CAIRO – 3 November 2021: The Government of Japan announced granting the Order of the Rising Sun - A Gold and Silver Star to Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled el-Enani, and former Minister of State for Antiquities Zahi Hawass.
This is a high-ranking award granted by the Emperor of Japan to those who have made outstanding achievements in Japan and the international community.
A statement from the Japanese Embassy in Cairo said Wednesday that the history of this award spans back nearly 150 years.
This award comes as a result of the outstanding contributions made by Enani and Hawass in strengthening the relations between Japan and Egypt and in developing cultural and academic exchanges.
Enani headed the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities for more than 5 years, during which he worked closely with the Government of Japan in promoting the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) project, which is a symbol of friendship between Japan and Egypt.
In addition, Enani also contributed to the promotion of mutual understanding and the exchange of delegations and personnel between Japan and Egypt during his tenure as head of the Ministry of Tourism. In 2019, He visited Japan to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Emperor of Japan on behalf of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
As for former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass, the most famous scholar of antiquities and Egyptology, he held the position of Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities for 9 years. He was also the first Minister of Antiquities when the ministry was first established.
With regard to his relations with Japan, Hawass’ strong cooperation with Japan resulted in promoting many research studies and exchanges with officials and stakeholders from Japan, including excavations for the Second Khufu Solar Ship, which enjoys massive international fame.
In addition, Hawass has contributed to sealing a mutual understanding between Japan and Egypt related to Egyptian archaeology, where he published books, appeared on television programs, and gave promotional lectures on the matter throughout the country.