Minister of Culture Mohamed Saber Arab retracted his resignation on Tuesday, explaining that he did so in order to “preserve the unity and integrity of the ministry,” the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported.
Saber Arab said he would remain in his post until parliamentary elections are concluded or until there is a consensus on the ongoing national dialogue.
“I have accepted the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture during this historical period,” Saber Arab said, adding that the current situation “is one of the toughest periods experienced by Egypt during its modern history”.
Saber Arab said the enormous challenges he and his colleagues face, and the lack of financial resources available, forced him to consider returning to his previous employment as a professor of modern history.
“But the feelings expressed by my colleagues and friends emphasising the importance of this stage and the gravity of our situation necessitated my return to the post in order to preserve the institutions and the ministry,” Saber Arab explained.
Saber Arab announced he would resign in a press statement on 4 February, but gave no official reason for his decision. Media outlets speculated that his resignation came as a result of the televised beating of Hamada Saber.
The former undersecretary for the culture ministry, Hossam Nassar, claimed that Saber Arab cooperated with the Muslim Brotherhood in order to help them extend their influence within the ministry, but decided to leave after recognising the government was failing. The former minister had praised Saber Arab’s decision to leave on a show aired on the Sada El-balad TV channel, saying his resignation was a decision any patriotic person would have made during such a critical period.