Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Case Of Said Elnashaie

The spectacular sacking of Dr. Said Elnashaie, a Distinguished Professor at Penn State University, Pennsylvania, USA gave rise to a lot of speculation. Our team decided to follow this unexpected news and came up with some rather surprising and in fact deeply disturbing information. Dr. Said Elnashaie was born in Egypt in 1947; he attended Cairo University, Faculty of Engineering and became a Chemical Engineer and subsequently obtained a Master’s degree from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and then a Ph.D. from Edinburgh, Scotland. Said Elnashaie is no foreign to problems. He is a highly controversial personality. During his student years and in the time of President Nasser of Egypt he was dismissed from Cairo University for inducing violence and throwing stone at the police. During the time of Sadat, he led a group opposing renormalization of relations with Israel and is said to have imported small firearms via his then Irish spouse. Finally and not surprisingly, this extreme left wing personality belonged for many years to the forbidden hardcore Egyptian Communist Party. Both he and his wife, Dr. Shadia El Shishini were indicted by the Egyptian State Prosecution for two criminal counts of forgery and theft on 3 January 2004, Case no. 2294 for the year 2003 by 6 October Criminal Court. They stole a considerable amount of money from Said Elnashaie’s mother who died during this episode. Said Elnashaie defected to the USA about 9 years ago but his wife Shadia was arrested and served a sentence in the woman’s prison in Qanater, Egypt. Dr. Said was sentenced to two years hard labor in absentia. Strangely and within very mysterious circumstances, Dr. Shadia El Shishini was released from prison and her sentence was revoked for lack of sufficient evidence. However Dr. Said Elnashaie was arrested and given a suspended sentence of one year of hard labor by Giza Criminal Court on 16 December 2007, Public Prosecution Lawsuit no 2294 for the year 2003. We were told by the authorities at Penn State University that Prof. Said Elnashaie had to be dismissed, first because of his criminal record and second because he lied about it. Prof. Said Elnashie had a checkered career which led him to be employed and then dismissed by many universities: First, Auburn University, Alabama; second: University of British Columbia, BC, Canada, in addition to the University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and El Ain University in the United Arab Emirates.
That is the real reason behind the dismissal of Dr. Said Elnashaie. There have been many hints concerning his mental stability because he was in treatment in England in connection with schizophrenic paranoia. Our team was all the more surprised to learn that despite of all the above history, Dr. Said has been made Dean of Engineering, Computer Science and Information Technology at the University of Sinai, Sinai, Egypt. This appointment was deplored by many who fear the influence of such a character on the academic environment in which students are learning. If all of the above is accurate, then this would be once more an argument in the arsenal of those in the Arab world and particularly in Egypt who oppose private universities in Egypt.