Egypt/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.2 Arts in schools

More than a century has passed since the 1908 establishing of Art School by Prince Youssef Kamal. Coincided with the establishing of the National Egyptian University which became the gate on litters and human sciences, the school was then the gate on plastic arts.

The school gave a generation of prominent photographers, gravers, inscribers and decorators, to whom could be added a group of the Supreme Teacher School and Applied Science School graduates.

The Egyptian people motivating them an intellectual and artistic rising subscribed to help Artist Mahmoud Moukhtar accomplishing his well-known sculpture “Egypt rebirth”. This took place during the 1919 Revolution.

The school was then moved from Al-Gamamiz to Al-Zamalek Square to be called The Plastic Art Academy and to keep in long with all new products of the plastic art field. Now, graphic, book layout and cover-page designers as well as caricature and animated cartoon designers are being graduated from it. In addition, technical institutes and faculties of qualitative education and those of applied arts as well as decoration departments in The High Institute of Cinema and that of Drama are being graduating groups of graduates to work in cinema, drama or T.V décor and scene designing. Undoubtedly, puppet theatre designing pioneered by Nagui Chaker could not be missed. Unfortunately, the intellectual apostasy and gloomy mentality have resulted in the studying and depicting of the human being depending on vital bodies being prohibited within the Faculty of Fine Arts Campus. The human body is no longer approached as an anatomical aesthetical subject -as a method of study and learning- but as an ethical object. In an initiative that seems to be launched by Mahmoud Saïd Musuem in Alexandria staff, the museum’s pictures depicting naked bodies are reserved unlit in a semi-closed hall. Could it be reasonable that Dramatic citric, Safinaz Kazem’s writings forbid the existing of statues? What about the most wonderful Pharaonic statues of which our conscious is built, or those of the prophet’s birthday, or that of the horse and the bridegroom of which our social conscious is buit?


Before the 1952 Revolution, great intellects used to assume the Minister of Knowledge position; starting with Ali Moubarak, passing through Saad Zaghloul, pioneer of liberal Egypt, Loutfi Al-Sayyed the creator of both “Egypt is for the Egyptian” slogan and the most important approach relating to distinguishing between mind and explanation, Mohammed Hassanein Haykal, one of the most important liberal thinking pillars of Egypt, Abdel Razek the creator of the most perfect encyclopedia about civil law and ending with Taha Hussein. Each of them as Dr. Kamal Mougheith, the researcher in the Centre of Cultural, Psychological and Educational Services describes in a exclusive interview restricted to this study, is a great cultural institute of distinguished educational and cultural view built upon a special concept of life and the globe. It is a view that turns the educational process into a method of educating. They were followed by the revolution Minister Of knowledge, Major Kamal Eddin Hussein, who based his rejection of discussing a dissertation about existentialism on the fact of Jean-Paul Sartre having an affair with Simone de Beauvoir. Dr. Mougheith continues saying “we once had a cultural pan-Arab project that had been turned into an ideology in Nasser’s period and vanished at that of Al-Sadat. The national project was closely tied to the educational one; they were not to separate. Culture was prosperous and present in classes of schools. There was the painting class and that devoted for mud statue making. There were those of choral, singing and of music. Today, the religious address has penetrated so deeply that the reading class pieces become an extracts from Al-Quran and not from a novel. Reading classes aim at gaining familiarity with letters and drawing comparisons among different authors’ styles, hence, is it reasonable to compare the style in which Al-Quran was written to that of the literature, for example? And similarly, pieces chosen to explain the subject of friendship, or environment for example always carry titles such as friendship in Islam, and environment in Islam.

Chapter published: 07-04-2016