The article states that 43 million ID cards were issued. The new project also requires that citizens under the age of sixteen must be issued new birth certificates with a national ID number. There were 42 million citizens who were issued the new computerized birth certificates and national number. Additionally, State Security sources indicated that 25 thousand ID cards were issued to Egyptians living abroad.
The article points to the fact that because of the 5 million pending ID cards, the deadline for the use of old paper documents was extended. It explained that the delay involves mostly rural citizens living in remote areas of Upper Egypt who are lacking local resources and who are unable to travel thousands of kilometers to central locations in order to obtain their documents.
The article makes no mention whatsoever of the religious minorities, such as the Baha'is, who are refused the issue of ID cards simply because of their religious affiliation.
The writer--Fatmah El-Desouqy--states that according to her sources, when the decision to stop using old paper ID cards is issued, all those without a national ID number will become "without identity." All official and unofficial transactions in Egypt require the possession of an ID card. This includes employment, education, banking, owning property, health care, traveling, birth & death, marriage & divorce, vaccination of children, etc....
In the 12th of January Al-Ahram edition, Dr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, president of Egypt's National Council for Human Rights, was interviewed regarding the role of the Council in fulfilling its duties during the past year. He was asked several questions regarding the issue of religious classification on ID cards, and in particular the dilemma of the Baha'is of Egypt. Dr. Ghali affirmed his long-standing position that there is no need for including religious classification on ID cards and that inter-religious dialogue and acceptance is necessary. He also pointed to the need for solving this crisis without the fear of being open and progressive.