Egypt cinema makers show solidarity with Copts

Menna Taher, Wednesday 5 Jan 2011

Filmmakers in Cairo showed their solidarity with Coptic victims of the church bombing in Alexandria in a silent protest before their Syndicate

Silent protest

In a silent protest to protest the attack on Two Saints Church and express solidarity with Egypt's Copts, cinema directors, actors, screenwriters, directors of photography and others working in the film industry gathered on 4 January in front of the Cinema syndicate in downtown Cairo from 4 pm to 5 pm.

Around 80 people gathered, including the director of the national centre for cinema, Khaled Abd El Seleil, filmmakers Mohamed Khan and Marwan Hamed as well as actors Nelly Kareem and Bassem Samra.

After about ten minutes of silent protest, with some holding aloft banners, broadcast channels such as El Mehwar and Al Arabiya invaded the space interviewing the filmmakers, giving the protest a press-conference-like atmosphere.

The police stood idly by and did not disturb the gathering, in stark contrast to the recent violence experienced by lesser known protesters in Shubra and Maspero.

Protestors casually socialized.

At exactly five o’clock the gathering dispersed and Mosaad Fouda, the president of the Cinema syndicate, who was among the protestors, thanked the police for allowing the protest.

Commenting on the attack, Kamal Abdel Aziz, a director of photography, said the climate of intorlerance which set the context for the bombing, was “the result of the collapse of intellectual life in Egypt, from literature to arts and film.” Such an atrocity “wouldn’t have happened had we preserved our culture,” he said.

“The problem is not about religion,” said Hamed Eid, director of the syndicate's photography division. “All Egyptians are in danger and we all know from whom.”

“By this stand we want to show the whole world that we are one nation,” said Zaki El Naggar, a director.

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