AUC Student Ranks Third Worldwide in International Business Challenge

Campus Community
May 31, 2023
Mazen Tawfik smiles at the camera

Mazen Tawfik, electronics and communications engineering senior, ranked third worldwide in Capsim’s Spring 2023 Foundation Challenge, competing with nearly 1,000 students from different countries, including Australia, Canada, China, England, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey and the United States.

This year’s biannual international business competition asked students to work through a recession to mirror a market environment of escalating complexity. At the competition, Tawfik’s simulation was running a virtual, multi-million-dollar company head-to-head with peers from 15 countries. The final competition required decision rounds every hour for eight continuous hours. According to Capsim, Tawfi’s success is proof that he “can succeed under pressure and make winning business decisions in the midst of economic uncertainty.”

“I was so thrilled and glad to receive such recognition for my hard work,” Tawfik said. “This challenge will boost my confidence in future work as it makes me believe I have the skills and tenacity to succeed in business under any conditions.”

Tawfk’s first encounter with foundation business simulation was during a class at AUC. “I have always had a competitive spirit, as I believe it drives me to be better,” he said. “Having heard about the challenge from Dr. Irene Shaker, whom I happen to be her teaching assistant in the Introduction to Business course, I immediately joined as I wanted to reach my potential in Capsim and compete with top-notch students all over the world. The most valuable thing I learned from the challenge is the ability to be flexible in an uncertain economy and that consistency is the key to success.”

With an engineering background, Tawfik doesn’t shy away from a business challenge. “Being an engineering student, it was difficult to allocate time to prepare for the competition,” he said. “However, I managed to do so because, in my opinion, business is the key to thriving in every field, and this challenge will add a lot to my mindset. Engineering helped me prevail over other participants, especially when I encountered unexpected results each round, and understand how to use my problem-solving skills to bounce back and compete.

University Senate, First in the Region, Celebrates 30 Years

Campus Community
Dalia Al Nimr
May 28, 2023
A photo of the attendees of the Senate 30th anniversary celebration, standing on a red carpet in the AUC Garden.

AUC recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of its University Senate, which was established in 1993 and was the first in the region. The event celebrated the senate’s accomplishments over the years, inaugurated the newly established Senate Room at the Campus Center, honored distinguished faculty for their dedicated service to the senate, and hosted panel discussions on celebrating the past and working toward the future.

A panel discussion at the 30th anniversary celebration of the University Senate.
A panel discussion at the celebration ceremony

Sending online congratulatory remarks all the way from Utah, Tim Sullivan, professor emeritus of political science who served on the University Senate in the 1990s, said, “I very much appreciate the opportunity to participate in the 30th-anniversary celebration of the senate. The place I would start is the importance of the way the senate is structured. It is a University Senate, not merely a faculty senate as occurs on many university campuses. What that means is that faculty, staff, students and administrators serving in an ex-officio capacity are all in the same place at the same time. It is a safe space for people to engage in open discussion and debate, a place where disagreement is expected and legitimized. That has made a huge difference to AUC over the long run. Even in times when there was a lot of friction and tension, the senate rose to the occasion. That has been crucial over time.”

News@AUC spoke with Hanadi Salem ’83, ’87, mechanical engineering professor and department chair, who has headed the senate for the past three years and has a rich history as former chair of the senate’s Faculty Affairs Committee and a longtime senator since 2000.


Conferring of awards at the celebration ceremony
Aziza Ellozy, associate provost for transformative learning and teaching, awarded at the ceremony

What is the main role of the University Senate?

The senate is the representative council of the University faculty, with the participation of students, staff and the administration. It ensures faculty involvement in governance and discussion of issues important to the University community. It aims to facilitate communication among University constituencies as well as foster mutual respect and cooperation among faculty, students and staff. The senate provides a forum for considering matters directly related to the well-being of the AUC community. Its resolutions are communicated to the University president for consideration and appropriate action.

What is the senate structure?

Most of the senate’s activities take place within the seven standing committees: 

  • Curriculum
  • Academic Affairs
  • Faculty Affairs
  • Student Affairs
  • Administrative Affairs
  • Grievance
  • Budget Review
  • Executive
A panel discussion at the 30th anniversary celebration of the University Senate.
A panel discussion at the celebration ceremony

Each committee meets at least twice a month during the academic year to research, review, revise and compose University policies and proposals for senate consideration and voting. 

What is the senate's main function?  

Shared governance. The senate convenes regularly throughout the academic year to deliberate, debate and vote on a variety of topics, including: 

  • Institutional policies 
  • Academic programs
  • Community matters 
  • Long-range and strategic plans 
  • Financial and budget/facilities
  • Faculty, staff and student affairs

What are the senate’s main accomplishments over the years?  

  • Faculty retirement age, 1997 
  • Student Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, 2007
  • Faculty Merit Award, 2007
  • Ombuds Office, 2010
  • First Faculty Handbook, 2011
  • Freedom of Expression Policy, 2011 and 2014
  • Increased student representation, 2014
  • Defending faculty salary denomination in dollars, 2017 
  • 8% promotion salary increase, 2021
  • Grading policy during COVID-19, 2021 

How does being on the University Senate add to a student, staff or faculty member on a professional level? 

Attendees posing with their awards

The senate provides a forum for students, faculty and staff to freely express their opinions and allows for a better understanding of how the university operates. Being exposed to different ideas and perspectives facilitates networking among University constituents and leads to a greater awareness of higher education leadership and administration as well as the bigger scheme of university life, resources and opportunities. Being a senator opens direct channels of communication with the University leadership and enhances communication, decision making and leadership skills, whereby senators practice advocacy on behalf of others. Such leadership opportunities are not always available within individual departments.


What was the highlight of the senate’s 30th-anniversary celebration?

The senate’s anniversary was an opportunity to bring together current and former senate members, leaders and administrators, pillars of the AUC senate –– faculty who have laid the groundwork for our fine institution as well as those who worked tirelessly over the years to support and strengthen its legacy. The event also offered a very humble and heartfelt thank you to the founders of the University Senate back in 1993, who instituted the constitution, bylaws and guidelines that paved the way for their successors over the past 30 years. 

As you reflect on the University Senate, what are you most proud of?

Attendees posing with their awards
Jehane Ragai, professor emerita of chemistry, awarded at the ceremony

Looking back on the years, it’s so gratifying to see how much we have grown and accomplished together as a community: the resilience we have shown, the creativity that was brought out, the diligence and, most impo

rtantly, the love and loyalty that have carried us through. The University Senate emerges not just as an institution for dealing with internal affairs as isolated issues, but rather as a reflection of AUC’s political narrative as an American institution in Egypt. We have been and will continue to be driving and responding to narratives. The 30th anniversary of the senate was a celebration to reflect on our journey, celebrate all that we have achieved and cast our gaze into the future.


First Senate Leaders

Nicholas Hopkins, professor of anthropology and former dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • First senate chair (1993-1995)

Jehane Ragai ’66, ’69, professor emerita, Department of Chemistry

  • Senate chair (1999-2000) 
  • Grievance Committee member (1993-1994) 
  • Senate vice chair (1997-1998)

Tim Sullivan, former AUC provost and political science professor

  • Ex-officio provost (1999-2000)
  • Senate chair (1997-1998)
  • Grievance Committee member (1994-1995)
  • Executive Committee member at large (1993-1994) 

“During my time at AUC, some of the best moments in the University Senate were when we dealt with sensitive and difficult issues, such as reforming the Core Curriculum or establishing procedures and principles for dealing with allegations of sexual harassment or [matters of] academic integrity. What makes the senate work at its best is when ordinary rules of civility prevail. Those aren’t written in any little instruction book or guide; they’re written in each one of us. It’s a case when we treat each other with mutual respect and when disagreements are made without being overly disagreeable. That may sound easy, but it’s not, especially when tension and the stakes are high. It is very difficult to maintain that kind of ordinary civility, but the senate succeeded in doing so. The members of the senate –– faculty, students and staff –– demonstrated that they could be responsible and effective participants in University governance. In that way, the senate succeeded in enormous ways in making AUC a better place. I’m optimistic about the future of AUC and the senate.”  

–– Tim Sullivan

Fred Perry, professor emeritus, Department of English Language Instruction 

  •  Executive Committee member (1996-1998)
  •  Academic Affairs Committee chair (2000-2001)
  • Elected Executive Committee member at large (2001-2004)
  •  Faculty Affairs Committee chair (2004-2007)   
  • Senate chair (2007-2008)  

Pakinam Askalani ’62, ’64, professor emerita, Department of Chemistry

  • First senate vice chair ((1993-1995)
  • Faculty Affairs Committee chair  

AUC's Life Mentorship Program Creates Lasting Connections

Campus Community
May 21, 2023
Two men standing together smiling
Hakim Meshreki and Michael Hanna '20

Whether seeking guidance about careers, academics, creativity, entrepreneurship or life in general, students in all stages of their AUC journey — as well as alumni — can find help in the form of a mentor under the University’s Life Mentorship Program (LMP).

Launched in 2017, the program connects AUC students with faculty and alumni mentors, forging powerful relationships that last well beyond University. Michael Hanna ‘20 joined LMP initially as a work-study video editor and director, but shortly thereafter began to be mentored by Hakim Meshreki (MBA '05), assistant professor and CEMS Master in International Management academic director. Hanna is now an electrical engineer in Orlando, Florida.

“My first impression of Dr. Hakim was how accessible and relatable he is,” Hanna recalled. “I felt like he was an older sibling, a really smart one.”

After undergoing a revamp following the coronavirus pandemic, the LMP was relaunched last November by May Ramy, senior director for cocurricular programs at AUC. It now operates under five clusters: entrepreneurship, civic engagement, arts and culture, athletics and well-being. In addition to one-on-one matches, the LMP is also offering group mentoring sessions as an introduction to the program.

“The program complements everything that happens inside of the classroom,” Younes explained. “It aims to build well-rounded mindsets and skill sets that will help students jump-start their careers. Moreover, it is a lifelong relationship — people always remember a mentor who has helped them realize their potential and overcome challenges.”

Though Hanna studied electronics and communications engineering at AUC, working with Meshreki, who teaches in AUC’s School of Business, taught him the importance of making connections and being relatable in conversation. “I ended up taking Dr. Hakim’s Introduction to Business course, and later on, he recommended me as a teaching assistant to different professors.”

This interdisciplinarity is a key component of the program, Ramy explained. “The LMP engages AUC learners from different disciplines in quality mentoring relationships and development experiences that create meaningful and sustainable connections and enable them to lead an intentional and professional life,” she said.

Making a Mentor

Intelligence, empathy, experience — according to Meshreki, these are three characteristics that are essential in being a good mentor. Having been with the program since 2018 and mentoring students on his own before joining, Meshreki sees mentorship as an invaluable practice.

“We're living in an era of instability, so talking to others and building relationships with more experienced people will open up ideas and opportunities,” he said. “Having a mentor can help students discover their full potential and steer them toward better avenues for personal growth.”

Hanna reflected on what made Meshreki an ideal mentor. “He's young at heart and knows how to immediately connect with students,” he said. “Dr. Hakim consistently provided helpful, relevant information, continually exercised critical thinking, was willing to be proven wrong and loved being challenged.”

Hanna is grateful for the program’s impact on his career trajectory. He’s also still in touch with Meshreki, who is taking on new mentees with the program’s relaunch. Since November, nearly 300 mentors and mentees have signed up for the program. This is a network, and the benefits of a network are huge.” Meshreki said.


Follow the LMP on Instagram.

Study Hard! Best Places to Focus on Campus

Campus Community
May 15, 2023
Three photos of students studying on campus. On the left, McDermott sits near Cilantro. In the center, McDermott and Corson sit outside the library. On the right, Corson sits in the garden under a purple flowering tree.

With finals around the corner, finding a quiet and comfortable spot to study is paramount. Take a tour of the best campus spots to settle down and study up with two AUC study-abroad students, Bayley McDermott and Emily Corson. 


Corson sits under two flowering purple trees in the garden. She is writing in a notebook and there is a green water bottle near her chair. The rest of the garden and the Administration Building is visible in the background.
The University Garden


McDermott and Corson both hail from Colgate University, tucked away in the cloudy hills of upstate New York, so they are taking full advantage of AUC’s sunny disposition. 


“I focus better in areas without a lot of people around, so the gardens are my favorite place to read and write,” explains Corson, who studies history and education. “I’ve really enjoyed watching the campus come into bloom over the past few months. If I ever get stressed while working, I like to take long walks through the paths to relax.” 


McDermott sits at a table behind the administration building, working on a laptop. The garden is visible behind her and there is a young man walking in the background.
Behind the Administration Building

While the gardens require a fully charged laptop and a shady tree, other areas offer a balance of beautiful views with sun coverage and better technological support. 


“I like this space because I get the best of both worlds: a gorgeous view of the garden, with the smell of the flowers, sounds from the birds and consistent shade, plus, there are outlets here, so sometimes I charge up here before going back to sit in the sun,” says McDermott, a political science and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies student. 


McDermott and Corson sit at a table in the pavilion of Bartlett plaza. Corson is typing at a computer while McDermott is opening a book. Both are smiling and there are students walking in the plaza behind them.
Seating area outside the AUC Library

AUC courses encourage collaboration between students, so campus is full of places to study in groups. The pavilion outside the library provides access to larger tables for team studying.


“This is usually where I sit when I have group projects,” says Corson. “There’s Cilantro on one side and Tarwe2a on the other, so it's a good spot to choose if you need to work for several hours at a time. Plus, we are right next to the library if we need books.” 


Studying hard requires energy, so the two often find themselves visiting one of the many coffee shops on campus. When McDermott is feeling social, she settles near Cilantro.

McDermott sits in a wicker chair in front of Cilantro. She is writing in a notebook and wearing sunglasses. Students are sitting at long tables behind her.
Seating area near Cilantro


“I like to be able to get coffee and sit under the trees nearby. Since it's in Bartlett Plaza, I’m also likely to see my friends walking by so I can take study breaks to chat with them,” she states. 


Whether you are a student preparing for finals or a professor working on grades, don’t forget to explore the many study spaces available on campus. 

AUC’s Cairo International Model United Nations Sweeps New York Conference with Highest Number of Awards

Campus Community
Abigail Flynn and Dalia Al Nimr
May 2, 2023
The CIMUN team stands wearing suits and professional dresses in an auditorium at the conference. Some students are holding signs saying "Montenegro" and "Nigeria"

Debate your hearts out! AUC’s Cairo International Model United Nations (CIMUN) swept the National Model United Nations in New York last month. Representing Nigeria and Montenegro, the 37-person team took home an impressive 14 awards, making AUC the most-awarded university at the conference.

Within those achievements, the team won two Outstanding Delegation Awards the highest award a university can achieve for their group representation of Nigeria and Montenegro. In addition, the AUC delegates won 12 individual awards across multiple councils, including the Human Rights Council, General Assembly, UN Environment Assembly, UN Economic Commission for Africa, International Atomic Energy Agency, Commission on the Status of Women, and Commission Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. 

"The amazing team of delegates we had this year led AUC to become the university with the highest number of awards at the NMUN conference this year, as well as the only university to receive not just one but two Outstanding Delegation Awards. I believe this team raised the bar for many years to come," said Ali Hussein, economics major and CIMUN organization committee head.

AUC's Cairo International Model United Nations team celebrating their victor at the National Model United Nations in New York
Radwan, Hussein and Hani with AUC's winning team 


Getting ready for this conference took more than six months of practice and a rigorous selection process that included interviews as well as mock conferences and position paper writing. The preparation phase comprised general training sessions for the delegation overall as well as more specific training and strategies for the different councils, in addition to researching foreign policy and identifying key international agreements to support the team's stance. There were also simulations to fully prepare the team for all aspects of the conference as well as a comprehensive process for writing the position papers, "which is a very important aspect of the NMUN conference and yielded many awards for us," explained Hussein. "This year, the majority of our delegates were freshmen and had never experienced a conference of this scale before. This made the preparation process longer and more challenging, which made the victory at the end even more rewarding. That was what was most special about the CIMUN victory this year."

Farid Hani, economics major with a minor in international relations and CIMUN undergraduate academic adviser, echoed similar sentiments. "Working with each and every one of our delegates in training, selection and writing position papers builds a personal connection, and we were eager to see them shine in action. Indeed, they passed our expectations and demonstrated great leadership, presentation, research, analytical and diplomacy skills," he said, adding:

"This year marks the 35th CIMUN team, and it was our target to truly make an impact and prepare the next generation of leaders to partake in this rigorous and prestigious conference. What really made a difference despite our delegation's young age was their spirit, dedication and eagerness to learn. To me, seeing their hard work come into play and their development over the months of training was the true victory."

Walid Kazziha, political science professor and CIMUN's faculty adviser, commended the hard work put in by all those involved. "My sincere thanks goes to all colleagues and staff members who helped prepare CIMUN for its great success," he said. "Above all, we owe our students and their High Board a word of gratitude and true recognition for the relentless efforts they have made to maintain the high standards we always demand of them.”

Cairo International Model United Nations High-Board members with the team's faculty adviser
Hani, Radwan, Hussein and Kazziha at the National Model United Nations in New York


For participating students, the conference taught them valuable lessons both personally and professionally. "Attending the NMUN conference this year as head delegate has taught me a lot of new skills and lessons," reflected Hussein. "The key lesson I learned was how to properly strategize and plan ahead with my fellow High-Board members in order to reach the best outcome possible, which we thankfully succeeded in doing. Other important skills that were reinforced, thanks to this experience, included discipline, leadership and diplomacy. I am now assured that if I put my mind to something, plan accordingly, trust the process –– and most importantly my team –– I will reach the goal that I had set out from the beginning."

As Lara Radwan, economics major and CIMUN secretary-general put it, "Year by year, our goals for NMUN increase, and this year, we were able to win the highest amount of awards amongst all competing universities. With the competition becoming stronger and the MUN scene growing day by day, we had to prepare our team to become the top competing university in this year’s conference. The process has definitely been challenging, but the amount of knowledge we gained en route and the experience of getting to meet participants from all over the world is indescribable!"


Adventures Abroad: Students Share Their Stories

Campus Community
April 30, 2023
A collage of photos featuring AUC students studying abroad. On the left, a young woman poses in front of the Eiffel tower. In the center top, a young man take a selfie with his friends on a cliff in Norway. On the bottom center, a young woman poses with her friends in France. On the right, a young woman poses with her hands lifted in front of a bridge in the U.S.

Whether navigating a new country, learning a new language, making friends or adjusting to new classes, AUC students are thriving in their study-abroad programs. With over 200 partner universities and more than 300 study-abroad opportunities, the University’s liberal arts education prepares students to be curious, confident and flexible during their international learning. Read the first-hand accounts of these experiences from our AUCians abroad.


Abdalla Ashraf

The University of Oslo, Norway

What I enjoyed the most was the autonomy, empowerment and diversity of the student organizations. Through reflections, conversations and mentorship in Norway, I had more clarity about the type of career I want to follow and, more importantly, the means to do so. I also felt excited to get back and share my learning, not only from my courses but also from the sustainable lifestyle Norway promotes. Learning at a liberal arts institution such as AUC made it extremely easy for me to fit in right away with the different types of learning environments.”

Abdalla Ashraf takes a selfie with his friends on a cliff in Norway over a body of water
Ashraf (left) takes a selfie with his friends during a hike in Norway


















Menna Elzahar

University of Central Florida, The United States

“I learned how to live out of my comfort zone, make new friends, deal with homesickness and adapt to a completely new environment. I learned a lot about myself and American culture during my time there. I also witnessed how similar the education system in the U.S. is to our system here at AUC. There was almost no difference which helped me quickly adapt to the academics there and helped me achieve almost straight A's at the end of the semester. My time there was a special mix of fun and learning with my new friends.”

Menna Elzahar poses with her arms up in front of a bridge in the U.S.













Farida Yehia

Sciences Po, France

“My time at Sciences Po gave me the confidence to be an outspoken person and engage in various conversations that are outside my comfort zone. My study abroad experience connected me with selective internship opportunities, including the one I am currently working at in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Organizations. I have also connected with alumni who have had similar experiences at Sciences Po and it has been very inspiring to me how the opportunities that AUC gives us can turn into lifelong learning experiences.”

Farida Yehia poses in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.











Ahmed Yasser

University of Rochester, The United States

"My exchange experience at the University of Rochester was beyond amazing, to say the least. It felt like being a freshman again, unworried about academic pressures, all open to enjoying the college diversity, the city charm and the captivating nature. I loved the diversity of backgrounds on campus, the field trips to local museums and national parks, and the fruitful involvement in student activities."
Ahmed Yasser poses in front of campus at the University of Rochester












Darin Hany

Sciences Po, France

“Studying abroad opened my eyes to an entirely different experience! I met people from different backgrounds and cultures, made friends with the most compassionate girls and was able to unravel the magic and history behind so many marvelous museums. At first I was super scared of the change and getting out of my comfort zone since I would be living in a country for almost five months where I didn’t even speak the language. However, I learned to adapt, to challenge myself and even unveil parts of my personality that I didn’t even know ever existed. Traveling abroad helps you unleash your potential in so many ways. It really is a once in a lifetime experience that builds character.”

Darin Hany poses with her friends in Paris
Hany (left) poses with friends in Paris



Ramadan from the Heart of Cairo

Campus Community
Abigail Flynn
April 3, 2023
Three photos of Carere placed in a line. Carere sits at a table in the street with Egyptian food in front of her, sharing suhoor with her neighbors. Carere smiles and poses with a peace-sign in front of a shop selling lanterns in downtown Cairo. Carere smiles and stands next to a mascot of a Ramadan character near Talaat Harb, holding fresh strawberry juice.

International student Sara Carere has never experienced a month quite like Ramadan in Egypt. Living in wust el balad, or downtown Cairo, Carere has fasted with friends from Assiut, eaten suhoor on the street with her neighbors and watched hours of musalsalat (Ramadan TV series). 


Carere sits at a table in the street with Egyptian food in front of her, sharing suhoor with her neighbors
Carere shares suhoor 
with her

“I was most surprised by how special and collective fasting feels,” Carere says. “Back home in the Netherlands I had some Muslim friends who fasted, but seeing Ramadan on a country-wide scale is incredible.”

Carere smiles and poses with a peace-sign in front of a shop selling lanterns in downtown Cairo
Carere visits a
lantern shop
​​​​​in Sayeda Zaynab

Carere fasted the first two days of Ramadan to understand what her Muslim friends and neighbors were feeling firsthand. “It was really hard for me,” Carere recalls. “Maybe it's because I haven’t done it before, but not drinking water was so tough. That first iftar was incredible, though; water and dates have never tasted so good.” 

As a Middle Eastern studies student from the University of Groningen, Carere has spent her study abroad year at AUC making friends from all over the world. Her iftars have included traditional Egyptian foods and sweets, like molokhia, mahshi, kunafa and atayef, in addition to international foods, like Spanish omelets and pasta bolognese.


“I’ve really enjoyed this month because my roommates and I always have dinner together at iftar. Planning the meals, going grocery shopping and visiting the local market in Sayeda Zaynab to see the lanterns has been a lot of fun,” Carere says. “The fresh fruit juice from the street vendors is so good. My favorite is the coconut drink, sobia.” 


Carere smiles and stands next to a mascot of a Ramadan character near Talaat Harb, holding fresh strawberry juice.
Carere with
a Ramadan
character mascot
Carere sits at a coffeeshop and looks down intently at a board of dominos. There is a glass of tea and a pink hair clip on the table next to the board.
Carere plays
a game of
dominos with

Living in downtown Cairo has immersed Carere in the Ramadan spirit. “The first night we walked around downtown until suhoor. Everyone seemed so happy and energetic,” Carere recalls. “We spent the night playing dominoes at an awha (local coffee shop) and drinking tea. It’s been a great chance to practice my Arabic.”

Ramadan has also highlighted some amusing cultural differences between the Netherlands and Egypt, particularly with regard to watching musalsalat. “In the Netherlands, we usually watch a show in silence and discuss it after,” Carere explains. “Watching the shows here with my Egyptian friends involves a lot more commenting and asking questions. I like it; it's more engaging. My favorite shows so far are Al Maddah and Al Soffara.”


At other times, the month feels bittersweet for Carere. “Seeing everyone breaking fast with their families and spending so much time together does make me a little homesick,” Carere says. “Thankfully, my dad is coming to visit next month, and I am so excited to show him how special Egypt is during Ramadan.”

Ramadan By Students: Five Designs Win Decoration Competition

Campus Community
Abigail Flynn
March 27, 2023
A collage of four students standing next to their Ramadan designs on campus. In the top right, a female student stands next to her banner design, on the top left, a girl smiles in front of the library facade with her AUC and Ramadan Kareem signs on the front. On the bottom left, a male student stands next to his library with his AUC design with the "C" as a crescent. On the bottom right, a female student stands next to her geometric designs strung between the trees. In the center bottom a male student.

Campus is coming alive this month with the spirit of Ramadan — from streamers with crescent moons to celebratory arches and lanterns, festive energy can be felt in every corner. Ahead of the holy month, AUC hosted a Ramadan decoration competition, inviting students to submit sustainable, low-cost designs. Five students were selected as winners, and their ideas were integrated into the University’s holiday decorations. 


Rihem Sejil, who studies political science and journalism and is a recipient of the U.S. Department of State funded Tomorrow's Leaders Undergraduate Program, submitted a flag design and dangler idea, which was integrated into the library facade design.

Two photos of Rihem Sejil standing next to her designs on campus with the original design displayed next to them. On the left, a blue hanging banner with the words "American University in Cairo" with lanterns on the top and dates and a tea pot on the bottom. On the right, a hanging design of a yellow crescent with the letters AUC strung beneath it, hanging on the library facade.











Omnia Antar Aly, who studies history, game design and interactive design, crafted designs for streamers which were hung throughout the trees on campus. 
A photo of Omnia Antar Aly standing in front of her decorations on campus. The decorations are geometric designs of the AUC logo using geometric designs in blue, gold and red shades. To her right is the original digital design she submitted.











Nadine Ibrahim, who studies architectural engineering, contributed to the design of the library facade. 
Nadine Ibrahim stands and smiles in front of the library facade design. The design features the words "Ramadan Kareem" written in white font with AUC's logo colors of orange, blue and yellow as background. The AUC logo sits above the words with geometric designs and the "C" is a yellow crescent. To the left is a photo of the original design she submitted with similar elements.











Omar Basyouny, who studies mechanical engineering and psychology and is a recipient of the U.S. Department of State funded Tomorrow's Leaders Gender Scholars Program, submitted a design to make the AUC “C” into a crescent for the library facade. 

Omar Basyouny smiles in front of the AUC library facade with a photo of his original design shown next to him. The designs show the AUC logo with the "C" as a crescent.










Youssef Anwar, who studies management of information and communication technology and is a recipient of the U.S. Department of State funded Tomorrow's Leaders Undergraduate Program, contributed two flag designs and a photo backdrop design. Anwar is studying abroad this semester. 

On the far right, a photo of Youssef Anwar smiling and leaning against a wall. On the far left, the original design of a photo opportunity display. The background is blue with the words "The American University in Cairo" and "Ramadan Kareem" in the top center, with pink and gold decorations of lanterns and an outline of a masjid. In the center is a photo of the display on campus with the same design.









Two photos of Youssef Anwar's banner designs and banners on campus. On the left is a blue and white banner with the words "Ramadan Kareem" with orange, yellow, blue and green geometric designs. On the right, another banner design with the words "American University in Cairo" with the same geometric designs and color scheme.











The Ramadan decoration competition provided an opportunity for students from many academic backgrounds to contribute to the holiday spirit on campus this month. “I was curious how the decorations for Ramadan would look like this year, so when the opportunity was offered for me to be part of the design, I couldn’t miss it,” Sejil explains. “My experience with designing has mostly been for digital uses. This is my first time designing for AUC and having my ideas printed and on public display, so I’m very excited!"


A Legacy of Learning: AUC's Center for Learning and Teaching Celebrates 20 Years

Campus Community
March 22, 2023
Group of people posing in the AUC Gardens
CLT Team

AUC’s Center for Learning and Teaching is celebrating its 20th anniversary of promoting excellence in teaching and learning. Since 2002, the center has been facilitating top-tier instruction, leading the way in technology integration, offering personalized resources and support to faculty, and participating in community outreach initiatives.

From the Ground Up

Group of people gathered around a round table
Ellozy and CLT staff, 2003

The center was founded by Aziza Ellozy, AUC’s associate provost for transformative learning and teaching. Starting from scratch, Ellozy first focused on assessing the needs of AUC faculty and building a strong team. Things quickly escalated from there.

“Three years into the center, we were fully fledged — offering workshops, midsemester assessments, technology support, a newsletter and working with the task force for AUC New Cairo’s learning spaces,” she said. 

Today, CLT’s impact is hard to ignore. It has delivered more than 1,200 workshops and training sessions for AUC faculty, reporting nearly 10,000 attendees at these events. It recently played a major role in developing and launching the AUC Road to College program, which offers free, online English-language learning for high school students in Egypt. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down campus, the center immediately jumped in to assist faculty with online teaching.

“When you design for interest and need and adapt to the emerging and evolving landscape of education, you get a really powerful combination,” said Hoda Mostafa, professor of practice, a CLT member since 2007 and current director of CLT. “This is what we've been doing from the very beginning and especially throughout the last few years.”

Adham Ramadan ’91, professor, dean of graduate studies and associate provost for research, and a “frequent flyer” at CLT workshops, aptly summed up the center’s impact over the past two decades. 

“CLT has been a catalyst for innovative and creative ideas and practices for teaching and learning at AUC and beyond,” he said. “It successfully developed a community of learning and teaching focused not only on pedagogical best practices but also on innovation and excellence.”

Bridging the Gap

A major thing that the center offers AUC faculty is insight into the student experience within the classroom. Andrew Khalaf ’20, who majored in computer science, joined CLT as an undergraduate student technology assistant, where he offered one-on-one technical support for faculty for three years. He recalled the center's essential role as a bridge between students and faculty.

“CLT is one of the few places where professors get to hear and experience the students' side of the classroom,” he said. “The center fills the gap between what professors think they might be delivering and what is actually received by the students. Through midsemester surveys, CLT perfectly voices out student concerns, feedback and experiences to faculty.”

People gathered around a table working on laptops
CLT workshop


This role was crucial during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Maha Bali ’01, professor of practice at CLT. “We weren’t just assisting people with online learning technology. We were exploring ways to build community in an online class, as well as navigating that space between responding to AUC’s requirements, meeting faculty needs and advocating for the students.”

Having been with CLT since 2003, Bali has worn and continues to wear many hats. In her current role, she is responsible for developing and delivering workshops, administering midsemester assessments, assisting faculty with classroom research, offering a yearlong professional learning community for faculty and editing the center’s Chalk Talk newsletter, to name a few.

How does she do it all? “Because I love it,” she said simply. “Because of our work, AUC faculty are on the edge of what's possible in pedagogy and what's possible with technology in the world.” 


Staying Current

Woman holding a microphone speaking to a group of people
Hoda Mostafa, professor of practice and CLT director

CLT is the only center of its kind in Egypt and the largest in the Middle East and North Africa. “Something that distinguishes us from other centers I’ve seen in the States is the strong technology backbone that we’ve built,” Ellozy said. “This support and the pedagogy and assessment support that we provide have reinforced each other throughout the years.”

As a national and regional leader, the center strives to keep up with the latest trends in teaching and learning. A quick look at the center’s faculty workshops calendar attests to its dedication to supporting AUC faculty, with sessions covering diversity and inclusion, artificial intelligence and engagement strategies aplenty. 

Mostafa explained that the key to staying current lies within the center’s diverse team. “We all come from very varied backgrounds and have individual strengths,” she said. “There's always someone who knows just enough about something to learn more and to teach us. Everyone here is a lifelong learner.”

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

For Ellozy, building such a strong culture of learning and collaboration “came naturally.”

“As the center has grown, we have been learning ourselves, so it was very important that we teach one another, working under an almost flat hierarchy,” she explained.

Reflecting on Ellozy’s legacy, Mostafa added, “We were led by a director who has a very high standard of excellence. “Work ethic is ingrained in our DNA. I don't feel that anyone here at the center considers this just a job; they're here because they want to be.”

AUC community members attributed the center’s success to its team. “The commitment of the CLT team, over the past two decades, to encouraging, supporting and challenging faculty members within a friendly collaborative environment led to reshaping the AUC teaching and learning experience for hundreds of faculty members and thousands of students,” Ramadan said.

“CLT improved my experience at AUC in many ways,” Khalaf said. “The team at the center was always friendly and helpful. Working here gave me the chance to make an impact on the educational journey of others which is a source of pride for me.”

"Our CLT team members have the strongest service ethic of any department I have ever seen,” Bali added. “They are a team of agile professionals who are always willing to adapt and learn in response to what faculty and students need, and to stay one step ahead so we can respond and support them as quickly as possible.”

“The people here at CLT are very special,” Mostafa stressed. “They are passionate about their work and getting the best possible results out of anything we do. It's really quite unique. I've never seen anything like this, and I’d like to thank them.”

“CLT is probably one of the greatest things I’ve ever done,” Ellozy reflected. “I love the people I work with, and I am proud of the center’s impact.

Read faculty testimonials in CLT's annual report.

Campus Conversation; AUC's Strategic Priorities

Campus Community
March 12, 2023
President Ahmad Dallal sits on a stage with moderator Amina Elbendary. He holds a microphone and gestures with his right hand, with a screen behind him showing an infographic explaining AUC's strategic priorities.

During a campus conversation last week, President Ahmad Dallal spoke about the University's four core strategic pillars — student-centered culture, academic excellence, future of work: extended ed and civic engagement — and explained initiatives and projects under each. In addition to continuing to focus on the current challenges posed by the devaluation, the University must work in parallel on realizing its future ambitions, explained Dallal. Here are the key takeaways from the conversation:


  • Despite current challenges, the University must continue to work in parallel on realizing its future ambitions. The Strategic Priorities Roadmap reflects many projects and initiatives under discussion for years.
  • The four core pillars are student-centered culture, academic excellence, future of work: extended ed and civic engagement. Supporting these pillars are main initiatives like programs of the future and campus building projects. 
  • When asked about academic quality, Dallal said that AUC remains committed to creating new projects in addition to refining pre-existing structures. For instance, the University is currently working to create a PhD program for Middle East studies to further boost AUC’s voice in the realm of MENA political and academic thought. 
  • Dallal also responded to questions about the timeline associated with these priorities, emphasizing that the University is in a transitional stage with regards to budget and financial support and is dedicated to ensuring talented students can study at AUC regardless of financial ability. The president also said that many projects will be started in the near future depending on donor relations and grants.