University students across Egypt have become the latest prominent demographic to join the wave of public dissent over the sovereignty transfer that saw two Red Sea islands fall under Saudi authority after an agreement with the Egyptian government.
A student movement was launched on Saturday to protest the maritime demarcation of the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir. The movement garnered increasing support in universities across the country and on social media, after releasing a founding statement that advocated against “selling the future”.
“We reject the process of selling the future; the future is ours,” the statement read.
The new movement, entitled “the students will not sell”, considers the Egyptian-Saudi agreement a “new chapter of the government’s disrespect of popular awareness and a violation of the constitution”.
The coalition includes student movements affiliated with political groups, such as the Al-Dostour, the Egyptian Social Democratic and the Bread and Freedom parties.
The movement is not part of Egypt’s elected student union, nor does it fall under its umbrella, according to the union’s resident Abdullah Anwar. However, the union also is considering its stance on the issue.
“We are holding a meeting later on Sunday, following which we will announce our stance,” Anwar told Daily News Egypt. A student activist said the union is inclined to advocate for student protests and will most likely support the new movement.
Public demonstrations protesting the agreement on Friday resulted in the arrest of dozens of protesters, who faced charges of affiliation to a “banned” organisation, breaching the Protest Law, obstruction of roads, “thuggery” (a statute in the Egyptian penal code), and “unlawful assembling”.