Previous blog entries have mentioned one of our most skilled and experienced team members, Reis Mohamed Ali Ahmed. We thought that our readership may be interested in finding out more about some of our senior team members and their history with us, so team member John Billman(*1) interviewed the Reis for this blog entry:
John : How long have you been working with the South Asasif Conservation Project?
Reis : Since the very beginning of the project in 2006, and before that I worked with Dr Elena Pischikova in the tomb of Nespakashuty at Deir el-Bahri
John : That’s a long time, what is it that you like about the project?
Reis : The project has truly demonstrated success in this (the South Asasif) area, especially in the Tomb of Karakhamun (TT223) with the discovery of so many limestone fragments from the tomb and other artefacts. Also we all work well together as a whole team doing different tasks such as excavation, reconstruction and registration.
John : How has the project changed over this time?
Reis : Every year has seen a new discovery, from the tomb itself back in 2006 through for example to the burial chamber in 2010.
John : Past blog entries have featured some of our volunteers from different countries, often they are helping with field supervision, how do you fund working with so many nationalities?
Reis : They are all good, I like working with people from different countries such as England, America, Spain and Germany. In particular I hope that this will help to increase recognition for the project and make it famous across the world.
John : Looking back to before your work for the project, how did you become a Reis and how long have you been a Reis?
Reis : I started in conservation working with various artefacts such as pottery, and from this work I was chosen to be a Reis. My first role as Reis was for a German mission in the (North) Asasif in 1979.
John : Has the role changed much since 1979?
Reis : No, it is fundamentally the same, although of course more widely some of the instruments and tools used on the mission have changed since then
John : What makes a good Reis?
Reis : In my opinion there are three important points:
1) It is important for the Reis to work well with the project administration, he should be beside the Director to take decisions and to help with logistics. Egypt is a different country from the homeland of most Directors, the Reis should help as much as he can the administration to successfully work here.
2) Management of the workforce. For example, if a worker is lazy this needs to be dealt with in an appropriate way – are they tired or sick? I like to talk with the workforce quietly to see if a problem can be resolved before other action is taken.
3) It’s important to work with the inspectorate and to do things correctly and by the rules
John : What are your hopes for the future?
Reis : Continued good health and continued success for the project
John : Finally is there any message you’d like to convey to readers of the blog?
Reis : I would like to say that Egypt is safe, and all are welcome here to their ‘second home’.
*1 With special thanks to The Reis’s son and team member Hassan Mohamed Ali for translation