American University in Cairo (AUC) (Photo: Reuters)
The American University in Cairo (AUC) issued a statement Sunday afternoon regarding what they described as false accusations, where General Magdi Abdel-Ghaffar, head of Egypt's national security apparatus, told Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jareeda earlier on Sunday that AUC had engaged in "strange activities," that potentially harm the country's security and stability.
Right after Al-Ahram's Arabic portal published the news, Ahram Online spoke to AUC Counsellor Amr Salama, who said he had contacted Abdel-Ghaffar, who had denied making any such statements. Salama went on to say that he had asked Abdel-Ghaffar to issue an official statement on the issue, adding that AUC, too, would soon issue a formal statement regarding the allegations.
AUC's statement reads: "Al Ahram Gate, the online Arabic news portal, reported today, Sunday, 8 April, 2012 that the head of Egypt’s National Security Sector General Magdy [sic] Abdel Ghafar accused the American University in Cairo of engaging in 'suspicious activities' and inciting violence in Mohammad Mahmoud Street and near the Council of Ministers. These allegations are completely false and have been denied by the National Security sector today, Sunday, 8 April, 2012."
For its part, the American University in Cairo adamantly rejects all false allegations being made against it and its role in Egypt. AUC, they say, is first and foremost an educational institution whose mission is to be of service to Egypt and that has for more than 90 years worked to advance scientific research, academic excellence, community service and civic engagement. Its faculty, students and alumni are proud and dedicated members of their communities.
Kuwaiti's Al-Jareeda paper claims that Abdel-Ghaffar said that Egypt's national security apparatus had made similar accusations in the past, but that relations between ousted president Hosni Mubarak's son, Gamal Mubarak, and AUC officials had "prevented any action from being taken in this regard." Abdel-Ghaffar reportedly went on to accuse AUC of supporting foreign agendas, "intellectually, morally and financially," particularly during a series of violent clashes late last year between protesters and security forces in downtown Cairo.