23 Azhar students dismissed after 2-day protests
The entrance of Al-Azhar University - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Twenty three students at Al-Azhar University in Cairo were dismissed after two days of protests, Ahmed Hussein, Al-Azhar University’s deputy head told The Cairo Post Monday.

Hussein said 16 students were dismissed Sunday, while seven were dismissed Monday for “protesting, rioting and raising Al-Qaeda’s black flag.”  He said this came to enforce the decision made by Osama el-Abd, the president of the university, to ban political protests inside the campus.

Abd had said during a March 12 press conference that political protests were “completely unacceptable” and prohibited inside university grounds.

“The number of the protesters today was very limited when compared to Yesterday,” Hussein said, adding that around 150 students protested for “only an hour.”

Hussein told The Cairo Post that security “did not intervene to disperse the protests at any time during the past two days.”

On Monday, students at different Al-Azhar University branches across Egypt protested to demand the release of their detained colleagues.

Al-Azhar University resumed the second semester Saturday after it had been postponed three times successively for security reasons.

Youm7 reported that some of protesting students wrote “abusive words, climbed up university fences, besieged the building of university’s president and chanted against political and religious leaders.”

According to Youm7 a march by female students blocked the Youssef Abbas – Mostafa el-Nahas route, surrounding the university.

The university’s administrative security forces dispersed the march after it attempted to head to Rabaa al-Adaweya square.

According to Youm7, the female students had raised symbols in support of Rabaa – where Islamist protestors had been dispersed by forces after conducting a months long sit-in –, held pictures of their detained colleagues, and chanted against the military and police.

Protests in other governorates also led to clashes between students and security forces.

In Dakahlia, security forces fired a number of tear gas bombs to disperse protesters and stop clashes, Youm7 reported.

In Kafr el-Sheikh, the Al-Azhar university campus saw protests by tens of students demanding the fall of the current regime, according to Youm7.

Students also staged a march from the Faculty of Commerce to demand the release of Fatma Nassar, a student who had been detained last January while calling for a boycott of the constitutional referendum. In Suez, four female students were referred to investigations, by the dean of the Faculty of Electronic Engineering Saeed el-Halafawy, for participating in a march inside the campus, Youm7 reported.


Youm7 reported that in Sharqia, university security personnel stopped students from writing slogans against the army and the police, adding that  security forces managed to detain four out of 11 “rioting” students.

A student was detained in Al-Azhar University’s Qalyubia branch while in possession of 66 knives, according to Youm7.

The student claimed he was a company representative and the university’s administrative security forces are investigating the incident.

Additional reporting by Ismail Refaat, Sherif el-Deeb, Osama el-Sayed , Nada Selim, Moataz el-Sherbien, Iman Mehanna, Mohamed Kamal, Mohamed Soliman, Ahmed Salah, Yousra Abdel Latif, Hend Ibrahim, El-sayed Falah, Ali Abdel Rahman, Osama el-Sayed, Mohamed Fathy and Mohamed el-Adawy. 

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