AUC Welcomes Egypt's Top Student

“Overwhelmed!” is what Nada Hussein Habib — who received the top score in the national thanawiya amma examinations — felt about the rapid series of events that led to her being offered a full scholarship to attend AUC.

In the midst of the havoc of Egyptian students getting their scores, Habib, who is from Port Said, was interviewed by a local newspaper as one of Egypt’s top students. She said that her dream is to attend AUC. When President Francis Ricciardone heard about it, he decided to make her dream come to life by surprising her with an offer of a full scholarship and a visit to AUC – all while she had no idea, as she sat with Mona El Shazly ’96 on her talk show in an episode celebrating Egypt’s top students.




A few days later, Habib was already on campus getting a personal tour from the president, processing her ID card, enrolling in courses and checking out the campus where she will be spending the next four to five years. “Everything is happening so fast. I can’t believe it!” Habib exclaimed.

For a long time, Habib kept her eye on studying at AUC. According to her family, she had been looking at scholarships for the past three years – hoping that one day she will find her way to the University.

“I have always heard that AUC wasn’t just about academics and that it’s a place that gives you an opportunity to get to know yourself and discover your passion,” she said. “Education here is unique. I knew that coming here would mean being given the chance to do everything, from pursuing my studies to practicing my hobbies.”

While members of her immediate family all pursued medicine and pharmacy, Habib specialized in mathematics in high school and wants to study electronics and communications engineering due to her longtime fascination by physics. “Physics is the one science that explains everything," she affirmed. "It tells you how everything happens. Everyone often sees physics as too hard or impossible to grasp – but that only gives me one challenge: chasing my curiosity.” Regardless of its difficulty, Habib said she is still left wanting to understand physics theories, applying them and seeing how they unfold.

During the visit, she met with AUC Provost Ehab Abdel-Rahman and toured the department’s labs. “It was so exciting seeing the labs here,” she recalled. “When I saw them, I wanted to spend hours, actually the entire year, examining how everything in the lab works.”

Most of all, at AUC, Habib wants to explore her potential beyond a particular major or field of study. “I want to take advantage of all the opportunities that will be offered to me. I want to know who I am,” she said. “By the end of my journey, what I want to know is: What am I capable of offering the world, and how will I succeed in making it happen? That’s what I look forward to in my journey at AUC.”


Habib asserted that she does not like confining herself to one place and is excited to delve into the multicultural campus community and the ever-bustling capital. “I like meeting new people and making friends with those who come from different countries and cultures, and I know the University has that sense of diversity,” she noted. Viewing Cairo and AUC as a reflection of one another, Habib continued, “Cairo is like AUC: No two streets look the same to me, and so far, I haven’t met two of a kind at AUC. I am really keen on finding out how I can navigate my way around here.”

Habib's unique mind and outlook on the world came through the moment she was asked If she had any plans beyond graduation. “I want to be happy. Those are my future plans,” she commented. “I want to encounter things and people I love – academically and socially – and stick with them.”