Four recent killings at universities in three Arab countries have sparked worries that violence on campuses is escalating across the region and that policies for keeping campuses safe need to be strengthened and better enforced.
Academics are also raising concerns about the role of social media, the added stresses on students in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the lack of psychological services on many campuses as factors that contribute to an apparent trend of escalating student violence.
The separate killings of two female students in Egypt and Jordan in late June had already provoked regionwide anger when the killings of two professors at a university in northern Iraq were announced last week.
The most recent killings took place on June 28 at at Salahaddin University–Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Local authorities said a gunman killed the dean of the Faculty of Law, Kawan Ismail, and a professor of engineering, Idris Hama Khan. The gunman was identified as a student who had previously been dismissed from Soran University and had been trying to transfer to Salahaddin University–Erbil.
Nayera Ashraf and Iman Rashid
The two young women killed earlier were identified as Nayera Ashraf, who was studying at Mansoura University in northern Egypt, and Iman Rashid, who was studying at the private Applied Sciences University, in a suburb north of Amman.