Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, July 21, 2011

Almasry Al Youm has reported that the cabinet re-shuffle is expected to conclude on Thursday.  It also writes that

The source added that Sharaf decided to abolish the Antiquities Ministry while keeping the Supreme Council of Antiquities, which will be put under the direct control of the cabinet.
That could finally spell the end of the road for Dr Hawass because it doesn't seem to leave open the possibility for a ministerial position and he is over the mandatory state retirement age for officials. Anyway the news reported that three weeks ago he appointed Mohammed Abd el-Maqsud as the new Secretary General of the SCA, who may now find himself in the top job if the ministerial layer above him is removed.  It would also prevent some difficulties because the Prime Minister doesn't need to appoint anybody and so won't offend any of the factions.

Don't bank on anything though.  This re-shuffle has more twists and turns than the News Internation phone hacking scandal.  And, although this approach if adoped means that nobody new is appointed, that doesn't mean that people will be happy with the outcome.

If this does happen, the only way Dr Hawass can remain would be if he was re-appointed as Vice-Minister of Culture.  It is possible I suppose but it seems unlikely on several grounds, not least loss of personal face from a clear demotion and the Youm report seems to suggest that the SCA will report to the cabinet at large and not to the Culture Ministry.  I guess he could be appointed as Minsiter of Culture with responsibility for both the culture and antiquities portfolios, but I don't think it is likely he will go fro effectively being fired a couple of days ago to a big promotion.

Predictions are dangerous but this could be the final dénoument for Hawass as a politician.



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Is it just me or has anyone else got the conviction that Hawass will probably die in this job. To be honest no one else would have that larger than life personality or charisma. I just could not imagine anyone else doing it, like Belzoni you need a showman to promote tourism in egypt. Alright he may have promoted himself but he obviously loves his country and its history and he has done more for egypt than any other egyptian i can think of.

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He went.

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