Fall 2008


Meet the Arab Press
Behind the Blueprints
Making History
Changing the New Cairo Landscape
Rethinking Sharia
Dressing Up Downtown
Making a Mark

New trustee elected, Master's in Migration and Refugee Studies begins, AUC provides e-mail service powered by Google, Career Web creates new employment opportunities, Ministry endorses New Petroleum Engineering Major, AUC provides LEAD scholarship to visually impaired student, Four faculty members honored at commencement



Abdel Hamid Abou Youssef '99 describes car rallying as a way of life


Dalia Saad '96, '00 recounts her memories of the downtown campus and looks forward to new experiences at the New Cairo Campus


The New Cairo Campus opens its doors to students, marking a new beginning in AUC’s 90-year legacy
Photos by Omar Mohsen

Making History

With the start of classes on September 7, thousands of students flooded into the New Cairo Campus armed with maps and floor plans. Shady passageways between the academic schools were immediately taken over as old friends greeted each other and teamed up to explore the new campus. The library also quickly became a popular spot, providing many students with a much needed air-conditioned refuge from the heat.

For students attending AUC this semester, the experience is unique. Everything is new, from the campus and commute to classes and services. To help ease the transition, information desks were placed at every gate with staff members answering student inquiries about course registration, ID activation and transportation. In addition, Student Union volunteers, clad in dark blue T-shirts, served as guides, helping students navigate the 260-acre campus in search of their classes. By the end of the week, things had started to settle.

Eyad Ali
Petroleum engineering freshman
Things are a bit chaotic, but the place is amazing. I like the campus and its architecture. I feel lucky to be studying petroleum engineering here.

Yasmin Mohi Eldin
Actuarial science senior
The place feels like a resort. The air is clean and fresh, and the space is very wide. It was a bit frustrating on the first day. I spent half an hour looking for my class.

Omar Attaby
Construction engineering freshman
I’m excited but worried. Beginnings are usually shaky. I had a lab class today, but couldn’t find it. I’m sure everything will eventually work out. This campus is really something. I believe it will enhance AUC’s image regionally and internationally.

Sarah Mazhar
Actuarial science senior
I like the Arab-Islamic architecture; it reminds me of the old campus. We have to walk a lot from one building to the other, but it’s better than dealing with traffic. I’m glad to be attending a year here. I would have wanted to stay longer to see this campus fully-fledged and complete.

Student Diary
My First Week of Class in New Cairo

PICTURE CAPTION: Omar Nofal, photographed by Ahmad El-Nemr

Saturday, September 6 (One day before classes started)
Checking out some real estate near the new campus with my parents, I told my dad to take a little detour and go through the AUC visitor’s gate. I asked the guard at the gate a few questions then headed back out. My initial impressions of the campus were the wide space and the massive scale of the buildings, and how the architecture complemented the surrounding landscape. However, my overruling concern was how in the world I was going to find my way around in such a big campus. Having recalled that there were only 10 minutes between classes worried me even more.

Sunday, September 7 (First day of class)
I passed by a friend to pick her up on my way to the university. Parking inside the campus was a breeze. It was good to be with someone on the first day because we could find our way around faster. Although it was confusing in some cases, we did find our way around quickly.
I came to realize that the 10 minutes between classes might not be a big rush after all. I went to my mass communication adviser to find her sitting amongst several dozen other bewildered students in a classroom lab. I was able to get the information I needed from the adviser and arrived late to the first class. I opened the doors only to find empty desks and chairs that are still in their plastic and cardboard wrapping. After spending some time on campus, I went home, fatigued from basking in the desert sun that shined on the big, open plazas.

Monday, September 8
I must say I am impressed with the Student Service Center on campus. The offices inside look very professional, and the staff members are all pleasant and well trained. Today I was lucky to find my class and attend it. I then left straight away to finish some errands around town and go home early to make up for the lack of sleep the night before.

Tuesday, September 9
I went to class on time and found it quite full. Students had started to find their way around and were able to attend most of their classes. I felt that the semester had really begun today. I was definitely feeling more at ease inside the buildings. After class, I went with a couple of friends to the Jared’s Bagels outlet on campus, although I didn’t eat. It’s nice to have Cilantro and Cinnabon there as well.

Wednesday, September 10
During class, there was a continuous blinking light that I later find out was a test for the fire alarm. That was a bit annoying. I saw one or two students riding their roller blades and scooters on campus. Everyone is free to do whatever they want here. Whether they want to hang around or sit in a secluded place to study, they’ll find what they want here. The place is that big.

Thursday, September 11
Assignments started pouring in. I began to get a feel of what each course is going to be like and the type of work it will entail. I also started to find out what my friends’ favorite spots on campus are. In terms of transportation, my friends and I came up with a car-pooling timetable between us based on our class schedules. I ended up leaving late and was stuck in a heavy traffic jam on my way home to Maadi. That reminded me of the commute to and from downtown.

In general, I like the new campus. I am happy to be graduating from a campus that is well suited to be called AUC. It’s nice to have our graduation ceremony at the campus where we studied, instead of the Cairo International Conference Center. I look forward to visiting the campus when I graduate. I am proud to be affiliated to such a fine place.

Omar Nofal, journalism and mass communication senior