Repeated Egyptian criticism of honoring female artists from official bodies

Repeated Egyptian criticism of honoring female artists from official bodies

Repeated Egyptian criticism of honoring female artists from official bodies

Sumaya al-Khashab is the latest of them

Thursday – 7 Muharram 1444 AH – 04 August 2022 AD

Part of honoring Sumaya al-Khashab (her account on Instagram)

Cairo: Dalia Maher

Honoring the Egyptian artist, Sumaya al-Khashab, with the shield of the governorate of Alexandria (her hometown) on the sidelines of the governorate’s celebration of her recent National Day, is still receiving interactions and criticism from the pioneers of “Social Media”. Egyptian.
Al-Samoudi submitted a request for a briefing to Counselor Hanafi Jabali, the head of the council, in which he asked the Prime Minister and the Minister of Local Development to know why the governor honored the Egyptian artist.
Honoring some actresses from official and academic bodies far from the artistic field has been repeatedly criticized, as the nature of the actresses’ work is linked to the topic and reason for honoring.
The phenomenon of honoring artists has spread remarkably in Egypt recently, as some party organizers resort to inviting and honoring actors and celebrities, to promote their activities.
Although honoring creators in all fields is “a stimulus to creativity and innovation,” and reflects “the state and its leaders’ respect for culture, art and thought,” it must be within a specific context, as was customary in the sixties and seventies, in the words of the Egyptian art critic Kamal El-Qadi, who He adds to Asharq Al-Awsat, “The late President Gamal Abdel Nasser was keen to honor the symbols of art and creativity on official occasions.”
Last year, actresses Ghada Abdel Razek and Sawsan Badr, and media figure Bossi Shalaby, were criticized after being honored from the “Seddik Afifi Award for Scientific Research, Innovation, Literature and Creativity”, in a ceremony held at the ancient Baron Palace in Cairo, where the audience believed that they were awarded prizes in literature. And scientific research, before the academy organizing the ceremony denied that and confirmed that they were honored in appreciation of their attendance at the ceremony. While the Egyptian artist, Elham Shaheen, received a share of these criticisms after being honored by Ain Shams University and gifting the university shield in December of last year, when Majdi El-Welily, a member of the House of Representatives, submitted a request for a briefing directed to Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Education. Al-Aali commented on what happened, saying that “what Ain Shams University has done is a big fall in the history of its scientific career.”
He said, “The Egyptian artist does not have any scientific contributions until she receives the honor and shield of the university.” As he put it in the briefing request.
The judge considers “honoring artists” a tradition that has been followed in Egypt for decades as they are “great and distinguished creative figures in their field.” Great names were honored at the “Feast of Science” celebration, such as Umm Kulthum, Abdel Halim Hafez, Farid al-Atrash, Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Faten Hamama, Souad Hosni and Samiha Ayoub, Farid Shawqi and Amina Rizk alongside Taha Hussein, Naguib Mahfouz, Youssef Al-Sibai and Tawfiq Al-Hakim, for example, and also during the rule of President Sadat, Ahmed Zaki and Magda Al-Sabahi were honored for the movie “Age is a Moment”, as well as the artist Zeinat Sidqi, and Sadat honored the artist Mohie Ismail, in appreciation of his role in the movie “The Enemy Brothers” and granting him a ownership apartment in the Mohandessin neighborhood, Giza. The idea in itself is valuable and worthy of respect. as described.
Nevertheless, the judge stresses the importance of having a clear reason for honoring so that it does not lose its meaning and be a cause for ridicule, after it was a source of pride. The star only, but carries a much deeper and more comprehensive meaning, and it should be indicative of its owner, talent, artistic contribution, size and type.
The Egyptian critic believes that “honoring in Egypt has lost its true meaning at times, after it has turned into mere gifts and compliments in light of favoritism and trading in titles and certificates of appreciation that are now granted to anyone, to the extent that some official honors sometimes witness the inclusion of some names such as sympathy or according to a standard Age and human evaluation, and this would reduce the value of prizes or literary appreciation because in such cases the honor is not based on excellence, and this is the defective and unacceptable thing.” as described.



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