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EGYPT: Anwar Sadat's daughter sues information minister over Hollywood movie

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Rokaya Sadat, elder daughter of the late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, claims the memory of her father has been sullied by a Hollywood film that has named a dog after him. Sadat has filed a lawsuit against Minister of Information Anas Fekki for allowing the release of the "I Love you, Man" in Egyptian cinemas.

The movie, which stars Paul Rudd and was released in the U.S. in late March, has been showing in Egypt for three weeks. Sadat has demanded the immediate halting of its screening and the confiscation of all copies until a judgment is reached regarding her suit.

One of the film's main characters calls his dog Anwar El Sadat. In one scene, when asked if he chose the name because of Sadat's political views, the character responds by saying that the dog merely looks like the former president, who was assassinated by Islamic radicals in 1981. The movie's credits also contains Sadat's name as himself/the dog.

Despite omitting the scene from the version currently playing in Egyptian cinemas, many pundits believe that it should have never been shown in this country.

"Any artist is allowed to criticize public figures and men in power like current and ex-presidents, but it is totally unacceptable to insult someone like El Sadat in a film," prominent film historian and critique Tarek Shenawi told Al-Hayat TV. "It is really strange to find El Sadat, who is well-known and respected in the West for his peace achievements, get mocked like this."

In her case, Rokaya Sadat said that the film has crossed all the constitutional lines for freedom of speech, adding that such production presents an insult to her father as well as the whole country.

A spokesman for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry similarly condemned the movie, asking its producers (John Hamburg and Donald De Line) to issue an official apology for naming a pet character after the Noble Peace Prize winner. The spokesman said that either the film's writer was a boor or simply wanted to insult Sadat.

Sadat's daughter is well-known for fiercely opposing any attempt to defame her late father. Last year she sent an official protest to the Iranian embassy in Egypt after the release of an Iranian documentary that described her father's killer, Khaled Islambouli, as a martyr.

She recently was awarded 150,000 Egyptian pounds, paid by Gamal Abdel Nasser's daughter Hoda, who said last year that Anwar Sadat plotted the killing of her father. Sadat succeeded Nasser as president.

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo

Photo: Late Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat. Credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (7)

\anwer el sadat is an animal .he is donkey.criminal

In the West, there is nothing sacred. Television and movies mock Jesus, the president, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Michael Jackson. No one gets offended, or if they do they choose not to watch rather than to charge for the removal of the movie.

This is the way the West is; it allows all views, no matter how childish, to be expressed. You are free to be offended, but if you do you will be misinterpreting and no one will care.

Really, what is the harm?

Annas el-Feqi is Minister of "Information" not Interior, The article is correct.

Who is Anas Fekki? Egypt's Interior Minister is Habib al-Adli.

im angry because anwar sadat is our president and this is humiltion i wander what if we called that dog john kindey or martin luther king it would be funny right and things like that Increase Hatred Of America By egyptian and arabic nation resbect us

Annas Fekki is not the Minister of Interior. Please check your data before publishing.

Sadat was one of the few Arab leaders who tried to make peace with Israel. He was assassinated for his trouble. The filmmakers are more than insensitive; they're stupid.


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