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Cairo University bans female staff from wearing face veil in its hospitals

Cairo University head Nassar cites 'the protection of the rights of the patients and work interests' as a reason for the decision

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Feb 2016
Cairo University (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Cairo University (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
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Cairo university head Gaber Nassar issued a decision to ban female doctors and nurses from wearing face veils in all of the university’s hospitals and clinics starting from Sunday.

The decision will be applied on doctors, nurses, hospital technical assistants and all staff in Qasr Al-Aini hospital as well as other medical facilities owned by the state-owned university.

Nassar’s decision cites “the protection of the rights of the patients and work interests.”

Last October, Nasser issued a decree to ban the university's academic staff from wearing face veils, also known as niqab, inside classrooms.

He justified his decision by saying that the number of teaching staff members wearing the full-face veil is only 10 out of approximately 22,000 members teaching in 24 faculties.

"The university received reports from some of the faculties’ deans regarding difficulties in communication between students and teachers wearing the niqab, particularly in language courses," Nasser said at the time. 

"The ban aims to enhance the quality of communication and education."

A court verdict in January said that Nassar had the right to ban teachers from donning face veils inside classrooms.

Lawyers representing 100 Cairo University researchers who wear the face veil filed the case against the ban. 

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