Renowned Egyptologist says Suez blockage 'unrelated to pharaoh's curse'

Renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass denies 'curse of the pharaohs' caused Suez Canal crisis
3 min read
29 March, 2021
As some speculate about an alleged 'curse of the pharaohs' unleashing itself on Egypt, one expert says there is really nothing to worry about.
Zahi Hawass said there is no such thing as a 'curse of the pharaohs' [Getty]
A string of unfortunate and tragic events in Egypt - including the blockage of the Suez Canal - are unrelated to a supposed "curse of the pharaohs", renowned Egyptologist Zahi Hawass has assured.

The former antiquities minister's remarks come as the world looks on at Egypt's Suez Canal, where a container ship has blocked the route for one week.

More tragically, scores of people have been killed recently after a fatal train crash in Sohag and a building collapse in Cairo killing 18.

A fire has also ravaged shops in Zagazig while the partially-constructed bridge Mariotya has also collapsed.   

With Egypt preparing for an unprecedented "Pharaohs Golden Parade" with the transfer of 22 royal mummies to Egypt's new museum in April, some have speculated that the plans had triggered an ancient curse.

In particular, social media users have focused their attention on an inscription allegedly written on the tomb of famous boy king Tutankhamun.

"Death will come on quick wings for those who disturb the king's peace," reads the widely-shared warning.

But according to former Antiquities Minister Hawass, there is no such thing as the "curse of the pharaohs".

Speaking to Al-Arabiya television, Hawass also explained that the deaths of archaeologists who had excavated tombs in the past were due to germs present at the sites.

The Pharaohs Golden Parade on 3 April will see the transfer of 22 mummies, including those of King Ramses II, King Seknen Ra, and King Tuthmosis III King Seti the First, Queen Hatshepsut and Queen Merit Amun.

In contrast to those fearful of the "curse of the pharaohs", Hawass has hailed the event as Egypt's "biggest promotion", claiming that the world's eyes will be on Cairo during the 40-minute parade.

But for the avoidance of doubt about whether Egypt has drawn the ancient ire of its pharaohs, one man has gone a step further in seeking solace amid the concerns.

"I contacted the spirits of the kings of ancient Egypt, whose mummies will be transported in the royal procession in a few days, and I asked them if the accidents that are currently occurring in Egypt are due to their curse and anger because of their transfer," wrote IT specialist Sameh Abou Arayes on Facebook.

Abou Arayes, who is known for his support of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, has often drawn ridicule for styling himself as the "Prophet of Horus".

"They assured me that this is not true and that they did not send a curse and that they, as kings of Egypt and prophets of the god Horus, love the Egyptian people and cannot harm them," he added.

He said that fears about the parade were being spread by Egypt's "enemies".

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