The Nebny Foundation is facing eviction from its headquarters in Manshiyet Nasser — at the base of Moqattam Hill on the outskirts of Cairo — by the head of the municipal council, the organization said in a statement Monday.
The head of the municipal council recently approved a request by the Postal Authority to rent the headquarters, which “threatens the continuation of the services the foundation offers the area’s residents,” the statement read.
The eviction will particularly affect tutoring, science and ethics classes for primary school students, as well as medical services, the foundation said.
The foundation called on the Cairo governor to intervene and explain the head of the municipal council’s actions, which threaten the services offered to thousands of families.
Nebny works on health care, education, employment and relief projects in the area.
“We welcome a visit by the Cairo governor or a representative to inspect and witness what is being achieved on the ground,” the statement said.
The foundation currently operates from the Cairo governor’s former office in Manshiyet Nasser. Former Cairo governor Abdel Qawy Khalifa approved a request to host the foundation in 2012, which was renewed in 2013 by his successor Osama Kamel. Nebny has been registered with the Ministry of Social Solidarity since 2011.
In a phone-in on a CBC eXtra talk show, Deputy Cairo Governor Mohamed Ayman Abdel Tawab said the issue was purely legal, referring to the absence of an official license to use the premises.
He said the foundation should present a request to the governorate and they may be granted a proper license to use the headquarters.
Jawad Nabulsi, co-founder and executive director of Nebny, however, sees the issue as political.
Nabulsi told Mada Masr that the foundation has seen around 12 different municipality heads and faced problems with all of them.
“We faced problems when we first started, then we faced problems with the Muslim Brotherhood and now again,” he said.
He said the foundation has been struggling with the current municipality head for a while. “They don’t want us in this place,” he said, “They always caused us problems, like disconnecting electricity or cutting off the water.”
Nabulsi said he is surprised at the decision, since the current municipality head just attended the graduation of over a hundred students who completed the foundation’s literacy program.
Nabulsi believes that the current regime, “doesn’t want anything related to January 25 to appear in a positive way.”
Nabulsi is an activist who was catapulted into the spotlight when he was shot in his left eye on January 28, 2011, in which he later lost his sight.
“I am staying out of the picture completely just so they will leave Nebny alone,” he said. “Anyone who has to do with January 25 annoys them.”