In the presence of HE, the minister of antiquities Dr. Khaled el-Enany, Dr. Mustafa el-Waziri, secretary general, members of the organizing committee, and the membership of the International Association, President Willeke Wendrich spoke at the closing ceremony of the international congress in the Mena House in Cairo. She congratulated the organizing committee led by Ahmed Ebeid, Hisham el-Leithy and Mohamed Saad, under the scientific committee chaired by Ola el-Aguizy, and thanked them for the excellent organization of the conference.
She addressed the membership of the International Association of Egyptologists by acknowledging that many Egyptologists do not see the point in becoming a member by saying:
“An often heard reaction is: ‘what does the association actually do for me?’.
Well I could of course in a historical fashion reply with: ‘don’t ask what the association can do for you, ask what you can do for the association’.
I want to point out that the association is run completely by volunteer work. Our council of national representatives and our predecessors in the Presidium, Dr. Chris Naunton, Prof. Dr. Laure Pantalacci and Prof. Dr. Ursula Verhoeven all have very busy schedules within their day job, and yet they stepped up to lead the professional organization of our discipline. I want to express my profound gratitude for their work.
What the International Association of Egyptologists does has mostly been done behind the scenes.
1. Of course the association cooperates with and supports the organizers of the congress, but there are many other things.
2. We all know how important the Online Egyptological Bibliography is. Apart from the fees that is paid by members who subscribe to the OEB, the association supports this initiative with an annual extra financial contribution. It is not nearly enough; we should do more to support this unique resource that is adapting to the times by now offering links to online publications.
3. With the acceptance of the ethics statement, the IAE strongly supports the Ministry of Antiquities in condemning the illegal antiquities trade, for instance by publishing declarations. The association will, furthermore, endorse any initiatives, such as the one presented here at the conference, to aid in this goal.
4. Any professional organization that takes itself serious, is an advocate for the discipline. The IAE has the task to help fuel the interest in the study of ancient Egypt in the setting of present day Egypt.
5. We can provide records of membership which is a requirement for a serious curriculum vitae.
6. We support proposals for initiatives that will benefit Egyptology as a whole, for instance when I submitted a grant proposal at the National Endowment for the Humanities for the UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, the association wrote a letter to endorse this initiative and that certainly helped in getting the funding to start the work.
In the council meeting earlier this week we heard many ideas on how to move forward and you will hear from us at the beginning of the new year with some well-crafted plans. One of the initiatives is the re-design of the web-page. Please confer with your national representative or with Tarek, Richard and me directly on ideas for the functionality of the public and members-only part of our webpage. Please keep in mind that we need to comply with privacy laws that are not the same in different parts of the world.
I also would like to call specifically on those of you who are active users of social media to help craft a social media approach that is do-able and makes sense for the goals of the IAE.”
She then proceeded to send greetings and the hope for recovery to Prof. Dr. Ali Radwan, who could not attend the conference and asked for a moment of silence to
remember and celebrate the lives of colleagues we have lost in the past four years (www.iae-egyptology.org/services.php?site=obituaries_new).
She then asked the Vice-President, Tarek Tawfik, and the Secretary General, Richard Bussmann, to join her on the podium and proceeded to honor one of the members of the IAE for her many years of service:
“Lastly, one of the functions of the association is to call out and honor members who have made exceptional contributions to the field. The greatest accolade that the association gives is the Honorary Membership of which only four have been given over its more than 40 years’ existence.
It is my distinct pleasure to bring to your attention a colleague that the International Association of Egyptologists is deeply honored to have in her midst. She has been a role model for me personally for many years, with her deep knowledge, distinguished publications and yet her welcoming openness towards students.
We share an interest in Ethno-archaeology and Ethno-Egyptology and on the impact of Ancient Egypt on today’s international culture. She published many articles on this subject both in French and in English.
She received her BA in Egyptology from Cairo University and her Dr. phil. in Egyptology from Oxford University in England. At present she is a Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo. She has been a staunch supporter of and contributor to this association and she has received many accolades.
She was the Blaise Pascal Chair of Research, offered by the “Fondation de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure” and hosted by the Sorbonne, for researching and lecturing.
She has been a visiting Professor at a number of universities, such as at Charles University in Prague, and La Sapienza, Roma as well as Paris IV-La Sorbonne.
She has lectured intensively in America (North and South), Europe, in the fare East and also in Africa.
And I have to say that the IAE is coming a bit late in recognizing her formally.
I am speaking, of course, about Fayza Haikal.”
Tarek Tawfik then offered the certificate of honorary membership of the IAE to Fayza Haikal.
After the presentation by the presidium Olaf Kaper gave a brief overview of the plans for the 13th congress which will be held from August 6-12, 2023 in Leiden, The Netherlands.
The Chair of the 2019 Academic Committee, Ola el-Aguizy then gave an overview of the past week, including the many impressive social events in breathtaking venues, such as the Giza Plateau, the Manial Palace and the Citadel. The entire academic committee then joint her on the podium and received the recognition of the audience.
The closing session was ended with a speech by HE Minister of Antiquities, Dr. Khaled el-Enany. He stressed the importance of collaboration between individual Egyptologists and the ministry to safeguard Egypt’s monuments, but also to enhance knowledge and help with, for instance, information provision to the general audience on the website and in museums. He memorized how the prior evening Egyptian and foreign Egyptologists got off their chairs and danced to the music of singer Nesma Mahgoub and the impressive dance sampling of electronic oud player Balqeis. He then invited a number of scholars who had volunteered to a meeting immediately following the closing session, to discuss topics, methods and priorities of collaboration.
Thus ended the XIIth International Congress at Cairo.