Dr. Zahi Hawass, the bombastic, clownish pseudo-archaeologist who has tyrannized, bullied, and manipulated Egyptologists and Egyptian villagers alike for years now, today officially accepted President Hosni Mubarak’s appointment as Minister of State for Antiquities in the desperate, ghost government that has just been formed.
Hawass has thrown in his lot completely with the dying order. Antiquities are the least of Egypt’s problems right now– but all those who are concerned with them have another major reason to wonder what the future will bring…
Alerted by Nigel Hetherington
From the AP January 31, 2011
Egypt’s President Announces New Government
by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak swore in a new Cabinet on Monday, replacing one dissolved as a concession to unprecedented anti-government protests.
In the most significant change, the interior minister — who heads internal security forces — was replaced. A retired police general, Mahmoud Wagdi, was named to replace Habib el-Adly, who is widely despised by protesters for brutality shown by security forces.
Still, the new Cabinet is unlikely to satisfy the tens of thousands of protesters who have taken to the streets in cities across Egypt the past week demanding the ouster of Mubarak and his entire regime. When Mubarak announced the dissolving of the previous government late Friday and named his intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as his vice president, protesters on the streets rejected the move as an attempt by Mubarak, Egypt’s authoritarian ruler of nearly 30 years, to cling to power.
The new line-up of Cabinet ministers announced on state television included stalwarts of Mubarak’s regime but purged several of the prominent businessmen who held economic posts and have engineered the country’s economic liberalization policies the past decades. Many Egyptians resented the influence of millionaire politician-moguls, who were close allies of the president’s son, Gamal Mubarak, long thought to be the heir apparent.
In the new Cabinet, Mubarak retained his long-serving defense minister, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, and Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
The longest-serving Cabinet minister, Culture Minister Farouq Hosni, was replaced by Gaber Asfour, a widely respected literary figure.
Egypt’s most famous archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, was named state minister for antiquities, a new post.
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