Several weeks ago, President Morsi appointed a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Alaa Abdel-Aziz, as Minister of Culture.
Initially, this sparked concerns that the Muslim Brotherhood intended to ‘purge’ Egypt’s cultural scene by installing Islamists into influential positions in the Ministry. These concerns were quickly dismissed by the government as absurd.
Yet in just few weeks, the new Minister has fired the heads of the Cairo Opera House, the Fine Arts Sector and the Egyptian General Book Authority. The Minister also attempted to fire the head of the Academy of Arts, but the law states that he can only be fired by a Presidential decree.
The sackings were yesterday followed by the resignation of the Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Culture, Said Tawfik, over what he called “a plan to destroy Egyptian culture.” The Supreme Council for Culture is arguably one of the most important parts of the Ministry, as it is responsible for setting policies and organizing activities.
In a show of support for those who were sacked, workers and artists at the Cairo Opera House cancelled a planned opera show – Aida – and announced a strike in solidarity with the sacked head of the Opera House and to protest the ‘Brotherhoodization’ of Egypt’s culture