Students petition to rename AUC spaces

Thursday, February 24th, 2011
Name Change

The word "assembly" has been crossed off this sign, which now reads "People's street"

In light of the January 25 populist uprising, some students are moving quickly to have the Suzanne Mubarak Hall in the HUSS building renamed.

AUC student Omar Omar started an online petition to rename the Suzanne Mubarak Hall because he believes removing the “remnants of the previous regime” will allow the country to move forward.

Shortly after former President Hosni Mubarak left office, his pictures in government buildings and installations were taken down. Sites named in honor of his family members - chiefly Gamal and Suzanne Mubarak - have also been renamed.

In Minya, for example, city residents have called on Suzanne Mubarak Square to be renamed “The Martyrs of the January 25 Revolution” Square.

In some cases, anti-government protesters took matters into their own hands and began crossing out Mubarak’s name from some installations even before he stepped down and handed power to the military.

They scratched his name off the Cairo Metro Station but an alternative has not yet been proposed.

Protesters have also called on the authorities to change the name of the “Mubarak Police Academy” on the Ring Road to “Khaled Said Police Academy"  in honor of the 28-year-old Alexandria native who was beaten to death by Egyptian Police last year.

Said became the namesake of a Facebook group which is credited with mobilizing anti-government activists and inspiring the January 25 revolt.

Anger was also directed at Parliament; there have been efforts to rename People’s Assembly Street off Kasr el Aini Street to “People’s Street”.

The Ministry of Culture has taken steps to change the nomenclature system of many state awards and prizes. “The Suzanne Prize for Children’s Literature” has been changed to “The Egyptian Prize for Children’s Literature”, while the EGP 400,000 Mubarak Prize for Social Science, Arts and Literature has been change to the “Nile Prize”.

The members of the Council agreed that all the cultural projects should not be named after people in the future. In addition, they decided that Suzanne Mubarak’s pictures should be removed from covers of future editions of the “Literacy for All” program publications.

In reference to the Suzanne Mubarak Hall, Omar said it would not affect the building’s legacy "if we renamed it now as it has only been around for three years".

“AUC naming a building after [Suzanne Mubarak] was in all honesty, part of a trend of deference to the ruling regime, which is gone, hopefully for good,” Omar said.


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