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Palestinian Culture Minister-Designate to Ikhwanweb
Palestinian Culture Minister-Designate to Ikhwanweb
Ikhwanweb met with Prof.Ata’ullah Abu-Assabh, the Palestinian Culture Minister-Designate, on the margin of “Supporting the Resistance in Palestine and Iraq Conference”, which was held in Cairo from 23 to 26 March 2006 and had the following interview... Palestinian Culture Minister-Designate to Ikhwanweb: We Shall Seek to Unleash the Freedom of Creativity and Expression
Wednesday, March 29,2006 00:00
by Ikhwanweb IkhwanWeb

Ikhwanweb met with Prof.Ata’ullah Abu-Assabh, the Palestinian Culture Minister-Designate, on the margin of “Supporting the Resistance in Palestine and Iraq Conference”, which was held in Cairo from 23 to 26 March 2006 and had the following interview...

Palestinian Culture Minister-Designate to Ikhwanweb: We Shall Seek to Unleash the Freedom of Creativity and Expression

When you meet him, you would discover that steadfastness marks his features. We asked him first about his comment on the decision by the Executive Committee of the PLO rejecting the Hamas government program. He replied, “this decision does not represent a constitutional crisis because it is the Legislative Council that is empowered, under the Palestinian Constitution, to approve the government program. The PLO does not represent all Palestinian factions and needs to be rebuilt so as to include all those factions. It is unacceptable that Hamas, which obtained 60 percent of the votes of the Palestinian people in the latest legislative elections, is not represented in the PLO. The latter must be rebuilt so as to encompass all national forces and factions, as per the agreement that was reached in Cairo.”

As to relations between the Hamas government and the Fath movement, Ata’ullah said, “Since its inception, the Hamas movement has been trying to unify the ranks of the Palestinian people. When it was charged with forming the government, it has seriously sought to form a coalition government. We have changed certain points in our program so as to get closer to the attitude of various Palestinian factions. Nevertheless, the Hamas government is a government for the entire Palestinian people and it will seek to bring together all Palestinian factions and forces, including Fath.”

With regard to accusations to Hamas that it includes technocrats and not politicians, he said, “The Palestinian people in it entirety is a ‘political’ people. As a people under occupation, its whole life is connected to politics and all Palestinians have practiced politics.”

Concerning his plans for the Ministry of Culture, Ata’ullah said, “in Hamas, we have much hope and we want every citizen to have a book and every neighborhood and village to have a library. We will seek to spread out Islamic culture with its in-built tolerance, to move away form violence and to confront the westernization culture that is sweeping the Palestinian society.”

Responding to a question about accusations to Hamas that it will restrict the freedom of expression, the minister-designate said, “these are false and baseless accusations. We do support the freedom of expression and there will be no barriers to Palestinian intellectual creativity, so long as it is keeping with the general Palestinian mindset. Of course, we are not going to permit the sexual culture to spread. This represents not only our own attitude but also that of everyone. We emphasize that we have suffered a lot from restrictions and therefore in our government we are not going to allow it. On the contrary, we are going to help artists and thinkers to spread their ideas and production with a view to raising the awareness of the Palestinian peole.”

Finally, the Palestinian culture minister-designate reiterated to Ikhwanweb that “Hamas will not recognize Israel and I, as minister of culture, will not deal with it.”

Biography of Professor Ata’ullah Abu-Assabh

He was born in al-Sawafeer al-Sharqi, in 1948. He had to leave with his family when he was an infant and settled down in Rafah Refugee Camp.
?  Up to 1984, he worked as a teacher at the schools of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
? He worked as assistant at the Islamic University in Gaza and obtained a Master’s degree in ‘law-making jurisprudence’ (Islamic-legal policy) from the National Najah University.
? He obtained his Ph.D. with distinction from the University of Um Durman, in Sudan.
? He works as a preacher and a caller to Islam at Gaza mosques. He worked as dean of students at the Islamic University from 1997 to 2001.
? He was detained at occupation prisons five times, totaling 3 years in detention. He is courageous in his writings and writes for the al-Risala (Message) and al-Sa’aada (Happiness) newspapers. He is also a poet with five poetry books under publication. He takes interest in society issues and conflict resolution on an Islamic basis.

tags: Resistance / Hamas government / Fath / Palestinian factions / technocrats / Islamic culture
Posted in IkhwanWeb in Press , Interviews  
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