Alexandria Library workers protest for new leadership

Alexandria Library employees began an open-ended sit-in against Library Director Ismail Serageldin, whose dismissal they have been calling for since March.  

They accuse Serageldin of corruption, but despite his unpopularity, the library board of trustees renewed confidence in him last Thursday.

The employees called on the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces in a statement to dissolve the current board of trustees and appoint another board. They demanded the immediate removal of Serageldin and his aids and investigations into the corruption claims filed against them.

They also called for permanent contracts for temporary workers and the rehiring of unlawfully dismissed employees.

“The message of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, under Serageldin’s administration, was completely devoted to embellish Mubarak’s regime by pretending to advocate the causes of tolerance, human rights, freedom of expression and dialogue,” protesters said in a statement.

The library staff also demonstrated in March to depose Serageldin, labeling him as “one of the figures of the ousted regime.”

Mostafa Bakry, a former independent member of parliament, filed a report with the public prosecution in March alleging that donations to the library were transferred to a bank account controlled by former First Lady Suzanne Mubarak.

Serageldin denied any knowledge of this bank account, which reportedly contained US$147 million.


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