Letter to The Editor:

I have just had it with the 'Black Camp'
Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Amira Gabr

Amira Gabr addressing staff workers during 2011 strike

Yeah, I'm talking about the 'Black Camp'; I'm not afraid. You may send your 'peeps' to follow me around and harass me; but, I will not back down. And if you do, it will only show your true nature.

This is a lesson in history, which is crucial because only through knowledge do you manage to avoid making other peoples' mistakes. But, history has a downside - it is written by the victorious.

The 'Black Camp' and the so-called 'Student Movement' think that they were 'victorious' having reached 'the historical agreement'. But, that's just a load of crap to me. The 2.3 percent cap on tuition increase is bogus. The cap assumes no major changes in domestic inflation rate and dollar-to-pound exchange ratio.

If you claim to be 'political activ­ists' as members of the 'Black Camp' and 'OccupyAUC' do, you should at least have a basic understanding of the socio-economic environment in which you're operating. And no, I'm not talking about AUC; I'm talking about Egypt. Step out of the bubble: Egypt is going through a terrible economic crisis that will end up affecting the very things by which the 'historical agreement' is conditioned.

The 'Black Camp' and 'OccupyAUC' have demonstrated they are self-centered, self-involved; simply, selfish as the cap is only until 2016. Let the next genera­tions fight their battles they would say. They haven't done anything about fixing the 'system'. They only care about themselves. And that's an opinion to which I'm entitled. Moreover, if anything that remotely resembles cleaning up the 'corrupt system' is going to be implemented by this 'historical agreement', it is not because of their input; it is because of the input of people who, believe it or not, mostly opposed their methods.

So, I stayed quiet all this time. At first, I criticized the Student Union president's actions. And when I was harassed, I kept it strictly per­sonal between those who actually harassed me and myself. But, I'm not staying quite about the 'Black Camp' anymore.

Renowned 'Black Camp' mem­ber and supposed leader of 'OccupyAUC' Mohamed Hassan aka 'Antak' conducted an interview with The Caravan published last week. Part of his answer to the question "speaking of power and political agendas, what has the 'Black Camp' achieved so far?" was "we achieved things like implementing the Press Board with its budget".

Outrageous! How dare you attri­bute yourself or the 'Black Camp' to this? There were hardly any 'Black Camp' members in the Student Senate when that law was written. As I recall, none. The Press Board law was written during the summer of 2009 at the beginning of Omar Kandil's presidency; a time during which leading members of the 'Black Camp' were part of Kandil's Union (the 'Black Camp' was yet to be founded).

That revolutionary law that paved the way for independent, student-run publications such as The Independent and AUC Times for the first time was written by independent senators including myself, Mohamed Leila, Mohamed Ramadan, Marwan Imam, Tara Pasic, Ahmad Abou Al-Enein, and Mohamed Al-Kharboutly - I apolo­gize if I missed anyone out. Antak, you had been dismissed from the Senate because your GPA was too low and Hesham Shafick wasn't around because he travelled for his semester abroad and didn't come back until spring 2010.

Antak said in another part of his answer that the purpose of the 'Black Camp' to present Shafick for the Student Union presidency was "paving the road for student movements".

What? Shafick succeeded Kandil; he was president when the workers went on strike in fall 2010. What exactly did he do?

I do advise you to seek out those who actually participated; the likes of Waleed Shebl, Dr. Rabab Al-Mahdy, Jihan 'Gigi' Ibrahim, Sarah Abd Al-Rahman, Marie- France R. Lakah, Ramy Tadros, Marwan Abd Al-Moniem, Cindy Youssef, Kiki Haddad, and Youssef 'MK' Al-Qormah and Ahmad Alaa a.k.a. 'Ostourah' - yeah, there were 'Black Campers'; but, as individuals - not an organized entity. And I give credit to those who have earned it; unlike you, Antak. Again, I apolo­gize if I missed out anyone.

A final note: SU President Hesham Shafick was impeached by the Student Senate in fall 2009 and found guilty of the following charges: 1. Violating his SU plan, 2. Making false claims against for­mer SU Vice President of Financial Affairs Ahmad Nafei, 3. Continued employment of a student banned from extracurricular activities in the SU (that was Mohamed Tareq Nabhan, by the way), 4. Concealment of facts from the Student Senate, 5. Defacing the SU and AUC's image (the clinic robbery), 6. Breaking the freeze imposed on the SU by the Student Senate

Shafick's dismissal from the SU presidency was then subject to a General Assembly referendum as per the Student Constitution. The General Assembly voted in favor of his dismissal.

Shafick, AUC kicked you out once; do we really need to do it again?

Alumna Amira Gabr is the founder of The Independent and a former student activist.