CAIRO: Some 300 Algerian students organized a sit-in Wednesday infront of the Algerian embassy to protest a new government decision not to accept any diplomas acquired from the research institute in which they are enrolled.
The students have been sleeping on the street and on the sidewalk in front of the embassy for the past few days, holding signs pleading with Algerian President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika to step in and “save their future.
“We were notified with the decision three weeks before our final exam, said Abdel Ghani Khaliq, the students’ spokesman.
“All 3,000 students in the institute were shocked. Their future is at stake, Khaliq told Daily News Egypt.
The Institute for Arabic Studies and Research was founded in 1952 and works under the auspices of the Arab League Educational Cultural and scientific organization (ALECSO). It was initially a research center and was later turned into an academic platform in 1994 for postgraduate studies.
Students have been told that the government took the decision after corruption allegations. They argue that the government hasn’t properly investigated such allegations to make an informed decision.
According to Khaliq, the decision has been applied in retrospect and many of the institute’s Phd. holders in Algeria were fired from their jobs as a result. The decision means that any student who graduated from the institute is no longer a holder of a recognized degree in Algeria.
The Algerian Ambassador however talked to the students and promised to relay their message back home, but not much has been done since the meeting took place earlier this week.
Egyptian police forces were deployed close to the students’ sit-in “just in case. The students said that the police have been very understanding and treated them well during the sit-in.
The students, a large percentage of them women, intend to remain on the street until “their future and this very threatening issue is resolved.
“We are not going anywhere, we decided on that from the beginning, Khaliq added.