Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities Appointed

Dr. Mustafa Amin has been appointed as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). Amin headed the Islamic archaeology department at the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) before replacing Mohammed Abdel Fattah, who resigned last week.

Youm7 English Edition reported that “Abdel Fattah had said that a series of pickets by employees had led to the closure of several of the council's buildings in Cairo and left the institution ‘paralyzed.’” There have been many strikes in the last few months by workers seeking better pay and working conditions.

Ahram Online said that Amin “met with protestors camped in front of the SCA’s Abassiya building for four days,” reporting that “4065 temporary employees will be immediately appointed to be followed by more appointments until the almost 12,000 temporary employees are all made permanent. The protestors were convinced and promised to end their protest.”

"[H]e promises to complete the SCA’s mega projects such as the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza Plateau, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC), as well as removing all encroachment at Al-Muizz Street and at Sphinxes Avenue in Luxor in order to reopen it soon.”

“Amine said that his first decisions as SCA secretary general were to appoint former secretary general Mohamed Abdel Fatah as the head of the NMEC Supreme Committee, and Adel Abdel Satar to head the Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Department. Amine was formerly head of that department.”

Earlier in the week, Al-Ahram Weekly reported the following:
“In Aswan the situation was worse. Protesters closed the doors of Nubia Museum and Abu Simbel temples and prevented members of World Tourism Day from paying a visit to both sites. Atef Abul-Dahab, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Department, told Al-Ahram Weekly that upon his arrival to the building, more than 4,000 archaeologists were blocking the entrance, waving placards calling for a bigger budget to meet their demands. Abul-Dahab said that in response to the protest, ‘we called the police and the military police to enable the staff to enter the building and proceed with their work.’ But, he continued, protesters refused to budge without their demands being met, including appointing 14,000 temporary employees whose period of work exceeds eight years.

‘They threw me in a bad spot,’ Abdel-Fattah told the Weekly. He said he cannot solve any problem concerning the SCA staff for the time being because it involves the SCA's lack of a budget and little financial resources. ‘How can I appoint the temporary staff and fresh graduates when I don't have enough money?’ Abdel-Fattah asked."


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