Who’s Afraid of Farouk Hosni?

Farouk Hosni—famous for being the head of a ministry that lost a precious Van Gogh and also for losing his bid to become UNESCO’s director—is now the target of a petition calling for his dismissal.

Hosni has dismissed the petition, largely signed by writers, because—according to Al Masry Al Youm—Hosni said the signatories were “not intellectuals or members of the Egyptian Writers Union.”

The petition apparently accuses Hosni of “wasting public money and undermining national interests.” (This is not Hosni’s first experience with public criticism from writers; Reporters Without Borders called him a “censorship advocate.”)

Before accusing the petition’s signatories of not being intellectuals, Hosni apparently sent a list containing the signatories’ names to the Writers Union in an effort to find out whether or not they were members.

From Al Masry Al Youm:

According to the list–of which Al-Masry Al-Youm has obtained a copy–only five are members of the Writers Union, with the rest being described as poets, activists and journalists, or having question marks next to their names.

Surely an unwashed, anti-intellectual lot!