Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hawass Dig Days - Taking credit for the Nubian rescue

Al Ahram Weekly (Zahi Hawass)

This account appears to be somewhat jumbled, but I think that this is mainly because it lacks any direct reference to the location of the story to which it refers. Hawass appears to be saying that the respected Egyptologist Christiane Desroches Noblecourt has recently taken credit for instigating the Nubian rescue campaign, whilst Hawass believes that Tharwat Okasha was the person responsible. There is no hyperlink or reference to where these claims are supposed to have been made, which makes it very difficult to assess Hawass's statements. Hawass obviously feels strongly on the subject, but this actually makes it more difficult to get to the heart of the story.

The story began a few months ago when Madame Christiane Desroches Noblecourt, the famous French Egyptologist, was stated as making every effort concerning the Nubian campaign, and some newspapers even published this lie. Everyone around the world knows that Tharwat Okasha started the campaign, and made many political and scientific plans for the salvage of the Nubian monuments. When Egypt began building the High Dam in Aswan in 1960, the rising water began to threaten the two famous temples at Abu Simbel, one built for Ramses the Great and the other for his favourite wife, Nefertari, as well as other temples located to the south of the High Dam, such as Wadi Al-Sebua and Amada. At that time, Egypt called for a global, cooperative effort to save these unique temples from being submerged under water.

Noblecourt announced incorrectly that she created the idea for this campaign. This announcement made many of us angry, and we rejected this lady's effort to steal the success from a great man of Egypt, Okasha, who was the minister of culture at that time. When I met him, it was on the occasion of honouring his efforts and ingenious plan to save the Nubian monuments.

See the above page for the full story.

1 comment:

Curt Hopkins said...

this guy's got some issues. if it's not the jews, it's the europeans. everyone is out to get the poor egyptians ('egyptians' in this context means hawass and hawass alone). despite his talent at dashing into center frame whenever there's a discovery channel camera around, they ought to replace him with someone without such a chip on his shoulder. oh, and someone who's interested in archaeology might be a nice change, too.