Friday, September 30, 2011

More grief at the SCA

The head of the SCA is still in conflict with the government, and SCA employees are now closing sites as part of their protests. I cannot imagine how SCA employees believe that closing sites to tourism is going to improve the finances available to improve their conditions.

Ahram Online

Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Abdel Fatah, insists that his resignation is final and he cannot manage the demands of protesters, as Prime Minister Sharaf tries to convince him to stay on

Since the revolution started last January, Egypt’s antiquities community has been rocked by protests, criticism and reshuffles of top personnel at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the powerful governmental body which oversees all of Egypt’s archaeological sites.

Today, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf announced that current secretary general of the Council, Mohamed Abdel Fatah, would be granted the authority of a minister; nonetheless, the chaos continues as Abdel Fatah insists that his recently announced resignation will not be withdrawn, and protesters complaining of years of corruption and mismanagement at the Council continue their sit-in.

Following the announcement today that Abdel Fatah would be offered the full authority of a minister, in order to better proceed with the Council’s archaeological and administrative work, protesters blocked the entrance to the Council’s offices in Abbassiya, switching off the electricity and preventing the employees from entering. They also expelled the building’s security guards and shut the iron gates.

In Aswan, the situation is much worse. Protesters closed the doors of the Nubian museum and the Abu Simbel temples to prevent an official visit celebrating World Tourism Day from entering.


The Supreme Council of Antiquities employees closed the temple of Abydos in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Sohag and closed all storage units that maintain the museum Tuesday, in solidarity with archeologists striking across Egypt.

The Temple of Abydos is the seventh archeological site to be closed down by council employees protesting against the Council’s lack of response to their demands. Other monuments that were closed include the Nubian Museum in Aswan, Abu Simbel, Wadi el-Sebou, and museums near Lake Nasser.


Archaeologists working in the Nubian fund closed down six archaeological sites in Aswan, including the Temple of Abu Simbel, the Temple of Wadi el-Seboo, the Temple of the Mayor and a number of museums located on Lake Nasser, in protest against the lack of response to their demands.

The staff at the Museum of Nubia shut down the museum yesterday and went on a strike until their demands were met. They were joined today by a group of colleagues.

They called upon their colleagues in all districts to close down archeological sites and museums until their demands are met.


Anonymous said...

I do feel sorry for tourists perhaps doing their only ever cruise on Lake Nasser. Some people will be put off from going to Egypt by these actions.

Anonymous said...

I do feel sorry for tourists perhaps doing their only ever cruise on Lake Nasser. Some people will be put off from going to Egypt by these actions.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the Egyptologists are using their new-found freedoms that Egyptians won so dearly in Tahrir Square. Unfortunately, like the Public Sector Unions in the UK they still have to learn when it’s appropriate when it kills the “golden goose”.

AliceG said...

It was such a really "quiet" revolution! They won so much, really fast. And now this. Total stupidity. As we say in the USA, bite off one's nose to spite one's face. Just as stupid.

Anonymous said...

One must wonder if all these 'egyptologists' numbering in the thousands, are at all qualified? Every taxi driver, waiter, donkey man tells you he really is one, yet the information he tells you is always wrong and fanciful. Even the 'official' guides that must accompany tour groups do not seem to have studied
as they too make it up as they go along. We have a saying "got his degree off the back of a corn flakes packet!. The income of the SCA is LE1.2 billion a year, yet there is no money for wages? As head of the SCA Hawass has a lot of answers to give as to where the money has gone . He has been banned from leaving Egypt, a serious step.Regards Val