Protesters continued their week-long camp-out near the residence of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil in the Dokki suburb of Giza on Sunday, vowing to remain until they are given the jobs they had been promised.
The protesters are holders of master’s degrees and doctorates. They have not been granted the positions in universities they were expecting and have agreed to settle for administrative positions in government institutions.
Mohamed Al-Rawy said he was part of a meeting last week with officials in the drafting committee of the Cabinet. “They presented us with a decision signed by Hisham Qandil stating that everyone who has obtained a master’s or doctorate degree between 2002 and 2012 will get an administrative job…”
The protesters say there are around 9,000 who face the same problem and 66 government agencies that have job vacancies in administrative positions. They do not want the government agencies to announce the vacancies individually.
They want Central Agency for Organisation and Administration to appoint them exclusively and distribute them across the 66 government bodies. This will guarantee that all of them will get appointed.
Al-Rawy said the decision during the meeting last week stated that the central agency will get them the jobs but the protesters were surprised to learn that the decision was “manipulated” to say the 66 government bodies will be responsible for recruiting them.
Protesters believe that this will open up the possibility of nepotism and cronyism. Arafa Shaker said: “If we had had connections, we would have gotten the jobs a long time ago.”
They also say that this will be a waste of state-funds. Al-Rawy said: “We will file a lawsuit for squandering public funds.”
The protesters have been trying to get these jobs for almost two years. They have held several protests and repeatedly camped out to get their demands. Shaker said: “[it is]getting appointed or death… we will not leave… every time they give us promises we leave and get nothing in return.”
One of the protesters pointed to the sixth floor of the apartment building where Qandil lives and said Qandil sees them all the time.
On Saturday, police officials threatened to end the gathering, using force if necessary. Protesters say police have also torn up their posters. On Sunday, the police did not threaten the protesters but central security forces were circling the protest.
The Revolutionary Socialists, Al-Karama Party and 6 April Ahmed Maher have all shown solidarity with the protesters.