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Egyptians divided over army's foray into culture

The Egyptian Ministry of Defense organized a stand at the Cairo International Book Fair to showcase the army’s achievements in the cultural scene, but some critics warned of ulterior motives.
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CAIRO — Col. Tamer al-Rifai, the spokesman for the Egyptian army, posted Jan. 27 an official statement on his Facebook page saying that, under the slogan “Army and People,” the Egyptian armed forces had a special stand at the Cairo International Book Fair from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10. The army hoped to spread military awareness, culture and national values to Egyptians from all classes.

Al-Monitor visited this stand to find out more about it. As visitors passed through Abdul Rahman al-Sharqawi Hall where the stand was situated inside the book fair in Nasr City in Cairo governorate, soldiers and army affiliates hosting the event invited them to visit the Ministry of Defense’s stand. To lure in visitors, the entry to the stand had many statues and murals depicting the heroic acts of Egyptian soldiers throughout history.

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