Last Friday I had the pleasure of hearing Zahi Hawass speak at the historic Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St Paul. While I’ve seen Dr. Hawass numerous times on television, this was my first opportunity to see him in person. I was lucky enough to be seated in the first row of the Orchestra pit, so I was only four feet away from the stage. Dr. Hawass’ opening remarks focused briefly on the recent revolution in Egypt, praising the people who actually formed a human chain to protect the Cairo museum. Next he took us on a two hour journey, talking about all things Egyptian archaeology. The format was very much like a classroom lecture with slides and a laser pointer. At the close of the event, there was a time for Q&A. This is where you were able to see Dr. Hawass’ heart for children really come out. For the questions that were from children in the crowd, he actually had them stand up and he waved to them. He also made himself available for pictures with others. All things considered, this was a great experience. Dr. Hawass is very dynamic and engaging, which made the time just fly by. If all of us had archaeology professors like Zahi Hawass back in our undergrad days, I think many more of us would’ve gone the way of the spade and meter stick, rather than our academic or corporate gigs.
If you ever have the opportunity to hear Dr. Hawass, I would highly recommend it. Also, if you’re going to be in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area over the next couple of months, be sure to visit the King Tut exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota before it closes in September.
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