University suspends name of Suzanne Mubarak Hall

Sunday, April 17th, 2011
Suzanne Mubarak Hall
Following mounting pressure from students and alumni, university administration has decided to suspend the naming of the Suzanne Mubarak conference hall as of April 17. The announcement came exactly one month after students forcibly removed the plaque bearing the former First Lady’s name.

The issue had first become a point of conflict when AUC students started an online petition earlier this semester to rename the hall, in light of the January 25 revolution.

“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,” said Omar Omar, an AUC student who started the petition.

The hall will, for the time being, be referred to by its room number, as just PO71. The final decision on the name will be taken in the fall, after a university held conference on, “Public Names, History and Memory in Political Transitions.”

Discussion groups on some social networking sites speculated that the plaque could be put to auction, but some students find that to be of little use.

“I honestly don't see the appeal of buying something that has absolutely no historical or political relevance, it’s just a slab with some letters arranged to spell out the name of a former dictator's wife,” Ahmed Bially, a mass communication junior, said.

Mina Morgan, an electronics sophomore, suggested that the plaque should be returned to the hall and no further action taken.

“The woman deserves a bit more honor and after all, the donor who gave the money to name the hall after ‘Suzanne Mubarak’ should share in taking the decision,” Morgan said.

The money for the hall was reportedly given to AUC  by close affiliates of the Mubarak family, with the specific purpose of naming the hall after the former first lady.