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Some pro-revolution artists express hope after Morsi victory

Artists who supported Morsi for president feel optimistic about direction of country

Farah Montasser, Monday 25 Jun 2012
Views: 1281
Views: 1281

Mohamed Morsi's victory in Egypt's presidential election has caused widespread controversy among the country's artistic community.

Some artists are hopeful that Morsi, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, will fulfil the demands of the revolution, while others fear he will implement strict Islamic rules that will stifle creativity and freedom of expression.

Whether they hold doubts and fears, or joy and optimism, artists believe the revolution continues.

Egyptian actress Gihan Fadel went to Tahrir Square on Sunday afternoon to celebrate Morsi's victory.

"I am happy with the results. I didn't support Morsi at the beginning but when the choice was between a representative of the revolution and that of the counter-revolution [Mubarak's last premier Ahmed Shafiq], I chose Morsi," Fadel told Al-Ahram Arabic.

"I will continue to support the president as long as he supports the demands of the revolution," she added.

"We are only one step ahead with our revolution and there is a lot of work still to do," Fadel said on her Facebook page. "We must never forget the large number of innocent civilians who remain imprisoned, while those [corrupt members of the old regime] enjoy their freedom."

In an interview with Al-Ahram Arabic, the actor Ahmed Eid expressed his delight with the presidential election result.

"I voted for Morsi because he is a representative of the revolution," he said.

Eid demanded that the president end discrimination in Egyptian society and work on building national unity and reconciliation.

"The rise of a political Islamist to power does not threaten freedom, especially that of art and creativity," Eid stated. "However, if it became a threat, I would be the first to stand against Morsi and his regime… I am an artist after all."

Egyptian director Khaled Youssef expressed his happiness with Morsi's victory via his Twitter account and said "the revolution continues."

Actor Khaled Abul-Naga also addressed his followers on Twitter:

"The people's historic revolution against fear continues peacefully by forcing the military junta to accept Morsi as our first civilian president."

Aside from his differences with the Muslim Brotherhood and his deep opposition to its ideology and politics, Abul-Naga said, "I am very happy Shafiq lost and we must give Morsi a chance."

On the other hand, some actors were disappointed by the presidential election result.

"I thought the majority of Egyptians were for a civil state… I just hope God blesses this country and grants us a better life," the actor Hany Ramzy told Al-Ahram Arabic.

Ramzy went on to object to being addressed as a Christian when asked about Morsi and fears the country could become an Islamic state.

"We are all Egyptians… we all live together and should stop differentiating between Muslims and Christians."

"I have no idea about Egypt's future because, unfortunately, the Brotherhood has been promising things and doing the opposite," Ramzy added.

Ramzy does not think artists are threatened by an Islamist president.

"[The Islamists] can censor their private channels but not those of others or the general taste of the public," he said.

Actor Khaled El-Sawy, who has become a prominent political activist over the last 18 months, did not express either joy or regret at Morsi's victory but called for the immediate release of all detained activists, the release of military officers who were arrested for backing the revolution, and an end to military trials of civilians.

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