Thursday, February 10, 2011

SCA workers call for improved conditions

Ahram Online

With photo of the SCA protest. (There's also a photo of Hawass apparently trying to address the SCA protest on the BBC website).

Protesting employees demonstrated Wednesday outside the ministry's Zamalek premises demanding better wages and the appointment of seasonal employees. Another of their demands was the removal of the culture ministry's supervisor, who supervises the construction work of the National Museum of Civilization, the Grand Egyptian Museum and the rehabilitation project of historic Cairo.

Zahi Hawass, minister for antiquities, met with the protesters and announced that procedures to increase the salaries were taken in January. As for the appointment of new employees, he said this will be studied once the country is stable, archaeological sites reopen and tourists return; the main source of the ministry’s budget.


With photo of the protest. The Associated Press report that Supreme Council of Antiquities employees gathered in protest ouside their Cairo building:

Egyptian museum workers stage a protest outside the Supreme Council of Antiquities in the upscale neighborhood of Zamalek in Cairo, Egypt Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011. In another indication of state employee unrest, dozens of museum workers demanding higher wages and criticizing the practices of former Minister of Culture Farouq Hosni staged a protest in front of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, arguing with Antiquities Chief Zahi Hawass who came out to address them, and pushing past doormen into the building. Posters in Arabic read "No to corruption, no to oppression, Farouq Abdel-Salam", "Steadfastness, steadfastness" and "Increasing pay"


Stephanie said...

I thought that the SCA had ceased to exist after the creation of the new Ministry of Antiquities.
Apparently this is wrong.
Does anyone know how the SCA correlates with the Ministry of Antiquities?

Andie said...

Hello Stephanie

The SCA is an organization which used to sit under the Ministry of Culture, of which Zahi Hawass had been made vice-minister. It is an organization in its own right, non-poitical in the sense that although it is government-funded it operates independently of political leanings (or at least in theory!). It is responsible for the management and inspection of archaeological projects, which liaises and integrates with foreign missions. You can see its organization (pre-cabinet reshuffle) on the SCA website:

The complication with viewing it as a non-political entity is that its director (Secretary General Zahi Hawass) was promoted first into the political position of vice-minister of the Culture Ministry and now is the Minister for Antiquities.

It seems to be running much as before, with Hawass having much the same role but with a new title and a more explicitly political role and agenda.

It is difficult to know how the SCA will be organized in the future, and how it will fare under the new structure.

If anyone has a better insight into how the SCA relates to the new Ministry, please do comment.

Stephanie said...

Thanks a lot for your explanation, Andie!