Khaled El-Enany, Egypt's new minister of antiquities, told Ahram Online that plugging the hole in the ministry's finances will be his top priority, because when funds are available projects that were put on hold could be resumed.
El-Enany completed his doctorate in Egyptology in 2001 at Montpellier III University in France, writing about ancient Egyptian royal names.
He then began an academic career in the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management at Helwan University, where he rose through the ranks.
While at Helwan, El-Enany was director of the Open Learning Centre, head of the Tourism Guidance Department, vice-dean for education and student affairs and professor of Egyptology. He is also an associate scientific expert and member of the board of administration at the Institut français d'archéologie orientale (IFAO) and a visiting professor at Montpellier III. He has lectured in France and Switzerland.
In October 2015, the French government awarded El-Enany the French Chevalier (knight) of the Order of Arts and Literature for his achievements in archaeological studies and his efforts to preserve Egypt's heritage and create a strong bridge of cooperation between Egypt and France in the field of archaeology.
El-Enany told Ahram Online by phone after swearing the oath of office in front of President El-Sisi that he would continue what his predecessors started, as the post does not suggest one should start from scratch, or erase all previous efforts exerted. Rather, the aim must be to build on what has been done.
Helping junior Egyptian archaeologists and curators to develop their skills to meet their counterparts abroad is another goal that El-Enany vows to work hard to achieve, through the establishment of workshops on research methodology in Egyptology as well as sending archaeologists for training abroad.
He continued: “I have several ideas in mind and I will work hard to implement them, in order to protect and preserve Egypt’s heritage.”
El-Enany promised to have a soft opening of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in 2016. The press conference on the results of the radar survey of Tutankhamun’s tomb is to be held 1 April according to schedule.
El-Enany told Ahram Online that Prime Minister Sherif Ismail assured him he would remove all obstacles the ministry has faced in the pursuit of its archaeological work.
He added that Ismail encouraged him to work in collaboration with the ministries of tourism and civil aviation to improve Egypt's heritage profile and build up the country.
Upon arrival to the ministry El-Enany met with former Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty and all heads and directors of sections in the ministry, in order to put in motion a plan for the ministry’s future work.
Eldamaty (left) welcomes El-Enany (right) at the ministry premises
(courtesy of the Ministry of Antiquities)