CAIRO: Antiquities Minister Mamdouh al Damaty has granted an American child, fascinated with anything relating to ancient Egypt, free admission to all archaeological sites across the country.
The mother of a boy identified as Sean, who turned 7 years old Aug. 21, posted a video on Facebook showing a birthday cake shaped like the Giza Pyramids. He also appeared wearing a yellow and blue striped royal headdress similar to that portrayed at the golden mask of Egypt’s most famous Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
“Thank you all archaeologists for sending me emails, messages and gifts for my birthday. Thank you Dr. Zahi for calling me on the phone, see you all in Egypt, bye,” said Sean in the Facebook video.
Sean, his mother Nancy Calhoun and his grandfather are expected to visit Egypt later this year, Egyptian tour guide Walid El Batouty said in a phone call with The Cairo Post Wednesday. However, the free admission permit granted to the trio is valid until Dec. 31.
“I met Sean at the Metropolitan Museum. He seemed obsessed with the Egyptian artifacts on display and he kept asking me questions about the Egyptian history and Pharaohs. When I went back to Egypt, I spoke with Dr. Zahi Hawaas who sent Sean a birthday gift and called him on his birthday,” Batouty said.
“Sean’s love of Egypt began when he was reading a book from a popular children’s series, and he asked me if Egypt was real. From there he couldn’t get enough reading…taking all the books from his school library and the city library too. He didn’t study Egypt in school, but spent a lot of time sharing his knowledge with his teachers and classmates,” Calhoun wrote in an email to The Cairo Post.
Sean also received gifts from the Egyptian Tourist Authority in New York along with an invitation to attend the premier lecture of Dr. Hawaas on Oct. 26 in New York City, she said.