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Critical of Hawass?
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Cairoinfo4u
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:20 pm    Post subject: show the world the real Hawass Reply with quote

Sad that Egypt was looted by Mubarak for so much money-
now someone has looted Egypt’s history and honour.


Dr. Zahi Hawass, former Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, always declared vociferous:
Our heritage is part of humanity’s history and Egypt’s identity. It must not be allowed to vanish into unscrupulous hands, or run the risk of being damaged or even destroyed

But, as the proof occurred, he failed the exam.

What had happened?

After the conspicuous disappearance of security forces in the afternoon of Friday, 28 January 2011, the Egyptian national-museum was bare from any protection. A bunch of unidentified but somehow informed people took this occasion and jumped over the fence into the courtyard, broke in and plundered the gift shop of the Museum, only taking things easily to be sold on the streets.
At the same time, a small group was entering its way into the museum in a more criminal fashion over the roof. Inside the museum there were only three tourist policeman left contrary to given orders, trying to protect the museum against the invaders.
On this point, hundreds of peaceful protesters formed a human chain to surround the museum and protected it from thieves and looters, spontaneously to safeguard Egypt’s treasures with their naked hands until the army arrived and helped to imprison some of the criminals.

And where was Hawass?

After his own statement “At home, asleep” because there was a curfew!
Was his telephone broken, and were his office at Zamalek not on duty? No precautions taken for the Day of anger, to save Egypt’s most famed Museum only one stone's throw away from Tahrir Square where tens of thousands Pro-democracy protesters demonstrated for their rights against suppression, exploitation and unfair treatment of their life?
Whoever gave the order to give to all security forces an unexpected work-free day in such a critical situation to bare the heart of our heritage?
He didn't know the Regime would free their tugs to set the Streets on fire?

Why didn't he give any commands to come to excellent defence before this disgrace occurs?
He lamented the loss on the next day but gave no answer to the questions!
He claimed for weeks: “The few outlaws who broke in the Museum were on the search of gold and mummies. When I went to the museum on Saturday morning I found out that 70 objects had been broken, but nothing had been stolen and all 70 objects can be restored, now all of the Egyptian monuments are safe
"And all the inspectors, young archaeologists, and administrators, are calling me from sites and museums all over Egypt to tell me that they will give their life to protect our antiquities.”

It seems he was the only one who not!

The incident has left archaeologists, colleagues and employees angered. They say it is time to show the world the real Hawass.
We are not the staffage of your corrupt behaviour, you betrayed us”, chants hundredfold outside of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) in Zamalek.

“You abashed us and our country, Egypt will not be save until you leave”
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well put, Cairo. You are not the only one who is boiling with indignation!
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Cairoinfo4u
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Granite wrote:
Well put, Cairo. You are not the only one who is boiling with indignation!


Welt Online 15.02.2011 Interview in a renowned German newspaper with Jan Assmann

Ägyptologe Jan Assmann: Nach allem, was ich in Erfahrung gebracht habe, war der Einbruch im Ägyptischen Museum eine inszenierte Veranstaltung. Dahinter standen nicht irgendwelche Chaoten, sondern offensichtlich Polizisten in Zivil, die in höherem Auftrag einige Vitrinen zerstört haben – aber so, dass keine ernsthaften Schäden an den Antiken selbst angerichtet wurden. Das inszenierte Chaos zeugt auch von der fehlenden Beziehung zur eigenen Vergangenheit. Die archäologischen Schätze liegen uns Westlern am Herzen, sie sind gewissermaßen Geiseln, mit denen sich die Welt erpressen lässt. Das Kalkül, das glücklicherweise nicht aufging, lautete offenbar: Wer sich an diesen Schätzen vergreift, der hat die Sympathien der Welt verscherzt.

A raw translation to English:
Jan Assmann: After all, which I brought in experience, the break-in in the Egyptian museum was a staged event. Not any rioters stand behind it, but obviously police in civilian clothes, that some cabinets destroyed in a higher (government) order- but in a way, that no serious damages to the antiquities themselves were prepared. The staged chaos testifies also to the lacking relationship to the own past.(of the Mubarak Regime) The archaeological treasures lie us west-educational at the heart, they are hostages or pawn so to speak, with whom the world lets itself extort. This calculation, that didn't rise fortunately, apparently was: Who assaults at these treasures, has forfeit the sympathies of the world.

http://www.welt.de/kultur/article12536357/Auch-Araber-lieben-keine-Diktatoren.html
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could well be true...
Anyway, the truth will out in the end, and there will be a day of reckoning.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Granite, we outsiders do have a duty to accomplish, in such a process of getting the truth to emerge. Waiting may be the easy way out, but can lead to inaction or excessive compliance.
We know that the Tahrir protesters were able to get their points across mostly due to the sheer numbers of adherents (visually, socially and economically), achieving a critical mass that could influence (and revert) military decisions.
Similarly to that heroically successful effort, all participants in any forum, or visitors to any AE exhibition (in or out of Egypt), must now make their own numbers felt, by expressing consensus on some needed actions. "Boiling with indignation" is something we may all share, but no counts are taken, so it becomes just a personal emotion with insufficient moving power.
Only after a convenient "desirable development" has been turned into a "multitudinary wish" by a long stream of written adhesions (able to numerically influence Egyptian authorities), can we relax and consider that we have done our duty in creating new circumstances which we deemed necessary.
It is of course necessary to show strong support for all military actions that advance toward everyone's shared aims, in freedom, democracy and people-improvement through oriented progress. Such intentions from the outside world must show in the posts that this forum contributes, since our devotion to AE must necessarily require rational improvements to be achieved in the country of Egypt itself. If we don't support good action, we run the risk of seeing it languish and eventually disappearing.
But the other side of the coin is more difficult to come by. Inevitably, there are also cases in which some of the miltary actions may seem insufficient, or inadequate to the purposes that have been agreed-upon.
In a true democracy, it is the people through their assemblies and chosen representatives who must keep an eternally vigilant watch over all government actions, to appprove, influence or censure them as may seem fit. This is normally achieved through open and fair elections, and outsiders cannot expect to be given such a voice.
But we must make good use of whatever voices we do possess, and this forum is definitely one of them.
I strongly believe that this "General Discussion" section of Egyptian Dreams is the proper outlet for expressing and debating whatever may seem laudable to us, as well as all cases of government actions lacking in a good purpose, or all inactions that begin to tax patience and delay needed changes beyond their natural deadlines.
An appropriate natural issue from which this basic activism may start is the vandalism and looting that took place in one of our own Sacred Places, the Egyptian Museum.
As most of the data has shown, this happened primarily through a planned activity of disruption, meant to show the world and the military that the protesters were up to no good, and that it was necessary to obliterate all manifestations.
Some did bite the bait, but the bare-hands bold move of spontaneous street people making a human chain, became a symbol of rejection of such political manoevering that treated AE as just a propiciatory victim.
Now what? What is required at this point and where do we become necessary? IMHO the problem is just what Granite shows: the truth must eventually come out. But we must nudge it along, or it risks becoming entangled in the proceeds, as has happened so often before.
Therefore, our voice can speak out where local voices may probably be kept silent: I believe the investigation of all police forces that could have been criminally employed, disguised in civilian clothes, to vandalize and loot the Museum, is probably the first effective step that should be put forcefully forward.
The routine interrogation of all units that might have been involved would reveal, to any trained interrogators, where the culpability trails lead. If this is done openly and leads to controversy, so much the better. If the assumed guilty are shown to be innocent, those who set the rumours going must bear their own responsibility.
A large data base of cross-referenced testimony will evidently point all fingers to the guilty parties, allowing actions to set them up for trial.
But that is only the first issue touching our interests, that may allow us to be a benefic influence on future knowledge and progress. No doubt other issues will emerge as events unfold, but they all share in the need for our participation: we need to come to terms with the fact that we must become proactive, that our voice must be expressed and that it can be very useful.
Even if we may eventually hit a wall and be doomed to failure.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More anti-Zahi data on the latest post in the excellent 'News from the Kings' Valley' blog.
Yes, I agree with you, Neteria, we Egyptophiles should put our 'money' where our mouth is and be proactive. Perhaps I was adhering too closely to the old Arab proverb: 'Sit on your doorstep and, if you wait long enough, you will see your enemy's funeral cortege pass.' I live in Córdoba, a city with a very present Arabic past!
Are you thinking of getting up a petition, or sending a letter to the relevant authorities with lots of names on it, or something like that? It could be a very good idea.
It could demand things on two fronts - social justice and Egyptology. On the one hand, we want full civil liberty in Egypt, fair elections, and full investigation and punishment for the crimes against humanity and the corruption that went on during Mubarak's 'reign'.
As regards our own special area, we want a full investigation of the running of the SCA and a weeding out of those placed in office for their political ductility rather than their professional qualifications; a complete overhaul of the Egyptian museum as regards security, curatorship and so on, or a total removal of the artefacts to a new and more acceptable location: revision of the salary scales of archaeology workers of all ranks; dedicating of the funds generated by AE to the betterment of the lot of the Egy`tian people in general, as well as improving research and storage facilities; total freedom for authorised Egyptian and foreign Egyptologists to excavate, investigate and publish as they see fit (they are professionals, after all).
If we could get a sufficient number of people to subscribe to something like that, spread it around the media and get the Egyptian authorities to agree to it, would that help matters?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soooo, let me get this straight. You as a bunch of hobbyists are going to draft a series of demands on how things are run in Egypt?

As a bunch of people who have no professional back ground in Egyptology, who have no credible professional background in administrative matters (such as creating budgets, providing a system of necessary checks and balances to ensure proper running of a system, etc) you are going to write a petition making demands?

So after suffering through a police state for some 30 years and fighting for democracy, they are now going to take orders from a bunch of hobbyists on the internet?

The running of Egypt - including the SCA - is an internal Egyptian matter. You are in no place to "make demands".

If it were a petition (not demands) from a professional Egyptology organization with either requests or concerns, that would be different.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very well put, Anneke.

Perhaps, Granite, you could leave off searching for, as you put it, "anti-Zahi data" and let the Egyptians sort themselves out.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a broadside, Anneke!
Of course, you have a point, but if everybody had always thought like that, if people had always left their affairs in the hands of those supposed to be looking after them - politicians, administrators, law-makers, civil servants - then democracy would never have been installed in Athens, Mubarak would still be bleeding Egypt dry, and your proud nation would still be a British colony! If the necessary reform of archaeological matters in Egypt is left in the hands of the local authorities, the SCA and the official Egyptologists, then the same result is likely to ensue.
I object, by the way, and I imagine I am not alone in this, to you, as one of the prime movers of the forum, labelling its members as a bunch of hobbyists. There are those in the forum, and in other forums (fora?) around the web, who are extremely knowledgeable, from whom I personally have learnt a lot and whose opinions I trust more than those of many a world-famous 'proper' Egyptologist.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Re: hobbyist
I would label myself as a hobbyist. That is not meant as a derogatory term. I make a big distinction between people professionally trained and those who who come at a discipline as a hobby. I have read more than a hundred books and many articles on AE, and I still know better that to claim I am as big of an expert as a real trained Egyptologist.

People like neseret I would consider a professional. Some here are in training from what I have read. Most members are not professionally trained Egyptologists, nor are they in a position to know a whole lot about administrating something as complex as the SCA.

My main point is still that democracy means that this needs to be decided by the Egyptians. We can send in petitions of support, and find ways to express our support.

What I think is inappropriate is to sit here as outsiders making demands. That's something I just find somewhat bizarre. That goes entirely against the idea of democracy.

What do you think the response of say the Dutch or Spanish would be if we came up with a list of demands on how they should run their country? A list of demands on how to conduct archaeological research on their soil? My guess is that the response would be none too friendly. So why should the Egyptians take kindly to this kind of interference? I find it rather condescending to assume we need to step in to solve their problems.

Support Egyptians? Absolutely! Tell them what to do? No.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should note Granite, that I do appreciate the sentiments behind your ideas. You clearly care a lot and I think most people look at these situations and fell like they would like to jump in and help.

And it is hard to just watch what is going on in Egypt, Bahrein, Yemen, and other places. My heart certainly goes out to these people.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said Anneke. We live in the country and still would not dream of trying to tell Egyptians how to run it.

Yes there were problems with corruption throughout the Govt, as has been shown by the arrest of so many Ministers. I certainly read & hear of a lot of allegations relating to the ZH & the SCA.

The latest is from Egyptian Manager of Antiquity, Nour el din Abdel Samad concerning 1600 documents lodged with the High Courts, all of them within the period of Hawas and Farouk Hosni's tenure.

He alleges amongst other things the theft of public funds, fake projects, theft of antiquities. Taking commission from private security company during exhibitions in USA & loss of the 700 millions $ that was paid by T.V channels on the day the robot entered the Queens chamber.

The full translated version is here:- http://projectcamelotproductions.com/interviews/egyptian_stolen_treasures/egyptian_stolen_treasures.html
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On re-reading the original post I see that it is indeed overstated, and gives the impression we should tell the Egyptians what to do with their own country, which was definitely not my intention.
Consider the proposal withdrawn.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 11:42 pm    Post subject: Re: show the world the real Hawass Reply with quote

Cairoinfo4u wrote:

After the conspicuous disappearance of security forces in the afternoon of Friday, 28 January 2011, the Egyptian national-museum was bare from any protection.


National Geographic has a different version:
Quote:
The head of the museum police says that his men, about 65 in all, were far outnumbered, and that he and others on the scene could do nothing but call for army reinforcements.


I am struggling to work out how 1 to 4 (nobody seems sure) intruders outnumbered 65 policemen. It is clear they didn't try to find out ... and most of the early reports fro Dr Hawass stated there were only 3 policemen present who had indavertently got stranded by the curfew. Although even those 3 would have been at least an even match for the intruders.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we all have to take a deep breath, a chill pill or two, and try to stop posting such derogitory comments of Hawass and his team. Let's give the man credit for the outstanding work he has done, not only in improving sites, opening up more for tourists, involving himself in some very dangerous examinations of various tombs, written several very scholarly books, etc. etc.
It's very easy for us to sit back and criticize the Mubarak government and its violations, and, unfortunately, hawass' name s closely linked to that of Mubarak.
At this point, the sensible thing to do is to wait! Wait until we get accurate and fully detailed results of exactly what has happened. At this point, the 'net seems to be overflowing with conjecture and wild statements.
It is much easier to believe the statements here, from our members who are in Egypt--kylendjustin, prine of Heket, Heket. (any I missed?)
For us to, in our superior attitudes, tell the Egyptians what type of government they should have, who to prosecute (if they do) is reaching the point of dictating policy, which, I am sure, the Egyptian does not appreciate. Hopefully, things will calm down soon. We will get information we can believe. Until that time, I suppose the best thing we can do is wait and hope.[/u][/b]
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