Ultras take over GUC strike
Hundreds of Al-Ahly soccer fan club members known as the Ultras Ahlawy converged at the German University in Cairo (GUC) to support students who have been demanding that two expelled and three suspended colleagues be readmitted.
The Ultras played a dominant role during the January 25 uprisings, and were the center of the media's attention after football hooligans killed many of its members during the events at Port Said last month.
"Freedom, freedom," chanted the Ultras and the GUC students while setting off light flares and fireworks, a signature move indicating the Ultras' arrival during matches and protests.
"The Nazi University in Cairo," was a phrase written on one of the many banners that the students held at the protest, expressing their frustration towards the administration.
Fadel Soliman, member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, was among the protesters. He explained his visit by saying that he is "against the recent decisions of the GUC Administration, especially with regards to the expulsion and suspension of students."
"It is unexpected from a university holding the name of Germany to act with such manners," said Soliman.
He also added that during Mubarak's era, it was prohibited to hold any kind of political protests in any Egyptian university, but this should now change after the revolution. Soliman stated that ever since the January 25 Revolution, it is the students' right to freely express their opinion.
Alaa EL Din Abdel Latif, GUC instructor at the physics department, was one of the few professors who left his office to talk with the protesters in an attempt to "try to calm [them] down."
Abdel Latif explained to the students that they should try to propose to the administration "realistic demands" that can be negotiated, including readmitting those who were expelled and suspended.
"The university is now considered a threat to many parents who are considering enrolling their sons and daughters at GUC," stressed Abd El Latif.
He added that the media is broadcasting the protests publicly, which will negatively affect the university in terms of the number of applicants planning to join GUC.
Students have been striking for almost two weeks now, following the administration's decision to suspend two students and expel five others for speaking out against the ruling regime.
Striking students have been receiving support from their families, friends, universities, political parties and prominent figures and activists in Egypt.
Presidential candidate Bothaina Kamel and activists Wael Abbas and Mahmoud Salem were also among the high profile figures who visited the campus to support the GUC students.