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Egypt's Unesco candidate: Your views

A selection of BBC website readers' emails on Egypt's candidate for the top job at the UN's cultural body, Unesco. Farouk Hosny has apologised for calling for Israeli books in Egyptian libraries to be burned.

The fact that a person such as Farouk Hosny is a leading candidate for the head of UNESCO says a lot about the UN in general. Ha

ving this man as the leader of the UN's educational forum is not much different than having Libya and Iran at the head of the Forum Against Racism ("Durban II"). This is an upside-down world, isn't it?
Michael, Israel (currently in the US)

Anyone with such abhorrent ideas does not deserve to lead UNESCO. Whether he regrets his words or not, he would just discredit one of the few UN organisations that still has the support of most people around the world. I hope he will not get the post.
Amar, Al Ain

UNESCO stands for the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and in order for the organisation to retain its viability it must be led by someone who shares its values and vision. I understand that he regrets his words and it takes a strong leader to admit when mistakes have been made. Is he the right person, I don't know but at least it has begun discussions about what leadership means.
Melanie Cookson-Carter, Parrsboro, Canada

Culture should not be subject of such political tantrums. I understand this man's apology, which makes him a better person. But anybody who expresses himself in such imprudent and generalized way about a culture and its heritage, should not be the UN representative of cultural affairs. I am sorry for Egypt's candidacy, but they should have appointed a better candidate.
Adolfo E. Talpalar, Stockholm, Sweden

As always, politicians who want to climb up the social ladder, are prepared to apologize for past complicit comments and claim to have spoken only in hyperboles. Threatening to burn books has always been deemed a serious violent act dating as far back as the burning of the library in Alexandria in Roman times to the burning of books by the German Nazi sympathizers in 1938. Hopefully, all aspiring politicians should apologize now about their past misconduct before electing to vie for important positions.
Jed Nightingale, New York

Mr Hosny having over a period of years having made so many anti-Israeli & anti-Jewish statements, cannot be believed when he tries to explain away his comments as mis-statements. Those comments obviously reflect his true feelings, and therefore disqualify him for ANY international position, let alone a UNESCO position. He should be struck from the list of valid candidates immediately.
Tzvi Ben-Yaakov, Philadelphia, PA, USA

So he regrets what he said: "I want to solemnly say that I regret the words that I used." But not what he meant! Can't we get a younger person to run this agency?
JKB, DSA, France

I would like to know what Mr. Hosny has done for his own country before recommending him for the Unesco position. What are his real qualifications? Maybe he'd be perfect, I just don't know. Why didn't you mention at least some of his achievements in your story?
Poppie Jenkins

Linking the "plight" of the Palestinians with the burning of Israeli literature is completely groundless. Mr. Hosny is not worthy of the UNESCO appointment by displaying his lack of foresight and respect for others' cultures.
Dan, Ottawa, Canada

As Heine said: "Where they have burnt books, they will end by burning human beings." It is shameful that Unesco would even consider Hosny.
David Beaumont, Devon UK



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