Egyptian Chronicles: Teaching the GUC students and other University students a lesson

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Teaching the GUC students and other University students a lesson

Do you remember the strike of the German University in Cairo “GUC” students’ strike in solidarity with their colleague Yara Tarek from a couple of months ago?
The strike and sit-in seemed to be successful and the students seemed to be winning the fight for their rights in safety at first.
The GUC administration reached agreement with the GUC Students Union after threats that the students would be reported to Prosecution following one-week sit-in and a strike.
According to that agreement, then all the students who boycotted the midterm exams would present petitions to have new examinations and no action would be taken by the GUC Administration to punish the protesting students.
Now months after the whole affairs the GUC administration decided to report against the president of the students union and other 10 students to the prosecution accusing him and his colleagues of assaulting the University Chairman and his guards as well his car during the sit-in.
The administration also rejected the petition to have new exams for a number of students which mean they may fail.
Three students were only officially summoned to New Cairo prosecution. The three students are president of the GUC 's student union Hazem Abdel Khalek, his vice-president Karim Nagib and a third student Alaa Al-Atar.
Now because we got the internet, there is a video showing that incident if I am mistaken. You can see clearly in the video that students did not touch the chairman’s car, in fact, Hazem Abdel Khalek appeared telling his colleagues not to touch. Earlier the students were angry because they heard the University’s chairman telling his driver to run over the students.
The incident captured on video.

Here is the photo of Alaa Al-Atar in shackles at the Prosecution after finishing her exams.



Alaa smiles in shackles.
"Mokhtar Mounir"
Here is also the students coming out from the prosecution.

According to the students’ lawyer Mounir Mokhtar the administration said that it would retract its accusation if the students apologized officially.


Karim, Hazem and Alaa by Mounir Mokhtar earlier Monday
Mokhtar also says the New Cairo prosecution refused to give him the official copy of the case’s file.

نيابة القاهرة الجديدة ترفض التصريح لنا بالحصول علي صورة رسمية من اوراق القضية الخاصة بطلاب الجامعة الالمانية " كريم نجي...
Posted by Mokhtar Hemedah on Monday, May 25, 2015

The students have not apologized yet and they are currently detained for 4 days pending investigations by the orders of prosecution.

Here is a video in Arabic showing Alaa Al-Atar speaking about the crisis with GUC administration.

كلمة - 1
عن إنتهاكات إدارة الألمانية بالقاهرة في الأحداث الجارية إثر وفاة الطالبة يارا طارق بالفرقة الأولى بكلية الهندسة في مارس الماضي. فماذا عن وعود الإدارة الشفوية
Posted by Sansim Vero on Sunday, May 24, 2015


I do not know what the State University of Stuttgart will think of the whole affair as a patron University to the GUC.
Now what I see in front of me actually something beyond the GUC. It is about teaching the university students to avoid any kind of politics or activism from any kind. It is like a state policy whether in Public Universities or Private Universities. After all, those students are the future of Egypt and the regime believes that they should not be rebellious and stand up for their basic rights.
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6 comments :

  1. Zeinobia said: "those students are the future of Egypt and the regime believes that they should not be rebellious and stand up for their basic rights."

    Z, you are just totally wrong about this, and the GUC administration is totally correct.

    Those students, and you, apparently believe that any time anything happens that you don't like, you have an obnoxious protest about it, skip all your classes, skip all your midterms, and the school administration has to do what you say.

    Look at the smug grins on the faces of Karim, Hazem and Alaa. They should get the shit slapped out of them until the smugness is gone.

    There are appropriate and inappropriate matters to protest about.

    Some girl not looking where she was going so a bus ran over her is not an appropriate matter. That's her fault, or maybe the bus driver's fault, not the administration's fault. An example of an appropriate matter: Not enough math classes are on offer at the registrar's office. Something that the administration is responsible for and can do something about.

    I have been part of protests at my alma mater. We took over the president's office and administration buildings, sleeping in them, for over a week. We needed to have, at all times, a quorum of students, otherwise police and security could come kick us out. So if we had to go to a class, or take a test, we were put in touch with another student who would take our place and maintain quorum. Just because there's a protest doesn't mean you get to skip classes and get make-up tests. These protesters are self-important morons, and they should be 1. expelled, 2. prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and 3. get the smug slapped off their faces.

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    Replies
    1. There's a long history that leads up to the recent events, and you seem to be unaware of it, which somewhat justifies this take on the matter.

      The GUC has a long history of violating student rights, and there have been protests throughout its short existence. Just a few years ago students had to protest heavily to be allowed to even have a student union. After that long fight, and a lot of details that I will skip, we ended up with a fairly powerless SU.

      Given an administration that actually cares about students and their rights, there would be channels of communication always open with the SU through which the administration can better understand student problems and work on improving student life. But that is absolutely not that the case with the GUC. In fact, as far as they are concerned, the SU is a pain in the ass that needs to be silenced, just like students are mobile bags of money that need to be emptied.

      Over the years there has been no improvement in a lot of areas that the SU pushed forward, and guess what, that joke of a bus parking lot was one of them. I highly doubt you actually know what it looks like: it's a large open space, with markings for 80+ bus parking spots. Busses roam and come and go through the same area that students are expected to walk through. There is absolutely no preparation for this to be a bus parking area except for those few white lines! Not a pavement or a mirror in sight! Now add at least 5000 students coming and going every day and highly overworked drivers (12+ hours a day for most of them) and you have the perfect recipe for disaster. Unsurprisingly, this is NOT the first accident at the bus parking area, it's just that no one died before so you haven't heard of it.

      Now how is that not an administration problem? It's not like they are short on cash, or that it has not been brought up before, or that they haven't had enough time to handle it.

      Another rather important point to realize before accusing the thousands that boycotted exams and marched in demostrations, and the 100+ that were at the sit-in at any point, of essentially being little children throwing a tantrum over 'inappropriate' reasons: the main reason things escalated was that the administration, as usual, completely refused to acknowledge that the students had demands and they were speaking out. They refused to even send an email saying that, hey, the SU is asking for x, y, and z and we will take a look at it. If they had acknowledged us in anyway, things would have most probably not escalated so. It's a long fight, that started long before Yara.

      If you consider protesting our lack of voice, protesting not being heard, protesting not being acknowledge or listened to in anyway, as 'inappropriate,' then I don't know what is. Yara's death was just a spark that brought this all up again. Not to play it down as 'just an accident' either, because even if you consider it as a mere accident, there has still been outrageous negligence on the management's side.

      Moreover, if this was *not* an administration problem, if they *cannot* be held accountable to any of this, can you explain why they refused to let police forces into the campus to examine the area of the accident until later that night they, very *literally*, poured gas over Yara's blood and set it on fire until it was completely gone? This is on video and has been witnessed by multiple students who were at the sit-in that night, by the way.

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    2. And finally, you want these protesters to:

      1. Get expelled: for peacefully demanding their rights? Yes, it was all peaceful. The one incident in which it went from peaceful to one security guard getting a scratch (quite literally, that's what it says in the medical report) and the university president getting stuck in his car for a few extra minutes after having ordered his driver to run a student over.

      2. Get prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law: for what? Well, technically, the scratch and holding Mahmoud Hashem in his car are illegal actions. But those were not the actions of Hazem, Karim and Alaa, those were the result of the presence of hundreds of students there together. In fact I don't think Alaa was even present during this incident. I suppose you would want them prosecuted as inciters then? Also what about Mahmoud Hashem having started this entire clash by so idiotically shouting at his driver to 'run him over'?

      3. Get the smug slapped off their faces: I think they earned that smug smile. They went through loads of shit, I've been with them for a small fraction of it, and they've been threatened and abused in every which way, and the administration has sunk so low that they had to pull strings in the prosecutor's office to get them unlawfully locked up. You know what, if I was them, I'd smile smuggly to myself thinking that all that screaming out must be working if it got me here.

      All in all, there's a lot of details that the general public don't readily have, so I'm trying to be understanding here, though I may have missed the mark.

      Anyway, shameless plug: https://www.facebook.com/activists.guc

      Delete
  2. Oh, and your dealings with security guards and school administrators, including the head of the university, always should be firm but polite. Under no circumstances should you assault them.

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  3. Just informed the Student Council of Stuttgart University. Hopefully they will do something.

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  4. Wow, Zeinobia has an impressive and politically diverse readership.

    Thank you for that explanation, GUC Activists.

    I take back my comments and I apologize.

    Here's that Facebook link all lit up:

    https://www.facebook.com/activists.guc

    Best wishes,

    Jason

    ReplyDelete

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