Thursday, June 09, 2005

Muzzling academical freedom

As in practically every field of Egyptian life, the academica is controlled by the state, like politics, civil society and unions , the Universities faces restrictions by the state, be it by law, coersion or intimidation. To control the universities has been of tauntamount importance, at least since the 1952 revolution. Fostering the new generations of students is not something that is taken lightly by the state. Eventough under pressure from the state , the universities produces not only the next generation of the "lumpen inteligentia" but also a steady stream of political and religiuos motivated people , wheater islamist or leftist. Since the early seventies , the campuses have been the few playgrounds of politics, and many of the new generation of politicians of the left and islamists , started their political journey on campus.

HRW has ,as always made a thourough report of 107 pages , released today,Reading between the " Red Lines" - The Repression of Academic Freedom in Egyptian Universities.

You can find The gurdian´s comment about it here

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Egypt´s women wear black .... & white

One week after the demonstrations on the day of the referendum on article 76, Egypt´s women are organizing two manifestions. The first was started by Heba Rauof Ezzat, political Science Professor at the Cairo University, one of the people behind the highly successful, and islamist feminist, who launched the initiative - Egypt wears black, on friday, by e-mail and sms. The silent vigil will take place on 1 June at 1 o clock in front of the press syndicate, just as one of the two demonstrations(the other near the shrine of freedom icon and politician, Saád Zaghloul in Mounira) that were attacked by NDP thugs, who specically targeted and sexually harassed women.
The idea is that mothers across Egypt shall wear black as a sign of mourning today. The organisation is not connected to Kifaya or any other party, according to Heba Raouf Ezzat.
There is only one demand - The resignation of Egypt´s minister of Interior, Habib al Adly.

The other initiave is taken by Kifaya member Ghada Shahbandar togheter with a housevife and a television presenter. They are starting the official white ribbon campaign at the manifestation. They have prepared 4000 ribbons for the vigil. Both initiatives has gained a lot of positive reaction in a very short space of time.