CAIRO: A total of nine Egyptian universities have renewed their contracts with the private security firm Falcon during the 2015-2016 academic year, Youm7 reported Wednesday.
The nine universities include the Cairo University and Al-Azhar University, which has recently announced its decision to renew its contract with the private company.
“We have renewed our contracts with universities that we had were contracted [to secure] except for three universities; Ain Shams, Mansoura and Tanta,” Sherif Khaled, the executive head of Falcon, said in a statement.
Khaled added that Falcon considers securing Egyptian universities a “patriotic mission.” He explained that despite “major challenges” facing the company at the time it assumed work in 2014, there was “successful cooperation” with the administrative security department at the universities.
He further hailed the Interior Ministry’s “vital role in rapid intervention” and in preventing any assaults or clashes from reaching university campuses.
Gaber Nassar, the head of Cairo University, praised “Falcon courage” for assuming work at a “critical time” in 2014.
Head of Al-Azhar University, Abdel Hay Azab, said that “Falcon’s experience last year was successful and prevented riots to reach the university campus.” Azab also noted that Al-Azhar University is in the process of incorporating new security mechanisms and equipment in coordination with Falcon.
Falcon security guards were tasked with securing gates at several universities across Egypt after the firm signed a contract with the Higher Education Ministry in 2014.
Unrest at different Egyptian universities during the past two academic years was evident after the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the violent dispersal of the Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in.
Protests occured almost on a daily basis by pro-Muslim Brotherhood students; subsequent clashes and riots have resulted in dozens of students suspended, expelled or arrested, in addition to casualties.
Additional reporting by Wael Rabeiy and Hany Mohamed