Friday,24 May, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1428, (31 January - 6 February 2019)
Friday,24 May, 2019
Issue 1428, (31 January - 6 February 2019)

Ahram Weekly


The ‘balcony’ video

THE PROSECUTION-General on Sunday ordered the release of Hend, a mother accused of endangering the life of her 13-year-old son. A video went viral on social media on Saturday, showing Hend forcing her son Osama to go out the window of a third floor apartment and climb to their sixth floor balcony to open the apartment door from inside after he lost the keys. The child could be heard screaming and crying in fear and neighbours yelling that he would fall. The woman then pulled her son back and could be seen beating him for losing the keys.

The video incited outrage over the reckless treatment of the child.

During the investigation, the mother, who works as a cleaner and who is the family’s sole bread winner, said she did not have the intention to harm the child and was only tired from work and was in need of rest. Osama’s father backed his wife’s narration and pleaded that the charges be dropped.

The mother’s release was ordered out of consideration for the family’s situation and after the woman pledged not to repeat such acts again. The Solidarity Ministry will follow up the case on a monthly basis.

The incident occurred in Hadayek October in Giza on Saturday and the woman was arrested after several complaints were filed against her.

Anti-FGM initiative

EGYPT will launch a new anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) initiative nationwide on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM on 6 February, Minister of Health Hala Abu Zeid said in a press conference on Sunday, adding that the National Population Council is paying “great attention” to the anti-FGM file. The law criminalises whoever carries out such surgery and whoever seeks to undergo it. FGM is a form of violence against girls and women.

According to the World Health Organisation, FGM is defined as any operation involving partial or total removal of female genitalia. Programmes conducted by the National Population Council help raise citizens’ awareness of the dangers of FGM. Egypt cut the rate of the practice by 13 per cent over a six-year period starting in 2008. The practice is often conducted due to cultural beliefs to reduce a woman’s sexual desire.

Island verdict in March

A RULING on a lawsuit filed by residents against a government decree to develop a new urban community on the disputed Warraq Island will be handed down on 23 March. The Administrative Court said on Saturday that the government and residents must submit documents related to the case within two weeks. Warraq residents filled the courtroom during Saturday’s session that witnessed a heavy security presence.

Residents described the government’s decision as an assault on agricultural lands in favour of concrete housing blocks for the rich. They say the government intends to evict the island’s residents, a largely low-income community of 90,000 that includes many who farm land.

During a June 2017 speech, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi identified Warraq as a target of the government’s land reclamation campaign. In June last year, former prime minister Sherif Ismail authorised the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) to establish a new urban community on Warraq Island. Article 3 of the NUCA, however, bans the establishment of a new urban community on agricultural lands.

Art centre in the New Capital

PRESIDENT Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi toured the Arts and Culture City of the New Administrative Capital on Saturday. He was briefed on the city’s construction works.

The city covers 127 feddans in line with the highest international construction standards, according to Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi.

It will feature three theatres accommodating more than 2,500 people, exhibition halls and several galleries for traditional and contemporary art.

Al-Sisi also inspected the New Opera House which, according to Radi, is the largest in the Middle East. It includes the main hall holding 2,000 people, two theatres for music concerts and drama works, the Artistic Creativity Centre and Wax Museum. The city has an art centre, a museum of modern art, a library that can take up to 6,000 people and a satellite-linked cinema.

“Construction on the city is scheduled to be finished 30 months after it started in October 2017. Sixty per cent of the whole city has been built,” Radi said.

The city’s inauguration will coincide with the moving of the headquarters of ministries and parliament to the New Capital in 2019.

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