Saturday, February 26, 2011

Unemployed egyptian archaeologists negotiate with state

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

A day after the old regime fell to its knees following popular demands for political and economic reform, protesters were seen picketing the Zamalek offices of the Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs (MSAA). Many of the archaeologists and restorers involved in the protests were fresh graduates campaigning for employment within the newly created MSAA body. Some claimed they had been unemployed since 2002.

Now a group representing the protesters has returned to the MSAA building to offer their apologies to Zahi Hawass, minister of state for antiquities affairs, and offering him flowers as a gesture of goodwill.

During a meeting attended by Al-Ahram Weekly, the former students made it clear that their protests were held only because there had previously been a lack of information as to how the ministry, formerly the Supreme Council of Antiquities, was trying to address the lack of jobs available for newly-qualified archaeologists and restorers.

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