Ezzeldin Shawkat

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Ezzeldin Shawkat
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Born(1946-01-13)January 13, 1946
DiedDecember 18, 2015(2015-12-18) (aged 69)

Ezzeldin Shawkat (also Ez el-Din Shawkat, Ezz Shawkat) (Arabic عزالدين شوكت) (13 January 1946, Cairo – 18 December 2015, Cairo) was an Egyptian journalist, public relations and information expert. During a four-decade career, Shawkat held positions in various news, development and political organizations in Cairo, Riyadh and Washington, D.C.|Washington D.C.

Early Career: Journalism

Trained in library science at Cairo University, he started his career in 1969 at the leading state-owned newspaper, Al-Ahram as an information officer and reporter under the influential leadership of Mohamed Hassanein Heikal.[1] There he was responsible for fact checking news articles, while occasionally writing his own, covering political and cultural issues (See article list below). He also formed a deep friendship with famous poet and caricaturist, Salah Jahin, who penned him as a character in one of his daily sketches in 1974.[2]

As Egypt shifted Western world|West under president Anwar Sadat’s Infitah (Open Door policy) in the 1970s, Shawkat took up roles as advisor for Yorkshire Television Network, and CBS - during Scotti Williston’s tenure,[3] helping set up and run their operations in Cairo and opening the door to many local journalists to international television news.[1]

Press Attaché

In 1980, Ezzeldin Shawkat was seconded to the State Information Service (SIS) which appointed him as Press Attaché to the Egyptian Embassy in Washington D.C.,[4] working under "journalist turned diplomat" Mohamed Hakki, who set up the office in 1975 and would later become chairman of SIS and spokesperson for president Anwar Sadat.[5] His tenure there saw him manage a number of key political events including the assassination of president Anwar Sadat in 1981,[6] and the start of an Egyptian nuclear program.[7] Shawkat also managed public relations events for Egypt such as the Memphis in May International Festival where Egypt was saluted in 1981,[8] while he was invited to give lectures and speak at conferences, including at Bowling Green State University,[9] and the Middle East Forum at Western Piedmont Community College.[10]

Media and Public Affairs

After his post ended in Washington D.C. in 1984, Shawkat was hired by the Riyadh-based Arab Gulf Fund for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND), as director of its Media and Public Affairs division.[11][1] There, he helped establish and run the division for eight years.[12] His position in an organisation run by Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, a member of the Saudi royal family, also meant that Shawkat helped liaise in political relations between Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where in 1985 he set up the first Egyptian interview of a high level Saudi official after ties were cut between the two countries when Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.[1]

His expertise in setting up and managing media and public affairs units defined the third stage of his career, leaving AGFUND in 1992 to repeat the process for the nascent Social Fund for Development (SFD) in Cairo (1992-93 and 1995-97),[13][12] the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Information Center, Riyadh (1993-95), and finally, the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI 1998-99).[12]

Media & Development consultant

At the turn of the millennium, Shawkat switched to freelance consulting on media and development, advising the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Cairo Office, among other agencies.[12] He was also appointed as a board member of the Egyptian Council for Health Affairs, and joined the Egyptian Council on Foreign Relations.[12]

His interests in Egypt’s economic and political history led him to translate John Seymour Keay’s account of British invasion and occupation of Egypt, Spoiling the Egyptians; a tale of shame told from the British blue books. It was published posthumously by the National Translation Institute in 2019.[14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 عبد النبي, هداية (2022-12-08). "عز الدين شوكت - الأهرام اليومي". web.archive.org. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  2. Jahin, Salah (1974-08-14). "The Soap Question". Al-Ahram. p. 5. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  3. "Global News and the Vanishing American Foreign Correspondent". Arab Media & Society. 2001-05-01. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  4. State, United States Department of (1981). Diplomatic List. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 18.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  5. "محمد حقي-الهيئة العامة للإستعلامات". web.archive.org. 2022-12-09. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  6. "Egypt's Sadat Shot; Fate Not Confirmed". news.google.com. Kentucky New Era. 1981-10-06. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  7. "U.S. NUCLEAR PACT WITH EGYPT GAINS". web.archive.org. The New York Times. 1981-09-13. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  8. "International Salute History". memphisinmay.org. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  9. "Datebook". Monitor. 1982-09-13. p. 4. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  10. "Middle East Forum opens today at WPCC" (PDF). News Hearld. 1982-10-25. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  11. "Prince Talal Receives Award". Jordan Times. 1985-04-02.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Shawkat, Ezzeldin (2009-06-22). Curriculum Vitae.
  13. Whittington, James (1996-02-02). "Job Hopes Rise". Financial Times. Retrieved 2022-12-09.
  14. "كارثة القروض على دول العالم: الخديو إسماعيل مثالاً | المصري اليوم". www.almasryalyoum.com (in العربية). Retrieved 2022-12-09.

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