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."
Come exam time, most AUC students turn to their hurriedly scribbled notes and their rarely perused textbooks to cram packets of information in as little time as possible. But with nerves frayed, a number of students are increasingly turning to private tui- tion to help boost their grades.
This phenomenon, which is usually associated with high schools and government universities, has slowly made its way into the ranks of AUC students.
“The concept of private lessons is a paradigm in Egyptian ideology; students see it as the easier option and go for it,” said a student who chose to remain anonymous.
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 forum that examines proposed amendments to AUC’s freedom of expression policy and calls for these liberties to be “at once fiercely guarded and genuinely embraced”, is likely to be considered a giant leap forward when it kicks off at Mohamed Shafik Gabr Lecture Hall in the Campus Center at 1PM today.
AUC President Lisa Anderson appointed a Task Force to review and re-write the freedom of expression policy in light of the January 25 Revolution and changes throughout the local media landscape. The old policy, instituted by former President Richard F. Pedersen, enforced many restrictions which the new policy hopes to amend, chiefly by removing limitations on student expression and activities.
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.
Are the changes taking place in Egypt going to affect the administration’s policies regarding student activities?
Absolutely, I think the Office of Student Development tended to be extremely conservative about the kinds of things that it was comfortable encouraging students to do. Even at the time, last year, when I was Provost, OSD was more conservative than I would have been.
As I said at the time, I am a political scientist, and I think the best ways to learn about politics is to practice them. So I’ve always thought that students should always be involved in voter registration, debating political issues of moment on campus, and so forth and so on. I do think that there has been a conservative approach to that in the past, and I anticipate that this will change perceptively for students now. Whether that is attribute to my presidency or the revolution, that is for you to decide for yourselves.
A number of exchange students who were repatriated during the January 25 Revolution and foreign some faculty say they are confused by AUC’s evacuation and refund policies.
Barely unpacked as they looked forward to the Spring semester, many international students left the country due to a lack of security and a breakdown in order in late January, and following directives from their respective universities.
Some were flown to Europe were they either awaited the situation to stabilize or for connecting flights to their home destinations.
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi promised last week that he would fight till the last drop of blood and the last bullet in his rifle, to "save Libya" from what he called extremists and foreign agents.
It seems he is determined to live long enough to fulfill that promise. Reports from Libya indicate thousands may have been killed or injured since protesters called for Qaddafi’s ouster on February 17.
President Lisa Anderson, an expert on Libyan affairs, told The Caravan the waves of contention spread from Tunisia and Egypt to Libya.