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Egypt: Poet banned from travel

15 January 2016

Egyptian authorities prevented poet Omar Hazek from traveling to the Netherlands on 14 January 2016 where he was set to accept the 2016 Oxfam Novib/PEN Award for Freedom of Expression, reported PEN International. Authorities detained and questioned Hazek in Cairo International Airport for five hours, eventually releasing him, but not …

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Egypt: Union president suspends six singers from performing

14 January 2016

Hani Shaker, controversial president of the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate, issued a decision to suspend six singers from being able to work as artists based on their behaviours during performances, reported Al Arabya News. Shaker stated that their behaviour was not in line with public morals as they wore “body revealing …

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Egypt: Novelist acquitted

6 January 2016

The Egyptian novelist Ahmed Nagy was acquitted by the Cairo Bulaq Criminal Court of charges of publishing and writing an article with “obscene sexual content” on 2 January 2016. The novelist was referred to court in November 2015 after publishing a chapter of his novel ‘The Use of Life’ in Akhbar …

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Egypt: Authorities shut down respected art gallery in Cairo

31 December 2015

In a move seen by free speech advocates as “a severe blow to freedom of artistic expression and creativity”, the Egyptian authorities have shut down a highly respected art gallery and an affiliated theatre in downtown Cairo. By Shahira Amin, reporting for Freemuse The evening raid on 28 December 2015 on …

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Egypt: Censorship Authority stirs controversy over attempted film bans

3 December 2015

The Egyptian Censorship Authority has reversed its decision to completely reject the production of a comedy film by actor and screenwriter Tamer Abdel Moneim, El Watan News reported on 4 November 2015. The comedy, which is meant to be a sequel to Abdel Moneim’s 2003 film ‘Al-Meshakhasaty’ (The Master of …

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Egypt: Playwright speaks about his trials with censorship

23 November 2015

The arts magazine Guernica recently published an interview with Karim Alrawi, an Egyptian playwright and novelist. Though his literary career started in London, he returned to Egypt to teach in the theatre department at the American University in Cairo. During his time teaching at the American University, Alrawi also attempted …

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Egypt: Resolution against revealing clothing and “vulgar” lyrics

30 September 2015

Egypt’s Musicians’ Union bans artists from wearing “indecent” clothing and using “vulgar” vocabulary on stage and television in a resolution passed at the end of August 2015. Hani Shaker, the newly elected head of the union, aims to continue to promote Egyptian art, but not at the expense of the …

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Egypt: movie song banned by the Egyptian censorship authorities

9 September 2015

The Egyptian Artworks Censorship Board has postponed the display of a movie called ‘4 play cards’, starring the popular young electro Sha’abi singers Oka & Ortega, according to The Egyptian Today. Sha’abi is a relatively new Egyptian music style, a kind of ‘electronic folk’. The movie was initially planned to …

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Egypt, Lebanon: Trance music boycotted for Israeli collaborations

3 July 2015

German trance music producer and DJ Paul Van Dyk has had his new album ‘The Politics of Dancing 3’ banned in Egypt, Lebanon and several other countries in the Middle East, allegedly because it was produced in collaboration with Israeli producers. Paul Van Dyk, one of the world’s most famous …

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