Scooby Doo: Dr. Najib, defender of rare antiquities

Dr. Najib,
is surly and has good reason to be!  Pin-pointed as the villain from “Scooby Doo and a Mummy, Too”, he may be one of the most misunderstood characters from Scooby Doo Where are You! series.  We take a closer look and debate Dr. Najib’s motives and question who was the real crook?

As if the name and fez wasn’t enough, Dr. Najib is an archeologist with immense understanding of ancient Egyptian culture.   Working in the Department of Archeology, we presume for the local city or county government.  Certainly, Dr. Najib hoped one day he could had made his way up to a prestigious university.  But something always stood in his way.  Helping a preserved corpse or sticking his hands elbow deep in cement, the doctor wasn’t afraid getting his hands dirty.   After years of study, dirty hands neither made him respected nor wealthy.

Dr. Najib put great pride how the department exhibits Egyptian culture.  Deep down, as a great accomplishment it was to discover the Mummy of Ankha, he wished the remains of the great ruler was left untouched.  He showed disdain for putting his heritage up for display like a carnival sideshow by speaking of its curse.  It may have been months, perhaps years, he pleaded with “the professor” to put up replicas, elaborate copies instead of exhibiting the rare antiquities that should have been repatriated to Egypt.

Scooby-MummyToo-03-Dual Cats

Dr. Najib’s earlier work.

However, the department’s head professor objected Dr. Najib’s plea to put up a “dummy” mummy or a fake copy of Ankha.  The professor was adamant that the department would show the genuine corpse.   Najib felt betrayed having worked the tired months on the exhibit’s replicas getting every fine detail correct from canopic jars to burial vessels to pet cats made from stone.


The true criminal against antiquities?

What bothered Dr. Najib most was insensitive, disrespectful depictions of ancient Egyptian culture.  The last straw came when a scruffy-faced, slacker named Shaggy, came for a visit and lifted a priceless artifact from him.    Taking the coin from the museum, pushed Najib over the edge.  Going on the rampage, he blamed the professor for bringing those meddling teens and walking out with another piece of Egyptian history.  Dr. Najib partly blamed himself for not finishing a complete replica of the exhibition.  He snapped and became convinced he needed to make a replica of everything to make things right again.

Dr. Najib used his skills as a stone cutter and quickly began making replicas who had crossed him.  The professor would be the first.  And since he too was complicit raising Ankha out from tomb, it suited he’s next.  He would later make another replica of Scooby Doo, only after the gang returned to the department. When Fred and the gang return to the campus grounds, Dr. Najib was convinced it was to loot the museum a second time.   What other reason could it be?  Having enough, he put on a replica mummy costume and not just to scare them but to taunt them.   If they wanted a closer look at Egyptian treasure, they can have a closer look at a Mummy’s Curse.

In a tale of irony, Dr. Najib’s efforts to defend an artifact helped exploit new discovered treasure.  After he is defeated, Fred solves the mystery of the coin unlocking a secret department inside a hippo statue’s mouth.  It is a jewel that was once owned by and defined Ankah as a ruler.  Belonging to the county government Department of Archeology, Dr. Najib will never be shared in its discovery just as the mummy and its jewel will never see Egypt.

The episode closes on a culturally tone deaf note.  The mummy, left leaning against the wall between two bushes, becomes a prop for a laugh.  Scooby first imitates the mummy’s growl before posing with a big, joyous smile.   This was everything Dr. Najib stood against.


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