Minister of Culture Mohamed Saber Arab officially resigned from his post on Sunday.
The resignation was submitted to Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, who is yet to make a decision on the matter.
State-owned Al-Ahram reported that Qandil met Saber Arab on Monday, in an attempt to convince him to withdraw his resignation. However, Arab insisted on his decision, and thanked Qandil and the other cabinet members for their support for him during the past period.
It is as yet unconfirmed why Saber Arab put forward his resignation, but some media reports have speculated that the now infamous incident involving Hamada Saber last Friday was what pushed him to do so.
Alaa El-Hadedy, spokesperson for the cabinet, denied these media claims and asserted that Qandil is yet to decided on Saber Arab’s resignation.
Al-Ahram also reported that Saber Arab did not go to his ministerial office on Monday, adding that his latest official decision had been to extend the Cairo International Book Fair until 9 February instead of 5 February.
Hossam Nassar, former undersecretary for the ministry of culture, claimed that Saber Arab has cooperated with the Muslim Brotherhood to extend their influence into the ministry of culture, adding that he is now trying to leave because he recognised the failure of the government. “Try again Mr Saber Arab,” he said. “History will remember that you cooperated with fascists.”
Former minister of culture Gaber Asfour praised Saber Arab’s decision on Monday during a show aired on the Sada El-Balad TV channel. Asfour explained that the decision is what any patriotic person should take during the current critical period.
Notably, Asfour was appointed as a minister of culture on 29 January 2011, before he resigned on 9 February for objecting to the policies of the cabinet, led by Ahmed Shafiq at that time.