9th February 2012 10:26 am
The St Andrews Students’ Association SRC has, in a historic move, agreed to twin the Union with the Students’ Union of Ain Shams University in Egypt, in a move to support the pro-democracy movement in that country, and honour the significant contribution that students continue to play.
The twinning of Ain Shams and St Andrews Student Unions will consist of yearly exchanges, joint campaigns (for example concerning human rights issues), Skype conferences and more. It follows a successful visit to Ain Shams by Patrick O’Hare, president of the St Andrews Union, earlier this year. The twinning will be funded by a ‘student democracy fund’, managed by the St Andrews Students’ Association, which will pay for an initial visit of Egyptian student representatives to Scotland in April.
It is hoped that through the collaboration and friendship such a twinning will engender, Scottish students will be sending a message of solidarity and support to Egyptian students struggling for democracy and will bolster their demand for an end to military rule in that country.
President Patrick O’Hare said:
“During a recent trip to Egypt, I witnessed at first hand the repression that students are still facing there, but also the heroism of those who are struggling to complete a revolution. Tragically, three students from Ain Shams have been martyred during the uprising, but students there have also led the inspiring example of overthrowing an appointed Principal and Student President who were both linked to the Mubarak regime. Both are now elected, the first by staff and the second by students.
We are delighted that the Students’ Association at St Andrews is playing a leading role in Scotland in supporting the Arab Spring and the movement in Egypt in particular. We are excited about the visit in April of not only students from Ain Shams, but also representatives from the Union of Egyptian Students as a whole.”