Amira Ibrahim Iraqi, is a 17-year-old girl who ranked first at the national level among thousands of students who received their secondary school results for 2015-2016. Amira scored 409.5 out of 410 or 99.87 percent. You would think such an outstanding result would lead to recognition by and praise from the government. There has been a long tradition in Egypt of the top student being congratulated by the Minister of Education. It won't happen for Amira.
Amira's achievements are being deliberately ignored because she is the daughter of a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, designated as a terrorist organization in Egypt.
The deposed former President Morsi was a member of the Brotherhood as well. Many who protested his overthrow lost their lives as protests were put down, others were jailed. Amira's father was given a life sentence. Her father is a doctor who specialized in kidney disease and had been serving for many years before being imprisoned.
It seems exceedingly narrow-minded to punish the child just because her father belongs to what used to be the main political group in Egypt but now is a banned organization.
The education system in Egypt is notorious for its corruption. There are constant problems being caused by exam questions being leaked. However, there are other problems. Mariam Malak, had been all along been doing quite well in her courses but when she got her final results found that not only had she failed all her exams but did not manage to score even a single mark. In previous exams she had scored near perfection. She had hoped to go to medical school.
Thousands have rallied behind Maria and over 30,000 people have liked a social media page titled "I believe Mariam". Mariam told the CBC: 'I was completely shocked. I couldn't hear anyone, I couldn't speak. I thought how can that happen? How can I get zero?'
Her brother thinks that the school or the examination board swapped her papers with a pupil who was obviously doing badly. Some were spreading rumours that Mariam had been discriminated against because she is a Coptic Chrisitian a minority in mostly Muslim Egypt. However, her family think that she was more likely just caught up in the corruption of the system.
Many have called for an investigation of Miriam's case. Her sister said: 'We believe in God's justice and the law and watching the support and solidarity we've been receiving from people gives us a bit of reassurance. We want an impartial and transparent committee to re-open the investigation and redo her handwriting test... we will continue until we do justice by Mariam.'
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Ken is a retired philosophy professor living in the boondocks of Manitoba, Canada, with his Filipina wife. He enjoys reading the news and writing articles. Politically Ken is on the far left of the political spectrum on many issues.