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Egypt's antiquity employees demands attained

An unexpected meeting at the ministry of state for antiquities affairs melts the ice between its minister and protesters, who have been picketing its building in recent days

Nevine El-Aref , Wednesday 23 Feb 2011
Hawass with protestors
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Today Zahi Hawass,Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs met with a group of young archaeologists, who were representing the protestors who have been picketing the ministry’s building in recent days.

These university graduates have been campaigning for employment within the newly-created ministry, but today came to offer their apologies to Hawass. The meeting was an impromptu event, during which the minister was offered flowers by the students as a gesture of goodwill.

According to a report released by the ministry even before becoming the minister at the end of January, Hawass had been seeking funding in order to create new jobs for the country’s many graduates.

During the meeting, which Ahram Online attended, the students made it clear that their protests were only held because there had been a lack of information about how the ministry, formerly known as the Supreme Council of Antiquities, was trying to address the lack of jobs available for newly-qualified archaeologists and restorers.

Achraf El-Achmawi, a legal consultant at the ministry, said that the new appointments would be made according to a schedule starting in March.

The first phase of this plan will provide jobs for 900 archaeologists and restorers, who will be given paid training within the ministry for a period of five months. The second phase, he continued, will follow the completion of the first one and will provide the same paid training for 500 people followed by an identical third phase.

 

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