Zahi Hawass

About Dr Zahi Hawass

Zahi Hawass (born May 28, 1947) is an Egyptian archaeologist, an Egyptologist, and former Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs. He has also worked at archaeological sites in the Nile Delta, the Western Desert, and the Upper Nile Valley.

Early career
After 1988, Hawass taught Egyptian archaeology, history and culture at the American University in Cairo, and the University of California, Los Angeles. Hawass has described his efforts as trying to help institute a systematic program for the preservation and restoration of historical monuments, while training Egyptians to improve their expertise on methods of excavation, retrieval and preservation.

Chief Inspector at Giza

Hawass was appointed to the position of Chief Inspector of the Giza Pyramid Plateau, but left the position in 1993—according to Hawass, a resignation. Graham Hancock has stated that he was fired, and that the official reason was the theft of a valuable ancient "statue" under the custody of Hawass from Giza, but associates the firing with the controversy over the Rudolf Gantenbrink "door" in the Great Pyramid. Hawass was reinstated as Chief Inspector in early 1994. In 1998, Hawass was appointed as director of the Giza Plateau, and in 2002 as Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Minister of Antiquities

He was appointed Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, a newly created cabinet post, by Mubarak on January 31, 2011 as part of a cabinet shake-up during the 2011 Egyptian protests. A press release including a statement from Hawass stated that he "will continue excavating, writing books, and representing his country," ensuring that archaeological sites in Egypt were being safeguarded and looted objects returned. Regarding the Egyptian Museum looting, he said that "The museum was dark and the nine robbers did not recognise the value of what was in the vitrines. They opened thirteen cases, threw the seventy objects on the ground and broke them, including one Tutankhamun case, from which they broke the statue of the king on a panther. However, the broken objects can all be restored, and we will begin the restoration process this week." Hawass rejected comparisons with the looting of antiquities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On February 13, Mahmoud Kassem of Bloomberg reported Hawass as saying that "18 artefacts, including statues of King Tutankhamun," were stolen from the Egyptian Museum in January; Kassem, paraphrasing Hawass, continues, "The missing objects include 11 wooden shabti statuettes from Yuya, a gilded wooden statue of Tutankhamun carried by a goddess and a statue of Nefertiti making offerings."

Egyptian state television reported that Hawass called upon Egyptians not to believe the “lies and fabrications” of the Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya satellite television channels. Hawass later said “They should give us the opportunity to change things, and if nothing happens they can march again. But you can’t bring in a new president now, in this time. We need Mubarak to stay and make the transition.”  On March 3, 2011 he resigned after a list was posted on his personal website of dozens of sites across Egypt that were looted during the 2011 protests.

Hawass was reappointed Minister of Antiquities by then-Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, On March 30, 2011 a tweet was posted stating "I am very happy to be the Minister of Antiquities once again!" but resigned on July 17, 2011, after Sharaf informed him he would not be continuing in the position. According to opinion report from an Egyptian commentator in The Guardian, Hawass was "sacked".

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Dr Zahi Hawass - Egyptologist - Valley Of Kings

Dr Zahi Hawass

Position: Former 1st Minister of Antiquities
Years Active: 
January 31, 2011 – March 3, 2011

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2 Responses

  1. Ramises Ramises says:

    Must admit, zahi can be quite entertaining in his documentaries lol. I didn’t realise that he was only minister for about 3-4 months, I thought he was minister for years!! Learn something new thanks guys.

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