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AnnieJones 12-13-2009 11:33 PM

Zahi Hawass
I don't know about my fellow Raven members,but I rather like Zahi Hawass.He is interested in ancient history in such a way,that it makes other people interested in it as well.What I also like about him is he doesn't just site around in a stuffy office all day,he also gets involved in what is going on in Egypt,such as digs and other things.

Zahi Hawass is friends with actor Omar Sharif( ).Omar Sharif was even at his sons wedding.
I think it would be good if Zahi Hawass and Harrison Ford met.

His official website is here:
And here:
Zahi Hawass Wikipedia:

I found these interesting quotes on his website:


People often ask me, ‘well, it’s not really as exciting as Indiana Jones, now is it?’
I reply, ‘to an archaeologist, yes, it certainly is!’

— Zahi Hawass

The first statue I found was a statue of a dwarf.When I entered a shaft about 5 meters down,and I held this statue in my hands,it was exactly like when I held my first born son - exactly that same feeling.When you enter the shaft for the first time,that no one has entered before you - in the dark,the excitement and the adventure go to your heart,it trembles the heart,and this is why when you reveal it,you tremble the heart of the people.When you see a movie,it is thrill,but in a movie,they set this up.But for us,it is not a movie.It is real.

— Zahi Hawass

Many people make the mistake of thinking that dreams cannot come true, but they can. You have to believe, and know that they are more than just imagination.

— Zahi Hawass

For me, archaeology is not a just a job. It combines everything that I could want - imagination, intellect, action, and adventure.

— Zahi Hawass

What is important to me is that I have the great good fortune to spend my days doing something I love, and being given the opportunity to make a difference in the world.

— Zahi Hawass

Personal quotes from IMDB:


I believe that Egyptologists have a mission to teach interested young people about working in the past. Archaeology, after all, is not Indiana Jones. I encourage young people to study and prepare for the field.

When I started excavating--you know when you see someone and fall in love right away?--that is when I found my love. And when I did that, archaeology became everything in my life. This is why I tell every young person in Egypt and outside Egypt that they have to look and wait until they find their real love.

There is an ancient Egyptian saying that 'Man fears time, and time fears the Pyramids,' but this is no longer true. The Pyramids must fear time, too. (New York Times, August 10, 1997)

What do you think of him?

The wedding of Dr. Hawass's son.

Omar Sharif at the wedding.

kongisking 12-14-2009 11:58 AM

Hawass is one of my heroes.

Rocket Surgeon 12-14-2009 12:19 PM


“We own that stone,” he told al-Jazeera television recently. “The motherland should own this.”
For Dr Hawass, and many others in so-called “source” countries, this is a simple issue of restoring looted cultural property: “For all of our history, our heritage was stolen from us. They [the British Museum] kept it in a dark, badly lit room until I came and requested it.”

There are several objections to this, beginning with what he means by “we” and “the motherland”. Modern Egypt did not exist in 1799, let alone in 196BC, when the stone was carved. Unlike some controversial items in Western museums, the stone was not smuggled away, but handed over to the British as part of a legal treaty, signed not only by the French and British, but by the Ottoman Government in Egypt.

As for the absurd notion that it was undervalued and poorly exhibited: the Rosetta Stone has been on almost continuous, prominent display since 1802, the single most visited object in the entire museum.

But more than that, the Rosetta Stone is an emblem of universality, and a product of the multiple cultures that existed in the 2nd century BC, in what we now call Egypt. Dr Hawass, a brilliant and inspiring defender of the past, has selected the wrong object over which to fight a narrow, nationalistic political campaign for “repatriation”.

You think he's picking a worthy battle, or is he still searching for the elusive limelight?

AnnieJones 12-14-2009 09:13 PM

I saw a mummy for the first time in The Charleston Museum,in South Carolina,when I was in my late teens.For people like me who don't get to see ancient Egyptian artifacts,or who get to travel around the world to see them,it's a great help to see them in a museum more close to home(not just see them in books or on television).The mummy I saw was an adult woman and probably not a very important person in ancient Egyptian history.So,in my opinion,people and artifacts that aren't very important to the major parts of history can be in museums around the world,and more important people and artifacts should stay in their own country,such as the Rosetta Stone.

Maybe they could even travel the Rosetta Stone,like they do King Tut.But that's just my suggestion on what they could do.

Rocket Surgeon 12-15-2009 08:38 AM


Originally Posted by AnnieJones
So,in my opinion,people and artifacts that aren't very important to the major parts of history can be in museums around the world,and more important people and artifacts should stay in their own country,such as the Rosetta Stone.

Seems many precious artifacts were saved from theives, protected and displayed by more developed nations.

It seems on the surface, he's a spoiled child who wants his brothers toy. So far he's only dismisseded the saftey and security of the Stone and lied about it's status in The British Museum to justify his lust for glory, (nudge nudge).

The Rosetta Stone HAS traveled before, now he says he will drop his claim for the return of the Rosetta Stone if the British Museum loaned the stone to Egypt for three months. Sounds suspicious.

Those who have had dealings with this "modern Belloq" have reservations regarding how they could guarantee artefacts would be returned at the end of the loans. To which this "reputable and respected" scholar has only replied with hyperbole, (much like mine) that "We are not Pirates of the Caribbean...I will do it..." instead of providing a plan for security the current caretakers a require for an object them deem worthy of more then lip service.

Violet 12-15-2009 08:10 PM

I never know what to think about this guy. Personally, a lot of the stuff he seems to do, is really all for personal glory.

It is quite debateable as to whether he has found anything huge a find and worthy of the text books. I think he knows that too.

One thing that I will give Hawass credit for, is creating current attention to Egypt and to it's findings. If it weren't Hawass, we wouldn't hear anything about Ancient Egypt on current affairs programs. Every controversy that comes up, he's right there, in the middle of it all.

Ten or so years ago (when Egypt was only one of many ancient societies looking at), he was the co-host in the new version of the Chariots of the Gods documentary special (along with the guy who plays Al in Home Improvement). And even that Golden Mummies special, where nothing that exceptional, despite promises before every commercial break, was found.

He's a good showman. I can't judge his academic side, obviously because I'm not an archaeologist.

Attila the Professor 01-01-2010 10:31 PM

There was a rather good, 10-page long or so profile on Hawass in the New Yorker, the November 16, 2009 issue. The text of it isn't online unless you're a subscriber, but maybe you can scrounge up a copy if you're interested enough.

At any rate, here's the abstract of the article. He clearly loves the limelight, which certainly seems a character flaw, but that's also how he's able to do much of the good he does in bringing Egyptian archaeology and Egypt generally into the public eye, so it's a mixed bag, as far as judgment goes.

On a lighter note, here's a blog, Egyptastic, that has as one of its primary purposes poking fun at him.

Rocket Surgeon 01-01-2010 11:32 PM


Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
On a lighter note, here's a blog, Egyptastic, that has as one of its primary purposes poking fun at him.

"Zahi Hawass announced my discovery"


Joosse 01-02-2010 07:22 AM

I quite like the guy. He seems like a lot of fun.

I remember though when I was on an internal flight in Egypt, I read an article in a local magazine that he insisits the hat he always wears is the same hat as Indiana Jones wears... ;)

Let's just hope his Egyptology is a little more accurate...


AnnieJones 01-03-2010 12:07 AM


Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
one of its primary purposes poking fun at him.

Poking fun at him? That's a terrible thing to do!:eek:

Joosse 01-03-2010 02:59 AM

I don't know, Annie.

He seems like a guy who would laugh it off, and also one to understand that there is no such thing as bad publicity...


Saber79 01-04-2010 05:12 PM

Seems like a great guy and definitely knows how to keep an audience interested. My boss met him while in Egypt. She then got him to sign his book for me. She gave it to me as a birthday present. One of my most treasured possessions!



Attila the Professor 01-05-2010 04:46 AM


Originally Posted by AnnieJones
Poking fun at him? That's a terrible thing to do!:eek:

He also seems to invite it, don't you think?

Montana Smith 01-05-2010 05:09 AM


Originally Posted by Attila the Professor
He also seems to invite it, don't you think?

His autograph is certainly the mark of an extrovert! Looked like he wanted to cover every bit of that page.

Joosse 01-05-2010 07:05 AM

Either way, Bob, that autographed book is excellent! Congratulations!

I believe that Hawass being extroverted is quite normal for somebody coming from Egypt. You have to understand that people are different over there, and have different habits. It's quite usual to act extrovertly there.

For instance, when somebody we know dies, we might cry about it quietly in a corner.

In Egypt, they wil wail in public and go out into the streets proclaiming their grief.

So it's a cultural thing really...

Saber79 01-05-2010 09:14 AM

Thanks Joose! It was definitely a big surprise. I wish I can say I was the one who got the signature, but beggars can't be choosers.

To me, from whenever I watch one of his specials, I think its his overall enthusiasm towards anything that brings out that extraverted side.

Joosse 01-05-2010 10:30 AM

You're welcome.

I was quite surprised at the determination he showed in one of his specials as he broke his foot, but kept going anyway. If that doesn't show the man's true dedication, I don't know what does.

Mind you, a point could be made that his dedication is actually more to his own stardom than to egyptology, but I'm willing to give him a little leeway with that... ;)

Rocket Surgeon 01-05-2010 10:41 AM

Great prize...always very cool to have a personalized keepsake.

Everyone has their way of seeing things and their culture, (the Irish even paid Keeners), but that’s no substitute for respect and honesty in my book...especially on a national and public level. There's already so much discord among nations that this squeaky wheel's lies will only prove a disservice to humanity and progress.

Maybe it sparks a conversation but it undermines HIS position when he instigates with his chosen hyperbole.

Le Saboteur 01-05-2010 05:47 PM

Fellow California residents can hear Dr. Hawass speak at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. Tickets are $15.00, and are on sale through Ticketmaster for the March 8 engagement.

Link here.


Tickets are now available for a special presentation by Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, at 7:30 pm on March 8, 2010 at the San Francisco Opera House. Join Dr. Hawass as he discusses the latest scientific developments in the study of the mummy of Tutankhamun, the efforts to preserve his tomb in the Valley of Kings, and plans for the new museum in Giza. Tickets are $15 and are available at

Dr. Hawass is internationally known for his work preserving the antiquities and monuments of Egypt. His familiar face and hat are regularly seen on the National Geographic, Discovery and Science Channels where he reveals the secrets and mysteries of ancient Egypt, the pyramids, and Egyptian pharaohs.

Joosse 01-06-2010 03:34 AM

$15 is a sweet deal.

Too bad it would probably cost me another $900 for the plane ticket... :(

Saber79 01-06-2010 09:09 AM

Hopefully he'll come to New York City, then it will be a 45 minute drive for me!

Archaeologist 01-08-2010 02:14 AM


Originally Posted by Violet Indy
I never know what to think about this guy. Personally, a lot of the stuff he seems to do, is really all for personal glory.

It is quite debateable as to whether he has found anything huge a find and worthy of the text books. I think he knows that too.

Since archaeology is not known to be a profession people get rich from or people donate huge sums of money too (by that I mean enough to frequently have Research Excavations rather than salvage or CRM digs), there are people like Hawass (and others) who need the media to create funding and public awareness about archaeology. Funding being the most important, because with the proper funding archaeologists can better educate the public without the help of certain poorly written Discovery docs. Personal glory? Well, I am sure he didn't get into archaeology for the attention!

As far as finding huge finds... Come on! Most archaeologists do not find what the media would consider a huge find. What I did find interesting that he helped discover was the tomb of the pyramid builders with inscriptions proving that the workers were conscribed and no Cecile B. DeMille like slave teams. The bodies uncovered were given medical treatment, etc. as well. I think that that is a huge find, but is it golden and shiny? Can it be toured in a museum? No. Still, it is text book worthy.

But what I do not like about Hawass is his stance on egyptian artifacts in other countries. I have expressed this before on previous discussions, but the general stance I have is that it should not be about nationalism or tourism (nationalism being Hawass's stance: egypt should have everything egyptian back!), but rather about what is best for the artifacts. The Neues Museum housing the Nefertiti in Berlin has a special chamber housing ONLY the bust with guards at each entrance and in the chamber with their main function making sure tourists do not use cameras (it used to be only NO FLASH for preservation reasons, but too many people broke this rule and now it is simply no photos at the moment; a good example of putting the artifacts first).

So, in conclusion, I think he is a good egyptologist and doing what every leader or proponent of archaeology would like to do. If he likes it while helping archaeology, who cares? I would rather watch someone on TV who wants to be on TV than someone who doesn't care. And not every archaeologist will make it to the text books, but that does not mean their discoveries are any less significant. Perhaps reading a scholarly journal instead of a general or layman's text book and one can easily see how many archaeologists have been published and contributed towards history. I disagree with his stance on artifacts, but I do like his stance on the proponents of a link between the pyramids and Atlantis: Those people are 'Pyram-idiots!'; reflecting his discovery of the Pyramid builders that greatly discredits Atlantis and Aliens.
:dead: is this a zombie Indy?

Attila the Professor 01-08-2010 07:20 AM

I'm glad you're here, actually, Archaeologist. One of the things that stood out in the recent New Yorker piece on Hawass was, apart from the fact that he usually puts forth his findings on television sooner than anywhere else, that when he does publish, he doesn't do so in peer-reviewed journals. Do you have anything to offer on that?

Archaeologist 01-08-2010 08:29 AM

Not publishing in a peer-reviewed journal is not good, albeit the journals I do have access to through university neither have egyptology or journals in arabic. However, at least he is publishing when he does and it is available to the masses. Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities I sure has its own paper work and battling through the time consuming process of being published by a scholarly journal is likely not a top priority.

Again, at least he is publishing something. Think of all of the archaeological projects going on in the US alone. Now the world. Then consider the amount that is written about in scholarly journals. It does not mean these unpublished archaeologists are not contributing to the understanding of history.

I have had too many field directors that do not make available, scholarly or otherwise, their finds, but rather leave them in an esoteric archive or wait until someone asks them. With the internet and websites, there is no excuse not to publish something, and at the very least he has done that.

Since I am not an egyptologist nor can I read arabic (assuming that it would be easier and quicker for him to write in this language and perhaps publish in), I do not know the full extent of his publications. I have not been published yet, but if I had reached the level of media publicity (or infamy as it seems to some) as Hawass then I would likewise publish under the assumption that the people who know me are interested in the subject and know where they can get it.

Personally, I prefer scholarly journals. But if his goal is to educate the public, then his non-journal publications are not bad. Laymen terms, easy to read, and therefore can be picked up by the masses, his main target.

Has anyone looked into publications by archaeologists working for Zahi Hawass? Just curious.
:dead: Mummy Indy

Archaeologist 01-11-2010 09:17 AM

Yahoo news just had a "latest Discovery" about more evidence the Pyramids were not built by slaves. Hawass does most of the talking, however, it should be noted that Adel Okasha is the supervisor of the excavation, which means he is the person who should be publishing in scholarly journals whether arabic or english.
So although Hawass does all of the talking and book writing (e.g. Pyramid Builders; actually wasn't some of his university work, which would be unpublished, on this subject? Can't recall where I heard that though), there are other people with more intimate knowledge about sites that should publish for scholars and leave Hawass to write general material promoting the subject.

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