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Egypt: Screening of Israeli award-winning film cancelled

16 March 2016

The Egyptian Culture Ministry cancelled a screening of Eran Kolirin’s film ‘The Band’s Visit’ that was to take place at the Palace of Culture in Beni Suef, 115 kilometres south of Cairo, Misr Journal reported on 23 January 2016. The film was set to be screened on 24 January 2016, …

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Egypt: Several books banned at international book fair

14 March 2016

According to Egyptian news portal Youm7, several books were banned from the 2016 Cairo International Book Fair held in late January/early February 2016 for presenting controversial themes and ideas on topics such as homosexuality and female status. Moroccan author Mohamed Shokri’s ‘For the Sake of Only Bread’ was the first …

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Egypt: Fear of heavy metal returns

8 March 2016

Recent controversies in Egypt over heavy metal music continue to highlight findings in the 2010 Freemuse report “Headbanging against Repressive Regimes”, wherein the music and its fans remain misunderstood and victims of conservative policies and societies. Freemuse Egypt stringer, Shahira Amin, explains the recent events around heavy metal concerts, the role of …

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Egypt: Author imprisoned for ‘violating public modesty’

23 February 2016

On 20 February 2016, the Egyptian author Ahmed Naji was sentenced to two years in prison by a Cairo appeals court for having published in a magazine a sexually explicit excerpt of his novel that prosecutors said “violated public modesty”.  Naji (also spelled: Naje) was initially acquitted, but after the …

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Egypt: Mahraganat artists challenge limits

23 February 2016

For many youngsters in Egypt, mahraganat artists represent the voice of the people. They address social issues, relationships and drug problems. They operate in a landscape of recognition, occasional public and self-censorship and the consequences of the newly suggested committee for “the development of morals and conscience and the promotion …

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Egypt: Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery to reopen under strict restrictions

17 February 2016

Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery has reopened for two weeks to allow staff to make necessary changes to various permits and regulations  after having been closed for two months by Egyptian authorities for what they listed as “administrative irregularities”, reported Ahram Online on 16 February 2016.  Gallery director William Wells is seeking to …

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Egypt: Theatre play banned in governorate of Suez

12 February 2016

The governorate of Suez has banned the theatre play ‘Ghaybouba’ (‘Coma’), starring well-known Egyptian actor Ahmed Bedeir, in response to a public outcry over its tarnishing of Egypt’s 2011 Revolution and its martyrs. The governorate of Suez is home to the first martyrs of the 25 January uprising against Mubarak …

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Egypt five years after the revolution: Artistic freedom is stifled

25 January 2016

In the wake of a security clampdown on free expression since the military takeover of the country in July 2013, rights advocates lament that the space for free artistic expression and creativity has diminished in Egypt as restrictions on art and literary works that address politics, sex and religion, remain …

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Egypt: Arts unions granted legal powers to self-police

25 January 2016

On 9 November 2015 Minister of Justice Ahmed El-Zend granted judicial police status, or “Al Dabtia Al Kadaeia”, to both the musician’s and actor’s trade unions, effectively meaning that unions members can now legally police and regulate themselves, reported news site Dotmsr.com The controversial decision was further compounded when, on …

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Egypt: Government cancels concert marking revolution anniversary

22 January 2016

The band Elawela Balady posted on its Facebook page that they were informed by the Ministry of State of Antiquities to cancel a concert they had scheduled on 24 January 2016 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, reported The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. The …

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