AUC Celebrates One Hundred Years In Egypt
February 10, 2019, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) celebrated yesterday a century of excellence, innovation, service and distinctive community in Egypt. The year-long centennial celebration kicked-off yesterday in Tahrir Campus Downtown, with the inauguration of the Tahrir Cultural Center (TCC). The Centennial Celebration Launch also featured performances by alumni singers Hisham Abbass ’88 and Mahmoud Esseily ‘06 and international bands, in addition to various cultural and entertainment activities. The inauguration ceremony of the TCC was attended by Minister of Education, Tarek Shawky; Minister of Tourism Rania Al Mashat ‘95; prominent businessman and investor and Chairman of Orascom Investment Holding Naguib Sawiris, who funded the renovations of AUC Tahrir Cultural Center; AUC President Francis Ricciardone, and AUC’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees Richard Bartlett. The celebration was also attended by former Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil Al Araby; Director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina Mostafa El Feki; TV Presenter Lamis Al Hadidy ’87 ’90 and TV Presenter Mona Al Shazly ’96 as well as Egyptian and international dignitaries, public figures and media members.
In the heart of Cairo, TCC aims to serve as the new cultural hub of downtown. Fully owned, operated and programmed by AUC, the center will host a broad variety of events ranging from live music, art exhibitions, conferences, dance performances, book clubs, theatre plays and movie screenings.
“Throughout the last 100 years, AUC has been a rising star in Egypt’s higher education system and a proud contributor to the country’s intellectual life and connectivity to the rest of the world,” said Ricciardone, at the ceremony, “Today, Egypt is at a new renaissance and AUC is at the heart of this revival — working to reestablish “om el donia” as the cultural magnet it has always been, ensuring the best minds of the region are equipped with the education they need for the lives of service our alumni have always led and spearheading impactful research to address the most pressing challenges of our time.”
“This is a moment of reflection, not just on a legacy rich in achievements and remarkable accomplishments — perhaps never fully imagined at the time of AUC’s founding in 1919. It is also a moment of ambition, of inspiration, of realization that the next 100 years hold even greater promise and boundless potential,” Ricciardone said addressing the attendees.”
Sawiris, who is a longtime supporter of cultural and educational institutions in Egypt, noted during the inauguration of TCC, “Art and cultural activities are key to positive transformations in the Egyptian community.” He added: “I am pleased to support the establishment of TCC that will serve as dynamic platform for cultural exchanges for both Egyptians and expats and I believe that it will mark the beginning of another exceptional centennial for AUC.”
The centennial celebration launch also included the opening of two exhibitions by Egyptian artist Huda Lutfi, titled, “When Dreams Call for Silence,” which is now showing in the Margo Veillon Gallery and Egyptian-American artist Sherin Guirguis, titled: “Bint al-Nil/Daughter of the Nile,” which is showing in the Future and Legacy Galleries in the newly established TCC in Tahrir Campus. The two exhibitions mark the beginning of a series of future art exhibitions and cultural activities in the TCC. Media sponsors of the centennial celebration launch were MBC Masr TV channel, Egypt Independent, Al Masry Al Youm, The Daily News Egypt and Al Borsa newspapers.
The year-long celebration will feature an array of events such as the commemoration of Egypt’s 1919 Revolution on March 9, followed by Nadia Younes Memorial Lecture on March 20 by Dame Minouche Shafik. During this year, a number of Centennial Alumni Speaker Series will take place in several world cities including Geneva, London, Amman and Dubai. In May, AUC will hold the Centennial Benefit Dinner in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States. AUC will also be celebrating 100 Years of Community Service in October and 100 Years of Student Union in November. AUC will wrap up a year of festivities and close its centennial celebration on a high note with a week of events, activities and performances in February 2020.
Since its establishment in 1919, enriching the cultural life of Egypt has always been among the top priorities of AUC. As Egypt’s global University, AUC aims to continue building a culture of leadership, lifelong learning, continuing education and services among the Egyptian society. AUC has been proud to provide distinctive learning opportunities to Egyptians, and a large number of expat students from all over the region. During 100 years of service, AUC stood as a crossroads for the world’s cultures and a vibrant forum for reasoned argument, spirited debate and understanding across the diversity of languages, facilities and human experiences.