Culture ministry sit-in continues for tenth day

Ahram Online, Friday 14 Jun 2013

Tahrir Square Imam Mazhar Shaheen, journalist Farida El-Shobeishy, director Aly Badrakhan, Judge Tahany El-Gebal join sit-in calling for dismissal of Minister of Culture

Ministry of Culture
Egypt's Ministry of Culture in Zamalek district (Photo: Mohammed Saad)

Filmmakers, writers, intellectuals and activists continued their sit-in at the Ministry of Culture for a tenth day on Friday.

The protesters are calling for the dismissal of Culture Minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz.

Tahrir Square Imam Mazhar Shaheen, journalist Farida El-Shobeishy, director Aly Badrakhan, and Judge Tahany El-Gebal all came out in support of the protest in Zamalek on Friday.

Journalist Adel Hamouda, producer Mohamed El-Adel, lawyers' syndicate leader Sameh Ashour and TV presenter Reem Maged also joined the sit-in.

Dozens of activists and intellectuals gathered in front of the cultural palace in Damietta, capital of Fayoum governorate, on Friday in protest at what they say are the culture minister's attempts to 'Brotherhoodise' the ministry and to show solidarity with protesters in Zamalek.

Clashes took place outside the culture ministry on Tuesday when Brotherhood supporters reportedly attempted to break up a sit-in calling for the dismissal of the culture minister, who has attracted the ire of cultural figures in recent weeks with his sackings of high profile officials.

Since his appointment in May, Culture Minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz has sacked, among others, Cairo Opera House head Enas Abdel-Dayem, Egyptian General Book Authority head Ahmed Mujahid, Fine Arts Sector head Salah El-Meligy and National Library and Archives head Abdel-Nasser Hassan.

Last week, Supreme Council for Culture head Said Tawfik resigned in protest at the dismissals.

Protesters have prevented Abdel-Aziz from entering his office at the ministry since Wednesday 5 June.

Many artists and intellectuals accuse the culture minister of attempting to impose an Islamist agenda that would quash the diversity of Egyptian culture.

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