Egypt National Dialogue explores guardianship and national identity

Ahram Online , Thursday 18 May 2023

The Egyptian National Dialogue delved into pressing topics on Thursday, as the Family and Community Cohesion Committee tackled the complex issues of financial and educational guardianship. Meanwhile, the Culture and National Identity Committee embarked on an exploration of the ever-evolving concept of national identity.

National Dialogue
National Dialogue continues on Thursday


​The Family and Community Cohesion Committee members discussed transferring financial guardianship to the mother immediately after the father's demise.

Such transference of financial guardianship contradicts Egyptian law, which has always stipulated that on his death financial and educational guardianship of minor children passes from the father to the paternal grandfather and then to the paternal uncle.

Financial guardianship must be transferred to the mother by law should the father of minor children die, Rapporteur of the Family and Community Cohesion Committee Nesreen El-Boghdady said during the session.

"The transfer of financial guardianship to other family members, rather than the mother, impedes the lives of the children."

Boghdady’s words echoed those of Tarek Darwish, a member of the Egyptian Alliance Party, who suggested that a partisan prosecutor should be involved to oversee such a pivotal change. 

​Darwish went on to advocate for flexible mechanisms that would empower mothers to make financial decisions regarding the education and medical treatment of their children.

He emphasized that educational decisions should rest solely in the hands of the mother, thus preventing any other relatives from meddling in such decisions.

Furthermore, Darwish called for the abolition of inheritance tax for minors.

National Identity

Meanwhile, the participants in the Culture and National Identity Committee's session explored the modern challenges to national identity.

Several participants viewed national identity as essential to national security, stressing the pivotal role of culture, education, and sports in developing such an identity.  

The Rapporteur of the committee, Ahmed Zayed, highlighted the challenges that the Egyptian identity faces in an era of globalization, the internet, and social media.

"The question of who we are has been further blurred by different interpretations of modernity and faith," Zayed solemnly declared. 

He argued that culture is the very backbone of society and that it permeates all aspects of a nation’s existence, including economy and politics.

"There need to be mechanisms to assert Egypt’s culture and identity", Zayed continued, adding that the committee will discuss the role of cultural institutions as well as creative freedom. 

Chairman of the Culture and Information Committee in the House of Representatives, Duria Sharaf El-Din, said she believed that the Internet and social networking channels adversely influenced youths. 

Sharaf El-Din highlighted that Egypt's documentary channel (Al-Wathakeya), launched in February, reflects the state's awareness of the crucial role that accurate portrayals of Egyptian history play in bolstering national identity.  

For his part, media figure Gamal El-Shaer stressed the urgency of bridging the gap between the cultural elite and the masses.

The long-awaited National Dialogue kicked off on 3 May with several political forces, civil society groups, professional and labour unions, and public figures participating to discuss key political, economic, and social issues.



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