Cairo Opera Chairwoman Ines Abdel-Dayem appointed Egypt's new culture minister

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Jan 2018

ines abdel dayem
Ines Abdel-Dayem, 2013 (Photo: Bassam Al-Zoghby)

Ines Abdel-Dayem was appointed the new minister of culture as part of a limited cabinet reshuffle that included four new ministers on Sunday.

Abdel-Dayem replaces Helmy El-Namnam, an author and journalist who has served as culture minister since September 2015.

The 58-year-old graduated from the flute department of the Cairo Conservatory in 1984. She earned a PhD from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris in 1990.

In 1982, she won first prizes from the Federation Nationale des Unions des Conservatoires Municipaux and the Concours General de Musique et d’Art Dramatique in France – in addition top awards in chamber music and solo flute performances.

She toured extensively in the US, Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece and the Czech Republic – as well as African and Middle Eastern countries including Morocco, Tunisia, Syria and the UAE.

In Japan, she received a certificate of merit in the Kobe International Flute Competition; in South Korea, she was awarded best flutist at the Festival of Arts prize.

She also received the Creative Prize from the Academy of Arts at the Ministry of Culture.

In the early 2000s, she was awarded a prize for being "one of the most creative Egyptian women of the century" and in 2001 she received Egypt’s State Prize in Arts.

Abdel-Dayem became the director of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in 2003, dean of the Cairo Conservatoire in 2005 and soon after vice-president of the Academy of Arts.

In February 2012, Abdel-Dayem replaced the late Abdel-Moneim Kamel as Cairo Opera House chairperson. However, in May, 2013 she was dismissed by the Muslim Brotherhood appointed culture minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz due to her opposition to the Islamists' policies in government.

Following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi from power in July 2013, Abdel-Dayem was reinstated as the Cairo Opera House chairperson by the new culture minister Mohamed Saber Arab.

The Ministers of culture since February 2011 were: Gaber Asfour, Mohamed El-Sawy, Emad Abu Ghazi, Shaker Abdel Hamid, Mohamed Saber Arab, Alaa Abdel-Aziz, Mohamed Saber Arab (second time), Gaber Asfour (second time), Abdel Wahed El-Nabawy and Helmy El-Namnam. 

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