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Egyptologist risks life, career to expose looting
ABU SIR AL MALAQ, Egypt — Monica Hanna’s reputation as an archaeologist has grown far beyond her native Egypt — but not without risk.
As she and several journalists documented looting at an ancient burial site here, several men – one with a shotgun slung over a shoulder — threatened her.
“I heard one man say, ‘Beat her and take her camera,’ ” Hanna said afterward. When the men phoned for police, she hid her camera’s memory card in her shirt. After 45 minutes of argument, she was allowed to leave.
“The locals, who are a part of the looting, don’t want the photos out there because then their business stops,” she explained.
Hanna, 30, is a leader in exposing the antiquity-looting that has exploded since Egypt’s 2011 revolution. She appears on Egyptian television debating government officials, takes reporters to looted sites, and encourages Egyptians to protect their heritage. Read more.