Dr Zahi Hawass and the mummy of King Tutankhamun


Better the Devil You Know? Don't Call for Hawass's Departure

A Report by Andrew Collins

In the wake of President Murbarak’s departure last week, Dr Zahi Hawass – recently appointed Egypt's Minister of Antiquities – is coming under considerable fire both professionally and personally, and there is mounting support for his resignation. He has been criticised for not revealing the extent of the break in at the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, in the first days of the uprising, and just yesterday there was a mass demonstration by staff and archaeologists at the SCA's (Supreme Council of Antiquities) offices at Zamelak, Cairo. The mob ended up rushing the building and confronting the clearly startled Hawass as Sky News filmed the whole thing.

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There is no question that Hawass rules the antiquities organization with an iron fist, and has often been accused of corruption and lies. He shouts and screams at everyone who opposes him (I know!). Yet I have come to realise that he is a friend to the new age community searching for the Hall of Records, and that through him a number of bonafide expeditions to search for its entrance in the vicinity of the Sphinx have taken place across the years. He believes in the existence of the Hall of Records, or at least something that his Arab Egyptian upcoming can handle (most likely a physical representation of the Tomb of Hermes, the Arabic Idris, containing the prototype Pyramid Texts written on the walls of the so-called "Green Chamber" - the origin behind the Emerald Tablet of Hermes).

If he goes then it is unlikely that any further exploration in this area will take place, for there is every chance that an Egyptian hardliner might replace him, and they will have no time for such fantasies.

Where all this leaves future exploration of the Giza cave system on the north side of the plateau, under the shadow of the Great Pyramid, is unclear. With Hawass there is every likelihood that at some point they would be investigated properly. If he goes, then anything might happen.

So don’t put Hawass in the same camp as his great friend and supporter Hosni Murbarak: don't call for his downfall. Do not tempt fate in this respect. Let the Egyptians make their own decisions, as it might well be a case of better the devil you know.

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