Last updated on January 20, 2021
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Shaden Khallaf '98 '04 is an international expert on refugee and humanitarian affairs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). She currently serves as a senior policy advisor for MENA at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Amman. With 20 years of work and travel across the region, she has recognized expertise in strategic planning and policy formulation, international human rights law and refugee protection, partnership and stakeholder analysis, advocacy and communications, post-conflict transitions and solutions, bridging relief and development, the prevention of violent extremism, and the sustainable development goals. She has catalyzed and spearheaded the design of innovative partnerships with civil society, academia and the private sector on refugee issues through establishing the MENA Civil Society Network for Displacement. Khallaf has previously lectured at the Department of Law and the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy of the American University in Cairo, and at the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, as well as published on displacement in MENA. Khallaf has been featured in several regional publications among “trailblazing Arab women” in the humanitarian and development fields and is committed to being a strong advocate of gender equality and women’s empowerment globally.
Mohamed Abdel-Wahab '01 has extensive research experience in construction skills/training issues with over 40 publications. His work is cited by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and OECD. His collaborative project on using Virtual Reality (VR) for Health and Safety training has recently been shortlisted for the Water Industry Awards 2018. He was a co-Principle Investigator of the Immersive and Controlled Environment (ICE) project (£470k) which won 2-CIOB (Chartered Institute of Building) awards namely premier award in the Digital Innovation category and highly commended award in the Innovation in Education and Training category. His portfolio of applied research is in excess of £0.5million which is funded by various organizations such as CITB (Construction Industry Training Board), Scottish Government, European Regional Development Fund, UK Commission for Employment and Skills, Skills Development Scotland, Energy Skills Partnership, and Scottish Funding Council.
Alyaa Sadek '14 recently published her book Soul Quest which encourages readers to take time for themselves while guiding them on a yearlong journey of self-discovery to come out with deeper realizations on themselves and the world through compelling visuals and interactive activities.
Carol Hammal ‘07 is Egypt’s first trained Art Psychotherapist. She is considered instrumental in developing the art therapy field in Egypt. She received her BA in Art from The American University in Cairo and her master’s degree in art therapy and counseling from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Hammal is a digital art therapy consultant and often guest lectures about digital art therapy tools and their potential integration within clinical and medical settings.
Patricia M. Muhammad (ALI '01) recently published an academic paper entitled, “Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade's Vestiges: Exploring Proposed Forms of Restitution 2016. International Social Science Review Art (2017)”. In 2015, she published three academic book reviews:
- Review of the book The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America by Gerald Horne. The Journal of African American History, 101(3), 359. Retrieved from www.jaah.org.
- Review of the book Corporate Social Responsibility, Private Law and Global Supply Chains by Andreas Rühmkorf, International Social Science Review, 92(1).
- Review of the book Migration and Freedom: Mobility, Citizenship and Exclusion by Brad K. Blitz. International Social Science Review, 91(2).
Pierre Cachia ‘42 (1921-2017) slipped away peacefully on 1st April, a few days shy of his 96th birthday. With the passing of this key architect of Arabic studies who made modern Arabic literature a serious academic subject in both the UK and US, those who have studied and worked with him will not only mourn the loss of a friend, teacher, and mentor, but also the irretrievable era in which the first generation of post-War American and European Arabists and Orientalists made tremendous strides in fashioning academic studies of modern Arabic literature into what it is today: grounded in native fluency of the Arabic language, informed by real experiences lived in close proximity with Arab writers and storytellers, and took seriously the concerns and priorities of Arab scholars, critics and intellectuals. His love of his subject and engaging the minds of his students was underlined in his achievement of 60 years of teaching before finally retiring at the age of 92.
Bahia Shehab ’09 is the first woman from the Arab region to receive the UNESCO Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture.
Farah Al Ashiry '14, Fashion designer and creator of Fufa Fashion. Al Ashiry majored in integrated marketing communications and minored in art and entrepreneurship. When she was only 10, she started doodling clothes and dresses, and her curiosity soon led her to experiment with fabrics and sewing. From visiting her family’s tailor to learn the basics of the craft she moved on to studying fashion design and patternmaking at the Italian Fashion Academy. Then in 2014, she started with a few pieces for herself and found that a lot of her friends liked them. The demand increased so she turned it into her first collection. Watch here.
Samer Sarofim '13, has recently received four awards from major marketing organizations in the United States, such as the Consumer Behavior Track Best Paper Award from the American Marketing Association (AMA); the Pearson Education Michael Solomon's Best Paper in Consumer Behavior Track (2016); the Best Paper in Retailing Track (2016); and the Marketing Management Association's (MMA) Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Doctoral Student Award.
Miray Zaki '04, was chosen and honored by Dow Jones Financial News as one of the top 100 women in finance in 2015 and again in 2016.\
Amy Wilson SA '04, MA '15 has been appointed adjunct instructor within the Liberal Studies Department of the State University of New York (SUNY) Cobleskill Campus, where she is now teaching World Civilization I. She looks forward to teaching additional courses in the spring.
Monica Hanna, BA '04 Egyptology, minor Archeological Chemistry, a.k.a. the "Monuments Woman," has just been appointed as associate professor and founding dean of the newly established College of Archeology of Cultural Heritage at the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport. The Arab Academy is the university of the Arab League, with several campuses in Cairo, as well as in Alexandria and Aswan.
Yukinori Kawae '03, who graduated from AUC with a Bachelor of Arts in Egyptology, is one of 13 worldwide to be selected as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Kawae is now bringing ancient Egypt to modern Japan. He has appeared in Japanese TV programs, gives talks about the history of ancient Egypt and wrote the first Japanese book about the ancient Egypt research associates' work at the Giza Plateau titled Excavating the Pyramid Town. To read more, click here.
Yuriko Koike (CASA ’71) is Tokyo's first female governor and AUC alumna. Koike is focusing on making the event both environmentally friendly and cost-efficient, while also promoting women's rights. To read an Associated Press interview with Koike, click here. To read a New York Times article about her victory, click here.
Christine “Kiki” Haddad Zaynoun ‘12 MPS ATR, is an art therapist who received her bachelor’s in fine arts from The American University of Cairo in 2012 and her master’s in creative arts therapy from Pratt Institute in New York in 2014. While in New York, she worked at Imagine Academy for Autism and The League Education and Treatment Center, where she practiced art therapy and DIR Floortime therapy with children with a wide range of special needs from ages 2 to 21 years old. The year following her graduation, Kiki worked as the art therapist at the Advance Society School and the Learning Resource Center in Cairo, Egypt. She is currently working as an art therapist and RDI consultant at Therapeutic Approach to Growth in San Diego, CA. Kiki has also dedicated her free time to working with Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic through art therapy, as well as many orphans and children in need in Egypt. She was featured in Art Therapy: The Movie, a documentary about art therapy across the globe, and has been asked to write a chapter on art therapy in Egypt as part of a collaborative book about art therapy in the Middle East that is still being compiled.
Seta Mekhitarian Terzian ‘44 - “I graduated from AUC in 1944. This sounds a long time ago. I have lived in Boston since 1948 and I am 92 years old. I still fondly reminisce about my years at AUC. I wanted alumni to learn a little bit about life in the thirties and early forties, so I decided to write a book that I published in 2012. The tile is Two Girls From Heliopolis. I lived in Heliopolis and I really miss my life in Egypt.”
Rania Abdalla '94 is the founder and managing director of IRC Egypt and UAE (Aspire HR Consultants). She is a graduate of The American University in Cairo who majored in economics during her undergraduate years. She also obtained a master's in human resource management from the Kingston Business School in the United Kingdom. Rania has 20 years of experience in human resources, out of which 11 years were in PepsiCo, where she held international managerial positions in London and Dubai for eight years before she relocated back to Cairo as the HR director for PepsiCo Egypt. During her tenure with PepsiCo, Rania was granted many global and regional awards. She was the “overall winner” of the Emirates Business Woman Award (www.ewa.ae), a prestigious award from HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoom. She also won the PepsiCo Chairman's Award, granted by PepsiCo CEO in New York. Moreover, she was recognized by the director-general of the UAE National Human Resource Development Authority which awarded her the Appreciation Award. Other awards granted to Rania include the Inclusion Award from PepsiCo region's president and the Star Award at the PepsiCo headquarters in the United States. Rania is a member of the IRC Executive Board and the Global Leader for Consumer & Retail Practice Group. IRC Executive Search Partners is ranked among the world’s five largest retained search firms.
Motaz Derhalli '62 recently published two stories on Kindle, one called A BEAUTIFUL HOME, about the emotional struggles of a romantic refugee seeking to settle in a beautiful land; the other, A STORM FOR SUZI, takes place during a Khamsin storm, and features AUC in the early ‘60s. Derhalli has published several new e-books: A Deadly Wedding Suit, The Alumni Wall and Fleeing Jaffa. The Alumni Wall is related to AUC. They can be viewed on his author page.
Dalia Rizkallah ‘03 is an Egyptian entrepreneur in the field of children's education through art, events activation and day camps. She was tutored by her late father, the artist Adli Rizkallah, since her early teens and obtaining a bachelor's in political science from AUC and studies of music in Paris, contributed to her choice of working in this field. Dalia decided to return back to her own country to establish a visual arts academy that transcends beyond the common perception of art schools to become a place where children's characters, self-confidence, citizenship ideals as well as artistic exposure and cultural knowledge are all developed and enhanced. Over the past five years, Rizkallah Art catered for an average number of 4,000 children in many locations around Cairo. The foundation is keen on reaching and spreading to all segments of society, by working with street children and collaborating with NGOs such as Banaty Foundation. Rizkallah Art encourages all parents to invest in the creative development of their beloved children and offers discounted rates for AUC alumni and colleagues. Dalia sought to establish a solid structure for the company based on ideals of equality and empowerment for all employees while placing the benefit of the community as their top priority.
Riham Masoud MA ’13, is the 2014 fittest woman in Egypt and founder and head coach of CrossFit Monkey Bars, making her the first female owner of a CrossFit affiliate. Riham Masoud believes that "Your passion is the reason you wake up in the morning, and just the thought of it can keep you up late with excitement." Ever since she was a little girl, Riham, had always been dreamt of owning a fitness studio where sports, music and dance would be magically blended into a workout regime. Her overwhelming passion continued to grow until she became a certified group fitness instructor while she was still a university student. Riham’s passion made her spend 10 years mastering all kinds of group fitness/dance classes (cardio, toning, step aerobics, salsa aerobics and hip hop). She was then introduced to CrossFit in 2013. Riham started coaching at a CrossFit affiliate in Cairo, and that’s when the dream of a little fitness studio grew into a real Crossfit Box.
Yousef Gamal El-Din, graduated with highest honors from The American University in Cairo, with a BA and MA in journalism and social media. He published his new book The Art of Executive Appearance launched on Amazon. Yousef Gamal El-Din is a personal development coach, speaker and author in the field of global communication strategies. He is the founder of Dubai-based Medialitera FZE, a consultancy company which focuses on mentoring an elite group of leading executives and thought leaders on the highly specialized art of optimizing their appearance for television and other media platforms. With many years as the creator and the face of top-rated international programs, and with over 200 articles and references in best-selling books, he has developed cutting edge strategic and tactical counsel on how to shape one's image for maximum gain on TV. Prior to Dubai, he was a news anchor for CNBC International in London where he led coverage of global and financial stories. In nearly a decade of live television which included on-the-ground coverage of the violent uprisings across the Middle East, he conducted interviews with many of the celebrated international leaders of the time. He continues in a long-standing tradition of moderating engaging conversations at major events around the world.
Maryam Massoud '10, is an MA TEFL and MA TESOL graduate. She is opening her own spiritual and self-development haven, Malaz Massoud (Happy Haven) in Mokattam, Cairo. As its name implies, Malaz Massoud is a safe space for individuals and groups to relax and grow mentally and spiritually. Malaz's main objective will be to combine a myriad of art-therapy tools along with a focus on the Egyptian-soul essence from both ancient and modern times. This is in addition to other spiritual disciplines she employs from different cultures around the world, which brings a unique experience to each client. In addition to Malaz Massoud, Massoud is now also working on registering her Sekhem curriculum. Sekhem is an Ancient Egyptian healing modality that has been lost throughout the ages, yet is being taught in various places around the world. Massoud hopes to return this lost knowledge to the land where it was born, spreading it equally among Egyptians and non-Egyptians. Follow Malaz Massoud on her Facebook page.
Safinaz El Tarouty '97, '05 holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from AUC and a PhD in politics from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Businessmen, Clientelism, and Authoritarianism, where El Tarouty provides an original contribution to the study of authoritarianism in Egypt by focusing on the role of businessmen in authoritarian environments.
Jasmine Rhey '10, is a singer and event coordinator from Jacksonville, Florida. She tells the story of her journey traveling the world to find The One in her latest world pop single available on iTunes and Amazon. Rhey is a graduate of AUC’s Arabic Language Institute (now the Department of Arabic Language Instruction) who is passionate about languages and its power to unite humanity. She speaks highly of her time in Egypt celebrating life with the locals, enjoying chicken koshari in the AUC cafeteria, sipping pear Fayrouz and riding horses by the pyramids in the dark of night. She is grateful to her ALI teachers for not only teaching her the language, customs and music of Egypt, but also the love for life that is so unique to the country. Each teacher, she said, truly cared about the success of his or her students. Rhey keeps in touch with most of her ALI teachers through Facebook. The knowledge and understanding she gained from her year spent in Cairo is an experience that she carries with her and expresses deep gratitude for in all of her work. Her love for the Arabic language can be seen and heard in her Arabic language song covers on YouTube.com/JasmineRhey, and her passion for diverse cultures can be seen in her multicultural events.
Ambassador Sameh Aboul-Enein '86 is the permanent representative of the League of Arab States to the United Nations organizations and agencies in Geneva. He was formerly the assistant foreign minister of Egypt for Disarmament, International Security and Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, after holding the position of deputy assistant foreign minister within the same ministry. Ambassador Aboul-Enein is an adjunct professor for Disarmament, International and Regional Security at the American University in Cairo, Visiting Professor for Crisis Management, Security and Diplomacy, University of East Anglia, and for Security & Diplomatic studies at the University of Stirling in the UK, Visiting Lecturer, Course Instructor and Academic Advisor at the NATO Defense College in Rome and at the Defence Academy of the UK and Senior lecturer at the School of Business in the Management Centre of the American University in Cairo (AUC). He is also a member of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Cybersecurity. Aboul-Enein has published and lectured widely in both English and Arabic on international and regional security as well as conflict resolution and Middle East Nuclear Free Zone. Aboul-Enein is the Winner of the 2013 “American University in Cairo Alumni Distinguished Award for Outstanding Work and Talent”. In March 2015, he was also awarded the 2014-2015 "Outstanding Academic Recognition Award" by the Political Science Department, American University in Cairo. He has a vast network of thinks tanks, research centers and non-governmental/civil society organizations, both at the regional and global levels. Prior to this, Aboul-Enein was Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Head of Mission of Egypt to the UK, London. Earlier he was Director of the United Nations Affairs Department as well as Director of Specialized Agencies and International Organizations Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo. From 2002-2006 he was Alternate Representative to the Conference on Disarmament and to United Nations Offices, Permanent Mission of Egypt, Geneva. During his postings in Geneva and London, Aboul-Enein supported several alumni and charity fundraising campaigns for education and capacity-building in Egypt. He served as an advisor to two previous Foreign Ministers. He was Counsellor for Arab and Middle East Affairs, Cabinet of the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Cairo (2000-2002). From 1994-1996, he was the Political Officer for Middle East-Israeli/Palestinian Affairs, Cabinet of the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Cairo. He commenced his diplomatic career in 1987 and has served in numerous posts in his diplomatic role among them, in addition to the above, the Soviet Union and Turkey. Aboul-Enein led negotiations (national/cross-regional/multilateral) in several international fora on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and nuclear energy at the Conference on Disarmament, IAEA, UN First Committee, and NPT.
Mohamed Samir ’89, is president of India Middle East and Africa (IMEA), Procter & Gamble. He has led a wealth of fabric care launches at P&G and been at the helm of many pioneering innovations both in the world of P&G and in the world of fabric care. He has inspired teams across the globe, and his noteworthy projects include being part of the team that created and delivered other innovations in softeners.
Amal Esawi ’89, ’90 an AUC alumna and faculty, Esawi joined the first Egyptian Specialized Council for Education and Scientific Research to help in preparing a new generation of lifelong learners in Egypt. Esawi earned her PhD in materials and manufacturing process selection (1995) from the University of Cambridge, where she served as a postdoctoral research associate at the Engineering Design Center. The research methodologies she developed during her PhD and postdoctoral research were implemented at the Cambridge Engineering Selector, one of the world’s leading teaching resources for materials in engineering, science, processing and design used by more than 600 universities worldwide. In 2009, Esawi received the prestigious State Encouragement Award and AUC's Excellence in Research and Creative Endeavors Award. In 2011, she was named the top-cited author by Elsevier Publishers for her work on aluminum-carbon nanotube composites. Esawi is also a chartered engineer registered in the United Kingdom and the country representative for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Ziad Aly '85, founder and chief executive officer of ALZWAD Mobile service (ZMS), which has developed one of the leading mobile platforms in the MENA region, as well as investments inNo5rog.com, Kareerak.com and Hand Made Media in Cairo, Egypt and Reach 2.0 and Gulfcom in Amman, Jordan. Ziad is married to an alumna and is a parent of an AUC alumna. Ziad has more than 20 years’ experience in business development and senior management in IT, logistics, and transportation and telecommunication. Ziad was an executive board member at Vodafone. In addition, he is the founder of MASRENA NGO and the Freedom Bus and #Z100DaysInitiatives concerned with building a new Egypt.
Randa Abdou '88 a seasoned marketing expert and entrepreneur who founded Egypt's first marketing consultancy firm by practitioners with FMCG background. In 2007, Randa received an achievement award by the Ministry of Investment for her positive contribution to the Egyptian economy. She was recently selected by Wharton University to be featured in a book titled Arab Women Rising – 35 Arab Women Entrepreneurs Making a Difference.
Rania Saleh '04 published her first book titled, The Political Cartoons: From the Urabi Revolution Until the January 25th Revolution. The book is published in Arabic.
Mohanad Khaled ’94, ’97 is the first AUCian with a mechanical engineering degree to become a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), one of the leading accountancy qualifications in the world. After becoming a member, he was also selected to be the first voluntary representative of ACCA in Egypt, to date. Mohanad is currently the managing partner of one of the leading auditing and accounting firms in Egypt, BDO Khaled & Co. (member of BDO International).
Maha Hany Shash '04 is the first AUC graduate and one of the first two Egyptians to be selected as a 2013 Gates Cambridge scholar.
Adrians Franciscus Beljaars ’88 had this to say about AUC: "With increasing gratitude I think of my time at AUC (ALU, 1988), even though my Arabic language skills are today not exemplary (for which I alone am to be credited). My past time at the campus library, University life and submersion in Cairean society prepared me well for my work with the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Ever since, I have been working for them in armed conflict and – a bit – better environments in the Middle East and Africa, from Sudan to Libya and Yemen to Lebanon and Syria. The AUC experience influenced how I observe the world and even my private life. I am now married to a great lady of Moroccan birth and have a son whose name is carved in stone somewhere at the AUC campus: Nabil Beljaars. I particularly admire AUC’s relentless institutional effort to promote peoples’ understanding and diversity, which is a great necessity in our times to ensure cohesion and wellbeing in communities and within and between countries, be it in the Middle East or in my home country, the Netherlands. My interests are in the Middle East, Orientalism, fourth-generation warfare, terrorism, culture and conflict resolution, mental health, diversity and interculturalisation, social history of humanitarianism, future technology and communication, virtual reality and networks, and institutional citizenship. Currently (2013) I am finalizing a new book titled, Do-Gooders and Moral Fitness in the 21st Century: Endeavouring Phronesis in the Looming Hazes of Warfare." To connect with Adrians Franciscus Beljaars, click here.
Menna Nabil Arafa ’10 shares this testimonial with the AUC community: “The accounting major at AUC provided me with a cutting-edge experience, that was challenging and intellectually rewarding. We are lucky to have professors who share with us real-life cases and their own papers in addition to the academic material. It’s as if we are gaining a glimpse into the laboratory of social science.”