Zahi Hawass in Cape Town & Johannesburg

As the guest of The Egyptian Society of South Africa marking the society’s 10th anniversary

The Society hosted Dr. Zahi Hawass,  Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities in South Africa on a short lecture tour – visiting Johannesburg where he gave a lecture on Monday 14th August 2006 at the Great Hall of  the University of the Witwatersrand with Egyptian Ambassador Mona Omar in attendance. Unfortunately problems with publicity resulted in a smaller attendance at Wits than expected. The subject of the lecture was  The Mysteries of the Pyramids. Dr. Hawass also gave a question and answer session to students at Wits University who took advantage of this unique opportunity of meeting the most famous Egyptologist in the world today.

Accompanied by Acting Chairman Jean Smith and Peter Mulder, Dr. Zahi Hawass arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday 15th August where he stayed at the Cape Grace Hotel at the Waterfront. Two lectures were given at the Baxter Concert Hall on 16th and 17th August with Cape Town City Mayor, Helen Zille as guest of honour.  On both occasions the Concert Hall was sold out with many people turned away. Following the first lecture a “Meet & Greet” event was arranged for guests and TESSA members. Many took the opportunity to have books by him duly autographed.

During his Cape Town stay, Dr. Hawass visited the University of Stellenbosch where he talked to students and enjoyed the hospitality of the university and that of Professors Sakkie Cornelius and Johann Cook.  The TESSA Committee ensured that Dr. Hawass saw as much as possible of Cape Town during his short visit.  He visited Cape Point, ascended Table Mountain by the cable car and was well entertained at various dinners where his exuberance and enthusiasm for Cape Town were well noted.  Dr. Hawass suggested that he would like to return to Cape Town and there is the hope and expectation that he will indeed do so.  We truly look forward to that.

Corporate member Egypt Today CC, plus EgyptAir and Marcus Brewster Publicity sponsored part of the costs and kind donations were  received from Mike & Shirley  Beaumont, Debbie Blinkhorn, Anlen Boshoff, Dr. Rob Brown, Colin & Marian Cohen and Norma Harris.

The entire project was co-ordinated  meticulously by Jane Mulder, assisted by her sub-committee – Peter Mulder, Nerine & Thomas Dorman and Robin Hammond.  Well done everyone and especially Jane Mulder. – Brava!

The Society has completed its first decade having achieved national and international visibility in line with the objectives of the Society to foster an  appreciation and understanding of ancient Egypt. There are few societies in Cape Town, perhaps even in South Africa, that are as active as ours – with a strong membership and attendance at meetings, financially secure and with excellent facilities. Members have access to a superb free specialised lending and reference library, regular meetings and lectures, national and international visibility with an unsurpassable record of world-ranking lecturers like Dr. Kent Weeks, Prof. Mostafa el Abbadi and the redoubtable Dr. Zahi Hawass. TESSA also has the benefit of superb local lecturers and some are shown in photographs in the special commemorative edition of SHEMU.

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