Student activism revived by Tahrir protests

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CAIRO: Many university students have been actively participating in the ongoing protests in Tahrir Square, organizing marches from their campuses to the square since the start of clashes between security forces and protesters on Saturday.

On Wednesday three different marches arrived from Cairo, Ain Shams and Helwan Universities.

Over 200 Faculty of Commerce students moved at noon in a march organized by the Socialists Students movement. The march moved around the campus gathering more people with loud strong chants against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. The march was later joined by another from the Faculty of Medicine and made its way to Tahrir through Qasr El Einy Street.

Mohammed Abdelhamid, 19, said that the march had many injured protesters that were part of the clashes.

“Student activism is part of Tahrir, it made it strong and now it’s time to stand by the revolutionaries,” he said.

As they entered Tahrir, students scattered to help where they can; doctors went to the field hospitals and the front lines on Mohammed Mahmoud St.

Student activism also reached schools with hundreds of school girls marching to Tahrir. Eyewitnesses in the square said young boys formed a circle around the girls to protect them.

In solidarity with Tahrir, a protest also took place at the German University in Cairo (GUC) organized by the student union and “GUC Rebels” movement. Protesters chanted against the military rule and SCAF.

Ahmed Poston, student union vice president told Daily News Egypt that they are trying to bring the Tahrir spirit to the campus and that will bolster student activism.

“Some students supported, but they just didn’t contribute, some were opposing this action and the rest just watched,” he said.

Lina Ezzat, a senior pharmacy student at GUC that volunteered at the field hospitals since Sunday was trying to get absence excuses from the faculty dean so more students can join Tahrir and volunteer. However, the dean said students had to go on their risk, according to Ezzat.

At Cairo University, most students from the engineering class of 2013 objected to sitting an exam on Monday, saying they want to join protesters in Tahrir.

Mahmoud Sarty told DNE, “Especially after hearing some news about a colleague dying in the clashes, 250 out of 300 wanted this exam postponed, the doctor refused and insisted on having the exam and kicked the 250 out.”

After the exam, students who attended the exam engaged in a debate with the students who didn’t, with both groups eventually leading a march to Tahrir.

“I wasn’t going to say this is a student uprising, but after knowing that the Communication and Aviation faculties cancelled their exams and marched to Tahrir, then I think this is a student revolution. We will help as much as we can; we are a big part of this community,” he said.

Blood donation services were available on Thursday at GUC, the American University in Cairo and the International English School in fifth and third settlement in New Cairo.


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