President Mohamed Morsy announced on Monday his decision to begin construction on Egypt’s National Project for Scientific Renaissance, also known as Zuwail City for Science and Technology. The decision comes after a long dispute between the founders of the project and the nearby Nile University.
The dispute between Nile University and Zuwail City started when the government decided to appropriate several university buildings and grant them to Zuwail City. In response to this action, Nile University students held a sit-in in front of the university, where they demanded the return of the university buildings.
The dispute was referred to Administrative Court, which postponed the case several times over the period of one month, before issuing its decision to return one of the disputed Nile University buildings to the university administration, and the remaining buildings to Zuwail City. The court verdict was issued on 18 November.
Ahmed Nassar, head of Nile University Student Union, said he does not understand why the decision was issued by Morsy. “They issued a court verdict in our favour, but yet they are doing what they want and preventing us from entering our university”, Nassar added.
Emad Mubarak, lawyer and director of Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), explained that Article 1 of Morsy’s declaration says that the project will be set up in Sheikh Zayed, adding that this does not necessarily mean Zuwail city will envelop the buildings of Nile University. “What we are waiting for now is an allocation decision, specifying where exactly the project would take place,” Mubarak added.
Mubarak said the court verdict is not final, adding that Ahmed Zuwail has already appealed it before the high administration court. “The result of the appeal will determine the fate of Nile University,” Mubarak added.