Ismail Serageldin of the Bibliotheca Alexandria acquitted

03-01-2018 12:52 AM

Nevine Kameel

An Alexandria court has acquitted Ismail Serageldin, previous director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), of charges of money squandering and negligent management.

Directly once the ruling was pronounced, the current BA director

Mustafa al-Feqi called Dr Serageldin to congratulate him.

Dr Serageldin’s case began in 2011 following the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, when a number of workers at the BA collected signatures demanding his removal and filed official complaints against him accusing him of corruption. The prosecution dismissed all the complaints except three which warranted a misdemeanours charges. A lower court last July sentenced Dr Serageldin to imprisonment and a fine; but the Court of Appeals finally acquitted him.

Dr Fiqi had staunchly defended Dr Serageldin all through the case. He issued a statement following the first ruling, in which he stressed the value of Dr Serageldin’s contribution to the BA since it was established in 2002. He also volunteered a testimony in court in Dr Serageldin’s favour.

Dr Serageldin issued a statement in which he voiced his comfort and relief at the final ruling, and thanked all those who supported him, in Egypt and outside Egypt.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is the modern-day Library of Alexandria that was established to emulate its namesake in the Greco Roman era (332BC to 640AD). The modern BA came under the directorship of Ismail Serageldin when it opened 15 years ago, and continued as such till May 2017 when he resigned his post. Throughout his tenure, Dr Serageldin worked to regain the magnificent reputation the ancient library enjoyed of civilizational, intellectual, scholarly and enlightenment achievement. In this, he fulfilled his role to perfection.

Watani International

2 January 2018

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