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Cairo University Employee Shot Dead at the Hands of her Former Partner

September 28, 2023
Cairo University Campus. Photo Credit: Michael Gallagher via Flickr
Cairo University Campus. Photo Credit: Michael Gallagher via Flickr

Cairo University employee Nourhan Hussein, 29, was shot dead on university grounds at the hands of her former partner on Wednesday, 27 September.

A brief statement released on the Egyptian Interior Ministry’s Facebook account detailed that the killer was found in the northwestern governorate of Matrouh and took his own life before he could be apprehended by authorities.

Nourhan’s former partner shot her four times, and fled the scene of the crime. 
At the time, Nourhan had been at her office, accompanied by four colleagues, when the accused, Ahmed Hussein, used an unlicensed weapon to end her life.

“The accused did not leave my daughter alone, and he continued to send threatening messages to me and her, and he ended up killing her inside her office,” said Nourhan’s father to Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm (AMAY). “My love [Nourhan] was among the top of her class in college, and everyone loved her.”

According to non-profit organization, Speak Up, Nourhan’s former romantic interest had proposed to her eight years ago, yet was refused due to his misconduct and harassment. In retaliation, he proceeded to torch her car three years later.

Nourhan accordingly filed a lawsuit against the perpetrator. He was sentenced to prison for a year and a half and fined EGP 100,000 (USD 3,236) in compensation. He ultimately only served a three-month prison sentence.

Preceding the crime, Nourhan had experienced harassment from the perpetrator for years. Her family explained to AMAY that they had waived the amount of the fine, nonetheless the perpetrator continued to harass Nourhan, and threaten pursue her until the victim’s family asked for the daughter to be transferred from her department at Cairo University, as she was working with accused in the same administration at the Faculty of Archaeology.

Femicide and gender-based violence crimes are not rare in Egypt.

According to the Economic Cost of Gender-Based Violence Survey, which was carried out in 2015 by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the National Council for Women (NCW), and the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), approximately 7.8 million women experience violence every year in all its forms, whether it is committed by their partners or fiancés, people in their personal networks, or by strangers in public spaces.

In a separate and more recent report, the Egyptian Edraak Foundation for Development and Equality stated that there had been a “notable rise” in gender-based violence in Egypt, with 813 cases of violence against women reported in 2021, compared to 415 in 2020.

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