Egypt culture minister sacks National Archives chief, 3 senior officials

Mohammed Saad , Sunday 9 Jun 2013

As artists occupy his office for a 5th day, Culture Minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz continues cull of senior officials by sacking National Archives head Abdel-Wahed El-Nabawe and three top ministry bosses

The occupation at the Ministry of Culture (Photo: Ayman Hafez)

National Archives head Abdel-Wahed El-Nabawe has been sacked by Culture Minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz.

The institution holds over 100 million historical documents and is known as 'Egypt's National Memory'.

The decision was delivered to El-Nabawe late on Saturday by Khaled Fahmy, the head of the Egyptian National Library and Archives.

Scientific Institutions head Mohammed Sabry El-Daly, Historical Headquarters head Iman Ezzeddine, and Quality Control head Nevine Mahmoud were also sacked.

Fahmy did not provide a reason for the decision, El-Nabawe told Ahram Online.

National Archives is part of the Egyptian National Library and Archives that consists of the National Library, National Archives and Central Administrations, headed Khaled Fahmy, an Arabic literature professor who was appointed last Tuesday.

Abdel-Wahed’s term of office was due to end in August 2014.

Abdel-Aziz has been prevented from entering his office at the culture ministry in Zamalek since Wednesday due to a sit-in by intellectuals and artists.

The minister has fired eight senior culture ministry officials and forced two others to resign since he took office on 7 May, sparking considerable opposition from artists and intellectuals.

Opera House head Ines Abdel-Dayem, Egyptian General Book Organization head Ahmed Megahed, Fine Arts Sector head Salah El-Meligy are among those sacked by Abdel-Aziz. He also refused to renew the contract of National Library and Archives head Abdel-Nasser Hassan, and appointed Khaled Fahmy in his place.

The minister’s policies led Supreme Council for Culture head Said Tawfik and Foreign Relations Sector head Camellia Sobhy to resign.

Intellectuals participating in the sit-in at the culture ministry are demanding the removal of the minister. They accuse him of implementing a Muslim Brotherhood agenda to alter the diverse nature Egypt's identity.

Abdel-Aziz says he is fighting corruption at the culture ministry and introducing new faces. No lawsuits for corruption at the ministry are known to have been filed since he took office.

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