News / Africa

Egypt Won't Permit Film on Egyptian Jews

Poster created by the Egyptian Islamic Labour Party depicts former presidential candidate, and Egypt's former Vice President, Omar Suleiman, with the Star of David on his face, Cairo, April 12, 2012.
Poster created by the Egyptian Islamic Labour Party depicts former presidential candidate, and Egypt's former Vice President, Omar Suleiman, with the Star of David on his face, Cairo, April 12, 2012.
Reuters
— Egyptian authorities have failed to issue a permit to screen a historical documentary about the country's Jewish community, the film's producer said on Wednesday, one of a series of disputes over freedom of expression under the Islamist government.
 
Egypt already had restrictions on filmmakers under former President Hosni Mubarak, requiring them to seek approval from the Censorship Bureau to screen their work. After his overthrow in 2011, film makers were hoping for more artistic freedom, but critics of the government say little has changed.
 
Producer Haitham al-Khamissi said Censorship Bureau officials had told him State Security had requested to view his film “The Jews of Egypt'' before it could be cleared to be shown in cinemas.
 
But a security source denied State Security was blocking the film, saying permits were granted by the Censorship Bureau. Officials at the Censorship Bureau were however not immediately available to comment.
 
Khamissi said renewing the permit for the film, which was first shown with official permission at a film festival in Egypt in 2012, would normally take a matter of hours, but he said he had been waiting for a week.
 
The film depicts changes in Egyptian society's acceptance of its ancient Jewish minority in the first half of the 20th century. Most Jews fled the country due to attacks on their community, particularly after the 1956 war, when Israel invaded Egypt along with Britain and France, which were trying to regain control of the Suez Canal.
 
"The authorities had already approved my film ... I'm only asking for a renewal of the permission but until now I haven't received it," Khamissi said. "They are worried about us, the people who think ... The content is controversial, politically."
 
"After the creation of Israel in 1948, the worldview of Jews changed," he said. "There were worries that any Jewish Egyptian could be an Israeli spy."
 
Last month Egyptian prosecutors questioned an award-winning novelist over accusations that he had insulted religion, in the latest of a string of cases to cause concern over freedom of expression.
 
Khamissi said the screening last year lasted only one day and was for a limited audience, whereas the permission he is seeking now is to show the film to the public for several days.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid