Saturday,22 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1157, (18 - 24 July 2013)
Saturday,22 September, 2018
Issue 1157, (18 - 24 July 2013)

Ahram Weekly

Meet the cabinet

The interim prime minister is expected to finalise the interim cabinet during the next few days. Reem Leila profiles the newly appointed ministers

Al-Ahram Weekly

Since the army ousted former president Mohamed Morsi in response to the people’s demands, the newly appointed interim Prime Minister Hazem Al-Beblawi has been working on forming members of his cabinet. The new cabinet will comprise 34 ministers. Al-Beblawi was sworn in as Egypt’s interim prime minister on 9 July by Interim President Adli Mansour who took office on 4 July. As the new interim government takes shape, a picture is emerging of a team focussed on assuring the international community about Egypt’s future, as well as improving the economic situation to end the massive protests which helped destabilise the country’s previous government.

For the first time in history, four key ministerial portfolios are set to go to women in the interim government. Also, three of the newly appointed ministers are Copts.

This government is the sixth since the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Members of the new cabinet are mainly liberals and technocrats. The interim government also includes four members who served as ministers during the regime of former president Morsi.

Morsi’s former government had only two women as ministers — of scientific research and social solidarity — as well as only one Copt as tourism minister. Women and Copts were rarely given more than two portfolios each in the governments of Mubarak. “This is a very important step and marks a turning point in the history of Egyptian women,” said veteran female journalist and pro-women activist Amina Shafik. “Women are no longer a mere decorative symbol for the political regime.”

Al-Beblawi’s new government aims at restoring security, ensuring the flow of goods and services, and preparing parliamentary and presidential elections.

The mission of forming a cabinet to be the country’s interim government as per the political roadmap outlined by the Armed Forces is not easy. Many political experts believe that the interim cabinet should not include members who are affiliated to any political party. The new government should be one of technocrats in order to help the country in this transitional period.

Political analyst Hassan Nafaa who is a professor of political science at Cairo University said the majority of ministers of the new interim government meet the criteria required set for pushing the country forward during the sixth-month transitional period. “People are expecting a lot from the new government, despite the fact that it is an interim cabinet. I believe the majority of citizens are on the side of the new government,” said Nafaa.

According to Nafaa, “Al-Beblawi is an excellent choice. The country now is in dire need of a prime minister who had previous experience in government and specialised in economic affairs. Accordingly, he will be able to select the right people to be members of his cabinet.”


Members of the new government are as follows:


Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi

Al-Sisi will continue in his post as minister of defence. He succeeded Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and was appointed defence minister by Morsi in August 2012. Al-Sisi graduated in military science from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1977. As an infantry officer, he continued his studies at a British military school in 1992 and an American military school in 2006. It is not an unusual path for Egyptian officers, as Egyptian and American armies maintain tight relations.


Mohamed Ibrahim

Ibrahim continues in his post as minister of interior. Ibrahim was interior minister under Morsi. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt in January 1947. He graduated with a diploma in police science from the Egyptian Police College in 1968. In 2001, Ibrahim became assistant minister of interior for Central Upper Egypt. One year later he was appointed assistant minister of interior for the Prisons Department. The next year he was appointed assistant minister of interior, the director-general of the Giza Police Directorate. In 2006, Ibrahim was promoted to first assistant minister of interior for the economic security sector from which he retired in 2007. During his tenure in Upper Egypt from 1989 to 1999, there were several terrorist attacks by Islamic fundamentalists. In December 2005, an incident known as the “Mustafa Mahmoud massacre” happened in Cairo under his command, earning him serious criticism for the violence used against Sudanese refugees.


Nabil Fahmi

Fahmi was given the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, succeeding Mohamed Kamel Amr. Fahmi served for nine years as the Egyptian ambassador to the United States. Prior to his posting in Washington he served as Egypt’s ambassador to Japan from September 1997 to September 1999, and before that as the political adviser to Egypt’s foreign minister from 1992-97. Fahmi is the founding dean of the School of Public Affairs at the American University in Cairo. He is also the chair of the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies Middle East Project. Fahmi is the son of ambassador Ismail Fahmi who served as foreign minister during the time of Anwar Al-Sadat.


Dorreya Sharafeddin

Sharafeddin takes the information portfolio. Sharafeddin is to succeed Salah Abdel-Maksoud, a senior official in the Muslim Brotherhood to which Morsi belongs. Abdel-Maksoud was sharply criticised by the secular opposition allegedly for seeking to tighten the Islamists’ grip on Egypt’s media. Sharafeddin who is a member of the National Council for Women is a veteran TV anchor and head of the Nile satellite channels.


Mohamed Al-Mahdi

Judge Al-Mahdi takes over as minister of justice. Al-Mahdi, who was born in November 1936, is chief justice of the Egyptian Council of State and an international judge who served at the International Criminal Tribunal.


Ahmed Galal

Economist and World Bank veteran Galal becomes finance minister. He holds a doctorate in economics from Boston University and had been the managing director of the Economic Research Forum, a Cairo-based non-governmental research institution covering the Middle East, since 2007. Galal was a researcher with the World Bank for 18 years where he served as industrial economist for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, economic adviser at the private sector development department and as adviser on the Middle East and North Africa from 2006 to 2007. Galal was also the executive director of research of the Egyptian Centre for Economic Studies, another independent think tank, between 2000 and 2006. The new finance minister is a US-educated economist who will need all his experience to help pull the country out of an acute financial crisis aggravated by renewed political turmoil. Galal is Egypt’s sixth finance minister in less than three years. He will struggle to convince his angry compatriots to accept economic austerity after 30 months of political chaos that has pushed many of them into poverty.


Atef Helmi

Helmi is minister of communications and information technology. He had been in the same post since January 2013 under former prime minister Hisham Kandil. He has a long history working in information and communication technology, spending a number of years as the CEO of Oracle Egypt. From 2008 to 2013, Helmi was a member of the board of directors of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency. He was also a member of Egypt’s Post Board of Directors from December 2011 to January 2013; a chairman of the board of directors at the CIT chamber from September 2009 to May 2010; a member of the consultant council of the minister of CIT for incubators and innovation from September 2008 to September 2009 and a member of the board of directors of the Egyptian Council for IT Exports from 2005 to 2006. He was also a board member in a number of CIT organisations. Helmi was awarded his Master’s degree in 1981; a diploma in computer science from Ain Shams University in 1979, and a BSc in electrical engineering — distinction with honour — from the Military Technical College in 1973.


Adel Labib

Labib has become the country’s minister of local development during the transitional phase. Major General Labib served as Alexandria governor in 2006 during the Mubarak era. Labib succeeded Alexandria’s popular governor Abdel-Salam Al-Mahgoub. Labib was later appointed as Qena governor in August 2011. He resigned with the revolution. Labib was reportedly popular in Qena.


Mohamed Abu Shadi

Abu Shadi has accepted the post of minister of supply. Major General Abu Shadi is originally a police officer. He is an independent who is not affiliated to any political party. Abu Shadi was formerly the senior Interior Ministry official responsible for investigating crimes involving supply. He told reporters there were no crises in Egypt’s strategic supplies but did not elaborate.


Laila Rashed

Rashed, who is a Copt, becomes the minister of environment. Rashed was former consultant to the former minister of environment on solid waste management issues. She received the Goldman Environmental Prize for Africa in 1994. She graduated from Cairo University. She holds a doctorate from Teachers’ College, Columbia University, New York. Rashed is a community development practitioner, consultant and trainer. She has designed and implemented numerous development and education projects which have involved a large network of stakeholders on the national and international levels. She is currently serving one term as UNESCO’s United Nations Literacy Decade and Education for Sustainable Development Regional Resource person from the Arab Region. She is a board member in the International Institute of Environment and Development.


Maha Al-Rabbat

Al-Rabbat is in charge of the Ministry of Health and Population. She is a professor of medicine at Qasr Al-Aini Hospital and head of the preventive medicine department at the Faculty of Medicine. She has never been involved in public life.


Ibrahim Mahlab

Former CEO of the Arab Contractors Company, Mahlab is housing minister after being tapped by Al-Beblawi. Mahlab said Al-Beblawi had asked him to take over the Utilities Ministry after it was integrated with the Housing in the current government. Mahlab joined the Arab Contractors in 1972. He served as manager of the Bridge Department starting in December 1994. He handled different construction projects such as bridges, tunnels, sports stadiums, monument restoration and power plants. Mahlab serves as the chairman of the Arab Contractors Investments Company, the Arab Contractors Employees Insurance Fund and the Arab Contractors Sporting Club. He holds a BSc in civil engineering from Cairo University in 1972.


Ashraf Al-Arabi

Al-Arabi is to be minister of planning. Al-Arabi was planning minister under former prime minister Kandil’s cabinet before being removed in a ministerial reshuffle in May. Al-Arabi received his PhD in planning from Kansas State University in the United States. Since 2006 until the end of 2011 he headed the technical advisory office of the former planning minister Fayza Abul-Naga. After a brief interlude, during which he worked at the Arab Planning Institute in Kuwait, Al-Arabi was called back to head the ministry. Filling the shoes of Abul-Naga, regarded as one of the most powerful figures in Egypt’s cabinets from 2002 until this year, might not be an easy task for Al-Arabi. The former minister was the driving force behind the prosecution of the staff of American-funded NGOs in Egypt, which she accused of undermining the country.


Osama Saleh

Former investment minister Saleh has agreed to fill the same post in Egypt’s new interim government, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported on Tuesday.

Saleh was appointed by former president Morsi. He continued in his post until May 2013, then was replaced by Yehia Hamed. Saleh was born in 1960 and graduated from Cairo University Faculty of Commerce. He served as chairman of Egypt’s General Authority for Free Zones and Investment.


Ayman Abu Hadid

Abu Hadid is minister of agriculture and land reclamation. Abu Hadid served as agriculture minister in the cabinets of former prime ministers Ahmed Shafik and Essam Sharaf in 2011. Abu Hadid graduated from Ain Shams University in 1973. He is a professor of agriculture at the same university. He received his Master’s in the water needs of the taro, whereas his PhD was on the effect of non-equilibrium evolution of water on the growth of tomato plants.




Abdel-Mottaleb has accepted the irrigation and water resources portfolio. Abdel-Mottaleb is head of the Water Research Centre. He told the press that the issue of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will be on top of his agenda.


Ahmed Imam

Imam will serve as minister of electricity and energy. He was appointed in December 2012 as assistant to ex-minister of electricity Mahmoud Balbaa. As head of the Cairo Electricity Production Company, he will be tasked with tackling a serious power shortage which the country has suffered from during the past few months.


Kamal Abu Eita

Abu Eita is minister of manpower and immigration. Abu Eita was the secretary-general of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU) and the head of the Real Estate Tax Authority Union, which was founded in 2008 as Egypt’s first independent union. Workers at the protest rejected the nomination, demanding that the minister be a member of a trade union so that he be aware of the problems of Egypt’s 25 million workers, including five million members of trade unions. Workers have called on Al-Beblawi to reconsider the nomination and coordinate with the EFITU to select the minister.


Hisham Zazou

Zazou, now tourism minister, was serving as senior assistant to former tourism minister Mounir Fakhri Abdel-Nour. Zazou does not belong to an Islamist party. His appointment eases the fears of workers in Egypt’s tourism sector, which many had feared might be seriously impacted by Islamist rule. Born in 1954, Zazou graduated in 1980 from Ain Shams University’s Commerce Faculty. Zazou began his career by working for the City Bank Group for five years in Cairo. Afterwards, he entered the tourism field after helping to establish a tourist agency in the US targeting the Egyptian market. From 2004 to 2007, Zazou headed up the Egyptian Tourism Federation. He is the first Egyptian to serve as a deputy in the World Tourism Organisation’s business council.


Taher Abu Zeid

Abu Zeid becomes minister of sports. Abu Zeid is a veteran football player of the Ahli football team and the Egyptian national team. He was born in April 1962. Abu Zeid made several appearances for the Egypt national football team, including participating in the 1984 African Cup, where he was top scorer with four goals, and in 1986 in the same tournament where he scored three valuable goals. In 1988, he was excluded from the Egyptian national team squad competing in the African Cup of Nations. He also played in the 1990 FIFA World Cup finals. Abu Zeid also played for Egypt at the 1984 Summer Olympics. He was on the Ahli board of directors.


Mohamed Ibrahim

Ibrahim will continue in his post as minister of antiquities. Ibrahim graduated in archaeology from Cairo University, serving for eight years in the Supreme Council of Antiquities, where he was an antiquities inspector for the Abu Simbel temples, chief inspector of Edfu, Kom Ombo and Aswan monuments in Upper Egypt, and general director of the Saqqara district south of Cairo. In 1987 Ibrahim abandoned archaeological fieldwork and moved to France, where he earned a diploma and doctorate in Egyptology from Lyons University. He also received a certificate in museum management from the American Information Centre in the United States. In addition to his academic work at Alexandria and Ain Shams universities, Ibrahim supervised the museological work and interior design of the planned Grand Egyptian Museum overlooking the Giza Plateau. Archeologists allege Ibrahim is corrupt and will protest in front of the main gate of the ministry to prevent him from entering his office.


Mohamed Saber Arab

Arab is now the minister of culture, the seventh minister of culture in less than three years. Arab is a professor of modern Arab history at Al-Azhar University, headed the National Archives (Dar Al-Wathaaiq Al-Qawmiya) from 1999 to 2005, and was chairman of the National Authority for Books and National Archives from 2005 to 2009. Before retiring in 2011, he headed the General Egyptian Book Organisation. After retirement he became the cultural committee reporter at the National Council of Women. Arab is best known for his book Intellectuals and Politicians in Modern Egypt: A Study of Mahmoud Abbas Al-Akkad’s Political Views and other research. Intellectuals angered with Arab’s appointment announced a sit-in at the premises of the Ministry of Culture in Zamalek, deciding to prevent him from entering his office, as what happened with his predecessor Alaa Abdel-Aziz.


Reda Hafez

Hafez will continue as minister of state for military production. Hafez served under Kandil and was appointed by Morsi in August 2012.

Ahmed Sultan

Ahmed Sultan is minister of transport. He was a consultant to the former minister of transport.


Ramzi George

Born in 1963, George, the new minister of scientific research, graduated from Cairo University, Faculty of Agriculture in 1984. He spent the last 20 years teaching in the same university. He is a member of several Egyptian and international environmental groups. George believes that a “renaissance” will be achieved in Egypt if the government with the help of civil society can make use of scientific research in industrial production.


Ahmed Al-Boraai

Al-Boraai is minister of social solidarity after he had held the manpower portfolio. He was a member of the National Salvation Front and served as minister of manpower when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces was in charge.


Mokhtar Gomaa

Gomaa is to become Egypt’s minister of religious endowment (Awqaf). Gomaa is a member of many unions specialised in literature. He is a member of Egypt’s Writers Union, Islamic Literature Federation and International Union of Azhar Graduates. He is interested in human development and delivered many lectures on the subject at several universities. He participated in the Conference on Islam in Africa which was convened in Sudan, and was granted the King Faisal World Prize for his role in serving Islam.


Mounir Fakhri


Abdel-Nour gets the portfolio of industry and trade. He was former minister of tourism and secretary-general of the National Salvation Front. Abdel-Nour who was born 21 August 1945 is a businessman and politician. He was born into a Coptic Christian family. His father, Amin Fakhri Abdel-Nour (1912-2012), was a Wafdist politician. He graduated from a French high school in Cairo and received a Bachelor’s degree from Cairo University’s Faculty of Economics and Political Science. Abdel-Nour holds a Master’s degree from the American University in Cairo with a thesis entitled “Private investment as a source of economic development”. Abdel-Nour succeeds Zoheir Garrana who was minister of tourism during the era of Mubarak. Abdel-Nour’s tenure lasted until August 2012.


Hossam Eissa

Eissa will head the Ministry of Higher Education. Eissa is a legal expert and a former prominent member of the Dostour Party.


Khaled Abdel-Aziz

Abdel-Aziz will be minister of youth. Abdel-Aziz was former head of the National Council for Youth.



Abdel-Aziz Fadel

Fadel takes charge of civil aviation. Fadel was chairman of EgyptAir maintenance and engineering. He holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the Military Technical College. He joined the Egyptian Air Force in 1972 as an aircraft maintenance engineer followed by several top executive maintenance, engineering and logistics positions till he became vice president of safety and quality in 2001. His service in the Egyptian Air Force was eventually merited after he became major general. He joined EgyptAir in 2003 and was made deputy chairman of the airliner. In 2004, he was designated as the Safety and Quality vice-president for EgyptAir Corporate, responsible for organising all activities for implementation of IOSA requirements and for obtaining the first IOSA registration.


Ziad Bahaaeddin

Bahaaeddin who is vice to Al-Beblawi will be in charge of the International Cooperation Ministry. He is a university professor and an economist and was president of the Financial Supervisory Authority.



Mahmoud Abul-Nasr

Abul-Nasr is in charge of the Ministry of Education. He was head of the Technical Education Sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Education.



Sherif Ismail

Ismail is the new minister of petroleum. He had headed Ganoub Al-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company which manages exploration and pro

duction concessions, establishes joint ventures with private companies and constructs oil infrastructure.

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