Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Around 200 archaeologists gathered today at the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) in Zamalek to protest corruption, low wages and lack of contracts. They had a list of demands they were hoping to present to the newly appointed minister of Egypt's Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, but failed to do so when he slid out of the building from a side door to avoid confrontation with the protesters. An army tank showed up at the front door of the SCA building at around 4pm, and about a half hour later, Hawass had left the building.
Although the protesters grievances were mostly focused on low wages and lack of jobs, there were chants against Zahi Hawass himself, whom they see as a self-promoting dictator of antiquities, as well as chants against the rampant corruption that plagues the SCA institution. The protesters decided to give their list of demands to the army in hope that they would follow through - these included 1. Prosecuting Zahi Hawass for corruption and accountability for the theft of 18 masterpieces from the Cairo Museum 2. Demanding a minimum wage of 1200 LE 3. Demanding jobs for new graduates