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Sunday, 05 July 2020

Farag Fouda 1992 Islamism debate among top-viewed videos posted by Egypt culture ministry

A few days before the 28th anniversary of his death, Fouda's debate on secularism vs Islamism surpassed popular entertainment content to reach fourth place on the ministry's YouTube channel

Eslam Omar , Sunday 31 May 2020
Farag Fouda
Egyptian secular and liberal politician and writer Farag Fouda in a still photo from the video of his debate on secular verses Islamic state debate in 1992's Cairo Book Fair
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Views: 2268

Amid dozens of concerts, theatre shows and various types of cultural and entertainment content published on the Egyptian Culture Ministry's YouTube channel, a two-hour video entitled ‘Historic Debate’ featuring late secular liberal politician and writer Farag Fouda comes near the top of the most-viewed list.

Although other clips from this specific discussion, held during the 1992 Cairo Book Fair, had been released online before, this video has become the fourth most viewed clip on the ministry's channel, passing dozens of popular acts and performances.

A few days after its publishing on 22 May, the video has been viewed over 80,000 times, surprisingly during the peak of the Ramadan drama season and Eid Al-Fitr, which witnessed a host of new and fresh content being pumped out every hour through various mediums.

The debate, which also features prominent Islamic writers Mohammed Al-Ghazali and Muhammad Imara, among others, was part of a series of discussions led by Fouda against the Islamist current, which usually included leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, designated a terrorist group by the state since 2013, on the topic of 'the secular state verses the Islamic state.'

Even though the video was accompanied by a banner apologising for technical issues and promising a repair soon, hundreds of commenters revived the debates and thanked the ministry for publishing the video, which was previously on the General Book Authority channel as well as other channels.

Fouda, a PhD in agricultural economy, was a prominent politician and writer in the 1980s whose rivalry with Islamism led to his tragic assassination in 1992 by members of the Islamist El-Gama'a El-Islamya group. The 28th anniversary of his death comes on 8 June.

With now over 102,000 subscribers, the ministry's channel was launched on 24 March as part of the 'Stay at Home, Culture Between Your Hands' initiative, amid the country's precautionary measures against the spread of coronavirus, which has led to the shutdown of all public cultural and entertainment activities and venues.

Other videos on the channel include concerts by musician like Medhat Saleh, Mohamed Sarwat, Cairo Steps, Assala, Saber Rebaï, Ali El-Haggar and many others, in addition to famous performances like Swan Lake, Black Coffee, Ahlan ya Bakawat, Les Miserable and others.

Top 5 videos on the ministry's channel
1- A concert of Omar Khairat (712K)
2- A concert of Angham (172K)
3- Umm Kulthum hologram concert (159K)
4- Farag Fouda historic debate (80K)
5- Ballet performance of Al-Leila Al-Kebira (60K)

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