Leadership for Government Excellence Programme Receives Prestigious Award

Arts and Culture
May 31, 2023
Members of the LEP program pose in a street

Hosted in collaboration with AUC’s School of Business and School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the Leadership for Government Excellence Programme (LEP) was awarded the prestigious Excellence in Practice Award – Silver Award from the European Foundation for Management Development. Developed by AUC, the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development and King’s College, this program aims to hone the skills of civil servants in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030, including the National Administrative Reform Plan and the Sustainable Development Strategy. 

The EFMD Excellence in Practice Award is a prestigious recognition that celebrates outstanding and impactful learning and development initiatives from around the world. The winning LEP case was developed by AUC's School of Business' El-Khazindar Research and Case Center.

“Receiving the EFMD Excellence in Practice Award is not only a recognition of the hard work but also a motivation to continue to deliver together this gender-sensitive co-designed program, which contributes to a shift in mindsets, modernization and change of government machinery for effective public service delivery,” stated Sherifa Sherif, executive director of the National Institute of Governance and Sustainable Development in Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development. 

Members of the LEP program sit in a classroom while a teacher instructs at a white board in the frontLEP is designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills they need to lead effectively, manage change and drive innovation in their organizations. Delivered through a blend of classroom-based instruction, online learning and practical assignments, the program covers leadership theory and practice, strategic management, project management, data analysis, communication skills and more. 

“We are proud to be part of this nationwide effort to improve the effectiveness of government work through investments in human resources, competence-building and talent development in the public sector,” said Mohamed AbdelSalam, executive director of Executive Education at AUC’s School of Business. “This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our instructors, staff and partners who have contributed to the success of this program. It is also anLEP participants are seated around a table, working on a task while turning and smiling at the camera. acknowledgment of our commitment to excellence in education and our ongoing efforts to make a positive impact on society.” 

“We were delighted to be selected to work with AUC on this important programme for the Ministry,” said Tim Sellick, director of Custom Programmes at King’s Business School, King’s College London. “The program demonstrated ambition, not only in the learning outcomes required, but also in the real and practical change in behaviors they required of the participants as they went about this major transformation.”

Since its launch in 2019, the program has trained 120 government personnel from 24 ministries, including 40 women and 80 men. Its goal is to produce the leadership cadres to guide public service operations in the New Administrative Capital

Graphic Design Seniors Create Impactful Projects for Egypt and Beyond

Arts and Culture
May 22, 2023
aerial view of AUC's graphic design senior exhibition

Tackling social, environmental and economic issues, the 20 plus projects for this year’s Graphic Design Senior Show explore the concerns graduating seniors have for the world they are entering. 

The exhibition, Under CTRL, reflects on student experiences learning during COVID-19 lockdowns, anxieties over competing with artificial intelligence for creative work and more. It is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm in the Sharjah Art Gallery at AUC New Cairo.

News@AUC caught up with three students to learn more about their projects.


Alia Ibrahim - double major, graphic design and film

It is very rare to meet people who are very passionate about what they do and who truly want to innovate their craft and profession, let alone a whole street full of them.”

woman standing in front of a screen holding a book and smiling
Alia Ibrahim

Khayami is a mobile application that aims to connect Cairo’s Souq Al Khayamiya (tentmakers market) with consumers in Egypt and beyond. The application celebrates the souq (market) and the craft by shedding light on its history and sharing the experiences of the khayami men who work there. 


Street Markets in Cairo do not get the recognition they deserve even though they are considered a very important pillar of Egyptian culture and heritage. I wanted to help shed light on these souqs, starting with one of the most historical souqs in Egypt, Souq Al Khayamiya. The khayamiya craft has always occupied a big part of my life, as I grew up in a house that celebrated khayamiya in many ways. 

Exploring the souq and meeting the tentmakers was one of the most enriching experiences I have ever been through. I learned a lot from them by talking with them about their passion for khayamiya, their stories and their work ethic. This project has always been more than a graduation project for me, as building relationships with the khayami men and learning more about them emotionally connected me to the souq and the project. I wanted to do all that I could to help them. 

This project has been by far the closest one to my heart and the one I enjoyed working on the most in my academic journey as a graphic design major. The khayami men’s passion for the craft inspired my passion to help them and give this project my all. I am truly grateful to have met them and learned about them and their beautiful craft. 


Malak Hesham - double major, graphic design and integrated marketing communication  

KhamKham, which means raw in Arabic, is a plant-based, biodegradable natural dye that serves as an environmentally friendly alternative to synthetic dyes. It is developed with nanotechnology to prevent color bleeding, local plants for rich and raw colors and essential oils for a long-lasting aroma. Turmeric and karkade were selected due to their rich pigmentation and natural properties, as well as their being easily accessible in Egypt.


Plants and their distinct characteristics have been a longstanding interest of mine. Exploring Egypt’s botanical gardens made me aware of the environmental impact of plant waste, which led me to focus on finding innovative ways to reuse discarded plant materials. Through my research in this field, I discovered the potential of plant pigments and their many applications in various industries. 

I am thankful for the opportunity to work on this project at AUC where I had access to all the necessary resources and facilities. I am particularly grateful to my supervisor and mentor, Professor Ghalia El Srkabi, whose guidance and support were invaluable throughout the project. Additionally, Professor Wael Mamdouh provided crucial supervision and direction, leveraging his expertise in the field to help me navigate some of the more challenging aspects of the project. I would also like to acknowledge Razan Farrag for her contributions in the chemistry lab, which were essential to the success of the project. It has been a tremendous learning experience for me and I am grateful for the opportunity. It has been an incredible opportunity for growth and learning, and I am excited to see where it leads me next.


Victrix _ xفيكتر (Celebrating Her Athletic Excellence) 

Nada Elkhadem Cards showcasing female athletes spread over a table

Victrix is a safe platform dedicated to “Her” and her athletic achievements. It brings awareness to the struggles facing women athletes in the Arab region, including lack of coverage and funding. The platform is displayed on Instagram through collectable cards and videos, as well as fun, interactive games.


As a former athlete and an active sports enthusiast, I aspire to support “her” in athletics and admire her efforts to take on sports professionally. It’s safe to say that “she” has been underappreciated and underestimated for many years in sports, hiding in the shadow of men. I believe “she” as an athlete has gone through a lot of discrimination and injustice for trying to pursue her athletic dream, and it's time to lay it all out on the table.  

I know this project may seem like more of a women empowerment campaign; and some male figures may call me a feminist —  I have already come across many while working on this project. I am not saying that men do not support women in sports. This project mainly aims to voice the troubles these athletes go through (specifically in the Arab region) and represent them in a bolder; and more vibrant method, growing “her” fan base and encouraging people to maintain the idea of “her” in sports as a normal standard in athletic excellence. 

vitrix cards displaying Arab women athletes


Professor Shahjahan Bhuiyan Receives Prestigious Award for Public Policy Research in Global South

Arts and Culture
May 10, 2023
Shahjahan Bhuiyan stands and smiles at the camera in a photo on campus.

Shahjahan Bhuiyan, associate professor in AUC's Department of Public Policy and Administration and associate dean for Administration and Undergraduate Studies, has received the Transition and Developing Economies Award from the International Public Policy Association (IPPA). Bhuiyan is being recognized for his contributions to the development of the field of public policy and public administration in developing and transitioning countries.

“I am deeply humbled and privileged to be recognized by the IPPA, a preeminent global network of public policy schools,” Bhuiyan said.

Bhuiyan’s research explores how public administration operates in developing and transitioning countries. Specifically, he analyzes the role of governance in development, e-governance, public service delivery, public sector reform, decentralization and local governance, and society and public policy. His research provides a useful understanding of the challenges facing public administration in the Global South. "A lack of political and social inclusiveness and cohesion largely contributes to public maladministration and policy paralysis in many countries in the Global South,” he explained. 

Bhuiyan’s time at AUC has assisted in his research endeavors. “I consider my time at AUC academically stimulating. Drawing on the experience in the Middle East and North Africa region, I appreciated the opportunity to better understand the causes and consequences of the fragility of states," he said. 

Bhuiyan will officially receive the award during the 6th International Conference on Public Policy in Toronto this June.

Shaping an Artist's Future: Meet the First Recipient of the Liu Shiming Endowed Scholarship

Arts and Culture
Honey ElMoghazi 
April 5, 2023
Shahd El Helbawy stands with Wei Liu, smiling in front of a painting.

Shahd El Helbawy sees mysteries to be explored through her most recent artistic pursuit: sculpting. Her passion for art has led her to be the first recipient of the Liu Shiming Endowed Scholarship. Established last year at AUC, the scholarship will support El Helbawy’s journey through AUC’s visual arts program.

“In addition to tuition, this scholarship will enable me to travel and attend exhibitions abroad where other artists can view my work and I can see theirs,” El Helbawy said. “I feel it will be a good network of connections that I could use to support my goals.” 

Wei Lu, head of the foundation and son of the celebrated Chinese sculptor Liu Shiming stands on campus where the sculpture will be placed
Wei Liu stands where his father's sculpture will be placed at AUC New Cairo

As a visual arts junior minoring in interactive media design, El Helbawy is interested in artistic narratives that link the human consciousness and unconsciousness. “I want my artwork to be interactive, where the viewer can relate to each piece in their own way that may evoke certain memories or emotions, for example,” she explained. “I believe that each person will relate to the artwork and understand it differently than the other.”

El Helbawy’s passion for sculpting gives her a unique connection to the Liu Shiming Art Foundation. Wei Liu, special advisor for the foundation and son of the celebrated Chinese sculptor Liu Shiming, donated his father’s renowned “Silk Road” sculpture to AUC in addition to establishing the scholarship. 

“I really liked that most of Shiming’s sculptures have a natural structure to them. With simplistic details, the whole artwork comes together to create a realistic form,” El Helbawy noted. “There is freedom in working with clay and there is always a mystery in not knowing what the outcome will look like.”

El Helbawy is grateful to be part of a program that endorses young artists and encourages cross-cultural artistic dialogue. “Meeting new people from different cultures and seeing their work with different mediums will help me gain  fresh perspectives and come up with new concepts that I could integrate into my artwork,” she explained.   

In the future El Helbawy aspires to join exhibitions, start her own art studio and set up a space for other artists to learn sculpting and clay modeling. “I first need to work on myself and create more projects that represent my identity to be able to someday establish my own art foundation, just as Liu Shiming did,” she added.  

Two AUC-Directed Films Featured at Visions Film Festival

Arts and Culture
Abigail Flynn
March 27, 2023
Two promotional images are shown. The promotional image of "Way Home" shows an artistic rendition of a head facing left. In the center of the head is a doorway with a figure standing in it. The color scheme is light brown and a pale green. On the right is the promotional image for the film "Okay". It shows a face peering through a broken pane of glass with the word "Okay" in jagged text beneath it.

Lights, camera, action! The Visions Film Festival, which took place at AUC’s Tahrir Cultural Center earlier this month, featured a number of projects by AUCians, including two student-directed films. 

Among the festival’s 32 feature films and documentaries were Way Home, which was directed by film and integrated marketing communication student Mark Ayman, and Okay, directed by Seif Abdel Raouf ‘19 and featuring a number of student and alumni actors.

A screenshot of the film "Way Home". The shot shows a statue in the center of a square with buildings and billboards behind it. Caption at the bottom read "I do not know frankly, I never tried to count them."

Ayman submitted his film to the festival through an editing course he took at AUC. “Way Home tackles themes of loss and home and takes place in the streets of Cairo,” he explained. “My favorite part of the experience was when one of the audience members approached me after the screening to tell me how she was touched by the film and related to it. Her words made all the effort put into the film valuable.”

“Everyone involved in the film could not be prouder of the success of Okay,” said Abdel Raouf. “We submitted it to many organizations, and it has been showcased in multiple international film festivals and honored with prestigious awards. Experiencing the success of such a significant project to us is probably our favorite part of the whole process.”

Abdel Raouf’s film follows a young man who is visited by a mysterious entity when his parents send him to renovate their new house. Abdel Raouf’s project involved film student Mohamed El-Khatib and alumni Youssef Taha ‘21, Mostafa Khatter ‘19, Abdel Rahman Farid ‘20, Doha Youssef ‘21, Abdullah Shaker ‘21 and Sherif Dewidar ‘20. “I would like to give a special thank you to all of them for making this project a reality,” Abdel Raouf said, “Their passion was inspirational and their hard work played an essential role in elevating the film. Without them, this project would not have been possible.”A screenshot of the film "Okay." A young man sits in the center of the screen while reading a book. The lighting and tone are dark and ominous.

Participating in these projects gave team members the opportunity to explore new roles and further develop their technical skills. “Okay was the first film I had worked as a main actor on,” said El-Khatib. “I was also a technical coordinator and had the chance to learn more about the technicalities of screening and sound systems in theater halls.”

“Having the film shown on a big screen with a room of strangers is an unforgettable moment, and the whole experience has taught me so much,” Ayman concluded.

Graduate Students Receive International Recognition for Documentary Films

Arts and Culture
March 12, 2023
Screenshots from three documentary films on youtube. The top screenshot is a shot of branches of a date tree from beneath with the words "Quorsaya People" in Arabic and English. The middle photo is a screenshot of a video showing a shot of the nile from a small boat with a small island in the distance, with the words "Nile Inhabitants" in Arabic and English. The bottom image is a screenshot of a video of date trees from far away with the text "Golden Fingers" in Arabic in English, all with video play button

Three graduate students from the Kamal Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism were recently recognized internationally for their documentary films by the Broadcast Education Association

Mirna Abo El Seoud won first place for her documentary film “Golden Fingers,” which explores the struggles of women in Fayoum who specialize in making wicker crafts. 

Gehad Essam AbdelRazek was honored with an Award of Excellence for her documentary film “Quorsaya People,” which follows the lives of the farmers and fishermen living on the Quorsaya island in the Nile. 

Fatma Ahmed ElKhatib was honored with an Award of Excellence for her documentary film “Nile Inhabitants,” which explores the experiences of families who live in small boats on the Nile and make their living through fishing. 

Learn more about the center and its work.

AUC's Theatre Program Debuts Original Plays Tackling Mental Health

Arts and Culture
February 20, 2023
Actors perform Piece of Mind plays

Part of AUC’s Mental Health and Well-being Initiative, Piece of Mind is a bilingual theatrical performance that aims to start conversations about mental well-being, ranging from depression to social media addiction. Written by members of the AUC community, Piece of Mind features five original 10-minute plays that will be performed at AUC's Gerhart Theatre from February 21 to 28. 

“The main goal of Piece of Mind is to raise awareness of mental health and to reduce the stigma around it,” explains Jillian Campana, theatre professor and associate dean for undergraduate education in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “We hope that audience members will relate to the plays in some way and will feel seen and validated, knowing that they are not alone in what they're going through.”

Piece of Mind was created from scripts submitted in early Fall 2022 by members of the AUC community. Fifty scripts were submitted and a committee of staff, faculty, alumni and students ultimately selected five finalists who received feedback from professional script writers during workshops.

Actors perform piece of mind plays on stage at Gerhart theatre

The five plays were perfected over winter break and cover a range of topics, including body image (Hide, written by alumnus Omar Omar in English); attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (Dawsha written by student Zeina Shalaby in Arabic); Grief (WARD, written by student Nour El Coptan in Arabic); social media addiction (Alive, written by Campana in English) and Depression (Lissa, written by alum Youssef Omran in English and Arabic). 

"The edits and rewrites helped me refine the play. Thanks to feedback and workshopping from the team, It went from an underdeveloped idea to a story, one that hopefully sends a supporting message about mental health," said Shalaby.

Actor performs piece of mind plays on stage at Gerhart theatre

In addition to being performed at the Gerhart Theatre, Piece of Mind will also be seen by local high school students for matinee performances during the week as part of the annual Educational Outreach Theatre production that brings original plays to local schools. 

Piece of Mind is supported by the Mental Health and Well-being Initiative, the Center for Student Well-Being, the Department of Psychology and the Associate Provost for Research and Creative Work. It is produced by the theatre program in the Department of the Arts, School of Humanities and Social Sciences and overseen by Campana and alumni Noah Abdel Razek ‘20.

Al Maghreb Wa Al Mashreq: World-Renowned Moroccan Musician Nouamane Lahlou to Appear at AUC

Arts and Culture
December 20, 2022
Lahlou leans against a wall

As finals week comes to an end, AUC’s Department of the Arts, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Cairo, is hosting a lecture-concert  by Moroccan artist Nouamane Lahlou as well as a Moroccan-themed reception at AUC New Cairo’s Malak Gabr Arts Theater this Thursday from 1 to 3 pm.

Lahlou is a singer, composer, author, music researcher and lecturer who is considered one of the most important Moroccan and Arab musicians of his generation. He has received multiple awards, including the Moroccan National Medal and Morocco’s Person of the Year Award.

Born in 1965 in Fez, Morocco, Lahlou entered the world of music and art at the age of 5 after being gifted a guitar. At 10 years old, he joined the Conservatory of Fez. Following years of playing with the group and studying, he left Morocco for the United States, where he further developed his musical talent while pursuing his studies.

Lahlou finally settled in Egypt, where his artistic career took off. In Cairo, he appeared as a singer and composer on radio and television and participated in the second conference of Arab music at the Egyptian Opera House. After gaining considerable acclaim, he returned to his home country to become a professional composer and researcher in Moroccan music.

Throughout his career, Lahlou has participated in festivals and has given lectures and workshops in major universities in Morocco, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

The lecture-concert will be attended by Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Egypt Ahmed Tazi. Lahlou will be accompanied by his band.

Learn more about the event here

In Photos: Mapping Time Exhibition Captures Decade of Experimental Art

Arts and Culture
December 18, 2022
Two displays at the Mapping Time exhibition at Tahrir Cultural Center

More than 87 art projects from AUC’s Visual Arts Program are on display now at the archival exhibition Mapping Time, held at Tahrir Cultural Center. The exhibition showcases drawings, digital prints, videos and installation art produced over the last ten years under the program.

Mapping Time Exhibition

Designed and supervised by Shady Elnoshokaty, associate professor of practice and director of AUC’s Visual Arts Program, the project explores how individuals understand time by examining three layers: present/reality, past/memory and future/fantasy. While varying greatly in appearance, each piece translates a well-researched idea into the visual structure of a map.

Mapping Time Exhibition

“The project was designed to create an educational experience that establishes a direct connection between experimental research and art education,” Elnoshokaty wrote. This individual and collective undertaking results in an experience that is both profound and extensive for the group at large.”

Mapping Time Exhibition

Mapping Time is on display at AUC's Marriott, Margo Veillon, Legacy and Future galleries through Friday, December 30.

AUC Press Awards Fatma Qandil the 2022 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature

Arts and Culture
December 12, 2022
Fatma Qandil receives 2022 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature

AUC Press awarded the 2022 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature to Egyptian author, poet, playwright and translator Fatma Qandil for her debut novel, Aqfas farigha (Empty Cages).

In their citation for the award, the judges described Aqfas farigha as “an unflinchingly honest portrayal of the relationships of violence that lie beneath the surface of an ordinary middle-class Egyptian family; relationships of gendered power,” continuing: “Confidently weaving the reader into the psychological texture of intimate and fraught relationships, Qandil tells a story of womanhood, family and loss, which will stay with the reader long after the final page.”

A longtime fan of Mahfouz, Qandil expressed her gratitude for receiving the award. “I consider myself fortunate to be part of a generation that had the privilege of waiting for Naguib Mahfouz’s latest book,” she said. “We got to read them when they were still fresh, and they changed my life. They were like letters written for me and me alone. I used to read them by myself, circling the treasured lines and writing in the margins. Each book became a part of my soul.”

Qandil dedicated the award to Arab female writers and young women. “They have many battles that they are destined to take up - against themselves, against the world, against their texts,” she said. “|Perhaps this prize will show them that recognition always comes in the end. This celebration is the true compensation for the price that we, women writers in this part of the world, have chosen to pay for the sake of the euphoria of writing and nothing else.” 

The Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature was established by AUC Press in 1996 and is awarded to the best contemporary novel published in Arabic in the previous two years. The winning novel is selected by the five jury members who make up the Mahfouz Award Committee: Shereen Abouelnaga, Thaer Deeb, Hussein Hammouda, Dina Heshmat and Adam Talib.

The award, recognized as a major contribution in support of contemporary Arabic literature in translation, consists of a cash prize of $5,000, as well as translation of the winning novel into English and publication under AUC Press’s fiction imprint Hoopoe. 

At the award ceremony, which was attended by writers and other distinguished personalities of Egyptian cultural life, AUC Press also celebrated the publication of the English translation of the 2021 winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature, The Disappearance of Mr. Nobody by Ahmed Taibaoui translated by Jonathan Wright.

Fatma Qandil was born in 1958 She is associate professor (emerita) in the Department of Arabic at Helwan University in Cairo and deputy editor-in-chief of Fusul, a magazine of literary criticism. She has published numerous collections of poetry, works of literary criticism and translations into Arabic, and her work has been translated into many languages worldwide.