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Month: June 2013

Mr Minister, what are you talking about?

Published in Ahram Online on June 23, 2013 Culture ministers should promote freedom of thought, speech and academic research, not censorship, closure and ignorance. But then in Egypt, avarice and ineptitude reigns from the top One is at a loss as to how to make sense of the most recent policies of the president, the government, and the Muslim Brotherhood. In the latest gubernatorial reshuffle, I can understand that President Morsi would prefer to adopt the policies of the toppled president in designating border governorates to officials from the police and the army, given that the Brotherhood’s constitution had failed…

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Cavafy, "Going back home from Greece"

Posted on Facebook on June 16, 2013. Well, we’re nearly there, Hermippos. Day after tomorrow, it seems—that’s what the captain said. At least we’re sailing our seas, the waters of Cyprus, Syria, and Egypt, the beloved waters of our home countries. Why so silent? Ask your heart: didn’t you too feel happier the farther we got from Greece? What’s the point of fooling ourselves? That would hardly be properly Greek. It’s time we admitted the truth: we are Greeks also—what else are we?— but with Asiatic affections and feelings, affections and feelings sometimes alien to Hellenism. It isn’t right, Hermippos,…

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Who is afraid of the National Archives?

Published in Ahram Online on June 16, 2013 Intellectuals and the new director want the National Archives to be run by the army. Their reasons may differ, but that institution does not need tighter security, but rather to open its doors to the public The current dynamics at the Egyptian National Archives are truly peculiar.A few days after the minister of culture sacked a number of high-ranking ministry officials, and after he had involuntarily uttered telling words in his meeting with the staff of the Cairo Opera House, in which he said, “I was given instructions that must be followed,”…

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Ministry of culture or ministry of intellectuals?

Published in Ahram Online on June 8, 2013 The battle between Islamists and secular intellectuals over the cultural domain comes down to posts and a false struggle around identity, whereas the real culture crisis goes unremarked 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 Organisation, and then the head of the Fine…

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Transitional justice in Post-Revolutionary Egypt

Talk titled “Transitional justice in Post-Revolutionary Egypt” delivered at the American University of Beirut’s Asfari Institute Inaugural Conference on Civic Participation and Citizenship: New spaces of civil society activism in the arab world. Date: June 5, 2013

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