Friday, January 29, 2010

Report: Fourth annual Festival of Archaeologists, Cairo (Zahi Hawass)

Recently we celebrated the fourth annual Festival of Archaeologists at the Cairo Opera House. I began the idea four years ago of having a day to celebrate the achievements of Egyptian archaeologists, and making a place for them to meet together and with their foreign colleagues.

I chose the date of January 14th to hold this celebration because it is the anniversary of the date in 1953 that Mostafa Amer became the first Egyptian to be named the head of Egyptian antiquities. This marks an important moment in Egyptians gaining authority over their own heritage, so I decided it would be the best date, and we hold the celebration at the Opera House in Cairo, which is a very beautiful space.

Now we meet on this day every year, beginning at 7 pm, with a 15-minute film talking about all the projects that Egyptian archaeologists are running. These include museums and site management programs for pharaonic, Coptic, Jewish, and Islamic sites and monuments, as well as training programs that we are implementing.

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