Fact box: Shortest-living culture ministers since the 25 January revolution

Fact box: Shortest-living culture ministers since the 25 January revolution

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Tue, 05/02/2013 - 13:03

Culture Minister Mohamed Saber Arab is the fifth Culture Minister to submit his resignation in the two years since the revolution began in January 2011.

In contrast, during former President Hosni Mubarak's three decades in power, only three culture ministers served.

Between 1981 and 1986, Culture Minister Mohamed Abdel Hamid Radwan was at the helm. He was succeeded by Ahmed Heikal, who served between 1985 and 1987. Mubarak's last and longest-serving Culture Minister Farouk Hosni took office in 1987 and was only replaced toward the end of Mubarak's rule.

Since then, prominent literary critic Gaber Asfour served as culture minister for less than two weeks. He was appointed on 31 January 2011 to be part of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq's cabinet, but resigned on 9 February, two days before Mubarak resigned, after being widely criticized by peers for accepting the position. (Asfour claimed he was resigning due to poor health.)

His successor was Mohamed Abdel Moneim al-Sawy, the head of Zamalek's El Sawy Culture Wheel. Sawy took office on 20 February 2011, but faced censure as well and resigned on 1 March. Musicians and performers had protested his appointment, fearing he would censor artists.

Emad Abou Ghazy stepped into Sawy's shoes on 5 March 2011, only to resign on 20 November 2011 to protest the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' response during the deadly Mohamed Mahmoud clashes.

Shaker Abdel Hamid, a professor at the Academy of Arts, replaced Ghazy in Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri's cabinet on 7 December 2011. In May 2012, Ganzouri shuffled his cabinet and replaced Abdel Hamid with Mohamed Saber Arab.

During the rule of former President Anwar Sadat, nine culture ministers took office between 1970 and 1981, while under Gamal Abdel Nasser, just four culture ministers served between 1954 and 1970.