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Khaled Fahmy

Ministry of Culture or Ministry of Intellectuals?

[Opera House, Cairo, Egypt. Photo by Daniel Csörföly (from Wikimedia Commons)]

Since the new minister of culture, Alaa Abdel-Aziz, took up his post, conversations about the attitude he has adopted to prove himself have not ceased within Egypt's cultural scene. The minister commenced his work in the ministry with a series of decisions to sack leading ministry figures, starting from the head of the General Egyptian Book Organization, and then the head of the Fine Arts Sector, followed by the head of the Cairo Opera House, and finally, the head of the ...

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Islamists and Transitional Justice

[Crop of image of graffiti in Cairo urging the prosecution of Mubarak. Image by Gigi Ibrahim.]

Suddenly, and in the same week, three of the largest Islamist movements started talking about transitional justice, demanding its implementation at once. Spokesman for the Salfist front, Hisham Kamal, asserted, "Mubarak should have been tried for all his crimes from the start, not only for killing protestors." Political consultant to  al-Bina’ wa-al-Tanmiya (Building and Development) Party, the political army of al-Gama‘a al-Islamiyya, and member of the ...

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The Tragedy of Books in Egypt

[Khaled Fahmy. Image from Ahram Online.]

Looking at Egypt, historian Khaled Fahmy affords a harrowing insight into the status of that most indispensable of commodities: the book. In recent weeks I encountered two incidents that made me feel extremely sorrowful about the situation of books, reading, and indeed culture, in Egypt. The first happened in New York City, and requires a brief background. For the past few years, I have been working on a book that tackles the social and cultural history of Egypt during ...

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