Salah Arafa joined AUC in 1968. Before joining the University, he worked as a physics researcher at the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority from 1962 till 1968. Dr. Arafa holds a BSc in Physics and Chemistry (1962), an MSc in Nuclear Physics (1966), and a PhD in Solid State Physics (1969); all from Cairo University. He served as chair of the science department twice and served as senator at large in the University Senate.
Arafa is well known as a leading social entrepreneur in Egypt and the Arab World. He was selected as a Senior Ashoka Fellow in 2004 and was awarded as the 'Man of the Year' for Environment and Development in 2009. Since 1983, Arafa has been involved in many Civil Society activities in Egypt and in the Arab World. He is a board member or chairman for a few of the leading NGOs in Egypt. He is now the chairperson of the African CSO Forum for Child Rights and Welfare. Arafa has also served as a consultant to many international organizations, including: US-AID, UNICEF, GTZ, EU, and UNDP. He is a member of the National Committee on Crystallography at the Egyptian Academy for Scientific Research and Technology. In 2015, he was selected as a Fellow Professor for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Development at the Stromstad Science Academy in Stromstad, Sweden.
Solid State Physics, Radiation Effects, Advanced Materials, Glass Science and Technology, Integrated Community Development, Renewable Energy Technologies, and Environmental Education. Arafa's field research focuses on utilizing natural resources to create eco-friendly communities in the rural villages and desert communities, helping to develop the capacity and the competence of rural civilians and local inhabitants. Arafa's well-known Basaisa projects have gained wide recognition as models for successful field projects and best practices for sustainable community development in Egypt and elsewhere.