I Spent an Evening with Dr. Zahi Hawass (Kind of Anyway!)


On 2 May 2023, my mother and I attended the first stop of Dr. Zahi Hawass's North American lecture series, "An Evening with Dr. Zahi Hawass."

The Man Himself

During Dr. Hawass's lecture, he spoke on many upcoming digs and excavations happening in Egypt this coming fall. He was most excited about new research into the Great Pyramids at Giza, as well as trying to discover the lost tomb of Nefertiti.

Elon Musk and Aliens Made the Pyramids

Dr. Hawass also made sure to include plenty of jokes along the way to break up the serious nature of the talk. In the beginning of his program, Dr. Hawass made light of the History Channel's attempts to claim aliens built the pyramids. According to Dr. Hawass, neither aliens or Elon Musk were responsible for the creation of the Giza Pyramids, despite what some would have you believe!

The Books Dr. Hawass was selling

Dr. Hawass and his team were also selling books as part of the lecture tour. He was selling the two books shown above, Secret Egypt and Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, the Centennial Celebration. Were they overpriced? Of course, but are they also both really cool? Most definitely.

Secret Egypt is a travel guide to all of the best archaeological sites, restaurants, hotels, and so-on across Egypt that Dr. Hawass recommends. This book is part of the push to get more people to visit Egypt as part of the traveling tours Dr. Hawass is now a part of via the company Archaeological Paths.

The book on Tutankhamun is very large and has many glossy photos, which makes the high price worth it to book collectors like myself.

The Historian Posing for a Photo

I really enjoyed this lecture by Dr. Hawass. To most people, who are not as well-versed in Egyptian Dynastic history like I am, they probably got lost a time or two as Dr. Hawass raced through several different topics and subjects during his hour and a half talk. At the end of the lecture, Dr. Hawass had time for questions and also did a book signing (which I did not hang around for because it was getting late and was an over-half-an-hour drive home for me on a Tuesday).

Did I get to shake hands with my childhood hero? No. But being in the same room with him, surrounded by people who were also interested in learning more about Ancient Egypt was very exciting and made for a fun evening.

Thank you to my mom who bought us both the tickets to attend the event as part of my graduation presents from Arizona State University for my bachelors degree.