Egypt’s Deputy Minister of Education, Ahmed al-Gyoushi attending the Forum of Digital skills for African youth held in Tunisia, Thursday, April 19
CAIRO – 21 April 2018: Egypt’s Deputy Minister of Education Ahmed al-Gyoushi almost withdrew from the Digital Skills for African Youth Forum held in Tunisia on Thursday, April 19 as a result of a map of Egypt displayed. The map, considered offensive by Gyoushi had “Israel (to be announced by 2020)” written over Egypt’s surface area.
“Instead of Egypt, you put ‘Israel (to be announced by 2020)’? This is inacceptable, and you have to remove it right now,” Gyoushi objected during the forum. In response, the forum’s managers agreed on removing the map from the presentation, affirming that the offensive map is not even part of the forum’s subject. “It has to be removed; I agree. It is not the subject of the forum and the way that it has been written is not acceptable as well,” said the Tunisian Minster of Education, who was attending the forum.
In statements to Egypt Today on Thursday, Gyoushi affirmed that an investigation into the incident was demanded by the Egyptian government. He added that his participation was as a formal representative of the state, and therefore such an offense should not have occurred.
After seeing the offensive map, which was part of a presentation given by Morne Mostert, director of the Stellenbosch University’s Institute for Futures Research, Gyoushi threatened to withdraw from the forum if the offensive map was not removed.
“Displaying the offensive map occurred only for 30 minutes; however, when I expressed my condemnation for using the map, the Tunisian education minister, who presented at the forum, interfered personally, ensuring the map was removed,” Gyoushi told Egypt Today.
Gyoushi added that Mostert, who had included the offensive map in his presentation, has not apologized for this offensive act.
The forum held in Tunisia during April 18 and 19 was represented by about 120 participants from eleven African countries, according to the forum’s website.
Six targets were listed as expected outcomes from hosting the forum, according to the website, including developing the understanding of digital technologies, sharing knowledge and experiences, raising awareness of the necessity to building strong skills, promoting youth digital skills, sharing youth’s digital skills development and creating a platform for the promotion of the competitiveness and attractiveness of TVET sectors across Africa.
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