Alumni SpeakUp Talks

Inspirational alumni share their personal experiences and insights on sexual harassment, why it matters and what it means to each of them. 



Omar Samra '00

Adventurer, Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker

AUC alumnus, UN Goodwill Ambassador and acclaimed adventurer Omar Samra is the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to climb Mount Everest. Samra is also the first worldwide to climb three different peaks in the Ellsworth Mountains, the highest range in Antarctica, and was given the honor of naming all three mountains. He is the founder of Wild Guanabana, the first carbon-neutral travel company in the MENA region, which organizes and leads adventure trips. He is among 23 winners from more than two million applicants across 60 countries who participated in the AXE Apollo Space Academy competition, which will potentially make him the first Egyptian in space. Samra founded Marwa Fayed’s Toy Run, a nongovernmental organization providing toys to underprivileged children in Egyptian orphanages. The initiative was named MBC'ss Humanitarian Project of the Year in 2013. He recently developed and shared highly influential social media content to raise awareness on the issue of sexual harassment. Samra’s public posts, in the form of a series of videos, aimed to tackle the topic from various angles as well as educate girls and women about their rights.


Gala El Hadidi '05, '07

Opera Singer

A week before her freshman year, international mezzo-soprano Gala El Hadidi joined the Cairo Opera House as its youngest singer at age 18 and went on to perform as a solo artist in Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, England, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria and the United States. After graduation, El Hadidi received scholarships to attend the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart, Germany and to study a Master of Music at Yale University. In 2008, she was awarded an outstanding achievement prize and recognition by Egypt’s Minister of Culture. She is the first Egyptian to receive an achievement award by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2010, as well as the first Egyptian to be nominated for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World in 2013. Since 2013, El Hadidi became the first Egyptian opera singer to perform the title role of Carmen internationally.


Ahmed Alaa Fayed ’13, ’13

Assistant Professor of Management and Public Policy, Nile University

Assistant Professor of Management and Public Policy, Nile University Ahmed Alaa Fayed is an Egyptian academic and educator. He is currently an assistant professor of management and public policy at Nile University and a research associate at the Economic Research Forum. He also serves as the executive director for Modern Schools of Egypt Group. After earning his PhD in public policy from King’s College London (KLC), he served as a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge. Fayed taught, conducted research and consulted at various academic and non-academic institutions, including KLC, AUC, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies and the Egyptian Cabinet. His research, which appeared in internationally peer-reviewed journals, book volumes and conferences, focuses on corruption, education policies and local governance across the Middle East with an emphasis on Egypt. He is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and was awarded an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership from Harvard Kennedy School.


Tarek El Ebiary '12


In 2012, Tarek El Ebiary became the youngest Egyptian artist to write, direct and act in a commercial Egyptian film — his senior project at AUC — which was released in Egyptian cinemas. He acted in more than 40 professional productions (four films, 17 TV series, 15 plays, three radio programs and one cartoon series). Born as he was into an artistic family, creativity was an intimate force that shaped El Ebiary’s life from a young age. His father, famous playwright and screenwriter Ahmed El Ebiary, and his grandfather, comic screenwriter, playwright and lyricist Abu El Seoud El Ebiary played a great part in his early love for theatre. Yet, El Ebiary was able to carve out his own identity as an actor. He graduated with honors from AUC in 2012, where he majored in theatre and minored in film. He also attended programs at UCLA, the New York Film Academy, and the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Improvisational and Sketch Comedy Training Center. El Ebiary trained with acting coach Gerald James, a teacher at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, and Egypt’s top casting director Marwa Gabriel. He was cast to play the role of Ted Mosby in the Arabic version of the hit American sitcom How I Met Your Mother. For such a young talent, he already has an impressive number of awards under his belt, including a recent best actor award for his role in the series Valentino. El Ebiary is the founder of AUC’s Theater & Film Club and was recently chosen by his alma mater as one of its influential 100 Alumni of the Century in celebration of its centennial year.