Spring 2010


A Celebration of Success

The Golden Age

Beyond Literary Bounds


What's Up With Downtown

From Inside AUC

Discovering A Foreign Land

Queen Rania Al Abdullah ’91 speaks at AUC, new Board of Trustees member appointed, PhD program begins, provost starts new lecture series, Arabic Web site launched


Professor Salah Arafa honored for environmental work

Ethar El-Katatney ’07 is the first Egyptian to win CNN’s African Journalist of the Year Award

Nevine Loutfy ’74 is the first woman in the Arab world to head an
Islamic bank

Gala El Hadidi ’05, ’07 is the youngest singer to join the Cairo Opera Company


Gihane Refaat, a graduate of the
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Center, recounts the lessons learned from the program


  Alumni Profile

During the 2009 CNN African Journalist of the Year award ceremony held in South Africa; photo courtesy of CNN london office

A Reporter
At 22, Ethar El-Katatney ’07
has been recognized
internationally for
her journalistic work

By Doaa Farag

    Propelled by a love of journalism, Ethar El- Katatney ’07 is the 2009 winner in the economics and business category of CNN’s Multichoice African Journalist of the Year competition. El-Katatney was selected for her article “The Business of Islam,” which is currently being turned into a documentary. She is the first Egyptian to win in the competition, which started in 1995 and recognizes excellence in African journalism.

    “This is a complete and utter privilege, and it is making me more determined to go back home, work even harder and get the message across to my colleagues [journalists] that what we’re doing is great; we’re on the right track,” said El-Katatney during the award ceremony held in South Africa.

    International recognition is not new to El- Katatney, who entered AUC at the young age of 15. She is the winner of the press category in the 2009 Annah Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award, which she received from Prince Albert III, the prince of Monaco, for her article “Identity Crisis 101.” She also won second place in 2008 in an investigative journalism program by the International Center for Journalists in New York and the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism in Jordan for her article on the hepatitis C virus, “Dangerous Blood.”

    El-Katatney graduated from AUC with high honors with a bachelor’s in business administration and a minor in Arab and Islamic civilizations, and was the student representative at her graduation ceremony. She realized her passion for journalism when she became editor in chief of Dimensions, the Student Union newspaper. When she graduated, El-Katatney knew where she was heading: a career in journalism. Currently, she works as a staff writer in Egypt Today and Business Today magazines and has been featured in several newspapers and local television programs.

  El-Katatney filming a story in Nahya village for her master’s in TV journalism; photo by Zeina Awaydate

    “I love being a journalist because I believe I can deliver a message,” said El-Katatney, who is currently pursuing dual master’s degrees at AUC in television and digital journalism and in business administration. “I write feature stories, not news stories. I like to provoke thought, provoke debate. I do not write to inform. I write on issues that are interesting to help my readers learn something new.”

    Besides her journalistic career, El- Katatney is active in local and international cross-cultural dialoguing initiatives. She is a member of the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, and has attended conferences in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, Norway and Denmark. She is also a writer for Muslimah Media Watch, a Web site that critiques how Muslim women are represented in the media.

    In addition, El-Katatney has authored several books. The first, 40 Days and 40 Nights in Yemen, details her experiences in a Sufi school in Yemen, which will be published this year in the United Kingdom. Diaries of a Mujaddida, also to be published this year in both Arabic and English, describes her experience traveling around the Arab world as a participant in Mujaddidun, an Islamic reality TV show headed by Egyptian televangelist Amr Khaled. The show features 16 participants from nine Arab countries chosen out of 250,000 applicants. Traveling to Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Sudan, the participants take part in missions aiming to tackle problems the Arab world faces. Every episode, one participant leaves the show, with the winner at the end receiving 100,000 Euros to create a development project in his or her country.

    El-Katatney’s third book is based on a videoconferencing course she took at AUC, through which she made friends with a student from New York University. The book includes e-mails exchanged over the course of their friendship, with the aim of portraying how two people from different cultures and backgrounds grew close. “I feel I am representative of my gender, my faith and my country, and it is my responsibility to deliver the right message with any language,” El-Katatney said.

    During her time at AUC, El- Katatney was an active student. She was a member of several communityservice clubs and worked in Dimensions as a reporter, English editor, columnist, photographer and production editor. As a member of the Bussy student club, which aims to empower women, she acted in two theatrical productions to promote women’s rights in Egypt. “The diversity at AUC and the wide variety of activities helped me create connections with different people around the world, and it opened my mind to different ways of thinking,” she said. “Education alone is not enough to make you a well-rounded character. You need skills. If you do not take advantage of what AUC has to offer other than classes, then you have cheated yourself out of amazing opportunities and experiences.”