Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, June 08, 2010

 Hawass has used his column in Al-Ahram weekly for a diatribe against foreigners, particularly Britons. I think this is because he had to get a visa for his most recent trip to Britain and didn't feel he'd been given a VIP treatment.

One argument he makes is a reasonable one. that a country should treat visitors as it's own citizens are treated when they visit overseas.  There's just one tiny, incy little flaw.  When Egyptians visit London they can see the Rosetta Stone free of charge: when Britons visit Cairo not only do they have to pay to visit the Egyptian Museum, they have to pay more than Egyptians.

Such comparisons are very usually over-simplistic and invalid.  This seems to be one of those cases.  It may play well with an Egyptian audience although given how much Egypt relies on tourists this is a very surprising statement:

We cannot continue to treat foreigners with love and generosity if they in return treat us insincerely and do not care, from now on: one to one.
 And this is what he has said of Britain - although whether it is all Britons or just Brtish officials it is not clear:
I know that Ahmed Abul-Geit, minister of foreign affairs, has ordered that all foreigners are to be treated the same. They have to pay the same amount that we pay and they have to know that this is a decision of the country. I myself do not want to visit their countries at all. I do not even want to deal with them.
Hawass has repeated the attack on his blog, although it seems the Spanish are still in favour .. oh and the ambassadors of the "United States, Japan, France, Columbia, Mexico, and many other ambassadors from Latin America".

(Thanks to Stewart Herring.)


Anonymous said...

Hawass only likes the countries that award him a honorary degree.

Stuart Tyler said...

"I hope more children, like Diego, are inspired to learn about and preserve our heritage for many generations."

- Zahi Hawass

Takes a deep breath before remembering to add "unless of course they are from a country or nation that i am currently in a huff with"

There are so many of us trying just as hard as the extremely friendly and courteous Egyptians (i go by personal experience)to spread the word of Egypt in a positive way. I just hope that the tar- brush isn't hanging over all of our heads, so as to hinder any future work "we" do on behalf of the country of Egypt. Or our children/ grandchildren after us.

Maybe words and actions have been taken out of context- i sincerely hope so.


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