November 25, 2012
Dear AUC Community,
I toured the Tahrir Square campus this morning and would like to report on the heroic work being done on behalf of the University by our security, maintenance and other support services staff.
Since late last week, our staff have been working around the clock to protect the campus. Thanks to their diligence, intelligence and resourcefulness, the campus has not sustained any major damage to date. They were able to respond quickly to several small fires from Molotov cocktails and extinguished them before they caused significant damage. There are broken windows in Hill House and minor damage to the facade on Sheikh Rihan Street, but in general the campus is safe and secure. The enormity of that achievement became very clear this morning with the sight of the Lycee El-Horreya on Mohammed Mahmoud Street, which sustained extensive damage in a fire, and by the sting of fresh tear gas that hung in the early morning air. We have endeavored to ensure that security and maintenance staff assigned to Tahrir are supplied with gas masks, there are ample supplies of food and water, and a nurse is on duty. Despite such difficult circumstances, the morale among our personnel remains high. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest gratitude on behalf of the University to all of the staff who are working above and beyond the call of duty to keep our historic campus safe in these turbulent times.
Throughout the weekend, there were several media accounts of police officers inside the Tahrir Square campus. Those reports are false. In many cases, there was considerable confusion because Central Security Forces were stationed in the Lycee, which shares a wall with the Tahrir Square campus. While there were several unsuccessful attempts by protesters to enter the campus, at no point in time were there either protesters or police inside the campus. Since the campus is closed, only authorized AUC staff are permitted to enter.
As previously announced, the Tahrir Square campus is closed until further notice. The School of Continuing Education and other centers who run programming from Tahrir Square are working on plans to reschedule their activities and will communicate with their constituencies. We are monitoring the situation closely and will keep the community updated with any new information via email and through the Emergency News link on the University's main website. If you are not already registered in the University's Emergency Communication System, please update your information at http://myinfo.aucegypt.edu.
At this time we expect to operate as normal on the New Cairo campus on Tuesday, November 27, since we need to ensure we are able to complete the number of class hours required to finish the semester. All AUC community members who fill prescriptions at the Tahrir Square clinic may do so from their nearest Seif Pharmacy branch. The payroll office also expects to arrange that salaries for November are made available by tomorrow afternoon.
Once again, I wish to thank the remarkably dedicated security and maintenance staff working on our behalf in the Tahrir campus; we must all be very grateful to them.
The American University in Cairo