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Monday, 20 January 2020
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PHOTO GALLERY: Cairo Opera House on strike after dismissal of director


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Artists and staff protest outside Cairo Opera House: 'The opera is a symbol of culture in Egypt'(Photo: Ati Metwaly)
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Artists protest outside Cairo Opera House - one sign reads 'We are all Ines Abdel-Dayem' (Photo: Ati Metwaly)
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Artists protest outside Cairo Opera House in Zamalek. One sign reads 'No to the culture minister, a lying minister' (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Nayer Nagui, artistic director and principal conductor of Cairo Opera Orchestra addresses the audience. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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The final night of Aida sees a strike instead of a performance. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Artists in Aida costumes hold posters condemning minister's decision to sack head of the opera house. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Nayer Nagui reads statement, poster says 'No to the "brotherhoodisation" of the Egyptian culture. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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'The minister's decision is illegitimate' artists say. (Photo: Rowan El Shimi)
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An Aida actor films the strike on his iPad. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Artists gather on the main hall stage before the audience arrives, expecting to watch Aida. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Curtains come up and reveal the cast of Aida performing a protest on stage. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Artists protest outside Cairo Opera House in Zamalek, chanting against Brotherhood rule. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Artists protest outside Cairo Opera House in Zamalek: 'No to the sacking of the head of the opera' (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Protester asks passersby to honk their horns if they dislike the Muslim Brotherhood. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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'We demand the sacking of the culture minister' and 'The opera house is a red line' (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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'Artists and administrators support Ines Abdel-Dayem' (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Staff and artists assemble on opera house stairs, condemn minister's decision. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Artists gather on the main hall stage two hours before the audience arrives, expecting to watch Aida. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Artists gather on the main hall stage before the audience arrives, expecting to watch Aida. (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
May
29

Dozens of artists strike instead of performing Verdi's Aida, angered by sacking of opera house head

Disgruntled artists staged a protest on Tuesday outside the Cairo Opera House in Zamalek, condemning the culture minister's decision earlier in the day to sack head of the opera house, Ines Abdel-Dayem.

With car-drivers honking in support, the artists chanted against the ministerial decision, as well as against the minister himself. Alaa Abdel-Aziz was appointed culture minister earlier this month as part of the cabinet reshuffle, and artists responded with concerns about the Brotherhood-affiliated minister.

Later in the evening, the audience in the Main Hall of the Cairo Opera House, expecting to watch Verdi's Aida on its closing night, were taken by surprise when the curtains opened to reveal not a performance, but a protest.

The on-stage strike, conducted by principal conductor and artistic director of the Cairo Opera Orchestra Nayer Nagui, was joined by a large number of artists representing the different companies operation under the Cairo Opera House: the Cairo Opera Company, the Cairo Opera Orchestra, Cairo Opera Ballet Company, the Cairo Opera Choir and the A Capella Choir. More than 300 artists stood on stage holding protest signs.

Abdel-Dayem is the third senior official within the culture ministry to be sacked since the minister took office three weeks ago.

Her dismissal follows that of Ahmed Mujahid, head of the Egyptian General Book Authority, and Salah El-Meligy, head of the Fine Arts Sector.

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