Yemen’s ambassador to Egypt accused of ‘stealing’ top students’ scholarships ‘for friends’ 

Activists and journalists have previously accused Ambassador Mohamed Marem of involvement in corruption during his post in Egypt. (Screen grab)
Updated 27 September 2019

Yemen’s ambassador to Egypt accused of ‘stealing’ top students’ scholarships ‘for friends’ 

  • Fatima Hajar, who received a 99.7 percent average grade, discovered her scholarship to study medicine was given away
  • Ambassador Mohamed Marem was accused of corruption and “stealing” government scholarships to give to “his friends'” children

Yemen’s ambassador in Egypt, Mohamed Marem, was accused of corruption and “stealing” government scholarships of Yemeni students to give to “his friends’” children, Yemeni media reported.

Fatima Hajar, who received a 99.7 percent average grade from school, arrived in Cairo after receiving a government scholarship to study medicine in Egypt, but found out that Marem had given her place to the daughter of one of his diplomatic friends, activists reported.

Four similar cases of students who had their government scholarships stolen were also reported, the activists added.

The corruption scandal caused an outcry among the Yemeni community and lead to an official announcement from the Yemeni government that the allegations would be investigated.

Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed also instructed the ministers of Higher Education and Foreign Affairs to complete the admission procedures of the students who have had their scholarships taken.

The prime minister also directed the two ministries to promptly open an investigation within the embassy in Cairo.

The official statement from the government confirmed that the Yemeni embassy in Cairo had taken five scholarships from top students and awarded them to other students who were close to embassy staff.

The Ministry of Higher Education has denounced the embassy in Egypt for giving the students scholarships - awarded by the ministry - to other students, and outside the ministry’s approval.

The ministry noted that it would not hesitate to take any appropriate legal action in cases of violation to preserve the interests of students.

Activists and journalists have previously accused Marem of involvement in corruption during his post in Egypt.


Clashes, tear gas in Beirut as protests turn to riots

Updated 06 June 2020

Clashes, tear gas in Beirut as protests turn to riots

  • Divisions among protesters over the goals of the demonstration quickly became apparent as groups of protesters faced off
  • Hundreds of Lebanese soldiers and riot police were deployed on major roads in the capital and its suburbs ahead of the protest

BEIRUT: Lebanese riot police fired tear gas at protesters in central Beirut on Saturday, after a planned anti-government demonstration quickly degenerated into rioting and stone-throwing confrontations between opposing camps.
A few thousand demonstrators had gathered in Martyrs' Square hoping to reboot nationwide protests that began late last year amid an unprecedented economic and financial crisis. But tensions and divisions among protesters over the goals of the demonstration quickly became apparent as groups of protesters faced off, with the army standing between them.
Scattered groups of protesters arrived in the capital's downtown area, only some of them wearing masks and face shields to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, in response to calls for a centralized protest to press for demands.
Lebanese rose up against their political leaders in nationwide mass protests on Oct. 17 amid a spiraling economic crisis, blaming them for decades of corruption and mismanagement. The protests, which further deepened the slump, eventually lost some momentum and later were put on hold after the outbreak of the pandemic.
The government has gradually begun easing a lockdown aimed at curbing the virus, and protesters have returned to the streets in small numbers in recent days. Saturday's protest was called for by grassroots organizations and civil society groups as well as several political parties, including some groups who have introduced for the first time demands for the Shiite militant group Hezbollah to disarm.
The participation of political groups and anti-Hezbollah slogans have upset some activists and protesters who say the focus should remain on addressing the country's economic crisis and calling for early elections.
Hundreds of Lebanese soldiers and riot police were deployed on major roads in the capital and its suburbs ahead of the protest. They later stood between supporters of Hezbollah and its allied Shiite Amal movement on one side and protesters on the other, some of whom shouted insults aimed at the Hezbollah leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
The pro-Hezbollah side, some carrying yellow Hezbollah flags, chanted “Shia, Shia, Shia!”
Near the parliament building, a group of young men hurled rocks over cement barriers erected to seal off the area. Young men vandalized several storefronts, including a luxury French designer furniture company and a nearby hotel. Police responded with heavy tear gas.
The unprecedented economic crisis, nationwide protests and pandemic pose the biggest threat to stability since the end of the country’s civil war in 1990, and there are fears of a new slide into violence.
In recent weeks, the Lebanese pound, pegged to the dollar for more than two decades, has lost 60% of its value against the dollar and prices of basic goods soared. Unemployment has risen to 35% and an estimated 45% of the country’s population is now below the poverty line.