Egyptian Artists Demand Protection For Freedom of Art and Expression in New Constitution

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Cairo, Egypt | May 10, 2012

A number of Egyptian actors, intellectuals and journalists attended a symposium held on Thursday, May 10, by the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA), dubbed “The Role of Art in Egypt’s Future”.

The participants stressed the importance of protecting the freedom of art, creativity and expression through a clear legislation to be written in Egypt’s new constitution.

Actor Sameh al-Sereiti, Representative of the Actors Syndicate, said that the Syndicate demands fair representation in the constitution-writing panel guarantee the freedom of art.

He also praised the role of Al-Azhar, the major religious institution and reference for the Sunni Muslim World, and its recent document stating the freedom of creativity and expression.

SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - Actor Sameh al-Sereiti, Representative of the Actors Syndicate:
"I respect and confirm my support for Al-Azhar document as Al-Azhar is the religious reference for Egyptians, not only Muslims, because I believe that Al-Azhar is the protection shield for Egyptians against any attack launched at our national unity and that Al-Azhar is the house of Muslims and Copts."

For his part, Singer Iman al-Bahr Darwish, Chairman of Musicians Syndicate, said that the state, as well as the media, should honor and award the artists who provide good and instructive work to elevate the standards and values of art.

SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - Singer Iman al-Bahr Darwish, Chairman of Musicians Syndicate:
"I think that the state should contribute to enrich good works of art so that artists would compete to produce the best artistic works to be awarded and commended by the media. If the state does not honor such creative artists, each good artist will continue on his own, based on his own strength and resolution in the fact of media negligence of his elevated art."

Al-Sereiti noted that the role of art in the future must be effective and representative of all Egyptians.

The attendees also talked about the future of art especially after the rising of Islamists in the political life of Egypt.

Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: May 10, 2012
Shooting Location: Cairo, Lebanon
Publishing Time: May 10, 2012
Length: 0:02:11
Video Size: 108 MB
Language: Arabic
Column:
Organized by:
Correspondent:
Camera: VCS

SHOTLIST:

1- Tilt down external shot of the state-run Middle East News Agency (MENA) headquarters downtown Cairo
2- Various shots of Representative of the Actors Syndicate Sameh al-Sereiti speaking during the symposium
3- Various shots of the attendees
4- SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - Actor Sameh al-Sereiti, Representative of the Actors Syndicate:
"I respect and confirm my support for Al-Azhar document as Al-Azhar is the religious reference for Egyptians, not only Muslims, because I believe that Al-Azhar is the protection shield for Egyptians against any attack launched at our national unity and that Al-Azhar is the house of Muslims and Copts." 5- Various shots of the symposium and the attendees
6- SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) - Singer Iman al-Bahr Darwish, Chairman of Musicians Syndicate:
"I think that the state should contribute to enrich good works of art so that artists would compete to produce the best artistic works to be awarded and commended by the media. If the state does not honor such creative artists, each good artist will continue on his own, based on his own strength and resolution in the fact of media negligence of his elevated art." 7- Various shots of the symposium and the attendees

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