At the end of April Basma El Husseiny from Cairo visited Norway and Sweden. Mimeta had set up presentations at different venues in Kristiansand, Oslo and Stockholm where Basma talked about the revolution, the role of culture and shared her thoughts on Egypt’s near future.
“It was the young and liberal democracy activists who started the revolution in Egypt. Quite soon the Salafist’s joined but the Muslim Brotherhood caved in later – it is not their revolution”, Basma told a huge audience in Kristiansand.
El Husseiny is currently the managing director of Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy) and a UNESCO expert in cultural governance. The cultural activist was concerned with the attitude of the West:
“I have heard that the West fears religious fundamentalists will steal the revolution. I think that is a sad attitude. Egypt is an ancient nation but has never experienced democracy. Now we are giving it a serious try for the very first time. It doesn’t mean we are going to look like Europe after the elections in September; however we are starting a process now that will continue over the next few decades and slowly will make Egypt a better place to live”.
What are your biggest concerns regarding this process?
“We do have little time and a difficult process a head of us before the election in September. I would have preferred an extension so that the new political parties had time to organize and campaign”.
In Norway El Husseiny met with the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre and several members of the Ministry and the Arts Council. In Stockholm Basma met with the Ministry of Culture, Swedish Arts Council and SIDA.