A disagreement has emerged between security staff and administrators following a number of thefts on campus, and a subsequent university requirement that background checks be completed on all such personnel.
On September 28, a number of security personnel approached The Caravan and revealed, on the condition o
Director of Public Safety Mahmoud Zouk finally agreed to meet with The Caravan for an interview which helps answer the many questions raised by the student body since the strikes earlier this semester.
Dalia, an Egyptian housekeeper and mother of two, considers the past few years of her life a miserable period as she suffered through the often humiliating experience of getting a court to grant her a divorce.
"It took four-and-a-half years," she said. "I've spent thousands of pounds to finally get divorced ... its aged me."
Life in modern Cairo is sufficiently full of challenges and hardships for most people, navigating through the raucous traffic-infested streets, etching out a living to put food on the table and a roof on their heads.
But for the millions of Egypt’s physically challenged persons, the obstacles can often appear to be insurmountable.
Director of Security Ashraf Kamal, who has recently been the center of controversy within the AUC community, has announced his resignation and will be ending his service by the end of the month.
In an email to the AUC community last Thursday, Vice-President for Planning and Administration Brian MacDougall said that Mahmoud Zouk, the executive director for public safety, will be “temporarily working directly with Security’s Supervisory team as he looks to strengthen and reshape the security service until the position of Director of Security is filled.”
Amr El Shalakany, an associate professor of law at AUC, was on April 27 arrested and detained in Sharm El Sheikh, on what he says are trumped up charges.
Shalakany had been vacationing at the popular Red Sea resort town when he got into an argument with a plain-clothes police officer who barred him from entering into Naema Bay, saying it was a restricted area. As Shalakany tried to reason with him, the officer allegedly began yelling insults at the driver and became aggressive.
Shalakany then went to the police station to file a complaint but was surprised to instead find that the tables had been turned against him.
A military court last Tuesday resumed hearing the case brought against AUC workers suspected of stealing antiquities stored under Ewart Hall.
However, the details of the case have not been released to the public.
AUC’s lawyer Karim Abdel Latif confirmed that the suspects are university workers. Although he is on the university’s committee to investigate the thefts, Latif said he had not been informed of last week’s court proceedings.
The Caravan’s investigation into the recent theft of antiquities has revealed that in a period spanning several decades AUC faculty and officials collected more than 1,600 artifacts described by Egyptology experts to be ‘of no great significance’ in value.
(Six suspects have been arrested in the theft of the antiquities stored below Ewart Hall - click here)
Ironically, the theft of some of these items brought to light the previously unknown cache stored beneath Ewart Hall.
Renowned Egyptologist and professor emeritus Kent R. Weeks told The Caravan that “the objects in Ewart Hall were acquired by then-President Richard Pederson, who for some reason thought it would be nice to have a teaching collection of antiquities on campus.”
As President Lisa Anderson stood on a platform in front of the BEC building to face participants in the first Speaker’s Corner event, an outspoken student’s disdain for the Office of Student Development (OSD) blasted through loudspeakers.
“Students know it as ‘the Office of Student Depression,” the student told Anderson.
The process of investigating and uncovering the extent of State Security’s involvement with AUC, was long and frustrating.
When we interviewed Ashraf Kamal, the head of security on campus, he was extremely friendly initially. But when we began to ask questions he didn’t expect, regarding Hossam El-Hamalawy (also known as 3arabawy), he took a different tone and basically kicked us out, ending the interview abruptly but politely.
A hallmark to the institution’s shroud of secrecy, the piles of shredded, burnt and crumbled documents found in State Security buildings revealed the intricate network of intelligence-gathering that made the much feared apparatus seem almost omnipresent.