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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid