During his meeting with Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, Zahi Hawass, Minister of State for Antiquities, reviewed the Ministry’s work for the coming weeks. Hawass announced that in an effort to promote tourism in Egypt, several archaeological sites and tourist attractions will be opened soon in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Rashid and Taba.
Sites that will be reopened or opened for the first time include: the Hanging Church in Cairo, which recently underwent restoration, the Serapeum and the New Kingdom cemetery at Saqqara, which contains the tombs of Maya and Horemheb. Also to be opened for the first time are the new Suez National Museum and the Crocodile Museum in Kom Ombo.
Hawass stated that the opening of these sites at the current time is a message to the whole world that Egypt is safe and ready to welcome tourists from all over the world. Hawass added that new sites to be opened soon include the Zaghloul mosque and six Islamic-era houses in Rashid, the Salaheddin Citadel in Taba, the mosque of Sidi Galal in Minya, and the Al-Mansour and Qalawoun complexes in Al-Muizz Street as well as the mosque of Prince Soliman, which is known as the Hanging Mosque.
Hawass and Sharaf discussed other matters as well, among them the issue of transferring the temporary workers to a permanent contract with the Ministry. There are 17,000 people working for the Ministry on temporary contracts, and the process to transfer them to permanent contracts will be discussed with the General Agency for Administration.