Ines Abdel-Dayem to be appointed Egypt culture minister: Source

Ahram Online, Sunday 14 Jul 2013

Recently dismissed Cairo Opera House head Ines Abdel-Dayem set to become Egypt's new culture minister

Ines Abdel Dayem (Photo by Sherif Sonbol)

Former Cairo Opera House chairperson Ines Abdel-Dayem has been told by Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi that she will be appointed Egypt's new culture minister, a source has told Ahram Online.

An official announcement on the appointment will be made by the prime minister later this week, the source added. 

Abdel-Dayem replaced the late Abdel-Moneim Kamel as Cairo Opera House boss in February 2012 and was dismissed on 28 May 2013 by former culture minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz.

According to Abdel-Dayem, Abdel-Aziz did not provide any clear explanation for her dismissal. However it was part of a series of sackings within Egypt's cultural bodies which led to strikes, protests and resignations by key figures. On 5 June, artists stormed the Ministry of Culture and began an open-ended sit-in to demand the removal of the minister and the revocation of his decisions.

Abdel-Aziz presented his resignation on 5 July, a few days after president Mohamed Morsi was removed from power.

Abdel-Dayem graduated from the flute department of the Cairo Conservatory and continued her studies in France, where she obtained a PhD from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.

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, the Festival of Arts prize for the best flautist. She also received the Creative Prize from the Academy of Arts operating under Egypt’s 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. She 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.

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