Explorers Heroes

Zahi Hawass

by Sabrina from Oshkosh

“My field is more than preserving Egypt. It is about making people aware how to preserve it and to help Egypt any way possible.”
Dr. Zahi Hawass (
Dr. Zahi Hawass (

A hero is someone who has a vision and will always go after it. Zahi Hawass is my hero because he has improved Egyptology and has worked on several of the best finds including KV63/KV60. Both of these tombs are in The Valley of the Kings, KV63 is the latest tomb found there. Zahi Hawass will do anything to save artifacts and is the leading man for antiquities in Egypt. Zahi Hawass has found numerous mummies and is working to preserve Egypt’s beautiful history and treasures.

Zahi Hawass has encountered many trials in his life and has always overcome them. Zahi Hawass was born in the village of Al-Vbaydyah located in Egypt on May 28, 1947. The village he was born in had no modern amenities such as indoor plumbing or electricity. Even though Zahi Hawass grew up in a small village he still continued on to college. Zahi Hawass wanted to follow a diplomatic career, but he failed the oral exam. Zahi Hawass didn’t give up though, and decided to go to college to become an Egyptologist. Now he is accused of being pro-American because of his signature iconic Indiana Jones hat and for the King Tut exhibit for going throughout America. Dr. Hawass is also criticized for trying to retrieve artifacts such as the Rosetta Stone and a Ramses II statue because the countries that have them in their possession now claim that Egypt does not have room to put them, when there was a new museum built in Cairo 2 years ago. The recent Egyptian protests have resulted in several warehouses and museums to be broken into and looted; Zahi Hawass now has to find 100 missing statues and has to amp up security around artifacts and museums. Dr. Hawass has had an abundance of challenging experiences.

Zahi Hawass has accomplished numerous things in his lifetime. Zahi Hawass has hosted various TV shows and documentaries, especially on the History Channel. He was named one of the top 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2006. His name also inscribed on the Mars exploration rover in 2002. He was named a National Geographic Explorers in Residence in 2001. He has written many books including Royal Tombs of Ancient Egypt in 2006. He is also the Director of Antiquities in Egypt currently. Zahi Hawass has found over 10,000 mummies in his lifetime and counting. He has stopped 2 artifact smuggling rings and he has also helped recover over 3,000 artifacts previously stolen from Egypt. Dr. Hawass has also built 3 new warehouses to house artifacts that are not on display right now. Dr. Hawass has had uncountable monumental accomplishments.

Zahi Hawass has found a multitude of amazing finds in his lifetime. In 1999 he found 200 Greco-Roman mummies that were still encased in the traditional style of the mummification process, but the sarcophagi were all inscribed in traditional languages of Egypt while it was under the rule of the Romans during the years of Cleopatra’s rule. He has also found 250 mummies that were completely covered in gold and was therefore called the Valley of the Golden Mummies. This is considered to be the best discovery in Egypt since King Tut. Dr. Hawass has found one of best known statue of Ramses II. In 2006 he found KV63 which was the first intact tome since 1922. In 2007 he found KV60 which is the tomb of Hatshepsut in the Valley of the Kings; she was the first female pharaoh in the history of Egypt. He has also found a tomb of Apis bulls that contained over 50 mummified bulls that were fully intact and were in stone sarcophagi that were inscribed with hieroglyphics. Many of Zahi Hawass’ finds are some of the best in the world.

Zahi Hawass has had many important dates in his life. In 2002 he was appointed Secretary General of Antiquities. In 2009 he was promoted to Vice Minister of Culture PHD. In 1987 was the year that he received his degree in Egyptology. In 2002 the exhibit that he put together called Quest for Immortality made $1 million for every place that it visited. In 2009 he gave a tour to President Obama of the Great Pyramids of Giza, the tomb of King Tut, the Hall of the Apis Bulls, 3 tombs in the Valley of the Kings including KV8/KV23/KV57, and also showed him some of the renovations of Sphinx to help preserve it. Zahi Hawass has had life altering events in his lifetime.

Zahi Hawass is still a busy man today. He has now engaged in the TV show called Chasing Mummies, on the History Channel. Dr. Hawass is also working on making the city of Alexandria visible once again to the world. He is now working on pulling up the treasures of Alexandria including obelisks, sphinxes, statues, and hieroglyphic inscribed pieces of granite. Most of these pieces will be put into a museum that will also offer scuba diving tours. This project is expected to be completed in 2014. Zahi Hawass has found one of obelisks from the temple of Isis where Cleopatra was known to worship her. Zahi Hawass is also working on finding the mummy of Cleopatra in an attempt to find out what actually happened to her after she fled Egypt. He is also starting a new clothing line that all proceeds will go to the Children’s Hospital. Zahi Hawass is still involved in Egypt today.

Zahi Hawass is an icon of Egyptology because of all the amazing things that he has done including, his finds, research, and preservation. Without Zahi Hawass the mystery of King Tut would not be solved and we would still think that he was murdered by a blow to the head. Zahi Hawass has made it possible for people in other countries to see the beautiful treasures of Egypt. Zahi Hawass is an amazing Egyptologist, speaker, detective, and historian.

Page created on 5/11/2011 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/11/2011 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.

Related Links

Dr. Zahi Hawass - His website
Chasing Mummies - on the History Channel