Black girl evokes crisis in Egypt

A school in Egypt

“We are sorry Basmala, we owe you an apology. There is no discrimination between black and white in Egypt,” the undersecretary of Egypt’s education ministry in the country’s province of Damietta, El-Said Swellam, told a student girl.

Swellam addressed his apology to Basmala Ali Abdel Hamid, a student at the Mohamed Gamal Saber Preparatory Mixed School in Damietta, who was humiliated by her teacher.

Abdel Hamid’s teacher was reported to have called her “black” in front of her colleagues.

In response, Swellam summoned Abdel Hamid in his office and informed her that he had dismissed the teacher for his “irresponsible behaviour.” He also referred the teacher for investigation at the province’s education directorate.

“The dismissed teacher’s behaviour is unacceptable,” the ministry’s undersecretary reiterated, hailing Abdel Hamid’s “excellent” educational level.

The governor of Damietta, Manal Awad, had given a flowers bouquet to Abdel Hamid as an apology during her recent visit to the school. “We [government] do not accept any kind of discrimination in our schools,” Awad said.