Egyptian Artist Khaled Abul Naga Salutes Peaceful Arab Uprisings in Forum Sponsored by King’s Son, Triggering Bitter Debate by Pro-Regime Sawsan Al-Shaer
2017-12-23 - 10:45 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Egyptian artist Khaled Abul Naga could not express his point of view during the Peacemaking Youth Forum organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs under the sponsorship of the king's son, Commander of the Royal Guard Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, without being interrupted by the quarreling of Sawsan Al-Shaer, a writer who is close to the regime. Khaled Abul Naga applauded the peaceful Arab revolutions that demanded decent livelihood, freedom and social justice.
Sawsan Al-Shaer attempted to reiterate her views, claiming that all the Arab uprisings are part of a US plot to interfere in Arab countries, while Abul Naga described them as "the most important historic moment we have experienced, a great moment followed by a bleak period. However, [that moment] will prevail in the future."
At the beginning of the media segment of the forum, which was led by Suhaib Charrar (November 28, 2017), which was attended, besides Abul Naga, by the CEO of the National Communication Centre, Mohamed Ali Behzad and pro-regime writer Sawsan Al-Shaer, the Egyptian artist said: "We are experiencing a historical moment that we need to comprehend. None of us will experience an era more important than this and the most significant historic event in our lives so far, the Arab Spring ... The Tunisian street [movement] pushed the Egyptian street, and pushed the Bahraini street; it moved the people and pushed the Arab governments towards reform. This event shook everything before and after it," adding that all Arab peoples across the region have the same slogan, which is, "livelihood, freedom, social justice."
Responding to Sawsan Al-Shaer's question: "Do you think that the Arab Spring is something positive," Abul Naga said: "I am talking about the peaceful Arab uprisings which are the most important historic moment we have experienced, because it confirms that we are one nation. What happened later on is the abduction of these moments by a number of groups that politicize religion. We are now passing through an era of terrorism. This happened after the French Revolution. We passed a moment of a great tsunami followed by a period of gloom."
Sawsan Al-Shaer said, "we experienced all this destruction and we witnessed the invention of world powers- these are slogans we agree on, but we disagree on the means, and what happened was destruction,"Hillary Clinton told Saud Al-Faisal not to enter Bahrain with the Peninsula Shield. This is clearly an American project," she added.
Most of the attendees were the staff of some ministries and a large number of military personnel.
Khaled further stressed that the media must defend social justice and freedom and renounce sectarianism, noting that confidence should be achieved as the citizen should feel that his life and livelihood is safe, and equality should be established between him and any other citizen from another religious sect.
For his part, media figure close to the regime, Amjad Taha, who was invited to the event and sat in the first row, tried to discredit the views of the artist Khaled Abul Naga, and back Sawsan Al-Shaer, who considered that there is no fault in referring to people by their religions and sects the belong to, while the National Communication Centre CEO, Mohamed Ali Behzad said that Bahrain is a victim of Western media.
It is noteworthy that artist Khaled Abul Naga is deemed among the defenders of freedom of expression in spite of the criticism and media campaigns that he is subjected to form time to time.
Abul Naga was born on November 2, 1966, Abo Al Naga appeared as an actor in the movie "Madness of Love", just at the age of 12. He worked for a while as a correspondent for the Nile Channel. In 2000, he decided to be a professional actor and played the first role in his career in the movies "why did you let me love you."
In a daring move, Khaled Abul Naga, went out to an audience and addressed the Egyptian President, Abdul-Fattah Al-Sisi, saying: "If you can not solve the problems, we will tell you to leave, and it is obvious that it will soon happen." This led to a huge wave of criticism against him.
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