Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Are Zahi Hawass' Days Numbered?

The archaeological lobby has endlessly promoted the draconian cultural policy of the Mubarak regime and the grasping tendencies of Zahi Hawass, Egypt's antiquities Pharaoh. The prospect of excavation permits has apparently clouded their judgment. No one as far as I can tell has grasped the fact that these policies are part and parcel of a deeply unpopular authoritarian package.

Now, however, the long suffering Egyptian people have taken to the streets in protest about the state of affairs in their country. See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/27/world/middleeast/27egypt.html?_r=1&hp There is even some question whether the Mubarak Government can survive a Tunisian style popular uprising.

Of course, if President Mubarak goes, so too will his cronies, likely including the seemingly irrepressible Zahi Hawass. If so, one wonders which elite American University archaeological department will be the first to offer him exile.

1 comment:

Roger Pearse said...

None of them will come to his aid. They will all leave him to hang by the neck, once there is no longer advantage in toadying and flattering.

Such people are fickle friends.

Zahi Hawass has done a lot of good things for Egyptian archaeology. Above all, he has promoted it world wide. We may disagree with the attempts to steal stuff from western museums, but that's really the fault of the political left, who encourage it. In such a climate of invitation, he could hardly NOT comply.

I hope he survives OK and in post.