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I follow Brotherhood's Hassan El-Banna: Egypt's new national archives head

New head of Egyptian National Library and Archives tells Ahram Online he sacked 5 senior officials because of 'rumours' and has started to tighten up access to historical archives

Mohammed Saad, Sayed Mahmoud , Tuesday 11 Jun 2013
Khaled Fahmy
Khaled Fahmy during the interview (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
Views: 4323
Views: 4323

The new head of the Egyptian National Library and Archives, Khaled Fahmy, told Ahram Online on Monday that he has Islamist leanings.  

“I am a follower of the Muslim Brotherhood's ideas, especially as put forth in the works of its founder Hassan El-Banna,” said Fahmy, a professor of Arabic literature at Menoufiya University.

"I’m not a member of the Brotherhood or the Freedom and Justice Party but I belong to them at the intellectual and ideological level."

Fahmy was appointed last week by embattled culture minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz, who has attracted the ire of many members of Egypt’s arts and culture scene in recent weeks with his sackings of high profile officials.

Intellectuals and artists accuse the minister of implementing a Muslim Brotherhood agenda that aims to “destroy Egyptian culture.”

On Wednesday, a group of protesters broke into the culture ministry and have been 'occupying' Abdel-Aziz’s office since then, preventing the minister from entering or issuing official memos.  

Fahmy, who replaced Abdel-Nasser Hassan, sparked controversy when, after his appointment, he sacked the head of the National Archives, Abdel-Wahed El-Nabawe, and four other senior officials.

On Saturday, Fahmy sacked El-Nabawe, scientific institutions head Mohammed Sabry El-Daly, historical headquarters head Iman Ezzeddine, quality control head Nevine Mahmoud and head of manuscripts administration Sobhy Ashour.

Fahmy told Ahram Online that he sacked the five officials because he wanted to promote younger, more efficient and more specialised clerks, and also because of some “rumours” of financial corruption and mismanagement by those sacked.

He added that he had not investigated these rumours because he "didn’t have enough time" in this turbulent period.

"The revolution brought me to this post, and I said this to the people working here," Fahmy said. "I wanted to promote the efficient and professional people working in this institution and give them the chance to be senior officials."

"I’m not an investigator and I can’t say whether these people are corrupt or not. There are problems in the management of this facility and I wanted to fix them," Fahmy continued.

“Some of the workers here complained to me of inappropriate treatment by some of the people I sacked and there was some evidence of financial corruption, so I decided to end this all,” he added.

The National Library and Archives, located in central Cairo, are one of Egypt’s most important heritage institutions. The library, which houses important historical collections, is the largest in Egypt.

Technically, Fahmy does not have the right to sack Abdel-Wahed El-Nabawe, as the appointment or termination of the head of the National Archives can only be done by ministerial decree.

However, Fahmy said that he had been given ministerial privileges by the culture minister in this respect.

Fahmy also said that he had consolidated the security procedures required of researchers seeking access to historical archives.

Access to the archives has typically been difficult, with researchers needing the permission of Egyptian National Security in order to be allowed in.

Fahmy said that he will consolidate this security oversight.

"Researchers have to get permission from National Security to be granted access to historical archives, but now I increased this, as I issued a decree on Monday that requires not only researchers but those who make use of this research to get permission from National Security too," he said.

He explained that the measures were necessary because Egypt is experiencing a transition and a period of lax security.

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Gamal Abdul Nasser
11-06-2013 10:38pm
Long live the MB
what is wrong with following the Muslim Brotherhood. It is the most authentic and most popular Muslim movements under the Sun. Besides, if it is Ok to follow Marx and Hitler, why is it wrong to follow Hasan al-Banna. I am sure that secularists and other enemies of Islam would die of frustration and despair because Islam will triumph. And the MB will win again and agai and again to the chagrin of its enemies.
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Sam Enslow
12-06-2013 07:10am
Final Results
What is wrong with following Hitler? Maybe one should look at all the benefits the Germans got from this murdering madman. The end results were not so good. Marx? Let see, Stalin imposed his version of that on Russia. he killed more Russians than Hitler. Read some history before Egypt is lead down the same path. If the Bothers were so popular, they would not be having the problems they face.

11-06-2013 05:05pm
So, he has confirmed what we all knew that he is part of the MB, (Even though the president has denied that!) He fired people from their jobs (because he didn't have time to investigate if the rumors were true) Now, when people were put in prison from the MB for things that were not proved to be true it was wrong... but for them to do the same to people is ok?? And people wonder why no one trusts the MB?
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