Dear Friends: A while back, I reported Dr. Zahi Hawass — the inimitable Egyptian Director of Antiquities and frequent host of many TV specials — had resigned his position, as he was upset with the lack of security during Egypt’s recent civic unrest. He had returned; alas, now it seems he is out again:
The most prominent among those replaced is Antiquities chief Zahi Hawass. For more than a decade, he has been the international face of Egypt’s archaeology, with his trademark “Indiana Jones” hat that turned him into an instantly recognizable global icon. Hawass, however, has been the target of a series of heavily publicized protests by archaeology graduates who accused him of corruption and seeking publicity for himself.
He has been accused of being too close to Mubarak and his family, along with former culture minister Farouq Hosni, himself a protege of the Mubaraks who had served in the Cabinet for 25 years until he was pushed out after the revolution.
This is the scene, as Hawass left the ministry:
As an extra bonus, Hawass’ named replacement isn’t even an archeologist!!! I do not think Egypt is in a success trajectory for the establishment of a healthy Democracy. In fact, it is so bad, archeologists went on strike:
“Prime minister Essam Sharaf has cancelled the nomination of the Abdel Fatah El-Banna to hold Egypt’s antiquities portfolio.
The decision was taken following the demonstrations of archaeologists and the employees of the Ministry of State for antiquities (MSA) at the front gate of the cabinet building calling for the cancellation of El-Banna’s nomination to the ministry’s top post. (..) El-Banna told Ahram Online that the cabinet had called him to cancel his nomination.
The archaeological communtiy is now speculating as to whether the MSA will be reduced to an antiquities authority affiliated with the cabinet or remain a ministry with the new minister announced later this week.”
The update for myself? The interview I did with Mr. Kenric Ward of Sunshine State News hit the internet today:
Eastman said SoCal-TRC policies are “based on a sound understanding of basic economics derived from practical experience in the world of small business. This is because all of our founders run small businesses, and appreciate that liberty and personal freedoms are best served through the fair practice of free enterprise. Our group strives to maintain a message that is focused on sensible fiscal policy and limited government intervention.”
But it’s not all kumbaya. “We have had issues with the local Republican party operation attempting to take credit for the rallies our organization hosted,” said the San Diego resident, who told Sunshine State News that 10 percent to 15 percent of her group’s members are Democrats.
“We have managed to create an environment where Democrats such as myself can also share our concerns about overtaxation and how the local, state and the federal governments spend our tax dollars,” she said.
“These basic concepts are understood by everyone who attends a tea party: Democrats, Libertarians, Constitution Party members, independents, Republicans and other newly minted tax revolt activists.”