A number of artists and intellectuals continue to occupy the culture ministry headquarters in Zamalek, Cairo, insisting mostly on the removal of Culture Minister Alaa Abdel-Aziz.
On Thursday after long meetings, artists released a statement highly-anticipated by press and supporters detailing their next steps, having expelled Brotherhood-affiliated culture ministry staff on Wednesday and held onto control of the premises. The artists announced they would host artistic events at 6pm every day of their sit-in outside of the ministry building.
Among the artists who participated in the sit-in on Thursday evening were Egypt's best known actress Laila Elwi, renowned writer Sanaallah Ibrahim; filmmakers Medhat and Mohamed El-Adl; novelist Ibrahim Abdel-Meguid; visual artist Mohamed Abla and many others. They encouraged fellow artists and intellectuals in other governorates outside of Cairo to do the same in front of the culture ministry offices and cultural palaces.
Furthermore, they said they refuse to meet Minister Abdel-Aziz to negotiate and announced they will continue their sit-in until he is removed. The Freedom of Creativity Front also vowed in a statement to refuse to negotiate with the minister and clarified that it was not personal, but rather a rejection of government policies.
Culture Minister Abdel Aziz was appointed by the Brotherhood-fielded President Morsi three weeks ago and has since been sacking directors and people in pivotal posts.
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