CAIRO: The Young Arab Voices project organized a debate about the role of culture in social change in Egypt on March 11, in El-Sawy Culture Wheel in Zamalek, Cairo.
The debate was divided into two platforms, one of them agreeing on the position that culture has a vital role in social change, the other doubting the importance of culture in that.
Mohamed El-Sawy, founder of the Culture Wheel, moderated the debate and gave each platform six minutes to express their opinion.
The agreeing side said “culture is the most important part of any nation’s history, culture is not only about books or movies, but it connects to everything in our lives.”
The January 25 Revolution proved that culture plays a role in social change, as this revolution was the result of cultural change, they argued.
The other side said that “education is more important, like when writer Taha Hussein said ‘education is important as water and air’ there is no culture without education.”
They explained education motivates people to be creative and that only complex elements cause changes.
The objecting group added that art is not the main driving factor of change, but it is a reaction to it. As an example they mentioned the songs that get released after major events like revolutions.
Regarding cultural importance, the agreeing platform stated that culture raised awareness in Upper Egypt to face the phenomena of female genital mutilation.
They added that movies, books and songs influence people, like Ali el-Haggar songs and Alaa al-Aswany books.
According to its website, the Young Arab Voices project aims to develop youth skills for public debate by providing platforms to exchange different views.
The recent debate, about the rule of culture in society, was organized in collaboration with the British Council in Cairo.