Egypt's Defense Minister honors retiring officers, 'train lady'

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Sun, 13 Sep 2020 - 08:53 GMT

Safia Abou El Azm known as 'train lady' honored by Minister of Defense and Military Production Mohamed Zaki – Facebook official account of the Egyptian Armed Forces spokesperson

Safia Abou El Azm known as 'train lady' honored by Minister of Defense and Military Production Mohamed Zaki – Facebook official account of the Egyptian Armed Forces spokesperson

CAIRO – 13 September 2020: Minister of Defense and Military Production Mohamed Zaki honored on Saturday evening the officers who retired in 2020 as well as the "train lady."

 

The families of the officers attended the ceremony as they were awarded the Presidential Second Tier Medal. The eldest among the retired officers delivered a speech to thank the Egyptian Armed Forces for the continuous capacity building, and support to their families.

 

In turn, Minister Zaki delivered the greetings of Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and praised the honesty and commitment of the retiring commanders.

 

The minister also honored the "train lady," Safia Abou El Azm, who purchased a train ticket for a conscript who lost his train pass and was about to get off halfway after he had been scolded by both the train chief and supervisor.

 

The minister also honored the soldier for his discipline even when he was off duty, and for abiding by COVID-19 protective measures as he put on the face mask while on the train while many of the other passengers did not.

 

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Minister of Transportation Kamel al-Wazir instructed Friday carrying out psychological check-ups on railway workers who deal with passengers - like ticket venders and train supervisors – as part of the periodical training they receive.

 

The decision comes one day after the supervisor and chief of a train operating between Cairo and Mansoura scolded a conscript for showing neither a ticket nor an Armed Forces train pass. While they were escorting him off the train, a woman bought him a ticket but he insisted to pay her back.

 

It is noted that the Egyptian Armed Forces pay ahead for conscripts to board trains without having to purchase tickets. In Thursday's case, it seems that the conscript had lost his pass. That is why the minister stated in a phone-in that he had issued a decree instructing supervisors to not ask for the pass as long as the conscript is in the military overall.

 

The whole situation was videoed by a passenger, and went viral on social media prompting the presidency and the Egyptian Armed Forces to thank the woman as well as a penalty against the train's supervisor and chief by the minister of transportation.

 

The former and latter were subject to pay cuts equivalent to the wages of 15 days and 50 days, respectively. They would no longer work on passenger trains as they will be only assuming duties on cargo trains. They will also be fined LE4,000 for not putting on face masks, and be subject to drug tests.

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