Actress Elham Shahin posted a statement on her social media accounts issued by the Egyptian Association for Culture and Enlightenment in response to a member of parliament’s attack on Egyptian artists and arts.
The Egyptian Association for Culture and Enlightenment’s statement was signed by various Egyptian Artists; intellectuals, writers, university professors, doctors, artists, and many Egyptian citizens who simply appreciate art.
The statement has been issued after Egyptian member of parliament, Riad Abdel Sattar, accused the art profession and the field of corruption while discussing a law related to martyrs’ honour.
During a discussion of the Fund for the Honor of the Martyrs and their Families, Abdel Sattar said that it is necessary to impose additional taxes on artists.
“Artists seek corruption, and we will not let them pay their taxes without paying the martyrs tax,”Riad Abdel Sattar
Obviously, the MP’s statements struck Egyptian artists with anger.
Elham Shahin was one of the first to make a statement about the MP’s words. In her statement, Shaheen denounced what the MP said, and his “apology” on Amr Adeeb’s program.
Many artists saw that the MP’s statements were considered a blunt insult to them, which prompted Dr Ashraf Zaki, the head of the representative professions, to threaten to resort to the judiciary and file a lawsuit against the deputy.
Dr Ashraf Zaki said that artists in Egypt and the Arab world are in a state of outrage over what MP Riad Abdel Sattar said.
Dr Ashraf Zaki commented on this statement to Al-Ain Al-Akhbar, saying:
“I thank the parliamentarians who refused the insults against artists. I will not remain silent against any effort to insult artists.”
Ashraf Zaki added,
“I read the statement of the parliamentarian, and I do not see in it a clear and explicit apology. We will not remain silent against the insult. I submitted a memorandum to the Speaker of Parliament to investigate the incident and take the necessary action.”
Like Zaki, several artists denounced the abuse they received from Riad Abdel Sattar and signed the Egyptian Association for Culture and Enlightenment statement.
The names of some of the artists who signed it, along with Elham Shahin:
Ezzat Al-Alayli, Hussein Fahmy, Nabila Ebaid, Laila Elwi, Hala Sidqi, Sabreen, Ghada Adel, Mona Zaki, Dalia Al-Beheiry, Abeer Sabry, Essad Yunus, Samir Sabry, Najla Badr, Firdous Abdel Hamid, Shahira, Hana Shiha, Wafaa Sadiq, Yusra al-Lawzi, Salwa Muhammad Ali, and the singer Azza Balbaa.
Several directors also signed the statement, including:
Ali Badrakhan, Muhammad Abdel Aziz, Omar Abdel Aziz, Mohamed Yassin, Hani Lashin, Muhammad Fadel, Kamelah Abu Zikry, Tamer Mohsen, Hani Khalifa, Sandra Nashat, Amir Ramses, Manal Al Saifi And Ahmed Yahya, Muhammad Abu Saif, Sherif Mandour, Saad Hindawi, Hazem Metwally, Mandu al-Adl and Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Hamaki.
The producers who signed were Mohamed Hefzy, Gamal Al Adl, Maha Selim and Dr Muhammad Al-Adl.
Among the writers, thinkers and media figures:
Writer Farida Shobashi, Youssef Al-Qaid, Khaled Salah, Amr Al-Khayyat, Tamer Habib and Amal Othman.
All of these and large numbers of respected officials from many fields, including, lawyers, engineers, researchers, amongst other professions condemn the attack on arts, will not allow our cultural identity to change, and will all oppose destructive reactionary ideas.
It’s worth noting that Riad Abdel Sattar is the same MP who suggested imposing a monthly fee of 200 Egyptian pounds on users of social media platforms, such as Facebook.