Maybe it was the gentle breeze on a beautiful night, or the suit with salt and pepper hair (ok more salt than pepper), or perhaps it was the shared love of adventure and excitement for the newly achieved democracy in Egypt. Whatever it was, my crush for Dr Zahi Hawass continues with a vengeance. I was left swooning and near speechless as he dramatically signed my new copy of the beautiful book depicting the Tombs of Thebes. Sunday night at the Arnoff center the minister of state for Antiquities in Egypt spoke about his life’s passion, experiences, the current situation in Egypt, and the highly acclaimed Cleopatra exhibit now at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
Dr Zahi Hawass (http://www.drhawass.com/) found archeology was his passion at a young age. He spoke of his feeling of responsibility to discover, preserve and share the history of his country with the people of Egypt and the world. While he was not the first to attempt this, he is the first to do it with showmanship, and an energy that made him the most recognizable person from his country. He has embraced media from around the world to bring us history through an easily accessible source, written beautiful books to provide details to his accounts, and has inspired future generations of archeologists with his clothing line, hands on approach to discoveries, and dedication to children’s education. For over forty years he has crawled through passage ways in the pyramids, excavated the deserts of Egypt, and through his pursuits surpassed Indiana Jones as the most interesting archeologist. Pursuing his passion has taken Dr Zahi Hawass around the world and into the hearts of adventurers everywhere.
His message was clear: Egypt with its rich history, current achievements, and focus on future possibilities is worth a visit. Hearing of the newly achieved democracy several months ago I was moved to tears, and hearing of Dr. Hawass working with the military and people of Egypt to protect and continue preservation of the countries antiquities was truly inspiring. Hearing him give the all clear to tourists, and realizing how supporting the traveling exhibits and traveling to the country itself helps to build this budding democracy was also motivating. Knowing possibly more about the rich history of Egypt than anyone else Dr Hawass is proud of his country and has a strong vision for a democratic Egypt providing an impressive future. He mentioned that many people tell him they come to Egypt because of him. Hearing his passion and assurances of safety despite transition I also want to visit the valley of the kings and the harbor of Alexandria and to see the developments in a country of revolution.
I also cannot wait to see the Cleopatra exhibit right here in Cincinnati! The Cincinnati Museum Center is second to none in the exhibits, professionalism, and presentation of history. This exhibit continues that tradition. We are one of only five cities in the US that will have the opportunity to view these items in person. You may remember viewing their discovery depicted on the “Chasing Mummies” tv show. After months of preparation this exhibit is now providing new insight into a mysterious and powerful figure in Egypt’s history. I find myself looking for some glimpse of the face of Cleopatra. Who was the queen that seduced the leaders of empires and ruthlessly fought to rule one herself? While her image is still unknown this exhibit helps to give flesh to a woman so known for hers. Available for viewing until early September Cleopatra is a must! (http://www.cincymuseum.org/cleopatra/)