Key Positions in Beblawi's Interim Government
Egypt’s interim cabinet was sworn in on Tuesday, July 16. There are three women in the interim cabinet of thirty-four ministries, one of whom is Christian. Two other ministers are Christian, while most notably, no Islamists were included in the lineup. While the Salafi Nour Party was offered a few posts, it announced that it will not be fielding candidates for Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi’s cabinet.
Described by many as ‘competent,’ the cabinet faces many of the same challenges that Hesham Qandil’s government had to deal with, including an uncooperative opposition, alongside a failing economy and political instability. A few of the key positions are highlighted below followed by remaining names and positions.
Deputy Prime Minister: Ziad Bahaa-Eldin
Ziad Bahaa-Eldin is an Egyptian Attorney-at-Law specialized in financial law, governance, and economic legislation. He is the former Chairman of the Investment Authority, and the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority. In 2011 he joined the Egyptian Social Democratic Party as a founding member, and won a seat in the 2012 parliamentary elections representing South Assiut in Upper Egypt. In 2012 he was elected Deputy-Leader of the Party. He is the Director of the Egyptian Initiative for the Prevention of Corruption, a civil society group advocating legal change to prevent corruption and increase transparency in the public domain.
Bahaa-Eldin received his BA in economics from the American University in Cairo in 1987 and a bachelors in law from Cairo University in 1986. He earned his doctorate in financial law from the London School of Economics in 1996, and his Master's Degree in international business law from King's College London.
Minister of Agriculture: Ayman Abu Hadid
Ayman Abu Hadid is a professor of agriculture at Ain Shams University. He has served twice before in this position, first under Ahmed Shafiq’s cabinet, and the second time under Essam Sharaf. Hadid also served as vice president of the Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINEA) and president of Egyptian Agricultural Research Center.
Hadid’s major focus will be on developing a plan for self-sufficiency regarding wheat as well as providing the immediate silos for storing the wheat. He has held meetings with neighboring Sudan to coordinate developing land space there where vital crops can be grown to counter food shortages.
Minister of Culture: Saber Arab
Prior to Morsi’s ouster, the culture ministry witnessed weeks of protesting after brother minister, Alaa Abdel Aziz sacked the Cairo Opera House director, Inas Abdel Dayem. Abdel Dayem was offered the position of minister of culture, but immediately before she was to be sworn in, it was announced that Saber Arab would take her place. Conflicting reports emerged as to why she was not given the post. Al-Watan reported she withdrew after receiving personal threats, however Abdel Dayem denied these allegations.
Saber Arab served a minister of culture twice in the past; briefly in May 2012 and again in June 2012. Saber’s appointment in May 2012 and many of his initial decisions led to two weeks of protests. He resigned in June, one month later, in order to receive a prize worth 200,000 EGP, a state prize for social sciences. However, Hesham Qandil, reappointed him as minister of culture in June 2012. Saber resigned in January 2013 in protest of police brutality against protesters.
Saber, in one of his first decisions as culture minister, has reinstated Inas Abdel Dayem as the director of the Cairo Opera House and returned several people to their posts after previous minister of culture, Abdel Aziz, removed them.
Arab was the head of the Egyptian National Library and Archives from 2006 until his appointment as culture minister in May 2012 and he is a history professor at Al-Azhar University.
Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Defense: Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
The head of the armed forces, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, took his oath as as interim first deputy prime minister as well as minister of defense. Sisi was appointed general commander of the armed forces on August 12, 2012 by former president Mohamed Morsi, jumping rank in the process.
On July 3, Sisi led in the ousting of Morsi, and facilitated the formation of the roadmap and interim government. As a result, one of the persisting demands by Morsi’s supporters, since his ouster, has been the removal of Sisi from his position, even prior to his appointment as deputy prime minister.
Sisi was born in Cairo on November 19, 1954 and graduated from the Egyptian Military Academy in 1977. Having no combat experience, Sisi, instead rose in ranks through his service in the mechanized infantry with a specialization in anti-tank and mortar warfare. He later served as commander of the Northern Military region in Alexandria in 2008 and later as the director of military intelligence and reconnaissance.
Minister of Finance: Ahmed Galal
Ahmed Galal was the managing director of the Economic Research Forum (ERF), a position he has held since 2007. ERF is a Cairo-based non-governmental research institution that focuses on promoting research aimed at sustainable development in the Middle East, Turkey, and Iran. Research published during Galal’s leadership was on economic inequality, natural resource management, and labor and human capital development.
From 2000 to 2006, he served as the executive director of research at the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES), also an independent think tank. Galal earned his doctorate of economics from Boston University. Prior to that he worked for eighteen years with the World Bank as a researcher, and an economic and policy advisor to several countries in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
During Mohamed Morsi’s presidency, ex-Prime Minister Hesham Qandil launched an economic development initiative in December 2012. Galal participated in this initiative which aimed at tackling the economic challenges through dialogue between societal and political factions in the country.
Minister of Foreign Affairs: Nabil Fahmy
Former ambassador to the United States, Nabil Fahmy, accepted the post of foreign minister, after Egypt's current Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr decided not to continue in his post. Fahmy served as the Egyptian ambassador to the US from 1999 to 2008. Prior to that, he served as ambassador to Japan from 1997 to 1999. From 1992-97 Fahmy was a political advisor to then foreign minister Amr Moussa. He is the founding dean of the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo, and is also the Chair of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies’ Middle East Project.
As a career diplomat, Fahmy has played an active role in numerous efforts to bring peace to the Middle East, as well as in international and regional disarmament affairs. He headed the Egyptian delegation to the Middle East Peace Process Steering Committee in 1993 and the Egyptian delegation to the Multilateral Working Group on Regional Security and Arms Control emanating from the Madrid Peace Conference from December 1991.
Fahmy was born in New York on 5 January 1951. He holds a bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics and a master's degree in management, both of which he received from the American University in Cairo in 1974 and 1976.
Fahmy froze his membership in the Dostour Party, the party founded by Mohamed ElBaradei, believing it the right action to take despite no legal obligation to do so.
Minister of Information: Doreya Sharaf al-Din
Film critic and an Egyptian writer, Doreya Sharaf al-Din is the first woman to become the minister of information. Since the January 2011 revolution, demands have been made to dissolve the ministry, viewed as a propaganda machine for the government.
Sharaf al-Din is a significant figure in the state-run Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU), and was the first public broadcaster in Egypt starting in 1960. A previous member in the dissolved National Democratic Party, Sharaf al-Din was a member of the policies committee and the women’s committee. Sharaf al-Din also served as first undersecretary of the information ministry, charing in the satellite channels division.
Sharaf al-Din was born in the city of Damietta and studied at the Academy of Arts. She is perhaps most well known for ‘Cinema Club’ which she hosted on state television on channel one. Her appointment has been met with some resistance, and she is among the candidates who were rejected by revolutionary forces, among them the April 6 Movement.
Minister of Transitional Justice and National Reconciliation: Mohamed Amin al-Mahdy
Taking up a newly created position, that replaces the minister of justice, Mohamed Amin al-Mahdy is an international legal expert and a judge, Mahdy, was one of the international judges who served at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia. Mahdy is an associate of the advisory committee of the Cairo Regional Center for International Commercial Arbitration (CRCICA) as well as a member of the National Human Rights Council.
After the January 2011 revolution, Mahdy was a member of the national fact-finding committee tasked with investigating violations that took place during the uprising and he heads a national committee tasked with retrieving Egyptian funds from overseas.
Mahdy earned his law degree in 1956 and began work first in the technical office of Gamal Abdel Nasser and went on to serve as a ministerial advisor, justice and finance.
Following the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, Mahdy was selected by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to become a member of the United Nations-backed tribunal to try the suspects. He chaired the Egyptian State Council and the High Administrative Court as well as serving as a constitutional advisor to the Kuwaiti emir.
Minister of Manpower: Kamal Abou Eita
Former MP and labour expert Kamal Abou Eita is president of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU), the first independent trade union in Egypt, founded in 2009. In 2007 he led the Tax Authority employee’s strike. Abou Eita, an active member in the 2011 revolution, pushed for further independence from the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), the government trade union.
His appointment as minister of manpower has not been welcomed by the ETUF. The group’s media coordinator, Ali Othman, said that the group’s opposition to Abou Eita is rooted in the fact that he is a member of the independent syndicates “which are not regulated by law and only represent 90,000 as opposed to the 5 million we [the ETUF] represent”. This, he says, will “break up the unity of workers in Egypt.”
After the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, Abu Eita was offered the post of minister of manpower by Yehia al-Gamal, deputy prime minister in Egypt’s interim government, but he declined the offer. Abu-Eita was also a member of parliament in the now dissolved 2011 parliament. In the 2011 elections, he together with other Karama candidates ran on the Muslim Brotherhood-led Freedom and Justice Party list.
Minister of Supply and Domestic Trade: Mohamed Abu Shadi
Police general Mohamed Abu Shadi formerly served as the director of the general department for investigation of supply and internal trade, responsible for investigating supply crimes. Abu Shadi has committed to ensuring that basic commodities like wheat are “within safe limits” as well launching a public discussion on the subject of bread subsidies. He will also handle fuel distribution, another major subsidy that has suffered shortages in the past few months.
During Hosni Mubarak’s presidency, Abu Shadi served as the head of the domestic trade sector in the ministry of trade and industry under then trade minister, Rashid Mohamed Rashid. He was also appointed by Dr. Gouda Abdel Khaleq, former minister of supply as his adviser for the domestic trade sector and was a member of the board of directors of the development of internal trade. Abu Shadi holds a doctorate in economics.
Vice President of International Relations: Mohamed ElBaradei
Former director of the United Nation's nuclear agency Mohamed ElBaradei was sworn in as vice president of international relations on Sunday before Egyptian interim President Adly Mansour at presidency headquarters in Cairo. A well known political figure in Egypt, ElBaradei has been a leading figure in the National Salvation Front (NSF) that was formed late 2012 after ex-President Mohamed Morsi took sweeping powers with his November 2012 Constitutional Declaration. Originally tapped as Prime Minister, the Salafi Nour party rejected his candidacy, fearing it would increase polarization between Morsi’s supporters and opponents.
Mohamed ElBaradei was formerly the head of the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog and in 2005 was awarded the Nobel peace prize for attempting to prevent the spread of atomic weapons. He holds a doctorate in international law from New York University, School of Law.
Minister of Civil Aviation: Abdul Aziz Fadel
Minister of Communication: Atef Helmy
Minister of Education: Mahmoud Abul Nasr
Minister of Electricity: Ahmed Imam
Minister of Environment: Laila Rashid
Minister of Health: Maha Sayed Zein al-Abedin
Minister of Higher Education: Hossam Essa
Minister of Housing: Ibrahim Mahlab
Minister of Insurance and Social Affairs: Ahmed Borai
Minister of Interior: Mohammed Ibrahim
Minister of Investment: Osama Saleh
Minister of Irrigation: Mohamed Abdul Mutalib
Minister of Local Development: Adel Labib
Minister of Military Production: Reda Mahmoud Hafez
Minister of Minister of Oil: Sherif Ismail
Minister of Planning and International Cooperation: Ashraf al-Sayed al-Arabi
Minister of Production and International Commerce: Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour
Minister of Religious Affairs: Mokhtar Gomaa
Minister of Scientific Research: Ramzi George
Minister of Social Solidarity: Ahmed al-Borai
Minister of Sports: Taher Abu Zaid
Minister of Tourism: Hisham Zaazou
Minister of Transportation: Ahmed Sultan
Minister of Youth: Khaled Abdel Aziz
Women’s Affairs Advisor: Sekina Fouad
Sekina Fouad, the sixty-eight-year-old author and journalist is the deputy head of Egypt's liberal Democratic Front Party. Fouad was among the liberal figures who supported deposed president Mohamed Morsi last June, during presidential elections against Mubarak's last Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. She was then appointed as an advisor to Morsi, but resigned in protest of his policies.
Fouad was born in Port Said in 1945 and earned her bachelor of arts from Cairo university. She began her career in journalism and in 1983 held the position of chief editor of the Radio and Television, where she remained for ten years. She worked for state daily Al-Ahram and was formerly a member of the Shura Council, the Supreme Council for the Press, and the National Committee for Women in Egypt. She is currently a member of the Union of Writers and PEN, an international community of writers promoting freedom of expression.
Media Affairs Advisor: Ahmed al-Muslimani
Ahmed al-Muslimani, a writer and journalist in Egyptian media, was born in 1970 in Gharbiya. He completed his degree in political science and economics in Cairo University in 1992.
Throughout his career, Muslimani, grew in position as he continued to receive awards for excellence in his writing and academic standards. He worked as a research assistant at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies after being nominated by Dr. Hassan Nafaa, a professor of international regulation and Dr. Ahmed Yousef Ahmed, professor of international relations.
Muslimani authored hundreds of articles in state daily Al-Ahram and in other Arabic newspapers including Hayat. He had extensive media coverage as he held political conversations on Arabic channels including Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and Dream TV. Broadcast in 2008 on Dream TV, an analysis he wrote, called “First Edition,” was estimated to be viewed by more than thirty million viewers.
He has considerable popularity among the youth and was once described as the “Voltaire of the Egyptian Revolution” by a professor at Al Azhar University. In 2005, he opened up a ‘culture salon’ in his home, hosting sometimes up to 100 guests, including high profile figures, including Ahmed Zuweil and many other academics and writers.
Security Advisor: Mohamed Raafat Shehata
Head of Intelligence: Mohamed Farid al-Tohami
Photo: Egypt Presidency