Egyptian CM Farouk Hosni during Barenboim’s Cairo-Scandal

🙂 Dear-Arab-Readers > Section: Egypt-Normalization > Barenboim’s First Visit to Egypt on April 16, 2009
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Israel drops objection to next UNESCO boss May 28, 2009

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Israel dropped its opposition to the candidacy of the Egyptian culture minister to head UNESCO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to end the campaign to keep Farouk Hosni from assuming leadership of the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization during his recent meeting in Egypt with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Ha’aretz reported Wednesday.

Hosni, who is expected to win election as director-general this weekend, meantime apologized in an interview with Le Monde for past statements, including a call to burn Israeli books.

“Nothing is more distant to me than racism, the negation of others or the desire to hurt Jewish culture or any other culture,” he said.

Hosni’s partisans portrayed him as committed to outreach to Jews and Israelis — but also subject to the vicious anti-Israelism that permeates Egypt’s intellectual classes. The implication was that his fiery attacks on Israel were a sop to an establishment that is implacably hostile to Israel. Hosni was buffeted by attacks, for instance, after arranging concerts by an Israeli-Palestinian orchestra led by Daniel Barenboim, the famed Israeli conductor.

The most notable objection to his candidacy was a letter signed by three Jewish intellectuals: Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust memoirist and Nobel peace laureate; Bernard-Henri Levi, the French philosopher; and Claude Lanzmann, the director of the seminal Holocaust documentary “Shoah.”

Israel sees UNESCO as one of the few U.N. bodies that deals fairly with the Middle East. UNESCO set aside money in the 1990s to preserve Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus architecture, and more recently refrained from describing Israeli archaeological digs in Jerusalem as necessarily damaging to Palestinian interests.

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Is Farouk Hosni worthy of leading UNESCO?

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Arab favourite for Unesco’s top job apologises for ‘book burning’ remarks May 27, 2009 / By U.TV
Egypt’s culture minister has denied he is racist, amid outrage over comments that Israeli books in Alexandria’s library should be destroyed
(…) Hosni today wrote: “I am a man of peace, I know that peace comes through understanding and respect.”
He said that if any of his remarks had appeared harsh, they should be placed in the context of the suffering of the Palestinian people. He described how he had personally invited Daniel Barenboim to conduct Egypt’s symphony orchestra this month, despite “violent attacks” from “the most intolerant milieu in my country”.

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Egypt minister up for UNESCO chief rues anti-Israel rhetoric

Farouk Hosni tells Le Monde jibes like ‘I’d burn Hebrew books’ counter his devotion to culture.

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Please check
🙂 Barenboim’s First Visit to Egypt: Part 1
🙂 Barenboim’s First Visit to Egypt: Part 2
🙂 From Barenboim’s First Visit to Egypt: Part 3A
🙂 Barenboim’s First Visit to Egypt: Part 3B
🙂 Barenboim’s First Visit to Egypt: Part 3C
🙂 Barenboim’s First Visit to Egypt: Part 3D
🙂 Barenboim’s First Visit to Egypt: Part 3E

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Egyptian culture minister: I would burn Israeli books myself Mar 14, 2008 / By Itamar Eichner
Israel files official complaint with Egypt over Farouk Hosni’s remarks, may thwart his appointment as UNESCO secretary-general
Diplomatic tensions have arised between Israel and Egypt due to a harsh statement made recently by Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni. In a conference that took place in the Egyptian Parliament last week, the minister said that he “would burn Israeli books himself if found in Egyptian libraries.”
Israeli Ambassador to Cairo Shalom Cohen defined this statement in a classified report that he submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem as “harsh and especially blunt, in a way which makes it impossible for Israel and for the international community to continue a regular agenda with Egypt.”
Yedioth Ahronoth was informed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received and accepted the Israeli ambassador’s suggestion to present a severe protest to the Egyptian government. Simultaneously, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs passed on a severe protest to the Egyptian ambassador in Israel.
On Sunday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is scheduled to leave for Sharm al-Sheikh in order to participate in a summit with US President George W. Bush, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. She is likely to raise the issue in her discussions with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
The anger in Israel over Hosni’s statement is especially emphasized due to the fact that the Hosni is Egypt’s candidate for the UNESCO position, as the United Nations’ education, science and cultural organization secretary-general, and he has good chances of being chosen. Israel is weighing the option of bringing the case to the attention of the international community and thus harming his chances of receiving the position.
Hosni is considered one of the strongest opposition leaders in the Egyptian government to stand against normalization with Israel. In the past, he accused Israel of trying to steal Egyptian culture, and he adamantly opposes any cooperation with Israel. Moreover, he opposed an initiative presented by the American-Jewish Committee to establish a museum of Jewish antiquity and culture in Cairo.

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CM FAROUK HOSNI as UNESCO Director-General

Egypt Nominates Farouk Hosni as UNESCO Director-General Mar 6, 2009 / By Almasry Alyoum, Abul So’oud Mohamed
Egypt has officially nominated Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni for the position of director general of UNESCO. The elections will be held next October, Minister of Higher Education and Chairman of the Egyptian National Committee of UNESCO Hani Hilal said. Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif has sent a formal letter to the President of UNESCO Executive Council in accordance with the rules and procedures applied within the international organization, Hilal said. Hosni has a big chance to occupy this senior post, especially after he became the only candidate of both the Arab and African groups under a decision from the Arab and African summits. The Egyptian national committee and permanent commission in UNESCO are working to support the Egyptian candidate through contacts, interviews and conferences with representatives of all other regional groups in UNESCO.
In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs makes great effort through our diplomatic missions in all world capitals, he added.

UNESCO award for Farouk Hosni Nov 29th, 2007 / By Blogger
Egypt State Information Service
On the sidelines of the opening of Cairo International Film Festival yesterday 28/11/2007, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) granted Culture Minister Farouk Hosni the Gold Medal of Fellini, the highest medal of the UNESCO in the field of culture, in an appreciation for Hosni’s long contributions to promoting culture in Egypt and the role he played at the international level in this respect. For his part, the minister regarded the step as a great honor which came on time. Hosni is seeking to win the post of the UNESCO director general in the vote scheduled for 2009.

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