Farouk Hosni’ Egypt’s secret agent or Minister of Culture?
Jurist and former Minister Dr. Yahya al-Gamal was the first to refer that Egypt’s Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni engaged in security and intelligence activities during his work in Paris as reported in his diaries titled “Ordinary Life Story. It was exploited by the United States and Israel in order to prevent Farouk Hosni from assuming the post of Director-General of UNESCO. “The Seventh Day Newspaper” has interviewed Dr. Yehia Al-Gamal on his testimony and ties with Farouk Hosni as fellow:-
Al-Adad: Why did you choose to use initials in referring to Farouk Hosni in your « Ordinary Life Story»? Why not include his full name?
Dr. Yahya al-Jamal: “It was my own diary, and there was no desire to hurt anyone. I wrote exactly what happened nothing else. I used initials in referring to Farouk Hosni because there was no reason to write the full name at that time because Farouk Hosni was not known as he is now.
Al-Adad: What is the extent of cooperation between Egypt’s intelligence and Farouk Hosni?
Al-Jamal: I do not know, Ask Farouk Hosni.
Al-Adad: Israel and the United States exploited Hosni’s cooperation and his espionage activities for the Egyptian intelligence in a period of his life to make him look weaker causing him to lose the post of UNESCO Director-General. What is your comment?
Al-Jamal: If I realized that the publishing of my diary would badly exploit him I would have discontinued. The presence of an Egyptian-Arab at the head of UNESCO is very valuable. However, UNESCO officials adopted racist and radical attitudes rather than true assessment.
Egyptian intellectuals resorted to what I related on Hosni’s cooperation with the Egyptian intelligence as evidence against him. Accordingly, intellectuals wondered, how an Egyptian Ministry of Culture could participate in repressive security practices against Egyptian students in Paris.
Farouk Hosni began his duties under the command of Maj. Gen. Ahmed Kamel, Governor of Alexandria and head of intelligence in the early seventies of the last century. Ahmed Kamal was a great man as he adopted Farouk Hosni at that time. He nominated Hosni in Al-anfooshy Cultural Palace. I believe that cooperation and work with the National Security Service is not a shame as long as there are no personal interests to be gained from the post.
Al-Adad: Are officials appropriate for the post of minister in the Egyptian government?
Al-Jamal: The Egyptian ruling regime chooses individuals according to their work. Since Mansour owned a transport company, he assumed the Ministry of Transport. Minister of Transportation and Professor of civil engineering Dr. Essam Sharaf, in return, was eliminated in favor of Mansour. Thereafter, we ask ourselves Why Farouk Hosni is not qualified for the job?
Al-Adad: Tell us about your work with Farouk Hosni in France?
Al-Jamal: I was appointed as a cultural attaché in Paris in 1971 on the nomination of Higher Education Minister Dr. Morsi Ahmad. Farouk Hosni, at that time, was cultural attaché. My first acquaintance with Hosni found him to be a very polite and enthusiastic young man. It was not long until he asked me to meet with him where he told me about his relationship with Egypt’s security apparatus. I asked him to take into account that we are in France particularly that Egypt’s circumstances were not well prior the 1973 October War. Farouk Hosny was involved and participated “in repressive security practices against Egyptian delinquent students who were doing harm to Egypt.
Al-Jamal: «F» realized that he did not achieve the objective he wanted as a very important person and this made me become wary of him.
Al-Adad: The sentence was quoted from your diary “Ordinary Life Story” in which you commented on your interview with Hosni and his confession that he worked with security services?
Al-Jamal: I do not remember writing these words.
Al-Adad: It is written in your notes?
Al-Jamal: I wrote it 30 years ago. I meant only what I typed.
Al-Adad: Have you ever felt that this was the purpose of the interview?
Al-Jamal: Hosni was a young eager man and intent that he become a body corporate, certainly, he did not understand my way of thinking. These acts were not important for me. My relationship with Farouk Hosni is very good and he is like a younger brother. In fact when, Egyptian intellectuals including Saad Eddin Wahba, Abdel Rahman Sharkawi and Tharwat Abaza challenged Farouk Hosni’s nomination for the post of Egypt’s Minister of Culture, since they considered him an extraneous because of his surreal drawings, I offered to arrange for a dinner in my house to bring them closer. I have had no animosity towards Hosni.
Al-Adad: Was his work as cultural attaché in Paris coverage for his security activities?
Al-Gamal: No, Hosni served as a cultural attaché and took charge of the Egyptian club in Paris. He held several good activities within the club during his stay he was an active and ambitious young man.
Al-Addad: Mohamed Abdel Wahed, former media advisor to the Minister of Culture Farouk Hosni, pointed out that Hosni told him that if he did not take over the Ministry of Culture as he wanted, he would serve as Minister of the Interior.
Al-Gamal: I did not hear him say these things.
Al-Adad: Did you perceive that he was qualified for the post of Minister of the Interior?
Al- Gamal: He was not fit for the post of Minister of Culture or even Minister of Interior. He is an actor at the Academy of Fine Arts, and certainly not suitable for the position of Egypt’s Minister of Culture. Despite Hosni’s great activities and his tireless efforts on behalf of cultural activities, he lacks the required appropriate Arabic to assume the role. Is it possible for the minister of culture of Egypt not to be fluent in Arabic?
The Egyptian ruling regime does not show respect for rules and where there is no logic, there are no expectations. Hosni performed well in “surrealism”, however, is it logic and reason enough that Salah Fadl, Farouq Shousha or Farouq Juweidah be Minister of culture? Egypt boasts many intellectuals and its “one of a kind” leaders like Gamal Mubarak and many more like Farouk Hosni who paint meaningless scribbles. However, it must be noted that Hosni excelled in office as he developed Fatimid Cairo and El-Moez Street as an act of great and wonderful work.
Al-Adad: Were there other meetings held between both of you after he talked about his collaboration with the security apparatus?
A-Jamal: No, he understood the message. The relationship lasted on a companions and friends level.
Al-Adad: As a veteran jurist and former Minister, is Farouq Hosni’s assuming the post of Culture Minister a response or gift because of his great activities as informer to the intelligence and his circulation in the cultural circles.
Al-Jamal: Hosni provided great services to Mubarak’s wife Suzanne when she intended to traveled to Paris. He has established a good relationship with the royal palace. I mean the Republican Palace. It is likely he worked with the security and held this position if he had actually worked with security. He may have influenced me in order to give him attention. Allah knows best.
Al-Adad: What do you know of the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985 in which Farouk Hosni masterminded the transfer of the Palestinian ship-takers to Egypt when he was a cultural attache in Rome?
Al-Jamal: I do not know anything about this subject.
Al-Adad: Is it strange and bizarre that Hosni continued in office for a period of about 22 years without any questioning of his collaborating with security?
Al-Jamal: I wonder why Egypt’s President has been in office for more than 27 years. Taha Hussein, has been quoted saying, “matters occurring in Egypt, are incidents in which no people of the earth had ever heard”, the Global system based on monarchies and republics but the Arab ruling regimes created Monarchy or Republican System.
Al-Adad: Did Hosni’s cooperation with security against the Israeli Mossad cause him to loss the post of UNESCO?
Al-Gamal: It is likely that Hosni’s loss at UNESCO quietly pleased Israel because they had planned initially for his failure on racial grounds. Then, they took advantage of all these other reasons for aborting his vote. Racism, was by Israel and Europe since Hosni was in fact prepared with no objection to go to the Wailing Wall and stand there reading with the Jews.
For your information …
? 30 years have passed since the notes were written by Al-Gamal.
? 22 years have passed since Farouk Hosni assumed a prestigious post in the Ministry of Culture.