President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said on Monday that the Egyptian state would provide financial support for works of art that develop “real awareness” of the challenging issues facing the country, including terrorism and the need for the renewal of religious discourse.
“Ours is the cause of creating real consciousness,” the president said in a phone interview with ‘Newsroom’ TV show on Monday evening on Sada El-Bald TV channel, adding that “upscale drama shows inspire viewers.”
"I am not asking intellectuals, artists and producers to ignore profits, [but] making profit could take a back seat when it comes to producing a work on history and one that advocates for a cause,” the president said.
"I am ready to financially support works of art and help creators overcome any financial obstacles. I am am ready!"
“We have many important issues, but at the top is the question of consciousness, including religious consciousness. I will provide major support to any creative work by artists who confront issues such as terrorism.”
The comments by El-Sisi came as the show hosted renowned Egyptian screenplay writer Abdel-Rahim Kamel to speak about his latest drama show titled Cairo-Kabul, which tackled the issue of radical thought and terrorism in Egypt in the 1980s and 90s.
“The terrorists wear our clothes and speak our simple language. We are simple people who love God, and so we can be easily misguided. So, it is the role of talented screenwriters to stand against radicalism.”
El-Sisi said."Media and culture and the arts are always among the top priorities of the state," the president said.
"The state takes many years to overcome challenges, and then new challenges arise that the state must face, and so on and so forth."
“I want artists to mobilise one another in making art that raises consciousness in the shortest time possible. This is the real artistic gift," El-Sisi stressed.
“I am talking about building real consciousness. We want to arm our youth, boys and girls, with a clear understanding of the issues that confront us."
He also warned of the danger of radical forces toppling states like in case of Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan was another country 50 years ago. Look at the history books and films then. But when the state - not a regime - was targeted and downed, we saw what happened” he said.
The Egyptian president also said that the state was currently carryiing out major development projects but the country faces an overpopulation problem.
“As long as we have a big overpopulation problem, we won’t feel the results of development work.” he warned.
The government is implementing major reform in the education system to build the "Egyptian character".