Tag Archives: Student protest

How Egypt Alienates Young People!

Egyptian secondary students are involved in the dreaded “thanawiyya amma”(general secondary) exam which, for most, will determine the future course of their life. Safwat Hassan, aged 17, came from a poor family and he was discouraged as he worked his way through the math portion of the exam because he had concluded there was no hope and he would fail. His family was too poor to treat teachers to the customary meals at exam time and Safwat concluded this meant he would fail. At the end of his math exam, he added some personal comments to the effect, that (president) Mubarak was a “tyrannical leader” and that Egyptians were “a cowardly people”for refusing to stand up to such leadership.

Within a few hours after Mr. Hassan concluded his exam, Egyptian security forces arrested him and made him undergo several hours of intensive questioning for having the nerve to claim the beloved President Mubarak was some sort of tyrant. He was finally released from police headquarters but informed he was barred from taking any future final exams this year although he could take another crack in a year. We assume, provided he behaved himself and wrote that President Mubarak was the most brilliant leader known in Egyptian history.

The real mystery of this story is how did the police learn about Hassan’s comment on a math exam? Did teachers inform on their student? Did the school administration betray a young boy from a poor family knowing they, in effect, were destroying his life chances for education? One can assume there is a high probability that Hassan might wind up in an anti-government group.