Egypt's Al-Azhar University overturns decision to expel female student over hug

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 Jan 2019

File Photo: Al-Azhar's University female branch headquarters located in Cairo's Nasr City District (Photo: AFP)

Egypt’s Al-Azhar University overturned a decision to permanently expel a female student after she was filmed during a public embrace with a male friend, hours after the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb urged the university to reconsider their decision.

The university’s disciplinary committee said in its emergency meeting that it has decided the scrap the ‘punishment’, deciding to prevent the student from sitting for her exams this term in ‘keenness over her educational future’.

According to the committee, the unidentified female student "expressed her deep regret over her actions, pledging a commitment to the student ethics and society values."

The decision comes after El-Tayeb called on the disciplinary board to revise their punishment, despite describing the incident as "unacceptable and violating the community's religious and Eastern traditions."

Last week, a video went viral on social media showing a man, a student at Mansoura University, surprising the female student with a bouquet of flowers and kneeling in front of her in what appears to be a marriage proposal. He then embraced the young woman and lifted her off the ground.

The woman studies Arabic language at Al-Azhar University branch in Al-Mansoura in Nile Delta but the video has been taken at Al-Masnoura University. The incident triggered the two universities’ disciplinary boards to take action.

The male student was expelled for two years, yet he can still appeal the decision.

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