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Artists and writers call for resignation of new minister of culture

The appointment of Mohamed El Sawy as the minister of culture has received opposition from artists and writers alike and accordingly a protest took place in front of the ministry of culture

Menna Taher, Sunday 27 Feb 2011
El Sawy
Views: 2286
Views: 2286

On 27 February, around forty artists and writers gathered in front of the ministry of culture in Zamalek, Cairo, to call for the resignation of the newly-appointed minister of culture, Mohamed El Sawy, the founder and owner of El Sawy Culturewheel.

The protestors’ views, expressed through chanting and singing, ranged from his lack of knowledge of the art scene to their disapproval of a businessman holding a position in the ministry and his excessive use of censorship. Protestors also chanted against the whole cabinet of Ahmed Shafiq.

El Sawy went down from the ministry building to try to communicate with the protestors and ask about their demands. They replied that they wanted his removal and his resignation would also be a positive act, in defiance of Shafiq’s cabinet.

El Sawy maintained that he would listen to the artists’ concerns and asked for a dialogue, though the protestors refused this.

One protestor held a banner that read “We don’t want a minister of culture who doesn’t even know who Mahmoud Darwish and Marcel Khalife are!”

The protestor told Ahram Online that El Sawy was once asked to bring Mahmoud Darwish to El Sakia to recite poetry, but El Sawy was clueless about who he was. The same thing happened regarding Marcel Khalife.

Though the incident was written about in an article by Mohamed Shoeir in many newspapers, the information given about it is not very accurate.

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27-02-2011 08:20pm
Minster of Culture.
Although I see it's one of their respectful rights to demonestrate and to request for a changement of the minister, and I appreciate how is it great when the cultured people ask for a minister who really deserves to be responsible of the culture, but my point of view is that even if El Sawy is not the best to be responsible of the ministry, it'll be just a temporary ministry, and he won't have enough time to do whether bad or good things. The most important ministries in this transition period are those who truely affect the future in egypt,like: Ministries of Internal and External Affairs, and for sure the Prime Minister himself. Those who have to be changed, they have not to be people from the old regime.. Moreover, they have to put an end of the state od emergency, and to release at least who were arrested during the revolution. I am just affraid we forget about these important requests while we're busy with small things!
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