Egypt's culture minister opts for Islamist to head National Library and Archives

Ahram Online , Tuesday 4 Jun 2013

New head of the National Library and Archives is expected to outrage Egyptian historians, since appointment comes in wave of sackings by Morsi-appointed culture minister

National Library and Archives

Egypt's controversial culture minister, Alaa Abdel-Aziz decides not to renew the term of the head of the Egyptian National Library and Archives (NLA), as expected, and instead appoints professor of Arabic literature at Menoufiya University, Khaled Fahmy.

Fahmy replaces Abdel-Nasser and is known for his Islamist tendencies. Fahmy earned his bachelor in Arabic literature from Ain Shams University in 1991, his Master's in 1994 and PhD in 1999 and has authored more than 13 books on Arabic literature.

Hassan's term as NLA director began in May 2012 and ended on 31 May 2013 as part of a sweeping sacking campaign the culture minister has been waging since Morsi appointed him three weeks ago.

Intellectuals and artists are outraged by the sacking of Ines Abdel-Dayem, head of the Egyptian Opera House; Ahmed Mujahid, head of the Egyptian General Book Authority and Salah El-Meligy, head of the Fine Arts Sector.

The culture minister accepted the resignation of the head of the ministry's foreign relations sector, Professor Camillia Sobhy. She resigned on Monday to add her voice to the protesters that accuse the culture minister of implementing an agenda to destroy and Islamise Egyptian culture, thus changing the national identity to serve the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The head of the Supreme Council for Culture (SCC), Said Tawfiq also resigned in protest over the perceived feeling of suffocation in the ministry.

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