Every sentence of the following short article from Agence France Presse reveals another facet of the soul crushing depth of corruption and repression in Egypt:
Egyptian security forces detained a schoolboy for several hours after he wrote in an exam that President Hosni Mubarak was a tyrant who ruled over cowards, an Education Ministry official said on Monday. Safwat Hassan, 17, wrote in his end of high school exam in the southern city of Luxor that Mubarak was “a tyrannical leader” and Egyptians were “a cowardly people,” the official in Luxor told AFP. The official said the boy wrote the answer in a maths exam because he was convinced that he was going to fail as he comes from a poor family that could not afford treating school staff to the customary meals during exam time. Egyptian teachers are notoriously badly paid and almost always have to take on private classes and accept gifts to make ends meet. Hassan was questioned for several hours by local security forces and “might be charged with defamation,” the official said, without being able to say how security services found out about the boy’s answer. The teenager has been barred from taking more exams this year and will have to retake them all next year, the official said.