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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Suspended TV anchor Mahmoud Saad will return to airwaves

Popular anchorman was suspended on Saturday after his on-air guest spoke of 1967 defeat against Israel on same day as North Sinai militant attack

Ahram Online, Wednesday 29 Oct 2014
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A prominent Egyptian TV presenter, who was apparently suspended after his guest discussed Egypt's defeat in the 1967 war with Israel on the same day as a North Sinai militant attack, will still appear on his regular show, his employer said.

On Saturday, Mahmoud Saad, who hosts the live talk show Akher Al-Nahar on private satellite channel Al-Nahar, and his crew were prevented from going on air minutes before airtime, sources close to the crew told Ahram Online.

The problem allegedly stems from Friday's episode of Saad's show in which his psychologist guest mentioned the 1967 defeat in the Arab-Israeli Six Day War – which the channel said was poorly timed, considering that earlier in the day over 30 Egyptian soldiers were killed in an attack on a checkpoint in North Sinai.

"At the time when we should be crying over the great loss of our defenders in Sinai, the guests went on to recall the 1967 defeat," read the channel's statement at the time of the suspension.

The channel said it would restructure its programme map and revamp the production of live shows, as well as ban the appearance of guests who "promote ideas that weaken the morale of the Egyptian army."

Another anchorman, Khaled Salah, has since replaced Saad.

But in a statement jointly issued on Tuesday by the station and Saad, Al-Nahar said the renowned presenter will keep his regular slot.

"Mahmoud Saad will continue to appear on Al-Nahar, performing his usual role in supporting the course of the nation, closing ranks, enlightening audiences and confronting all forms of corruption and negligence."

For his part, Saad stressed the "significant role" the Egyptian media plays in enshrining gains of "freedom and decent living" and hailed his experience with Al-Nahar.

"Over the past three years, we have fought professional battles together" and "were threatened with closure under the [Muslim] Brotherhood," Saad was quoted as saying in Tuesday's statement.

"But what remains is our pledge to citizens and the nation to work towards closing ranks and to remain a free voice and a national beacon that helps state institutions to undertake their duties," Saad said.

Earlier this week, the chief editors of 17 public and privately-owned daily newspapers signed a statement pledging to refrain from publishing statements which aim to undermine state institutions.

Egypt has been gripped by a nationalist fervor since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in mid-2013, as a wave of militant attacks on police and troops extends from the Sinai Peninsula and other mainland cities, including Cairo.
 

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