During his meeting with Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, Zahi Hawass, minister of antiquities, reviewed the ministry’s work for the coming weeks. Hawass announced that a number of archaeological sites and museums will be opened soon, among them the hanging church of Old Cairo, a number of mosques in Rashid and Cairo, the Serapium and ancient Egyptian tombs in Saqqara, the Suez national museum and the crocodile museum in the upper Egyptian town of Kom Ombo.
“The inauguration of these sites at this time is a message to the whole world that Egypt is safe and ready to welcome its tourists,” Hawass told Ahram Online.
The new sites which are planned to open soon inlcude: the Zaghloul mosque and six Islamic houses in Rashid; the Salaheddin citadel in Taba; the mosque of Sidi Galal in Meniya; the Al-Mansour and Qalawoun complexes in El-Muizz street; and the mosque of Prince Soliman known as the hanging mosque.
Hawass also discussed several other issues with Sharaf, among them the problem of transforming temporary labourers into permanent employees.
Hawass asserted that such a transition will not by any mean represent a burden on the government's general budget.
He pointed out that the current number of temporary labourers reached 17,000 people and the measures to transfer them into permanent workers will be discussed with the General Agency for Administration.
Several future restoration and development projects have been also discussed, among them the development of El-Gamalia area in medieval Cairo in an attempt to improve the living conditions of its inhabitants. Such an area houses the Qaitbay wikala, a part of Cairo’s north wall and the Ottoman wikala of Ouda Pasha.