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First Egyptian University to Apply a Student Loan System

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Assuit University announced that it will be offering a student loan system in order to facilitate payment of tuition fees for students and this is the first time such a system gets applied in an Egyptian university.

This decision comes in light of the university’s administration determination of developing ways to support the students of higher education, and overcome the known obstacles that may come in their way during their education path.

Tareq El Gammal, President of Assuit university explained that the loan will support middle-class students by giving out EGP 500 loans that shall be paid on three installments by the end of the second semester.

On the other hand, the loans will only cover a portion of the tuition fees ranging between EGP 2,700 and EGP 13,200, which lead some to think that it would be more useful to have the loan cover the general students costs.

Students interested in the educational loan can go to the Social Assistance Office at the Youth Welfare Department at college, and fill the form that will determine the value of the loan, according to what Vice President for Education and Student Affairs Shehata Gharib said.

 

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Matkhafeesh App: Designed to Combat Sexual Harassment

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The ‘Matkhafeesh’ initiative has launched a new application to stand by women against sexual harassment and provide them with legal, psychological and social support.

Salma Medhat Shaaban, co-founder of the initiative, said “The application is a digital way to battle the rising rates of sexual harassment in Egypt.”

“We depend on the information provided by the victims anonymously. The user can enter the data of the place, and the degree of the harassment she faced without asking for her identity.” She added.

“The flow of information can give us accurate statistics to help activists and organizations in order to battle this phenomenon,” she described.

“This helps us in setting accurate and updated areas that witnessed sexual harassment. That information will be sent to the concerned authorities to form a protecting campaign and rising awareness initiatives,” Shaaban indicated.

There will also be a number of expert staff of lawyers with experience in dealing with such cases.

“The lawyers will be well selected, the process of interviewing the lawyers to make sure of the quality of the service,” she expressed.

Women will also get the chance to seek help from professional therapists, who are there to provide mental and psychological support.

 

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Dr. Hoda El-Maraghy Awarded Order of Canada Medal

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Egyptian-Canadian Professor Dr. Hoda El-Maraghy has received the Order of Canada Medal, which is considered to be the highest civil award in Canada.

“Dr. Hoda el-Maraghy is an honorable Egyptian that were are proud of,” said Maya Morsi, head of the National Council for Women, expressing the success and excellence of Dr. Hoda in the field of mechanical engineering.

She also added that the professor had a significant impact on the global industrialization field and contributed greatly in the field, which qualified her to obtain such a prestigious medal.

El-Maraghy is currently the director of the Intelligent Manufacturing Systems (IMS) Center at the University of Windsor, Canada.

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Twitter Wants Your Feedback on Shaping Its New Approach to Verification

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Three years ago, Twitter paused its public verification program after hearing feedback that it felt arbitrary and confusing to many people. A year later, it deprioritized this work further to focus on protecting the integrity of the public conversation around critical moments like the 2020 US election. Since then, the company hasn’t been clear about who can become verified and when, why an account might be unverified, or what it means to be verified.

Today, Twitter is sharing the start of its plans to revamp how people can identify themselves on the platform, starting with verification and asking the public to share feedback on a draft of its new verification policy. Calling for public feedback has become an important part of its policy development process because the company wants to ensure that, as an open service, its rules reflect the voices of the people who use Twitter.

Building Twitter’s verification policy

Twitter is planning to relaunch public applications for verification in 2021, but first, it needs to update its verification policy with the help of the public. This policy will lay the foundation for future improvements by defining what verification means, who is eligible for verification and why some accounts might lose verification to ensure the process is more equitable.

Twitter is starting by more clearly defining some of the core types of Notable Accounts that are served by verification, along with specific and transparent criteria for eligibility. Per the proposed policy, “the blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. To receive the blue badge, your account must be notable and active.”

The six types of accounts Twitter has identified to start are:

  1. Government
  2. Companies, Brands and Non- Profit Organizations
  3. News
  4. Entertainment
  5. Sports
  6. Activists, Organizers, and Other Influential Individuals

More detailed definitions of the criteria above can be found in the draft policy here.

Twitter has also added proposed criteria to automatically remove verification from an account if, for example, it’s inactive or if the profile is incomplete, as well as grounds to deny or remove verification from certain qualified accounts that are found to be in repeated violation of the Twitter Rules. The company recognizes that there are many verified accounts on Twitter who should not be. It plans to start by automatically removing badges from accounts that are inactive or have incomplete profiles to help streamline its work and to expand this to include additional types of accounts over the course of 2021.

Twitter is aware that it can’t solve verification with a new policy alone — and that this initial policy won’t cover every case for being verified — but it is a critical first step in helping the platform provide more transparency and fairer standards for verification on Twitter as it reprioritizes this work. This version of the policy is a starting point, and Twitter intends to expand the categories and criteria for verification significantly over the next year.

Twitter wants to hear from you

Here is a brief survey on Twitter’s draft verification policy, which is available in Arabic, English, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese. The company is also working with local non-governmental organizations and its Trust and Safety Council to ensure as many perspectives are represented as possible.

For those who prefer to Tweet their feedback, they can use the hashtag #TwitterPolicyFeedback.

The public feedback period starts today, November 24, 2020, and continues until December 8, 2020. At that point, Twitter will review public feedback on this policy and train its teams on this new approach. Its goal is to introduce the final policy on December 17, 2020.

Twitter is committed to serving the public conversation by helping people find credible information, hear important voices, and trust the authenticity of the accounts people find on the platform.

What’s next?

Twitter wants to make space for everyone on the platform to express their authentic voices by giving people more ways to identify themselves in their Profiles. The blue verified badge and account labels are two of the ways we help distinguish notable, authentic accounts on Twitter. This year, it has verified medical experts Tweeting about #COVID19 and added account labels to identify candidates running for office.

But verification isn’t the only way it is planning to distinguish accounts on Twitter. Heading into 2021, the service is committed to giving people more ways to identify themselves through their profiles, such as new account types and labels. More will be shared in the coming weeks, as this is the beginning of what the company has planned for 2021.

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