The unpopularity of Zahi Hawass, a man who controlled access to Egypt's ancient artifacts the way Mubarak controlled politics, hints at the political battles to come in the unfolding Egypt revolution.
A few days ago, in the shadow of the great Pyramids at Giza, the Egyptian monuments that draw millions of tourists to visit Egypt every year, the opinion among workers on the lower rungs of the economy was unanimous: The big man had to go.
No, they weren't talking about Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian dictator chased from power last Friday. On the president, opinions were mixed. But the answer to the question "what would you most like to see changed about the regime" could be boiled down to two words: Zahi Hawass.
Mr. Hawass, who has run Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities since 2002, is the gatekeeper to Egyptology, a National Geographic Explorer in Residence (a lucrative perch) since 2001, whose rise in Egypt was at least partially sponsored by Suzanne Mubarak, the wife of the ousted leader. With his Indiana Jones-inspired hat and patter about the "mysteries of ancient Egypt," he's become something of a global star in the past decade.