Vehicles drive past Al-Azhar University, which was founded in the 10th century through the endowment of a charitable trust, or awqaf, in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
The Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb has called on Al-Azhar University's disciplinary committee to reconsider a decision to expel a female student who was dismissed after a video of her hugging her fiancé on the campus of another university went viral last week.
Despite describing the incident as "unacceptable and violating the community's religious and Eastern traditions," El-Tayeb still called on the disciplinary board to reconsider.
El-Tayeb asked the committee to take into consideration the student's young age and provide advice and guidance to students before resorting to punishment.
On Sunday, Al-Azhar university spokesperson Ahmad Zare told Ahram Online that "the expelled student has the right to appeal the university's decision before a high disciplinary board," adding that the board can reduce the penalty.
Last week, a video appeared on social media showing a man surprising the female student with a bouquet of flowers and kneeling in front of her to propose. He then embraced the young woman and lifted her off the ground.
The video was shot at Mansoura University, where the young woman's fiancé studies.
The woman studies Arabic language at Al-Azhar University's branch in Mansoura in the Nile Delta.