University students forced to salute national flag

Egypt’s public universities started the academic year last week by forcing all students to salute the flag and sing the national anthem in an effort to boost patriotism, reports Ahram Online. The new tradition was announced recently by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar.

It was implemented in universities across the country, with university officials, professors, military representatives and students inaugurating the ritual. Abdel Ghaffar said there was a desire to increase a sense of national pride among the 2.5 million Egyptians returning to higher education. “This is not the only activity to raise the sense of belonging to Egypt among the students, because there are many plans for religious, cultural, artistic and political activities, as well as field trips to visit the country’s national projects.”

All student unions and political societies have been banned by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s government since 2015. Abdel Ghaffar hinted that that would remain the case stating: “There will be no space for partisan work at the universities.”
Full report on the Middle East Monitor site