So although the details surrounding this conference are fairly vague, for any of us living in Egypt are fully aware, questioning any decisions made by the higher authorities is highly frowned upon. I shall keep my comments on this entire situation out of this blog, however I will say that I applaud this effort.
Intellectuals to hold conference against presidential inheritance
Several members of Egypt's intelligentsia are preparing to hold a self-styled “Conference of Independent Intellectuals” in response to a second conference to be held by Culture Minister Farouk Hosni with the aim of presenting his ministry’s "cultural strategy" for the years ahead.
“The intellectuals aren't planning on inviting Hosni to their conference,” said Ammar Ali Hassan, director of research at the official Middle East News Agency.
Organizers of the intellectuals' conference contend that the regime is attempting to promote the idea of the transfer of executive power from the aging President Hosni Mubarak to his 47-year-old son, Gamal. Their fears were reportedly reinforced by statements made by the younger Mubarak at a recent closed-door meeting with prominent representatives of Egypt's intellectual class.
“Intellectuals aren't spokespeople for the regime, but rather critics of the government's performance for the good of society,” Hassan said, adding that preparations for the gathering of intellectuals began five months ago.
“We want society to regain confidence in its intellectuals, who have been forcibly co-opted by the regime for the past 30 years,” he said. He added that the conference would "expose" how the Ministry of Agriculture had been manipulated by state security services.