Actor Hussein Fahmy supports Moussa for Egypt's president

MENA, Thursday 17 May 2012

Celebrated thespian speaks to Al-Arabiya satellite channel about future of artistic freedoms in Egypt and the country's next president

Hussein Fahmy (Photo: Ahram Gate)

Egyptian actor Hussein Fahmy said that, while he supported Egypt's January 25 Revolution, he had refrained from taking part in last year's Tahrir Square uprising because he can't stand being in crowded places. The actor went on to say that he supported Amr Moussa in Egypt's presidential elections, stressing that he did not consider the former Arab League chief a holdover of the ousted Mubarak regime.

Fahmy refuted the notion that most artists support Hamdeen Sabahi. He praised Moussa's domestic and foreign political positions on Wednesday evening in an interview on Al-Arabiya satellite news channel.

He said that diversity of opinion among artists was healthy, since, for the first time in Egyptian history, people – including artists – were discussing political issues.

Fahmy also stressed the fact that when artists throw their weight behind certain candidates, they speak as Egyptian citizens motivated by candidates' programmes and ideologies – not as artists per se.

He completely rejected the notion that artists could be split into two categories: a 'black list' of artists close to the former regime, and a 'white list' of artists that took part in last year's popular uprising. Fahmy also refuses to use the term Feloul ('remnants of the former regime') to describe certain presidential candidates.

"If someone held a government position before the revolution, does that mean they were working for the former regime and not simply for Egypt's benefit?" Fahmy asked.

As for Egypt's artistic future, Fahmy says that artistic expression will continue, since art is embedded within each Egyptian, adding that Egyptian artists had always presented meaningful and sublime art.

Fahmy then said that the recent verdict against actor Adel Imam, accused of tarnishing the image of Islam, was the result of an "old and vengeful" case against the comedian. Fahmy confirmed that the case had failed to scare artists or affect their stances on particular presidential candidates.

He added that what Egypt was now seeing on a political level was "beyond the imagination" of any scriptwriter, especially in parliamentary discussions, recalling how one MP had requested calls to prayer inside the assembly.

Fahmy wrapped up his interview by urging artists to begin work on political television series, pointing out that Egypt's society and political scene were continuously developing and stressing that "we have yet to see their final shape."

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