Recently, Lionel Messi and Will Smith paid a visit to Egypt during which they both received private pyramid tours by Zahi Hawass. Egypt's former Antiquities Minister and Egyptologist had something to say about that.
In an interview with Ahmed Moussa on his show Ala Mas’olety (I’m responsible), former Minister of Antiquities and Egyptologist Zahi Hawass was asked about his private tour experiences with football sensation Lionel Messi and movie star Will Smith. Hawass responded saying that Messi was a “ragel ahbal" (an idiot). According to Hawass, Messi was uninterested in Egyptian history and showed no emotion when told about significant phenomena.
On the other hand, Hawass praised Smith and commended him on his knowledge of and interest in ancient Egyptian history. He also commented the Oscar nominee on the fact that his trip and entrance to the historical sites were fully paid for by him, whereas Messi had his entire trip paid for by corporations, which contributed to his indifference.
Hawass is no stranger to dishing out condescending remarks about celebrities. In 2013, Hawass unequivocally banished Beyonce from The Pyramids for being late to his tour and not apologising, and for not allowing his photographer to take photos of her. Quoted by the Independent, he told her, “I am not giving you the privilege of having you on my tour,” before calling her stupid and leaving.
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Photo by AP.