By Amira El-Fekki
The Egyptian Press Syndicate will celebrate its 74th anniversary on Tuesday.
The history of the Egyptian press dates back to colonial times in the 19th century. The first local newspaper, called “Al-Wakaea Al-Masriya” and first published in 1828, was established by Mohamed Ali Pasha.
Formally published in both Arabic and Turkish, it is now published as the supplement of the official state paper. It mostly includes presidential decrees, laws and legislations.
The Press Syndicate was officially established by royal decree in 1941, after more than 50 years of journalists’ struggle with the government to acquire that right. The first syndicate council was appointed the same year, headed by journalist Mahmoud Aboul Fath Basha. Starting from the second council, the head of the Press Syndicate and members of the council were elected every December until 1954, and then changed to become slightly more than a year.
In 1973, the syndicate’s electoral system was changed according to Law 76/1970. The Syndicate’s head would be elected directly from the members of the council every two years. The members themselves are elected separately every four years, with a renewal period every two years. So far, there have been 49 Press Syndicate councils. The most recent elections took place in March 2015. Yehia Qalash, a member of the council since 1995, was elected head of the Press Syndicate by winning the majority of votes over his rival Diaa Rashwan.