Saturday, May 31, 2008

Farouk Hosni remarks may harm UNESCO hopes

Al Ahram Weekly

How far will the campaign led by Israel succeed in preventing Farouk Hosni from becoming UNESCO's president, Nevine El-Aref asks

Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni is no stranger to criticism. For over 20 years he has been among the most controversial cabinet ministers, frequently locked in feuds with the National Democratic Party (NDP) and Islamist politicians as well as left-wing intellectuals.

But in what is perhaps the fiercest campaign against him to date, last week Hosni was accused by Israeli newspapers of upping the ante in increased diplomatic tension between Egypt and Israel after being quoted as saying he would burn Israeli books himself if he found any in libraries in Egypt. The remark could, as some suggest, thwart his bid to become the head of UNESCO.

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