CAIRO: Vice Dean of the Faculty of Science at Alexandria University Mohamed Ismail Ibrahim is demanding the Florida-based Gainesville Sun falsify information it published two weeks ago, incorrectly identifying him as the Egyptian-American arrested in Cairo over weapons charges.
In an article published May 12, which quoted Reuters, the Sun reported that Ismail, who is also a Fulbright scholar who conducted research at the University of Florida (UF) in 2006, was arrested in Egypt for carrying weapons in his luggage.
“An Egyptian-American arrested in Egypt on weapons charges Tuesday is apparently a Fulbright Scholar who conducted research at the University of Florida in 2006,” according to the article.
In Cairo, a passenger identified by the media as botany professor Mohamed Ibrahim was detained on Wednesday, May 12 when customs officers at the Cairo International Airport caught him with a metal box containing two 9 mm handguns, 250 bullets, several swords, daggers and knives.
He was flying in from New York’s JFK International Airport on Egypt Air flight 986.
“I was disturbed when I read the news,” Ismail told Daily News Egypt, adding that he feared that this mix-up in names will affect him professionally.
“I wrote a direct response to three editors at Gainesville and the head of the Fulbright commission in Egypt, but I haven’t received a response yet.
“This mix-up is very alarming, especially to my family. My children want me to file a legal suit, but I’m waiting on a response from the newspaper first,” he added.
In his email to Gainesville, Ismail explained that he only holds the Egyptian nationality and that he was not in the United States of America in May 2010.
A few days after the release of the news following the arrest, a full biography of Ismail and his CV were removed from UF’s Florida Museum of Natural History.
“I also contacted by Professor David L. Dilcher [Ismail’s former colleague at UF] who promised me to issue a falsification on the university’s website and to reinstate my biography on the museum’s page,” Ismail said, referring to reactions from a number of fellow American professors as “positive responses”.
Ismail is a professor of palynology and applied micropaleontology at the University of Alexandria where he currently resides with his family.