The newly-appointed heads of Egypt's press and media organisations were sworn in before parliament on Sunday.
The list of heads, who were named by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on 22 June, include Karam Gabr, head of the Supreme Council for Media Regulation; Abdel-Sadeq El-Shorbagi, head of the Higher Press Organisation; and Hussein Zein, head of the Higher Media Organisation.
Parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said the procedure comes in line with the media and press laws, which stipulate that these heads take the constitutional oath before parliament ahead of exercising their duties.
Abdel-Aal said the appointment of the new heads come at a very difficult time for Egypt’s national media and press organisations.
"We have the coronavirus crisis which hit the national media and press organisations very hard, not to mention that Egypt faces very severe hostile media attacks and this requires the national media to stand firm in the face of these attacks,” said Abdel-Aal, telling the new media heads that “I think this is not an easy job but I am sure that you will do this job very sincerely and honestly.”
Abdel-Aal described Gabr as one of the journalists who declared war against “the terrorist group,” a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, very early on.
“This came through the weekly magazine of Rose El-Youssef which led the battle against the terrorist organisation,” he said, expressing hope that “the Egyptian national television and press organisations will be back playing a pioneering role in shaping in Arab public opinion.”
“We need Egypt’s soft power to be used again to stand up to the media war we face,” said Abdel-Aal, adding that “I also hope that Egyptian radio stations broadcasting in African languages will come back.”
Gabr commented: “Egypt needs the unity of all national forces because we are all partners in correcting misguided conceptions and enlightening the public opinion.”
“I assure you that we will do our best to stand up to all negative practices and make sure that there is no media chaos in Egypt,” said Gabr, adding that “the coming period is very critical because Egypt will see the election of a new parliament and a new Senate.”
Information Minister Osama Heikal said there will be greater cooperation between the state and press and media organisations in the coming period.
“The problems facing the Egyptian media are at the top of the state’s priorities and we hope that we all will be able to solve them,” said Heikal.
The minister also said that he and his family have fully recovered from the coronavirus. He had been in self-isolation after contracting the disease.