Director Khaled Youssef rejects requests to run for Egypt parliament

Ahram Online, Wednesday 9 Jan 2013

Silver screen star inundated with calls from hometown Kafr Shakr to run in upcoming parliamentary elections but he will 'not leave art for politics', reports Al-Ahram Arabic website

Khaled Youssef
Khaled Youssef at Tahrir Square back in November 2012 (Photo by Creativity Front)

Renowned Egyptian director Khaled Youssef has received a large number of requests to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections from inhabitants of his northern Delta city Kafr Shukr, however the star intends to reject the idea, reports Al-Ahram Arabic language news website.

"People from my town are constantly asking me to run for parliament in 2013 as the [opposition coalition] National Salvation Front's candidate for the governorate of Qalioubiya," the director told Al-Ahram, "however I am leaning towards rejecting this proposal because it is not easy for me to leave art for politics."

Youssef added that he prefers being politically active in Egypt as a "regular Egyptian citizen" not a politician.

The 2013 People's Assembly (upper house of parliament) will be more balanced than the previous parliament, predicted Youssef.

"It is impossible for the Islamic parties or the right to form the majority now as was the case before. This upcoming parliament will be more equal in power, which will be more productive for the development of our country and get us out of the current crisis."

Despite his positive prediction for the country's political future, he is less hopeful for the Egyptian film industry.

"The political unrest in Egypt in 2012 has negatively affected the cinema industry and I believe it will take more time for it to recover even after the parliamentary elections next year," he concluded. "I think we won't see prosperity in the film market before start of 2014."

Youssef made his name with Al-Asefa (the Storm) which received the Silver Pyramid Award at the Cairo Film Festival in 2001 – he has directed a number of films in the last decade which are considered among some of the finest examples of Egyptian cinema.

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