On 27 February, around forty artists and writers gathered in front of the ministry of culture in Zamalek, Cairo, to call for the resignation of the newly-appointed minister of culture, Mohamed El Sawy, the founder and owner of El Sawy Culturewheel.
The protestors’ views, expressed through chanting and singing, ranged from his lack of knowledge of the art scene to their disapproval of a businessman holding a position in the ministry and his excessive use of censorship. Protestors also chanted against the whole cabinet of Ahmed Shafiq.
El Sawy went down from the ministry building to try to communicate with the protestors and ask about their demands. They replied that they wanted his removal and his resignation would also be a positive act, in defiance of Shafiq’s cabinet.
El Sawy maintained that he would listen to the artists’ concerns and asked for a dialogue, though the protestors refused this.
One protestor held a banner that read “We don’t want a minister of culture who doesn’t even know who Mahmoud Darwish and Marcel Khalife are!”
The protestor told Ahram Online that El Sawy was once asked to bring Mahmoud Darwish to El Sakia to recite poetry, but El Sawy was clueless about who he was. The same thing happened regarding Marcel Khalife.
Though the incident was written about in an article by Mohamed Shoeir in many newspapers, the information given about it is not very accurate.