A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, January 3, 2014

Zahi Hawass Turns Up, Pledges Comeback, and Compares Sisi to Pharaoh, but Not in a Bad Way

From The Guardian: "Former minister Zahi Hawass compares Egypt's Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to pharaoh." But not in a bad way, you understand, since he's on the comeback trail, serving as Egypt's "tourism ambassador" and hoping for his old job as Antiquities Minister back once the fallul take over completely permanent government is installed.

Hawass informs us that General Sisi reminds him of Mentuhotep II, the 11th Dynasty Pharaoh who reunified Egypt after the century of division known as the First Intermediate Period. dividing the Old Kingdom from the Middle Kingdom.

Hawass, like other archaeologists, laments the depredations against Egypt's archaeological heritage since 2011, but the always self-effacing Hawass knows just the man to fix it:
There are plenty of archaeologists sounding the alarm and proposing solutions – but for Hawass, there is naturally only one man to lead the fightback. "It's a gift from god," said Hawass of his talent for administration, which his supporters say brought both higher revenues and greater ambition to the antiquities ministry. "I have a vision. But the people in charge now do not have one."
He's referring to the Interim Government, not the one to be elected this year.

He's baaack . . .

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