Sarah Abdurrahman is a producer for On the Media
Egypt's Spin-Off Revolutions
Wednesday, April 06, 2011 - 05:53 PM
One thing we planned to do while in Egypt was to go to the University of Cairo's journalism school to see how media professionals are trained and talk to the new generation of would-be journalists. But when we got to town, we found out from another reporter that security on the campus was high and journalists were not being permitted. Turns out, like many other institutions in the country, the University of Cairo was dealing with its own mini-revolution, with student protesters holding a sit-in that has lasted for nearly a month, calling for the dean of the media school to step down.
What we found was that getting onto a revolutionary campus is much like getting backstage at a concert: as long as you act like you are supposed to be there, it is fairly easy to get in. As we neared the media building, we found throngs of students flanked with banners calling for change. In this miniature representation of the revolution in Egypt, the students are the people, the professors represented the army and the dean is the college's version of Hosni Mubarak--and they want the dean out. Shortly after we arrived, a parade of students marched to the steps of the building, chanting that they wanted a free university:
A little later, we witnessed a scuffle between students, and some were thrown out of the building:
There was a great deal of confusion, but some people told us that the dean had sent a group of students to start a fight with the demonstrators. I am not sure if this is true, but if so, it is yet another example of the parallels between the Egyptian revolution and the mini-revolution happening on the university campus.