Egypt’s art world rallies to defend freedom of expression

27 January 2013

Artists, curators, critics and academics have united against president Mohamed Morsi and his controversial new constitution, which they say threatens freedom of expression and creativity. An arts forum has been closed. A cartoonist has been taken to court, reported The Art Newspaper. In December 2012, Yasser Borhami, a member of …

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Egypt: “I’m the only woman in Egypt who screams”

14 December 2012

  In the session ‘OVERCOMING: WOMEN; ART AND EGYPT’, filmmaker Petr Lom introduces a dialogue between musician Sherine Amr and writer, theatre director and actress Sondos Shabayek. Sherine Amr has described herself as “the only woman in Egypt who screams”. She started the first and only women-only band in Egypt and …

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Egypt: TV bans ‘romantic’ songs amid unrest

13 December 2012

The broadcasting of any “romantic” songs or music videos on Egyptian state television channels has been banned, a state-run newspaper announced on 13 December 2012, adding that only “patriotic” tunes will be allowed to be aired.   See on

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Syrian film removed from Egyptian film festival

3 December 2012

Official sources at the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which launched on 27 November 2012, said that the Syrian film ‘El Asheq’ (The Lover) was disqualified from the festival’s competition because of the lead actor’s and director’s support for Syria’s current ruler Bashar El-Assad. Syrian film director Abdul Hamid’s ‘El …

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Egypt: Film team received death threats before release

19 November 2012

After many battles with the Egyptian authorities over its release, the film ‘Al-Molhid’ (The Atheist) was passed by the Egyptian censorship committee without any scenes being removed, but the team behind the film has been receiving death threats from radicals in the country. Film producer Adham Afifi told Egyptian media …

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Egypt: Row over song which allegedly insults Islam

5 November 2012

On 1 November 2012, Egypt’s Ministry of Culture censored a scene with a song in a popular new film, after Islamists claimed the song insulted Islam, reported Egypt Independent and Al Bawaba. The film ‘Abdu Mouta’ which is playing in cinemas across Egypt, recorded the highest one-day revenue in the …

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Egypt: Censorship committee’s film script edits rejected

8 October 2012

Director and screenwriter Amr Salama called for support from the film and journalism communities after censorship committee had rejected his latest script for a film about religious discrimination. Egypt’s Minister of culture then came forward with a promise that the film can be made without changes. Amr Salama told the …

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Egypt: New film censorship law drafted

12 June 2012

A draft law is being prepared by the Egyptian parliament’s Religious Affairs Committee aimed at criminalising production of sexually explicit content by local media companies, flagship state daily Al-Ahram reported on 26 April 2012. Conservative Islamists in Egypt’s parliament are reportedly pushing for a cinema censorship law calling for cuts …

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Egypt: Belly dancing equated to prostitution, tv broadcaster arrested

18 May 2012

On 17 May 2012, the owner of a satellite tv station, Baleegh Hamdi, was arrested in his appartment by Giza Security Forces on charges of encouraging prostitution and “incitement to immorality” by broadcasting a show on belly dancers. Baleegh Hamdi’s channel, Al Taat, broadcasts videos of belly dancers throughout the …

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Egyptian court upholds comic actor’s prison sentence

25 April 2012

A court in Egypt has upheld the three-month prison sentence given to leading comic actor Adel Imam for insulting Islam in his films and plays, reported BBC News on 25 April 2012. 71-year-old actor Adel Imam was also fined 170 US dollars by the court in the capital, Cairo. The …

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