The writer and diplomat Ezzedine Choukrihas been appointed General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Culture in Egypt, succeeding Emad Abou-Ghazi who has accepted the position of Minister of Culture in Essam Sharaf’s transitory cabinet.
Shokry’s name first cropped up five years ago when his third novel Ghorfet El Enaya El Morakaza (Intensive Care Room) was published and he was nominated for the second Arabic Booker prize. His first two novels, Maktal Fakr El-Din (The murder of Fakhr El-Din) and Asfar El Faraeen (The Pharaohs’ Travels) were published by Merit Press.
But Shokry’s career at the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs kept him busy and missing from literary circles, until he announced his appointment as professor of Political Sciences at the American University in Cairo.
His writing has attracted the critics’ attention. Salah Fadl considers his work as an exceptional example of a political novel, while Farouk Shousha describes Shokry’s language as simple, direct but deep, without dullness and falseness, as he quickly gets straight to the point.
The late Farouk Abdel Kader declared that Choukri shared Fathi Ghanem’s best quality; the ability to describe both the individual and the type at the same time.
Shokry’s creative work has been in parallel to his diplomatic career, which started in 1989 and involved important political issues in the Middle East, such as the Arab-Israel conflict and the Sudanese state of affairs, through his positions in Egyptian Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat of the United Nations in several countries.
Ezz El-Din Choukri was born in 1966 in Kuwait and grew up in Egypt where he studied at the faculty of Political Sciences at Cairo University.
He pursued post-graduate studies in France and Canada, where he obtained an International Diploma in General Administration from the National School of Administration in Paris (1990-1992), followed by a Master Degree in International Affairs from Ottawa University (1992-1995), with a thesis entitled ‘Concept of World Hegemony and the Understanding of the International Cooperation and Regulation’, including an analysis of American domination over the world order.
He obtained a PhD from Montreal University with his thesis on ModerniteMondiale et Gouvernance (World Modernity and Governance), about the mechanism of governance in the international system, usually described as lacking central authority. According to the internet, the thesis combines sociology and comparative politics and the use of their theories, in the analysis of modernity and its social impact in order to study international relationships in socio-political contexts.
While undertaking these studies, he gave lectures and wrote political articles in several newspapers and periodicals.
The decision to appoint Ezzedine Choukri as General Secretary of the Supreme Council of Culture comes as many of the leading positions in the ministry have changed.
Abou-Ghazi has decided to establish a board of directors to the Great Cairo Library, headed by Gamal El-Ghitany. Other decisions have been made regarding reforms in the General Organisation for Books and the General Organisation of Cultural Palaces.