Last Update 23:16
Sunday, 20 October 2019

World-famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass under investigation for graft

Hawass accused by former colleagues of illegally amassing $14 million in US banks

Ahram Online, Wednesday 23 Apr 2014
Zahi Hawass
Zahi Hawass, former Egypt's top antiquities official (Photo: AP)
Views: 23864
Views: 23864

World-renowned Egyptologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass is under investigation by Egypt's authorities on charges of illicit gains, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported on Wednesday.

The superstar archaeologist and former secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has been accused by officials at the council of illegally acquiring a fortune of some $14 million kept in US banks.

This is not the first time such accusations have been levelled at Hawass, but past investigations cleared him of such charges.

Hawass has gained prominence in international media throughout his career, appearing in several documentaries and television series, including Chasing Mummies: The Amazing Adventures of Zahi Hawass, which was aired on the History Chanel in 2010.

In April 2011, Hawass, who had recently been re-appointed as antiquities chief in the newly-formed cabinet of then prime minister Essam Sharaf, was sentenced to serve one year in jail for refusing to fulfil a court ruling over a land dispute. He was also relieved of his governmental duties and ordered to pay a LE1,000 fine.

Hawass had initially resigned from his ministerial post when he was criticised for his close ties to ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

The SCA appealed the court ruling, arguing that the land in question included monuments and should therefore be treated as government-owned land.

Awarded a doctorate in Egyptology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987, Hawass is the author and co-author of several books, his latest being Ancient African Kingdoms on the Nile: Nubia, released in 2012.

He was profiled as one the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2006.


Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

Mondher Belhadj (Tunisia)
05-05-2014 10:35pm
A prominent mankind, on top of the Pyramid but in the wrong epoque
I hade the opportunity to collect several books dealing with the egyptology among them Hawass's once. I also collected some TV documentaries where he appears as the director of excavations at Giza, Saqqara and Baharia Oasis. In the documentary he was ok, however in his books all of his work is tainted with the fact that he kneels a lot to the family of Hosni Moubarek. Take for instance, in his book the REALM OF THE PHARAOHS he dedicated it in the full first page for Mrs Suzanne Mubarak for her commitment to peace, women and children. Does he need to do that? Yes because if he doesn't do it he would be ousted from his job. There many people in Egypt who were forced to do so, or they won't be there. This phenomenon existed also in Tunisia where people are forced to be member of Ben ALI party elsewhere no access to Public sector jobs. Certainly Hawass intensions were to work for the goodwill of Egypt but not to Moubarak. The Egyptians like him and also like what he did for Egypt.
Comment's Title
09-11-2015 08:07pm
And what has he done for Egypt exactly?
Oh yeah? What has he done for Egypt other than lie about Egypt's history, he has most modern Egyptians believing that their ancestors were Ancient Egyptians when most of their ancestors didn't come until the invasion of Muslims from the Middle East. This man has always been a scam and phony.

© 2010 Ahram Online.