AN EGYPTIAN university student expelled for hugging her fiancé in a viral video says her life has been “ruined”. The footage shows a young man clut
AN EGYPTIAN university student expelled for hugging her fiancé in a viral video says her life has been “ruined”.
The footage shows a young man clutching a bunch of flowers, kneeling on a path to propose to the woman – western style – before embracing and twirling her around in apparent delight.
But Al-Azhar University, a gender-segregated institution, has taken a dim view of the pair’s public hug, telling media that a disciplinary council has decided to throw the woman out.
Its president, Mohammad al-Maharsawi, told the press her action “was a complete departure from all the Azhar, community and university values”.
According to its website, the Cairo-based institution has provided tertiary education to “many sultans, rulers, presidents, Al-Azhar Sheiks, muftis, ministers, ambassadors, scientists, and scholars”.
However, the viral video was not actually filmed at Al-Azhar – a branch of Egypt’s highest Sunni Muslim authority – but at Mansoura University’s Faculty of Law, about 120km northwest of Cairo.
The student who received the unexpected proposal told The Times she had been invited to Mansoura by a friend, as there was a “surprise” awaiting her.
“MY LIFE IS RUINED”
Upon arrival, the 18-year-old saw an old school friend, who dropped to his knee and popped the question.
The video shows him then rushing up to the stunned student, locking his arms around her and spinning her in the air, while people standing nearby appear to congratulate the newly engaged couple.
But the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Times: “I was shocked, paralysed. I didn’t know how to act.
“My life was ruined because of something out of my hands.”
She was to travel to Cairo with her mum today to meet the uni’s boss and “beg him for forgiveness”.
Al-Azhar spokesman Ahmed Zarei told Ahram Online that the young woman could settle for a lesser punishment.
He said the video had caused a “public outcry” and that the woman had been expelled because she had presented a “bad image” of the university.
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Zarei said that public embraces between unmarried men and women went against the “values and principles of society” in Egypt.
Egyptian Streets says the banned student, who has been studying at the Faculty of Arabic Language at Al-Azhar’s branch in Mansoura, has the right to appeal the decision before a high disciplinary board.
The young man could also face sanctions, a spokesman for Mansoura University said.