Sir-- Zahi Hawass is not just a brilliant archaeologist (and a fellow Penn
graduate) he is also a most generous man and he was generous indeed in his
most recent column Dig Days: Hall of Fame (22-28 July) in his description of
our (AUC) exhibition last Fall "Creswell's Cairo". What he didn't mention
was that he not only provided the introduction for the superb exhibition
catalogue that we published on the occasion, and took the lead as speaker at
a press conference held on campus just prior to the opening, but it was
thanks to Zahi that the necessary permits were provided the team of
photographers who tracked down and took contemporary shots of Cairo's
Islamic monuments in colour that exactly matched the same perspective for
Creswell's own black and white pictures taken 50 or more years ago.
But I must note that the photography team of Chemane Arias and Jenny Marquez
was provided by the Islamic Art Network (IAN) not AUC.
IAN manages an extraordinary website -- www.islamic-art.org -- and
collaborated with AUC in putting together this great exhibit which as Zahi
notes was curated by Noha Abu Khatwa, who is the director of IAN. Part of
the confusion is that I wear two hats -- as an AUC faculty member and
director of the Sony Gallery which was one of the two participating
galleries and I serve as academic liaison officer for IAN and The Thesaurus
Islamicus Foundation which sustains IAN and Ms Abu Khatwa is a recent
graduate of AUC's Islamic Art Master's degree programme.
Indeed the Islamic Arts Network has reproduced all of the material -- both
text and visual -- connected with this show and it is pleased to have the
personal support of Zahi Hawas who is a member of our International Advisory
Board (now under formation) as well as the opportunity since the exhibition
is to work closely with the Supreme Council of Antiquities on other projects
of mutual interest.
S Abdallah Schleifer
Director, The Adham Center for Television Journalism
American University in Cairo