For the first time, a woman will head a municipal district in Egypt's second-largest city: Soad Helmy was appointed to her new position in Alexandria's central district Saturday, effective immediately, according to Ahram Online, which is majority-owned by the Egyptian government.
Before Alexandria Gov. Hani Meseiri made the appointment, only one other woman had filled a comparable seat in the North African country. Azza Sherif was named the head of Cairo's Dokki district in September 2013, Ahram Online said.
Helmy's district houses some of the city's major attractions, the most notable being the Library of Alexandria. Opened in 2002, the modern library was built close to the site of its fabled predecessor, which was constructed in the third century B.C and was burned, in whole or in part, during Julius Caesar's siege in 48 B.C. The new library looks like a gleaming sundial tilted toward the sea, as Ahram Online reported. "The neighborhood's northern border begins by the cornice, opposite the area flanked between Delta Street and the old stock exchange, and bordered from the south by Lake Mariot Bank and the Meyah El-Shorb canal," the media outlet said.
Egypt has experienced a fair amount of political turmoil in the past week, with some of it centered on the country's deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. First, a court Tuesday confirmed a death sentence given Morsi over his involvement in a mass prison break during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, BBC News reported. And then, Morsi's attorneys Thursday filed an appeal of his 20-year prison sentence over the arrest and torture of demonstrators during his presidential tenure, Agence France-Presse said.
Morsi was ousted as Egypt's leader in July 2013 by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, then the country's army chief and now its president.