Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We Miss The Pharaoh

Happier Times

"For me, archaeology is not a just a job. It combines everything that I could want - imagination, intellect, action, and adventure." Dr. Zahi Hawass

Alternative Title: An Open Love Letter to Our Former Pharaoh, the Good Dr. Hawass.

Good Lord help us, for today we are really missing Dr. Hawass.

A never-ending font of craziness, passion and zeal, Zahi Hawass was unceremoniously booted out of office in August following the Egyptian revolt last summer, AND...WE WANT HIM BACK!

We've always admitted our love/hate "relationship" with the good Doctor.

He stands for everything we hate about's stodgy, antiquarian, close-mindedness. Its absolute and total dismissal of any progressive thought. Its "by-the-book" or else attitude. Not to mention, his actual archeology skills! What a decent archaeologist would take a year to excavate, Dr. Hawass would man-handle in 20 fucking minutes. *sigh*

We don't care anymore.

His fanatical passion for EVERYTHING EGYPT was awesome in itself. He is a force of nature and a gift to us all. Was he up Mubarak's butt? Sure. But that was part and parcel of being in "the regime." How else was he to get anything done but to put Mubarak in his back pocket or vice versa?

Dr. Hawass's unyielding enthusiasm was captivating. His short lived show "Chasing Mummies" showcased many memorable moments and our hands down favorite was when he took the archaeologists up into The Great Pyramid to the very top of the so-called "Relieving Chambers". This bad-ass old man climbed all the way up and though it was stifling hot and he was exhausted, you could plainly see the love he has for the monument.

And it used to be his! LITERALLY. For years Zahi had the yea or nay power to keep people out of his pyramid (some of the hate part of the whole love/hate thing). Who needed the Sphinx? Hawass was the Supreme Guardian of the Giza Plateau and of the Great Pyramid. Hence, his unofficial title of Pharaoh. The Last Great Pharaoh of Egypt to be exact.

He isn't dead, so this isn't a eulogy. But in a way it is. A Eulogy for The Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

Since his firing, Dr. Hawass was re-hired, fired again and the position has since changed hands at least twice.

Mohamed Abdel Fattah was appointed in August: "I am fed up,” Abdel Fatah said angrily. “All these protests stand against proceeding with archaeological works properly," and then he abruptly and promptly resigned in September after about a month or so in office.

The "new guy" is Mustafa Amin, who has been busy working on the new museum at the Giza Plateau as well as dealing with security issues and everything else. We'll see how long he lasts.

Dr. Hawass was there from the late 60's and in charge from the late 70's until August 2011. At least when Zahi was there we knew who was in charge...and who to blame!

He served for years and deserved to be retired in full glory and regalia, parades. The whole nine yards. And what he got was bloody fucking awful. We wished he would go plenty of times, but in the end, he really did deserve more fanfare than the kick in the ass out the door he got.

We miss how absolutely fucking bat-shit crazy excitable he was. He wasn't just the Pharaoh, he was a real-life Egyptian Indiana Jones. There won't be another like him. Ever.

Where ever you are, Zahi, we wish you a successful life with contentment and peace and we thank you for all your years of service. In the end, all we have is Love.

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