were associated with the former regime.


And archaeology students and professors blasted him for what they saw as his lack of serious research.


Shalaby said Hawass didn't tolerate criticism. She said most his finds were about self-promotion, with many "rediscoveries" in search of the limelight.


Hawass prided himself in being the "keeper and guardian" of Egypt's heritage. He told an Egyptian lifestyle magazine, Enigma, in 2009 that George Lucas, the maker of the "Indian Jones" films, had come to visit him in Egypt "to meet the real Indiana Jones."


Hawass, 64, started out as an inspector of antiquities in 1969 and rose to become one of the most recognizable names in Egyptology. He became the general director of antiquities at the Giza plateau in the late 1980s, before being named Egypt's top archaeologist in 2002.


In one of Mubarak's final official acts as president, Hawass' position was elevated to that of a Cabinet minister. After Mubarak's ouster, Hawass submitted his resignation but he was reinstated before finally being removed Sunday.


His name has been associated with most new archaeological digs in Egypt, with grand discoveries such as the excavation of the Valley of the Golden Mummies in Bahariya Oasis in 1999 and the discovery of the mummy of Egypt's Queen Hatshepsut almost a decade later.


He was also a staple on the Discovery Channel, which accompanied him on the find of Hatshepsut's mummy. He started his own reality show on the History Channel called "Chasing the Mummies." The channel introduces him as "the man behind the mummies."


Hawass has long campaigned to bring home ancient artifacts spirited out of the country during colonial times. He said since he became top archaeologist, he managed to recover 5,000 artifacts.


In January, just before anti-government protests erupted, he formally requested the return of the 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti that has been in a Berlin museum for decades.


Hawass also had a fashion line, including his hat, for which he organized a photo-shoot in the Egyptian Museum, something that drew the ire of many archeologists.


"He was a personality created by the media," said Abdel-Halim Abdel-Nour, the president of the Association of Egyptian Archeologists.


He said many campaigned for Hawass's removal, including on Facebook and in Tahrir Square, the center of Egypt's protests.


Just before news of his departure, Hawass was heckled near his office Sunday as he left on foot. Protesters tried to block his way, until he jumped into a taxi to get away from the melee, the taxi driver, Mohammed Abdu, said.


Hawass was replaced by Abdel-Fattah el-Banna, an associate professor in restoration. He was frequently present in Tahrir Square during the protests.


© 2011 The Associated Press

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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 06:49:13 pm »

Im surprised really. He was like the poster boy for egypt archeology.

Hopefully his replacement will do well.
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 06:57:08 pm »

Can't say I can see a downside to this.
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 07:17:46 pm »

I thought he'd die in that post.  As Bob said "The times they are a changing..."
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 07:20:45 pm »

Well, he can still go for the lost ark  angel (or the temple of doom evil ).

 Grin
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 12:19:07 am »

Hmmm... the timing is impeccable. Almost poetic.
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 01:48:37 am »

As a character on the Simpsons would say, HA HA!  I'm always delighted when a cultural patrimony imperialist suffers a setback.  Just desserts for that horrid little man.  I'm sure the next guy will be no better, but it's fun to gloat in the moment.
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Lloyd Taylor
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 01:52:29 am »

I'll miss his egocentric ignorant arrogance without which TV will be less entertaining and a bit more boring (if that is possible). TV Egyptology without Hawass will be as interesting as Italian politics without Berlusconi (a day which is surely coming)  evil
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 06:19:16 am »

I thought he'd die in that post. 

Completely off-topic, but "I thought he'd die in that post" is a feeling I sometimes harbour for extended online postings that seem to go on for ever without reaching any point whatsoever, specially if the topic is not of the greatest interest to me in the first place.
  Grin
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4to2CentBCphilia
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 06:24:01 am »

I was just watching him last week on one of the morning shows, wondering how he survived the "house cleaning" in Egypt.

Thank heavens he is gone, he was a self promoter of the worse kind. Drove me crazy anytime I saw him.
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Leave the gun, take the Canoli!


« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 06:33:41 am »

I thought he'd die in that post. 

Completely off-topic, but "I thought he'd die in that post" is a feeling I sometimes harbour for extended online postings that seem to go on for ever without reaching any point whatsoever, specially if the topic is not of the greatest interest to me in the first place.
  Grin
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« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2011, 10:36:11 am »

"I'll miss ... egocentric ignorant arrogance without which TV will be less entertaining and a bit more boring (if that is possible)."


Never fear, Fox News will still be around!
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« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2011, 01:22:25 pm »

This is good news. Hopefully his successor will be more interested in science than self promotion.
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2011, 06:10:03 am »

Poor Egypt. An attempt to replace Dr. Zahi Hawass has immediately failed as the new man Dr. Abdel Fattah Al-Banna, an Associate Professor at Cairo University and a specialist in the restoration of stone monuments, was seen as under qualified for the job. I’m not sure if this is the whole truth. However, it is clear most Egyptians found Dr. Hawass as overbearing and difficult as most Westerners.

The news video showing the “send off” he got leaving his job in the link below says it all.

http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/2011/07/new-minister-of-antiquities-in-egypt.html

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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2011, 04:09:13 pm »

Apparently he's got his job back, though he's not sure whether he's going to keep it.
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2011, 05:38:40 am »

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2011/07/21/egypt-s-zahi-hawass-rehired-again.html

An interesting turn of events to say the least!
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Lloyd Taylor
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2011, 04:18:58 pm »

You have to admit, that he makes a good ring leader in a circus! Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2011, 11:22:46 pm »

He's good for ratings on TV. Not much else.
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2011, 12:36:42 am »

I bet he's reading this  Grin


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« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2011, 11:54:18 am »

great news thanks for posting them very interesting
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« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2011, 07:53:26 pm »



   I don't follow that guy but I recognize him from watching the History Channel.  I recorded on Tivo a documentary on pyramids and he was in it.  I thought to myself while watching it - Uh, isn't this guy in every show about Egypt?  Then I got to wondering if, when production companies seek permission to film in Egypt, it's a requirement that they put him in the program. lol. 

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