Bibliotheca Alexandrina workers protest to dismiss director

More than 1500 workers staged a protest on Wednesday outside the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, preventing the director, Ismail Serag Eddin, and other officials from accessing the library and demanding they be sacked.

Workers at the Alexandria library protested against refusing to provide permanent contracts for temporary workers and firing 14 workers who oppose the administration's policies.

Protesters also demanded “investigating the squandering of public funds and theft of artifacts from the library” and “questioning all directors related to the ousted [Mubarak] regime,” according to a statement issued by the protesters. Armored vehicles and army troops were called to intervene after arguments between the protesters and Serag Eddin became heated.

Protesting workers said that some officers met separately with the protesters' representatives and Serag Eddin. Serag Eddin pledged to contract 2500 workers on a permanent basis, a number that would cover all of the library's temporary workers.

Workers also demonstrated in March to depose Serag Eddin, labeling him “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 on the rigging of donations to the library, which were transferred to a bank account controlled by ex-first lady Suzanne Mubarak.

Serag Eddin denied any knowledge of this bank account, which was found containing US$147 million.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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