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Ex-Cairo Opera House head mysteriously misses out on cabinet post

Published: Updated:

The former head of the Cairo Opera House on Tuesday said she was dismissed as culture minister in Egypt’s new cabinet after receiving a phone call from officials saying she was no longer needed.

“I was on my way to be sworn in, and I received a phone call from cabinet officials telling me that there have been changes in the nomination,” said Enas Abdel-Dayem.

She said she did not know why she was no longer chosen for the post, but she respected the cabinet’s decision.

Abdel-Dayem denied earlier reports that she had turned down the post because of threats from members of the ultra-conservative Salafist party al-Nour.

Party spokesman Nader Bakkar denied that threats had been made, and asked for an apology from Abdel-Dayem, al-Shorouk newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Last May, Abdel-Dayem was removed from her post at the Cairo Opera House by the minister of culture under ousted President Mohammed Mursi.

The decision sparked strikes and was widely condemned.