After a hiatus of 33 years, Interim President Adly Mansour opened the Celebration of Egyptian Art ceremony at the Cairo Opera House's main hall Thursday evening.
The celebrations are aimed at reviving practices introduced by the late President Anwar Sadat who announced in 1976 that the eighth day of October was to be the first annual Eid el-Fan (Arts Holiday).
Sadat's Eid el-Fan only lasted four years and has been renewed by President Mansour as a result of Egypt's interest to return to its former status as a leader in arts in the Middle East.
During his speech in the opening ceremony, Interim President Adly Mansour expressed importance of reviving tradition of celebrating Egyptian arts. He added that "Egyptian artists helped in the dissemination of Egyptian culture and spread its dialect throughout the Arab world and Egyptian theatre and cinema set an example within the art of acting in the region."
"The freedom of creativity in arts will continue to be associated with responsibility and it must be accompanied with self-censorship before the state censors it as this would cause chaos instead of helping improve the people's livelihood," he added.
At the end of his speech, the President handed the Science and Arts Medals to fourteen artists for their accomplishments in different realms of art over the course of past decades. Among the honourees were the legendary actress Faten Hamama, actress and singer Shadia, actresses Nadia Lutfi, Magda El-Sabahy, theater icon Samiha Ayoub, actors Mahmoud Yassin, Hassan Yousef, Ezzat Alayli, cinematographer Mohsen Nasr, along late artists such as musician Mohammad Fawzi, director Ezzedine Zulfakar, writer and scriptwriter Abdul-Hai Adeb, actor Rushdy Abaza, Nubian singer Mohammed Munib. Medals for the late artists were received by their children.
Singers Hany Shaker and Angham performed at the celebration that was attended by many iconic figures from the arts field.