Egyptologist and AUC Press author Dr. Wafaa El Saddik was among the 10 Egyptian women congratulated for their exceptional achievements and exemplary contributions in a wide array of fields at last night’s ‘Women of Substance’ reception held at the India House in Cairo.
“Women are the pillar of any society and they have to prove themselves through competing with men,” said El Saddik after receiving the award. “Never give up is the principle of my life.”
El Saddik studied Egyptology in Cairo and Vienna. She was the first Egyptian woman to direct an excavation, and the first female general director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Honored for her curatorial work on exhibitions inside and outside Egypt, she has received a number of international professional and humanitarian awards. Today El Saddik lives in Cologne and Cairo.
Her new book Protecting Pharaoh's Treasures: My Life in Egyptology (AUC Press, 2017, translated from German by Russell Stockman) is an incisive memoir of her experiences and challenges as the first female director of Egypt’s most prestigious museum, where she launched the first general inventory of the museum’s cellars in its more than one-hundred-year history.
The Women of Substance reception was part of “India by the Nile 2017,” an annual cultural festival in Egypt organized by the Indian embassy in Cairo. “Women are creating a strong impact on a wide spectrum of platforms and thereby opening new vistas and horizons for achievements and accomplishments,” said the official press release.
Among the other winners were Dr. Amna Nosseir, MP and Al-Azhar scholar; Azza Faiad, a young scientist who turned trash into biofuel; Yasmin Helal, founder of EducateMe for underprivileged children; and film actress Yosra El Lozy.