By: Mariam Iskander
Minister of Culture Alaa Abdel Aziz fired all employees working in his office on Wednesday after they allowed disgruntled artists to hold a sit-in inside the ministry
Artists broke into the Ministry of Culture on Wednesday morning where they announced they would hold a sit-in.
According to spokesperson of the Revolutionary Artists Union Maha Effat, the demonstrators released a statement that listed their main demand as the dismissal of Minister of Culture Alaa Abdel Aziz.
Effat said that a number of artists signed this statement including Baha’ Taher, Galal Al-Sharkawy, Sekina Fouad, Khaled Youssef and many others. “We are not leaving the Ministry of Culture until all of our demands are met,” the spokesperson said.
Effat added that the number of demonstrators is increasing and that some actors are on their way to join the sit-in, including Khaled Saleh and Fathy Abdel Wahab.
Meanwhile, dozens of Abdel Aziz’s supporters held a demonstration on the opposite side of the ministry. Central Security Forces formed cordons to stop protesters from both sides from attacking each other.
Supporters of the culture minister erected a stage and used microphones to profess their espousal and accuse those protesting the minister of corruption and being affiliated with the old regime.
The protests, which started on 29 May against Minister of Culture Abdel Aziz, were instigated by the removal of Ines Abdel Dayem, the former head of the Cairo Opera House, and Salah El-Meligy, the former head of the Applied Arts Department at the ministry.