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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Head of Egypt's censorship board resigns over Halawet Rooh being pulled from cinemas

Film starring Egyptian-Lebanese 'sex symbol' Haifa Wahbe has sparked controversy - and cleaned up at the box office - since being released in cinemas earlier this month

Ahram Online, Saturday 19 Apr 2014
Haifa Wahbi
Still of Halawet Rooh staring the Egyptian-Lebanese diva Haifa Wahbi
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Views: 7688

The head of Egypt’s censorship board, Ahmed Awaad, has submitted his resignation to the state’s culture minister in protest against the government's recent decision to pull a controversial Arab movie from cinemas, Al-Ahram reported on Friday.

On Wednesday, Egypt's interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahleb ordered a recently released Egyptian film, Halawet Rooh, staring the Egyptian-Lebanese diva Haifa Wahbe, to be withdrawn from movie theatres pending a reevaluation by the censors.

The decision came after the for-adults-only film, released on 3 April, was hit with a wave of criticism accusing it of containing heavy sexual connotations that "violate the Egyptian moral code".

Awaad, who had already approved the movie to be shown in cinemas, considers Mahleb’s decision as unacceptable interference in his job, Al-Ahram added.

However, it’s not yet clear whether Awaad’s resignation has been accepted or not.

Despite many of Egypt’s cinema insiders being critical of Wahbe’s movie, most of them have been defiant against the prime minister's decision, calling it undemocratic and a violation of free expression.

Mahleb announced on Saturday that he was sticking to his decision and would not reverse it, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

According to the Egyptian cinema news website elcinema.com, Halawet Rooh garnered over LE988,000 in just its first week in theatres.

It was also slammed by the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM).

“The film includes language and scenes that negatively affects the morals of children,” read the NCCM's statement.

The movie's star Wahbe has frequently refuted the claims, however, affirming that such opinions will be proved wrong if people only watched the film.

In almost a week, the promotional song for the film carrying the same title and sung by one of Egypt’s most celebrated pop singers, Hakim, exceeded 4 million views.

The film is directed by Sameh Abdel-Aziz and stars Bassem Samra and Mohamed Lotfy alongside Wahbe. 

 

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Allen
21-04-2014 10:29pm
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The way Egyptians treat women on the streets...
Totally understandable...
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Allen
21-04-2014 10:29pm
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The way Egyptians treat women on the streets...
Totally understandable...
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6



Salsabil Azmi
21-04-2014 11:02am
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what is artistic expression?
Some people view hard core pornographic sex scenes as artistic expression. Even hard core homosexuality and other acts of lewdness are viewed by some as art. We live in the age of anarchy.
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Ahmad Khirasani
21-04-2014 02:06am
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asham to even allwow to produce such film
Asalamu alaikum/peace be upon you Egypt is a Muslim country and the definition of freedom of expression that comes from secular world does not apply. This film should not have been produced at first place as u looked at the shreen shots. From the way the girl is dressed it violates Islamic moral values, let alone what types of conversations it might have. Even the current government is working fie the interest of the west, this action is approved by all Muslims. I am talking on behalf all Muslims who know their religion ( seen). Regards Ahmad Khirasani, Toronto, Canada
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Sam Enslow
20-04-2014 05:44am
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Constitution?
Did the acting PM have the authority to stop the showing of the film? His actions seem to be unconstitutional as freedom of artistic expression is a right granted in the new constitution. Is anyone challenging this move in the courts? Congratualtions to the Head of the Censorship Board for resigning (although his job should have been eliminated with the new constitution). Had Morsy done this, all the so called cultural elite would have been up in arms as they should have been - but now silence? 'To protect the children' is a lame excuse. The film is to be shown to adults only. All the problems facing Egypt and the government wants to once again get involved in individual moral choices? Let the people be free. Repressed people are not creative people. Egypt needs creative people. If you do not approve of a film, book,activity - do not read it, watch it,or do it. But leave others alone. Worry about what you do right rather than what others may be doing wrong.
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Farhan
20-04-2014 12:46am
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Looks like there is adult in Egypt
That's why they are act and fight like kids.
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Farhan
20-04-2014 07:15pm
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Correction : Looks like there is no adult in Egypt
That's why there is so much rumoil in Egypt.
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neil
19-04-2014 08:25pm
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fire him
three points, first the only way (in a constitutional system) to overrule an independent board is for the president to not sign its document, second he must have seen it to react this way, knowing its theme and then patronizingly saying others can't see it, third if he's going to overstep his constitutional authority it should be for more of a national emergency than this
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expat
19-04-2014 07:06pm
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well
she looks cute and the usual egyptian breed "human" man look as usual so,who is wrong? the guys who cannot control themselfs? the world would deeply argue with you egyptian folks as elsewhere feminin members of our species are treated with respect and dignity,other than here,where its for them only and not even that,possible to walk the streets hazzlefree under veils.... you should grow up or cut some parts from yourself in order to live like humans
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