Ashraf Kamal calls it quits

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

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.”

Kamal had been on the receiving end of criticism due to his association with the now dissolved Amn El Dawla [State Security]. He is accused of having the Security Office serve as the State Security’s window into the AUC community.

“Egypt today suffers from the absence of the police, and will suffer twice as much with the absence of Amn El Dawla,” Kamal told The Caravan when asked about the accusations raised against him. He added that AUCians are unaware of the important role of State Security, and show misunderstanding of its purpose by insinuating that they have “spies” on AUC’s campus.

On the many students that had called on him to step down from his post since the beginning of the semester, Kamal commented that he thought AUCians would be “more adult and educated,” expressing dismay at their persistence to “bring down what protects them.” He further elaborated that he never heard of Americans standing against the FBI, which he claims is the equivalent of Egypt’s Amn El Dawla.

Kamal said his resignation would allow him to relax, spend time with his family, and run his own business.

“Since students don’t want me, then I don’t want them either,” he added.

For many AUCians, the Security Office and the Office of Student Development (OSD) played a key role in regulating student activities on campus, which some have claimed were restricted for political reasons. This led to students demanding the removal of the two top administrators in these offices, namely Kamal and executive director of the

OSD and associate dean Mohamed Dabbour. Their affiliations to the National Democratic Party have been a controversial issue to the community.

Former Student Union President Omar Kandil was happy to learn of Kamal’s resignation, calling it “a good sign as there will be no connections with State Security anymore, which means students will have an easier time being socially and politically active.”

He added that Kamal’s departure is going to mean better treatment of security staff. Many AUCians, working to overturn the policies restricting student activities, had gained another victory after the administration decided to rewrite the Freedom of Expression Policy to reflect the spirit of the January 25 Revolution.

Vice-President of Student Affairs Ashraf El Fiqi stated that an investigative committee, called the Control Panel, has been created under the supervision of President Lisa Anderson to address complaints by AUCians, including those regarding the Security Office and OSD.

He added that the Control Panel’s investigation is a “fair and transparent” process, which will look into accusations against both offices.

He said students complained of the long channels they had to go through to obtain approval for holding certain events, specifically demonstrations and sit-ins.

The Caravan made several attempts to contact Dabbour in the past week, however he repeatedly refused to comment on the matter.