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Egyptian man-turned-woman sues al-Azhar

Prosecutor launches investigations into stolen case file

An Egyptian man-turned-woman has filed a lawsuit with the prosecutor general against the president of al-Azhar University for refusing to re-admit her after the sex-change operation.

Sally Mohamed Abdullah, formerly Sayyed, accused Dr. Mohamed al-Tayeb, president of the oldest Islamic university of stealing the case documents that contained a verdict allowing her to re-enroll in medical school, where she had been student before the operation.

The Supreme Administrative Court had ruled previously that the university was obliged to return Sayed after he became Sally. But Sally was taken by surprise when the court secretary told her that her case file had been stolen.

In her complaint, Sally protested that the university president did not implement the court ruling and accused him of ruining her future.

Prosecutor General Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud opened an investigation into the stolen file.

Sayed underwent a sex-change operation in 1996 after doctors ruled that his physical and psychological makeup were those of a woman. After the operation, a disciplinary committee at the university was formed to decide the medical student’s future and Sally was dismissed.

Sally filed a lawsuit with the Administrative Court, which ruled in her favor, but the university appealed. The case has been pending in court for ten years.

The university had refused to re-admit Sally after she allegedly worked as a belly dancer in night clubs, arguing she was unqualified to attend al-Azhar.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)