Culture minister leads artist pro-army march to Tahrir

MENA and Ahram Online, Saturday 27 Jul 2013

Hundreds of artists and supporters march to Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to join pro-army demonstrations against 'violence and terrorism'

Minister of Culture, Mohamed Saber Arab

Hundreds of Egyptian artists and supporters gathered outside the culture ministry in Cairo's upper class district of Zamalek on Friday, which later marched to Tahrir Square, to join pro-military protests against "violence and terrorism."

Egypt's defence minister and army chief General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi – the commander behind president Mohamed Morsi's ouster on 3 July – called on Egyptians to give the army and police a "mandate" to combat "violence and terrorism" via public demonstrations on Friday.

Millions of protesters took to the streets in Cairo's Tahrir Square and Ittihadiya palace and in other cities around the country. Morsi supporters also hosted large demonstrations in Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Nasr City and Al-Nahda Square in Giza, where they have maintained a sit-in for almost a month demanding Morsi's reinstatement.

Heeding El-Sisi’s call, the artists chanted "We’re not scared." The march was lead by the recently-appointed Minister of Culture Saber Arab.

The march included poet Ahmen Abdel Moty Hegazy, director Galal El-Sharkawy, and writer Salwa Bakr. Actors included Ahmed Shiha, Ahmed El-Sakka, Elham Shahin, and Nadia El-Gendy.

Head of the Cairo Opera House Ines Abdel-Dayem, head of the Academy of Arts Sameh Mahran, and poet Saad Abdul Rahman, head of the General Authority for Cultural Palaces, were also present.

A number of Zamalek residents joined the demonstration holding the Egyptian flag and El-Sisi’s picture, repeatedly chanting against the practice of violence by the Muslim Brotherhood, and stressing on the need to fight terrorism.

They also emphasised that the Egyptians are a "priority" to the army and that "30 June was not a military coup but a revolution." 

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