Me, feluccas, history and healing in Luxor, Egypt

This is the story of a "felucca girl" in Luxor, Egypt.

I have refound my youth in this amazing country, making it my permanent home, spending my time showing tourists the wonder of the eternal River Nile on a traditional sailing boat called a felucca.

Egypt is a very spiritual land. A land of amazing energies and healing. Temples and tombs abound. Join me in experiencing the spirituality of Egypt. Reiki, Crystals, Healing, Energy Work..... all are available here.

Welcome to my world!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Zahi Hawass clothing line

Well we do all want to buy Indiana Jones style hats, denim shirts and baggy jeans don't we? However, it seems there is much controversy over this latest venture which is linked as follows

ZAHI HAWASS is an eponymous menswear line developed by Lora Flaugh, President and Founder of Art Zulu, and leading Egyptologist Zahi Hawass that seeks to capture the spirit of a man with a very rich personal history.

Exploration and adventure are the undercurrents of this collection, and each piece is designed with a utilitarian approach. The ZAHI HAWASS line is carefully crafted to convey a sense of time and place. The personal history of Mr. Hawass himself has played a central role in establishing the narrative of the collection. Hawass made a tremendous effort as Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities to cultivate an international appreciation and knowledge of Egyptian antiquities, and this collection is another successful way for him to continue his mission to protect and share the culture of Egypt.

ZAHI HAWASS is a novel fashion line not just for the traveling man, but the man who values self-discovery, historicism and adventure. Rich khakis, deep blues and soft, weathered leathers give off a look that hearkens back to Egypt’s golden age of discovery in the early 20th century. Natural dyes, vegetable dyes and organic cottons were thoroughly researched to come up with the most premium and environmentally friendly fabrics for the versatile shirting, shorts and pants that comprise the collection. Ample time was spent developing the hardware and finery to make it feel extraordinary. 

The ZAHI HAWASS vision can only be fully realized in an environment that matches the grandeur and classicism of Egypt. Combined with an elegantly themed in-store shop at Harrods, ZAHI HAWASS clothing will promote a look that is both trendy and casual, conservative and cool. More than anything else, the proposed ZAHI HAWASS collection and shop will be a retail experience that evokes the beauty of Egypt through its d├ęcor, and invites consumers to pack their suitcases and journey to the exotic locale.  

And now, Hawass's response to the critics.  He does love his explanations!

I was so happy a few days ago to announce that my clothing line is going to be sold, as it will represent my adventures in archaeology. The profits from the sale will go to benefit the 57357 Children’s Cancer Hospital here in Cairo.
This story begins in June 2010, when Lora Flaugh, the CEO of Art Zulu, a clothing company in New York City, approached me about starting a clothing line. I felt honored by this suggestion, because I don’t think any company would invest the time and money to do this unless they thought it would be a success. I wrote back to Lora in June 2010 to thank her and tell her how privileged I felt by her idea. I accepted her business proposal on the condition that the profits be donated to the Children’s Cancer Hospital in Cairo. I told her about how I sell my replica hats in order to benefit the Children’s Museum in Cairo. I am glad that the sales from these business ventures are going to benefit the children of Egypt.
I called Dr. Sharif Abul Naga, the Director of the Children’s Cancer Hospital, to tell him the good news. Two years ago, he asked me to help the hospital, and I am glad that I am now able to participate in fundraising for it. I told Dr. Naga to be in contact with Lora in order to find out when this line of clothing will make a profit and fund the hospital, and he informed me that a foundation has also been established in the States to raise funds for it as well. He asked me to become a member of the board, and I accepted with pleasure. I also asked Lora to put an advertisement next to where the clothing will be sold explaining how the profits will go to fund the hospital. I am very happy that my hat and clothing line will be able to help the children of Egypt and make them happy.
Unfortunately, stories and rumors have recently been going around about this project. In October of last year, the design company had a photo shoot in the King Tut exhibit in New York City to create advertisements. Now, months later, stories about this photo shoot are circulating, claiming that it happened in the Egyptian Museum, and that they had a model sit on actual antiquities. I can say firmly that of course none of this is true. It was, in fact, shot in New York City, at the King Tut exhibit there and nowhere near Cairo, and the photographer and crew showed the utmost respect for the antiquities there. I have never been in contact with this photographer or his crew; they were hired by the design company, but I know they at no time touched any of the artifacts or used flash photography.  They used replicas for some shots and also used Photoshop in some images.  The museum’s security was with them at all times to ensure the safety of the objects. It makes me sad that people are willing to believe such rumors, and I hope that the clothing line’s critics will understand that the intention of this project is for the good of the children.

I apologise for the seeming obsession with Zahi Hawass, but living in Luxor, being so close to the amazing historical sites, I do see first hand things that I am not entirely happy with. This clothing project is for me personally, an abomination. It is not for the good of Egypt and its antiquities, it is to promote the name of Zahi Hawass. Artefacts should not be used for personal gain or promotion. Yes, I know he says all profits will go to the Childrens Cancer Hospital in Cairo, but will there be any accountability? And what will be deducted as expenses, apart from the manufacturing costs.  Will Mr Hawass be receiving any payment for the use of his name. This is normal in sponsorship type businesses. Footballers for example, get paid millions for allowing their names to be used.
I have no issue with Hawass having his own clothing range and trading on his own name. However, I do have issues with photoshoots using artefacts that are priceless, are not his personal property and explanations after the event of where the profits will go!

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