- Middle East/North Africa
Prominent intellectual figures stormed the main gate of the Culture Ministry on Wednesday afternoon to start a sit-in inside the ministry, protesting what they call the “Brotherhoodization” of the ministry.
The protestors demanded the dismissal of Minister Alaa Abdel Aziz, and chanted anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans.
They rejected the recent decisions by the Culture Minister to sack some of the ministry leaders “without any obvious reasons, and in a random manner.” They accused the minister of imposing a Muslim Brotherhood agenda on Egyptian culture.
Protestors against the minister included well-known intellectuals, writers, artists and members of cultural movements, such as “The Creativity Front.”
Among protestors inside the ministry premises were leftist novelist Sonallah Ibrahim who turned down a prestigious state award in 2003 to protest the policies of the Mubarak regime, Nasserist film director Khaled Youssef known for his constant opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood, film producer Mohamed al-Adl, and actors Nabil al-Halfawy, Mahmoud Qabil and Sameh al-Seriety, as well as poet Sayed Hegab and prominent novelist Bahaa Taher.
Meanwhile, proponents of the minister, who is known for his ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, set up a stage in front of the ministry building in his support.
A significant number of security forces surrounded the area to prevent any attempts to provoke riots.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm