Police on campus

Students and police clash in 2008, Photo by Nasser Nuri/Reuters

Last week, an Egyptian court ruled that the long-standing presence of Egyptian police on university campuses here is illegal and unconstitutional. The ruling has been widely discussed here, with government official promising they will implement it but not giving the most reassuring statements about how that will be done; students and faculty rallying around the ruling and demanding its implementations; and commentator and analysts wondering how the government will get around the ruling and continue to interfere with and monitor campuses. The presence of the police is so endemic and entrenched at universities here (they interfere in appointments, visitors, travel to conferences, student elections, extra-curricular activities) that it's hard to imagine how the state could remove Ministry of Interior forces without losing control to an unadmissible (for it) degree. For more about the ruling and the situation at Egyptian universities this Fall, you can take a look at an article I just wrote for The Chronicle of Higher Education

Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.