The Culture, Tourism and Media Committee of the People’s Assembly demanded Thursday that the ruling military council fire the director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Ismail Serageldin, along with the board of trustees headed by Suzanne Mubarak, wife of ousted president Hosni Mubarak. The demand was approved by the government.
In recommendations from a meeting Monday, the committee demanded an investigation into Serageldin regarding “all the cases of financial and administrative corruption” related to the library.
Head of the committee, Mohammed al-Sawy, said it is necessary to dissolve the current board of trustees and appoint a temporary council, or to work out a mechanism for properly appointing a new council that would “safeguard” the library.
Sawy recommended that new legislation that aims at laying out a vision for the future of the library and its administration be drafted. He also demanded the library be purged of all people involved in corrupt leadership practices during the rule of the ousted regime.
Sawy also demanded an investigation into all contractors and consulting engineers who were in charge of building the library, whose ceiling and many other parts have cracked.
MP Yasser Abdel Rafie, who requested the hearing on the library, said that a meeting in April 2011 confirmed that Ms. Mubarak is still head of the board of trustees of the library.
Rafie added that the Serageldin’s contract of service started in April 2011 and ends in 2016, adding that the former general secretary of the defunct National Democratic Party in Alexandria, Said al-Dakak, still works in the library for a monthly salary of LE30,000.
Minister of Higher Education Hussein Mostafa Moussa said he, as a representative of the government, supports the request to dismiss Serageldin and Ms. Mubarak, adding that a memo filed with the military council demands that a new board of trustees be appointed. The military council renewed Serageldin’s term of service following the 25 January revolution, Moussa added.
Mostafa Bakry, an independent member of parliament, filed a report with Public Prosecution in March 2011 regarding donations to the library that were transferred to a bank account controlled by the ex-first lady.
Serageldin denied any knowledge of the bank account, which contains US$147 million.