Editorial Note We know. It is finals season and one can barely look up from their AUC-related responsibilities, let alone pay attention to a multitude of voices, issues, and ideas. This time, however, you do not have to look too far. Our theme for this issue is this campus, its matters, and its politics. Our theme for this issue is AUC. We write about AUC because as much as gossip and discussions circulate within and around this entity and space, there is still much left unsaid. There is much left unsaid about the politics that govern this institution, whether through its administration, or within its student body. There is much left unsaid about the disadvantaged groups on this campus, whether it be outsourced workers or those whose dress codes do not allow them to enter our securitized bubble. There is much left unsaid about this notion of the “bubble” itself, how campus is no homogeneous social group, and about the various positive spaces we create for ourselves here.
There is much left unsaid about how (and why?) class registration is a semi-annual ritual from hell, about academic quality, and about the inefficiencies that are not marketed on the University website or the image portrayed to the international community. There is much left unsaid about where my money and your money are going. There is much left unsaid about the growing feuds and discussions on feminism, ideology, and how certain groups acquire power on campus. There is much left unsaid about the violent securitization of this campus, with cameras, bans, and drug policies supposedly protecting us, while the actual problems blatantly loom by. There is so much left that we ourselves have not said for the prevalence of silences around us. Our initiative in this issue is to carve out bolder, wider, and louder conversations on this campus, in hopes that no one should feel the need to silence themselves about it in the future.
Interview with Heya: The Feminist Initiative
A Gentleman’s Guide to Empowering Women
Omar Is Just Not That Into You: The AUC Fuccboi Spectrum
Editor in chief Nada Nabil English Section Managing Editor Farida Hussein
Danya Koueider Laila El Refaie Karim Kadry Farah El Kholy Yasmeen Mamdouh Alya El Marakby
Associate Managing Editor Danya Koueider
Academic Advisor Ramy Aly
Photography Head Georgenia Bassily
OC Director Karim Dakroury
Graphic Designer Nada Hesham
HR Head Alaa Mahmoud
English Editors Yasmine Haggag Mahmoud ElHakim Mariam El Ashmawy Mena Salama Laila Abdel Ghany
Logistics Head Omar Abo Hammar
Copyrights All uncredited photography and/or artwork is either used upon permission or licenced for noncommercial use.
Disclaimer AUC Times is a student publication. All opinions expressed in the publication are the writers' own and do not reflect those of the magazine or the AUC administration.
Marketing Head Mostafa Arafa
From the Centrality of the Downtown Campus to the Development of New Cairo
Are AUC Classrooms Democratic?
Burst The Bubble
INTERVIEW WITH SAEED ZAKARIA AND MENNA EMARA Dear reader, We approached our future Student Union leaders, Menna Emara and Saeed Zakaria, to sit down for an interview with AUC Times, but unfortunately we were met with significant stalling. Our Editor-in-Chief messaged their campaign’s page on April 12th requesting an interview, and despite the message being “seen”, we received no response. We called Menna twice on the 17th after their win but still, no response, until the 26th when we tried messaging her and still got no response. On the same day, our English Managing Editor texted Saeed Zakaria for the same purpose and finally got a response a day later stating that he and Menna are willing to sit down for an interview and to call and schedule it the next day. As a response to Saeed Zakaria’s confirmation on April 27th that he and Menna would be able to sit down for an interview, our Editor-inChief posted on Rate AUC Professors asking students about the questions they had for Saeed and Menna, to convey the student body’s concerns in the interview questions. On April 28th, our English Managing Editor messaged Saeed to check if he found a suitable timing, and he stated that he was too busy in the coming two days and requested that we schedule the interview on the third. He then asked her if she was a representative from AUC Times or AUC TV. On responding that she was from AUC Times, Saeed stated that he would first need to check with Menna since they had a “small problem” with AUC Times, likely referring to our online critique of their election plan. On April 29th, our English Managing Editor received a decisive response stating that the candidates were too busy ‘this week’ to sit down for an interview, so our editor suggested a 2-day extension into the weekend to schedule the interview, which was met with a response that the candidates were busy up until the end of the semester and that they sadly wouldn’t be able to sit for a 1-hour interview within the span of 25 days. First of all, it should not take a campus publication 4 different attempts, at different times, on different platforms, to finally get a response from a future Student Union leader, whose main job is to listen attentively to students’ concerns. Also, a future Student Union leader referring to a campus entity’s critique of his plan as a “problem”, speaks heaps of how this leader plans on engaging the student body and stakeholders’ critiques, if at all. If a leader can’t meaningfully engage with constructive criticism and considers it problematic instead, then it doesn’t bode well for collective decisionmaking or brainstorming processes in the near future. Moreover, at AUC Times, we understand the stress that students are subjected to at the end of the semester, which was cited by Saeed as the reason why he couldn’t sit down for an interview with us before the end of the semester, but being the up-and-coming leader of one of the biggest entities on campus means that balancing between academics and extracurricular responsibilities is a skill that one must attain if they want to succeed. In addition, we graciously asked for 1 hour of the candidates’ time only, which is already an incredibly reasonable and considerate request.
In an effort to remain accountable to our readers and due to the fact that we crowdsourced interview questions as a result of Saeed’s initial approval, we provide you below with the questions that our student body has for our future Student Union leaders: How are you planning on handling the continuous spiked increase in tuition? Do you believe that it’s fair or unfair? Are you concerned with having a tuition cap, and if so, what cap model are you planning on advocating for? If you negotiate a policy or student demands with the administration and they show zero cooperation, are not willing to offer anything and are not taking you seriously, what will you do? And if a student movement rises against this, what will the SU do to support it? How exactly do you define feminism? How was “empowering women through men” ever supposed to convey that Saeed and Menna meant to educate men on the matters of gender equality, as they said in their Good Morning AUC interview? Even if they did not mean to word it that way specifically, why did they not revise their plan before publishing it? In the plan, you say “initiate a workers hub,” what do you mean by that exactly and what does it entail? How would you deal with the fact that the workers are outsourced within that context? You recently clarified that you do indeed believe in the empowerment of women, but insisted that this is different from feminism. There are many that would claim these two ideas to be synonymous and yet you embrace one and disassociate with the other. Can you please explain the difference between feminism and the empowerment of women? How does Saeed plan on educating men on gender equality when he himself thinks that feminism is different from empowering women? Why do they plan on empowering women through educating men and not by simply empowering women full stop? Like giving them and their problems on campus more coverage, for example? Or by giving them more power in an obviously male-dominated SU? What’s their plan regarding the smoking policy? When I was the representation chair in 2013, they didn’t pass the parking policy due to our efforts and objections, as for the bus tickets increase proposed by then, we were part of the task force and rolled back the increase and resorted to other scenarios involving other bus companies and different routes. Now, how do you plan on handling the arbitrary policies currently passed without meaningful student government representation? What are you going to do and what is your strategy in university committees e.g: transportation committee,
May ‘18 issue
food committee, budget committee, etc? And how much do you know about the past committees’ work so you can build on them? What do you know about the previous steps taken to present the budget to the students to assess its viability, and how will you evaluate “quality of education”? How will sharing the budget with the students be any different from the previous presentations, forums, and student representation in the budget committee? You said that the SU does not have a top priority because it all works together, but you must have main objectives you want to achieve during your term. What are they in order of priority? Their words are problematic on so many levels but my question is very simple and I feel this is important to understand their motives: why did you feel there was a need to include female empowerment in your plan? In your slogans on your Facebook page you said “Defy the fallacy, obscurity, mediocrity, inexperience,” of what exactly? The students? Because in your plan you say “sustain the success of previous student unions” so it’s obviously not geared at that. What do you think is that aforementioned success? In your plan, you don’t even say “negotiate a fixed increase in tuition fees”; you state like it’s a given. What steps are you going to take to ensure that this will happen? Are you planning on mobilizing the students in any way, and if you are, then how are you planning to do that? In your Good Morning AUC interview, you say that gender difference isn’t a thing on campus, which is completely different from what you said about fighting stigma around women not being qualified stated in your plan, so which is it? In the representation part of your plan, you say that you aim to allocate SU representatives to administrative policies, but that already exists. How is it supposed to be any different? Also, shouldn’t you push for whateverpolicy to be voted on, in the senate instead?
List some errors the last SU had made, and tell us how they could’ve been fixed? Who will you talk to in case a problem occurs? How will you talk to them? (In other words: Are you conscious of the current structures at university?) You said you belong to the Red Camp and they must have been a main contributor to your win and your choice to run for presidency, could you explain to the readers what the Red Camp is? In your opinion, what are some major problems with democracy? In continuation, what do you think of people voting because of being friends with the candidate or having a campaigner telling them to vote without explaining anything? Is that democratic by any means? Strike organizers and participants have not seen you nor Menna in the Niqab stand, smoking policy meetings, etc. The SU Vice president has also signed in agreement with the smoking policy and SU representatives did not follow up with the Niqab ban issue, that still prevails. Why is that? And are you conscious of the dimensions of the problems you promised that you’d work on? There have been cases of harassment from [your] campaigners, some had described them as “mean”, “rude” and “forcing people to vote without saying something substantial”? What do you think should be changed in the election process so that such complaints would not reoccur? You said that you and Menna are a good choice because you had previous experience with the SU. Do you not think that this would result in nothing more than the reproduction of the current SU and would transform the SU into a closed community that is not conscious of the concerns of the student body? The Amr Diab concert was said to be a success, are there any plans on what events will be organized this year? What should we expect this year from the SU?
By Mariam El Nadi
FRAGILE MASCULINITY: SYMPTOMS, DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT Photo by Fairy Cakes: www.hoyfc.com For centuries, a hitherto unknown epidemic has been targeting and infecting men, and after much investigation scientists have finally identified the ghastly condition as “fragile masculinity”. As the number one leading cause of sexism, misogyny, toxic masculinity and the inexplicable desire to dominate, fragile masculinity causes men to constantly display their “masculine” qualities to assert their manliness at all times; this includes, but is not limited to, aggression, violence and a severe allergy to feminism. Though it doesn’t directly infect all men, fragile masculinity causes dire repercussions in its wake that the entirety of humanity has to face, in the forms of social pressures and expectations enforced on both men and women. It is of no surprise that this illness has found its way into our gated AUC community, since pretty much every other shitty and ignorant mentality routinely wiggles in. The question is; how can you identify yourself as a victim of this disease? And once you do, how could you survive it? SYMPTOMS: - Do you feel the need to steer away from certain colors/ products/activities affiliated with females, such as virtually anything pink, cooking or shopping? Are some gender courses at AUC, way too feminine for you to register in? Who would name a course “Gender and sexuality” anyway, right? - Do you shame your fellow men for showing vulnerability and/or human emotion? - Do you avoid certain hang-out places on campus because you associate them with certain types of people? Do you make more than 15 jokes about PVA students per hour? - Do you set certain rules for your significant other just so your friends don’t question your dominant masculinity? - Do you get extremely offended and agitated at anyone who - even jokingly - questions your manliness, especially using a certain 3-lettered Arabic insult with a vowel in the
middle? - And finally, do you think women are way too sensitive, hormonal and unable to hold political office, yet you, as a wise and clear-sighted man, find yourself spontaneously beating up your opponents at the drop of a hat? Do you think women are too emotional and tend to act on whims, while you rashly-yet-very-wisely engage in a physical fight with another male for insulting your ego? DIAGNOSIS If you’re suffering from any or all of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s with a heavy heart that I must inform you that you have fallen victim to Fragile Masculinity. The diagnosis of Fragile Masculinity is made by relatively simple tests. We ask you to buy sanitary pads from the nearest pharmacy and show you a collection of memes criticizing fragile masculinity, then we measure the steam coming out of your ears. TREATMENT PLAN So, is all hope lost, you ask? Is there no way you can actually become a confident, secure guy who can embrace himself and respect others instead of just claiming you’re one? Well, you’re in luck. A huge part of curing your illness lies in your willingness to admit that you have a problem. You can move on from there to maybe deprioritizing toxic social codes and replacing them with some good oldfashioned critical thinking. Men can empower other men by helping detox the suffocating masculinity standards smothering our campus and society. Basically, live and let live. It’s also probably a good idea to stop gendering everything, from colors to courses to soap smells. And most importantly, it would not kill you to stop demonizing the feminine, either. I mean let’s face it women are pretty awesome, and it would serve you right to learn a thing or two from us.
May ‘18 issue
By Nada Nabil
INTERVIEW WITH HEYA: THE FEMINIST INITIATIVE Gender issues on this campus have never been more relevant, apparent, and talked about. As of late, the circulation of talk about harassment issues, student politics and opportunity for women on campus, and discourse over women during the SU elections has been immense. Luckily, we have members of this campus who have been working on these issues for a long time. In this issue, we are interviewing the co-presidents of Heya: The Feminist Initiative, for the current relevance they have to this campus, its politics, and urgent issues. The following is the insight we have received from Alia Afifi, graduating senior of Psychology with a minor in Anthropology, and Farah Abdulgawad, graduating senior of English and Comparative Literature and Economics. Q: What made you two take up the dire task of becoming co-presidents of a feminist initiative? Farah: The decision to apply was not a dramatic change as I had been a head at Heya for a while. What happened was I was thinking of applying, but didn’t have the courage to do so. Luckily, I found Alia telling me “If I would run with anyone, it would be you” and I thought the same thing! I got very lucky because Alia had done amazing work in mental health, which takes an immense amount of research and has very sensitive influence. Alia: It is also important to mention that at the time we applied, ايندلا كام. We now feel that we are انهماكانتش كده الدنيا هنا much more relevant and needed. Before, Heya enjoyed attention from HUSS majors only, but now there is a sense of urgency that has been building up. We started off making juice for our FYE booth to being involved in the SU elections discussions. Maybe if we knew this would happen, we would not have been so confident. *Laughs* Farah: We didn’t have the niqab ban, questionable SU elections statements, nor security camera on campus. Our sole focus used to be on events. We wanted to contextualize feminism within the Arab world, but found ourselves slowly focusing on a more micro level. We’re glad that we stressed the fact that the discussion of women’s rights isn’t just relevant on the large scale of work and policy, but within our small scale dealings in the AUC community. Q: Speaking of these new emerging challenges, what do you think are the feminism related problems on campus? Farah: We can start by the fact that some people in this university have a problem with the label of “feminist”, although they might love our work and support us. The thing is that this label points to particular discrepancies in our society. There are other problems that exist in this world, but this is what we chose to focus. Just like the slavery abolitionists focused on abolition, and just like some people focus on other issues, this is what we focus
on. Backlash on the feminist label sometimes comes from those who deny that women are disadvantaged in the 21st century. This boggles me, because this disadvantage is very clear in Egypt! There are girls called off from school, forced into female genital mutilation, and are harassed constantly. Alia: There is this prevalent attitude of “sit down, your problems are irrelevant” when it come to tackling aspects of social justice, like the refugees issues here. But to go back to your question, an issue like sexism manifests itself differently within the AUC community. Farah: Yes, so for instance Heya wouldn’t be prevented from organizing an event on reproductive health. Sexism does not manifest this way in AUC. It manifests in political groups that claim to be social but are essentially exclusionary; groups that start as fraternities but then mobilize politically, determine the course on action at نيزياع يف كل حاجة عايزين يرشقوا البنات AUC, and complain about how تانبلا اوقشري Alia: Also on this issue of feminism on campus, it’s important to talk about how I think it was the admin that mentioned feminism as a marketing strategy for international students. Which is alright, it somehow put us in a different light after we were regarded as just another club. Farah: Another issue is harassment on campus, which is difficult to tackle due to fear of reporting. The power dynamics involved in something like faculty harassment are difficult to navigate, because this isn’t student to student anymore. Q: Are you guys formally involved in the reporting of sexual harassment on campus? Alia: Heya’s role in the process is to provide support and confidentiality to all those who need it. We are available to those who want to report through us as we can speak to the university offices on their behalf. We launched a joint campaign with the Office of Diversity and Advocacy called “Speak IX” which spreads awareness about the Title IX law that aims to eliminate sexual discrimination in USfunded institutions. Our goal was to spread awareness about it through accessible language. You have the right to report. You have the right to have a committee investigate your case. Q: Were you able to facilitate the reporting of harassment through these policies? Alia: We were contacted twice, but the two girls were extremely petrified to pursue anything, which is of course, extremely understandable. They messaged us but never pursued it because it was always against professors, and so again, the power dynamics are at play. We were also contacted by another case recently, but since the
semester is coming to an end, there was a consensus that waiting until the course ended was our safest option. We have discussed this issue with the office, and a suggested solution was that during the reporting process, the survivors would be assigned other professors from the department to mark their exams. Similar discussions will continue to make the process easier for the survivors, and to ensure that we try and provide as much support and assistance as we can. We know of more cases of course, but they have not shown readiness to report (yet), but we know for sure that harassment cases on campus continue to increase. We still feel like individual reports are part of, but not solely the achievement, but the idea is that it goes beyond, and that as of now, we get to talk about this on some platforms. Q: What other achievements are you proud of having done this year? Farah: We love how we’ve been getting invitations from departments to collaborate on and promote their events because they feel like our work is relevant. We worked with the memorial office to memorialize Nadia Younes, a human rights advocate, and are currently working with the Biology Department. We also held the annual breast cancer awareness campaign in collaboration with the Anti Cancer Team and Mashrou’ Kheir. Alia: With this campaign, we created Arabic brochures that reach out beyond the student body, which is something we hope to do more of. We want to establish a medium to speak to other groups like workers. We also held our first spoken word poetry event, which was awesome. We had movie screenings on feminism and the Middle East as well. Farah: Our biggest success to me was the “Listen” campaign. Our Arts Committee created sketches on red poster to address the Egyptian media and those who say “mafish sexism fe Masr.” The sketches included one of the parliament who said that girls should be raped if they dressed in a certain way as well as sexual harassment testimonies. The hashtag was “#listen” to these problems; you’ve been talking for so long. Alia: We also have the Umbrella Initiative, the monthly meeting by our Mental Health committee in which you can submit your experiences anonymously and we have discussions about them.They session are useful for talking non-abstractly about issues like sexual consent
May ‘18 issue
that are not clear-cut in reality. We also conducted a workshop on for our high board with Harass Map on what harassment is and its various types. We were also part of the “She Can” event in the Greek Campus with Entreprenelle which focused on women employability, opportunity and entrepreneurship. Q: Some feminists do not approve of the discourse of entrepreneurship and “empowerment”, what do you think of this? Alia: I think it is important to recognize that while some of us can afford to go to unpaid internships in institutions that “fight the fight” they are passionate about, some need jobs in order to live and take care of others. I would call this intersectional. You can be part of a feminist initiative and still maintain a job in the market. Farah: As a feminist initiative, we can’t afford to be abstract and concerned with theory only. I think throughout the year we tried not to get too caught up in discourse, rather to focus on what we can do. Alia: After the SU elections, we need to know when someone uses women as a selling point, like ماع ةأرملا عام املرأة during which nothing good actually happened to women. If you want to facilitate certain practices for women, that’s ىقبنالستـــات نبــقى مع great, but using it “ناشع عشــان عم ”تسلاis wrong.How do we even think of “women” as an other like that? Even if, you need to consider that this other might not want your empowerment, particularly if you did not ask them how they want to be “empowered”. We need to be more critical of the patriarchal structure. Q: Can you elaborate your stance on what was said by the campaign of candidates Saeed and Menna? Farah: I want to clarify that any critique that came from the student body wasn’t a personal attack on them. And to claim so is to belittle the political activity and opinions on campus. We obviously do not have a personal agenda against them. Menna posted to Women of AUC that it
is a smear campaign; it’s not a smear campaign. We are critiquing the rhetoric of someone who is running for a student representation position. Alia: If anything, this accusation is offensive to anyone who pointed out the discrepancies in their plan. “anticampaigning” defined in the university constitution as “making personal accusations against the candidate, competitor, or campaigner”. There was nothing personal about this Farah: The content of the critique was ignored and they focused on the technicalities of what it was Alia: And this disrespectfully plays on the idea that “no one reads the plan”, and that the elections are groups of friends voting for one another, with a plan that’s issued one day before. Q: Do you have a final note to end on to the AUC community? -We encourage the AUC community to think of their privileges and to examine all the ways in which they could work on making the world a better, more welcoming place for people from all walks of life. Start with this campus. We would also like to see more people taking initiatives, asking for their rights, and their receiving answers. We ask them to recognize the world they live in as political; everything is political, and to decide to be apolitical is to decide to side with injustices. As a feminist initiative, it has been our mission to promote inclusivity within our community and to shed light on the various manifestations of sexism. Recently, we have noticed concerning patterns in the discourse of differences and inequalities. Even more concerning is the apathetic manner by which these issues are handled. We find this extremely frustrating, and hope that in the very near future the student body can bounce back, take initiative, and fight the fight before it is too late.
By Omar Abo Mosallam
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO EMPOWERING WOMEN The most recent Student Union election at AUC proved to be quite contentious, to say the least. Whether you’re disappointed in the election results of an apolitical student body or just really, really want another Amr Diab concert, you have to agree that the male portion of the student body will finally have a greater voice and take on greater responsibilities in the community - after all it is 2018. Since the prevailing candidates preached “the empowerment of women through men”, it is crucial that the men in our community fully realize the gravity of this task, and how exactly it should be done. This guide should prove useful to those who wish to empower their female friends but may lack the innate masculine gumption or superiority complex required. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Make sure they know what you think of them, even when they don’t ask The key to empowering your female companions is to make sure that, at any and all times, you’re always there to guide and mentor them, even when they don’t ask you to. During AUC times meetings for example, I make it a point to exhaustively comment on our female writers’ ideas, and to make sure they know what I think of their article pitches and why they are not as funny as they think they are. Also, i make sure to do so even at times when my advice is not solicited; it is exactly in those times that women need the most ‘empowerment’. They may roll their eyes or repeatedly ask you to be quiet, but this is only one of many burdens you’ll carry. Just make sure you keep at it, because even if they report you for harassment, the systematic misogyny of our campus/ country will ridicule everything they say and never take them seriously; what a deal! So empower away boys, there’s (literally) nothing to stop you! Not even a student union! Make sure they understand very simple and straightforward concepts You’ve probably heard the term ‘mansplaining’ before, but be warned that it is a derogatory term coined by the godless left to berate hard working men. What I advise you to do is not ‘mansplaining’ as the feminists would call it. What i advocate is that you should make sure that a woman understands a certain idea or concept; even if such idea or concept is widely known amongst the slowest of third graders. How can we start to empower women (through men) if we’re not sure they understand fundamentally basic things?! I, for one, had to explain what ‘mansplaining’ was to my editor before I sent her this very article! I mean, she knew what it was, but It was still my duty (and privilege) to help her achieve the same footing. As a male, i’m most likely more cognitively apt than my female peers, so why shouldn’t I expediently offer my unrequested assistance? In any case, we can rest easy knowing that, under our new Student Union leadership, women’s best interest will (almost) be at the top of their agenda.
Make sure they know their limits Privileged reader, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but it may come as a shock to you that some women actually spoke out against our new SU leadership’s plan during election day. Preposterous! Why they would protest the very policies that would elevate them to second class students is beyond me, dear reader. As a campus, our priority now is to crack down on this nonsense ASAP; take the pristine example of Rate AUC Professors’ admins recently. These keen-eyed leaders made sure that any of this anti-woman tomfoolery was rightfully branded as anti-campaigning! You could say that they weren’t only criticising the campaign, but also the ‘deeply flawed and misogynistic system from which it sprang’, but that’s just more feminist nonsense. Personally, I’m proud to live in a campus that would go so far as to ban people from Facebook groups in order to guarantee that women are given a voice, and uphold its principles of malesanctioned female empowered. Some of these devious women, who were banned, may have even gravitated towards the other two candidates in the election. Let your empowered women know that our new SU leaders gave women a right that their opposition in the election could not. That is the right to run (as vice president), alongside a ‘non-feminist’ pro-women hero. Can the opposition, with their long documented history of student rights activism say the same? I highly doubt it. If you make sure the women you encourage understand these facts, then you will be well on your way to being a serial woman empowerer whose contribution to society will be invaluable. And if you perhaps meet a woman who’s skeptical about all this, and even challenges your overinflated male ego then remind that there’s a new sheriff in town. One who’s going to think really hard about maybe advocating for women’s rights as long as it is, you know, supervised by men.
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Photo by Yasmin El Nawawy
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By Antony Ashraf Costantin
ELECTIONS DAY: A CAMPAIGNER’S PERSPECTIVE The point of this section was to get reflections from campaigners from both sides of the SU elections. After reaching out both publicly and privately to the other campaign, we were met with no response. Sincerely, AUC Times Team. 10:00 pm. On the 15th of April, 2018, the night of the AUC Student Union Elections, after giving myself several pep talks and hearing some by my fellow campaigners as well as the candidates, I felt like I was ready to take on the world. In fact, I felt like I was ready to go on and start my own campaign in the next Egyptian Presidential Elections; of course, if my candidate would be allowed to run. I remembered that there is only one candidate who shall not be named, and that I should focus on what seems like the only fair elections in Egypt. I felt like I was ready to empower others (pun intended), and create a change in what seems like a rigid structure in AUC that prevents even the simplest structural change. Anyhow, I call up my list of friends who are interested and remind them that the elections are tomorrow. I go to sleep feeling ecstatic and ready for what seemed like a fight filled with fury and hatred. 11:30 am. The first clash starts in a class they call “finance,” or what I would like to call “Intro to Subtle Capitalism 101,” where professors teach students how to become tiny capitalists who are ready to embark on an adventure of exploitation with an eye on the grand prize: the next Forbes “Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30.” I wait until the class ends, and then I decide to introduce my candidates to my fellow colleagues, and then beside the class door, I find a group of 7 students waiting impatiently to campaign on other students for Saeed and Menna (the other candidates running). However, I already had a contingency plan and called fellow campaigners beforehand, yet I was still outnumbered. After both sides try to “steal” votes, we end up with some votes and the other side leaving. 12:00 PM. As an economics student, I was positioned in BEC to get some voters and surprisingly, I find a huge batch of campaigners, around ten, trying to get votes as well. Being stationed there and close to the plaza, I witnessed several fights where each side claimed that the other was anti-campaigning (which is considered a violation) and I saw both sides trying to catch one another red-handed. I think this is definitely one reason why people are adamant on remaining apolitical and on refusing to vote in the elections. They think neither candidate will ever make a change. After these minifights subsided, I realize that this was only the beginning of the politics of intimidation, where scare tactics were used by campaigners to intimidate one another. After standing in BEC until 1:30 PM, I foundnd “HUSS people” enraged by the other candidates (Menna and Saeed) stating “empowerment of women through men” as a goal in their campaign flyer. Despite feeling angry about this
statement, I was thrilled, as this statement would cause a vote turnover to us. 3:15 PM. As the intensity of the election battlefield increased and as people started leaving for classes, I realized that our campaign was outnumbered. Whenever I stopped one person to tell them about my candidates, I would find 7 individuals surrounding me with their cameras waiting for me to commit a violation. The other side was getting more votes out of intimidation, especially freshman votes. They would follow freshmen after class and campaign by saying “ya 3am e7na so7ab matsa3edni we beta3” and follow them around to make sure they go to the gates to vote. 5:00 PM. As the day went on, intimidation and buildup of earlier tensions reached its peak at the SSE polling station, with both sides of the campaigns fighting one another. The fight started vaguely between a non-campaigner and several members of a certain campaign, ganging up on said non-campaigner, which eventually started a fight between both sides--a perfect demonstration of how fragile masculinity actually is. Another fight emerged when someone from our side said to another person “I am a gym trainer, how about I lift you?”. The fights were mindless, stupid and they showed how “bros” protect each other for whatever reason, regardless of its validity. Another fight emerged when one person started banging two long wooden pieces— furious of the endless fights that kept taking place. I rushed to see what was happening, but then I realized that it is a good chance to campaign during this time. At this point, I knew now for sure that Ricciardone was watching AUCians from the cameras in his office, and viewing us as “hooligans,” unable to conduct proper dialogue with each other. Having said that, how would they dare ask to speak to a former ambassador of hotspot conflict countries, whose track record speaks for itself? I wonder.. 6:50 PM. The day ends with another mindless act by Red Camp members, gathering a group of thirty students clapping loudly, chanting “Regala mabenhazarsh, ela7mar mabye5sarsh” which I found quite “empowering”. They were heading towards the HUSS polling station to act as a distraction and to create intimidation when the day was almost over, showing how polarized the student body was at that point. At this moment, I knew what the outcome of the elections would be, partially due to what was happening, which I think, showed how inefficient the electoral system is. We were being intimidated and there are no bylaws that prevent such methods. The phrase“anti-campaigning” itself is very problematic; one should be free to criticize the other candidate’s program. I honestly feel that part of all elections worldwide is to criticize the other candidate freely and openly unless, you enforce the notion of electoral silence, which contradicts democratic notions in the first place.
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I would say that one problem with Tharwat’s campaign was that we obsessively emphasized abstract slogans of change. People have become increasingly fed up with slogans; one election after the other, they continually asked me “How are these two any different from candidates in the past who promised change, and did not deliver?”. An SU program should deliver on many sides, not only the political. Moreover, it should target all audiences including those who are apolitical and interested in other aspects. Apolitical views are not only common in AUC, but they are common all over Egypt in the name of stability, which is in line with elitist thought at AUC. There should have been a bigger platform to accommodate these views and give them more space, as some felt they did not belong, while while the whole purpose of being inclusive, is to include everyone. To Saeed and Menna: I realize that you belong to the apolitical segment of AUC. I realized that when Saeed was asked if he is a feminist, and he responded saying
that he was in an Islamic school and that he is not a feminist. I realize that both the Black and Red camps got into a vicious, animalistic fight-- the two camps which are supposed to represent students when talking to the administration . I realize that you think that “empowering women through men” refers to educating men, as mentioned by you in your recent interview. I realize that you think that political representation is not a priority, and that services and entertainment remain as your main priority as evident by your plan. However, you do not realize how polarized the campus has become after the elections. You do not realize that your proposed solutions do not solve the main problem of AUC: the board of trustees and its administration which represent its interests, rather than the interests of the students. The political should come before the apolitical, before the events and the entertainment, in order to have a successful union that truly delivers. Your power and influence is not what the university dictates, but what YOU make out of your STUDENT BODY and their RIGHTS.
ON THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF AUC STUDENTS BY PROFESSORS When I mentioned to a friend that I was writing this article, I got a scoff. Another one laughed and followed with a “this stuff doesn’t happen here, only at shitty Egyptian universities.” I was dumbfounded, because then again, what did I really know, right? Whisperings of a certain professor who sent a graphic image to one of his students. Another who told his student that he thinks of her ass when he’s in the shower. While considering a course, a male friend of mine told me: “Oh you should definitely take with him, he loves girls. Just wear something tight and you’ll get an A”. Another friend of mine was advised by a fellow student to visit her professor during his office hours, but to take her jacket off first. Needless to say, she dropped the course.
“He had a very obvious crush on her throughout the whole semester, flirting with her and all. When she would email him questions about the class, he used to email her back implying inappropriate behavior in exchange for better grades. She would either not answer or pretend like he never implied anything flirty at all. At the end, he threatened to fail her. He saw her with a guy at a bar and threatened to contact her parents and tell them she’s in a sexual relationship. She threatened to report him and at that point he didn’t want to risk it, so he told her he’d give her a C without even doing any work if she didn’t report him. So she didn’t...because she was afraid of all the trouble he would cause her with her parents.”
How about this, was I making a big deal out of it when my professor raised his eyebrows suggestively at me and told me that men like to think with something other than their brains, in front of the whole class? Because my friends laughed at this story, when a part of me expected indignation, especially as I had felt my entire body get hot with embarrassment. I couldn’t even think of a response as he grinned and wanted to make sure I understood with a “you know what I mean, don’t you? Yeah, you look like you would know what I mean.” The cherry on top of the shit cake was when he decided to announce to the class in an even louder voice, “she knows what I mean!” This wasn’t some harasser on the street I could tell off. This was a respected, well-credentialed professor with over twenty years of experience (and you know how this university adores their foreigners). I did what anyone who wants to take the attention off of themselves would, I laughed. I mean why not? My peers had already beat me to it.
It’s a shame I’m married, because I keep fantasizing about your huge ass every night in the shower.
The problem is you most likely know who I’m talking about. That’s the sad part - everyone’s heard of him. He refers to women in derogatory terms and humiliates them in class any chance he gets (first hand experience ladies and gents!). One time, he stopped speaking midlecture in order to watch a girl walk in and take her seat. That’s a ten-fifteen second silence just in case you’re wondering, followed by a chuckle and a “Sorry, I just lose focus when the ladies walk in.” This was received by my shock and a couple of chuckles from around the room as if this was a completely normal thing for a middle-aged male professor to say. I found myself asking people with me in class and other students who have taken with him why no one has filed a sexual harassment report against him. I got shrugs of nonchalance and some reminding me that he has tenure, as if that should mean anything. The problem is we’ve allowed a lot of these professor’s to reach notorious statuses as serial harrasers and get away with it by normalizing their behavior. Save for the whisperings of this happening to a friend of a friend, it’s rare for the victims of harassment to speak up, in fear of the consequences. I asked several people and broadcasted on social media, and only one girl messaged me through Facebook to tell me about an incident between her friend and a RHET professor:
What about the the professor who thinks of a certain student’s ass in the shower? Did it grab your attention when I mentioned it in the opening paragraph? I got it off of an anonymous AUC Confessions post. I’ll set the scene for you. You go to your professor’s office for feedback on a paper you’re writing. Or some helpful advice on how to improve your grade. Instead this man leans forward and tells you:
Since this is my piece, I’ve decided his pseudonym is Asshat, so that’s what I’ll be calling him from here on out since he wants to be near one so badly. Why doesn’t she just report Asshat, you ask? If the professor “threatened to make sure I NEVER graduate” I don’t think I would either. There was another post about Asshat. It wasn’t even a narrative of what went down. It was a warning: “Girls, please be careful around this man. If you can, don’t take his classes, don’t be alone with him, don’t buy into the nice ‘feminist’ act of his. I’m sorry the white man always wins, and I’m sorry we go through these things alone, silenced, and blamed. Just know if this has happened to you, you’re not alone. Stay strong, and don’t let the bastards grind you down.” So, what are you going to do about it? You’ve come to the end of my article. The end of the gossip you most likely came for when you started reading this article. This is a pessimistic end to an already tragic piece, but maybe all we can do is something as simple as calling out a professor if he says something in class instead of laughing. I bet I’ll still have some intellectual jerk-off smoking a cigarette on the steps read this and then look to his friends and say, “I bet none of these stories are actually true, fi banat betheb tefty.” Or what about the classic, “el avwara di.” Meanwhile, I see my pervert of a professor for my 10 am tomorrow. If any of the girls mentioned are reading this, I hope I did your stories justice. I’m sorry I can’t actually call these professors out by name, but maybe some satisfaction can be derived from the idea of him reading this piece and sweating his balls off?
By Farida Hussein
WRITERS ANONYMOUS: WHY DO AUC TIMERS CHOOSE TO ANONYMIZE THEIR PIECES? **All names in this article have been changed. As both a former editor-in-chief and former/current managing editor, I have been receiving multiple requests from writers to anonymize their pieces over the years, which from where I was standing, didn’t need anonymizing. Granted, anonymizing can be a powerful rhetorical tool, but overusing it can be counterproductive in that it can be abused to sensationalize an article, rather than to protect its writer. I regularly pressured writers to provide pressing reasons as to why they want to anonymize their pieces, and I always expected to hear state-related reasons, but I was misled. Over time, and as I listened to different writers’ reasoning, I realized that the problem - or rather the problems! - were much more diffused than I had initially expected, ranging from peer pressure and fear of familial reaction to fear of discrimination from professors and within the academy. I found myself itching to write an article to document the reasons behind why these writers chose to forego receiving credit for their work, so I sought out to interview some of our writers who have written anonymously over the years. The first person I spoke to was Sarah Sallam, and given that this issue’s theme is AUC, Sarah pitched an article about the sexual harassment of students by professors. While she was not planning on anonymizing her article, she realized as the writing process went along, that anonymizing it would be inevitable. Sarah recounted how when her
friends and family found out she was writing this article, the first thing they asked was whether her name was going to be on it, especially since she is still taking a class with one of the harasserprofessors she alludes to in her piece. They were concerned that he would discriminate against her if/when he reads the piece, because as Sarah stated, “the professor I allude to in my article is supposedly highly credited in the academic community and has lots of awards; why would they [AUC] ever take my side over his? It just doesn’t make sense, given how AUC administration doesn’t care about much, besides the university’s public image.” In this sense, Sarah’s decision to anonymize her piece came in response to AUC’s reluctance to stand up for its students, especially if standing up for students will potentially compromise its relations with powerful entities or tarnish the university’s reputation (because we all know Egyptian press would have a field-day with news like this). Writers’ concerns didn’t only revolve around reaction/retaliation from the AUC administration, but they also extended to anxieties over how the student body might perceive their writing. Amir Mourad, whose pieces for AUC Times are usually of a philosophical nature, described his writing as “part of [his] identity”, so he worries that an attack on his writing might also constitute an attack on his identity. Elaborating on his decision to frequently anonymize his writing, he went on to say, “maintaining a blank slate in terms of what people know about my thoughts, helps me avoid bias in that sense [of not perceiving critique as attack on
identity], and allows me to admit I’m wrong and shift my opinions more easily.” Dalia Amer shared similar sentiments with Amir, as she worried that her writing might haunt her future prospects of employment and graduate studies, let alone her current standing in the university. She echoed Amir’s assertion that the content she puts forward is more important than her name’s visibility; if her content is visible and read, then she accomplished what she aimed for in writing the piece in the first place. She explained her stance saying that “so many people on this campus have no mercy. They won’t forgive or acknowledge that people’s minds do change, so they can hold things against me. I see a future for myself in writing, publishing and academia, so I don’t want my writings as an undergraduate to haunt me forever, because I really might be wrong.” I was surprised at Dalia’s anxieties, because studying at a supposedly-renowned liberal arts university like AUC, I had been taught that diversity of thought and academic freedom were to be cherished, not feared and concealed. I also can’t help but wonder whether some of us, as students, are taught that thoughts and ideas only need to be expressed as part of a coherent and polished argument, rather than as a thought in constant flux. This is a problem that I personally -in addition to my participation grades and my unfinished AUC Times articles over the years- struggle with; why should there be this much anxiety over giving (public) voice to thought? Why do we police
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our own thoughts so intensely? Dalia perhaps illuminated some answers to these questions when she stated that AUC is by no means an exceptional or safe(r) space, in addition to saying that “anything we do over AUC email is monitored by the university. We also cannot deny the fact that there are informants -mokhbireen- on this campus, and I don’t know where they might be.” Given AUC’s recently-acquired penchant for video surveillance, it only follows naturally that students, especially writers, feel unsafe, surveilled and threatened. Despite AUC supposedly prohibiting security personnel from “monitoring community members based on characteristics of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability” according to the “Video Surveillance and Recording Policy”, many AUC students have experienced otherwise. In this sense, living under such pervasive surveillance, is not divorced from an increasing desire to remain anonymous on this campus, in the few ways we now know how to. Anxieties over writing anonymously are not irrational, nor are they overly-exaggerated, as Noha Ahmed told AUC Times about the backlash she witnessed on Rate AUC Professors to a political piece she had published anonymously. Noha recounted how “someone [on Rate AUC Professors] was wondering who this ignorant writer might be and how they can write such bullshit. The accuser also said that the writer clearly didn’t know Egypt, didn’t know how
safe it actually is, and that they made unfounded allegations.” In retrospect, Noha realized that it was important to anonymize her piece, especially that her name is easily recognizable on campus as that of a politically-active student; she was concerned that “the article’s association with [her] name, would affect its reception”. Anonymizing, however, isn’t always the antidote to writers’ concerns over safety, social ostracism or discrimination, as Noha mentioned that one of the more political pieces she wrote, was deemed too risky to publish by the editor-in-chief at the time - an editor-in-chief who already had a reputation for being quite daring, which says something in and of itself. I am a firm believer in the power of anonymous writing, and it is precisely for that reason that I have always been inclined to refuse writers’ requests for anonymizing pieces that I felt didn’t need it. As I spoke to our writers at AUC Times, however, I realized that an article doesn’t need to be overtly ‘dangerous’ to be anonymized, as the very definition of the term “danger” is now lost on me, under an administration that has violently and actively blurred the lines between safety and danger.
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LEAKY STRUCTURES (ROOFS), ROTTEN CORE: BRINGING THE BATTLE BACK TO AUC
Photo by Sally Elfishawy
It’s 10.35 am, which gives me exactly 25 minutes to get everything in order. I had arrived early at the library but the first computer I tried just wouldn’t log in for over 15 minutes. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I think not. My university years have accentuated my habit of thinking in smaller and smaller units of time. 25 minutes: that’s 10 minutes at best to print over 11 complaints and supporting documents, as well as the A4 banners, 10 minutes to run to the printing centre, pay, staple in order (another confusing task I hugely underestimated), then 5 minutes to run up to the accreditation committee’s meeting room and assemble the silent stand in opposition to much of what the administration had been doing. And for the first time perhaps in 4 years on this campus I ran, ran all the way through. Now as soon as we were upstairs and settled, the 3 individuals who were present - myself included - started to hold up the mini-banners. They spelled: Tyranny, Authoritarianism, Disrespecting Faculty, Child Labour, Panopticon Cameras, Niqab Ban. There wasn’t a grain of falsity in these words, not a single subjective opinion in these statements. They were factual accusations, which is perhaps why some of the AUC staff and faculty in the president’s office where triggered upon seeing us, seeing what we had to say and what we had to project about the image of AUC. Their condemnation was predictable: that we were bringing down the name of the institution, that we were doing more harm than good, that there was something “just not right”, something “fishy” and akin to treachery in expressing our grievances to the committee. There was the typical conflation of the institution and its values with certain individuals; my opposition to senior administration members is not reducible to hating my institution - where did we hear that before? With Mubarak perhaps, with Sisi? Moreover and more absurdly for me to accept, they so naively, so incredulously “suggested” that we follow internal communication channels and send an email to the president, even to Dean Marquis. The same
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president for whom you must await over a month to be slotted into his busy schedule, the same president who for the purpose of a research I was conducting, spent the majority of the interview I scheduled with him profiling my person and trying to sell himself as a democratic man! The same Dean Marquis who has not been responding to my emails since December, the same Dean whose secretary refuses to schedule me a meeting with him. I was being told to approach, once again, administration members who neither have the time, nor the interest, nor frankly any love for my rebellious, “trouble-making” self. When confronted with these replies, the staff, almost deaf to their own logic, proceeded to convince me that I should STILL send an email to the president, or follow some other channel, they know not what, but they trusted that the administration would get back to me, that there was something of a resemblance of internal dialogue. Yet this is a blind and unsubstantiated trust those member of staff/faculty hold, in a “leadership” that has proven immune to dialogue, to logic, to communal discussions. We have been witnessing, and living, a stifling of internal dialogue. Whatever effort the administration could have put to bring to life the values of AUC (whether time, funding or resources), it instead projects outwards in order to reinvigorate the image, nay, the brand that is AUC. And much of the material AUC directs towards its audience outside of campus walls, is propagandist to say the least. Instead of speaking to students, faculty, staff and workers, instead of holding community meetings, forums or discussions, Francis has recently appeared in a series of videos in which he seems to attempt to respond to important questions in the most insulting and dismissive manner, to present himself as a loving father and understanding leader of the institution, as a democratic man whose sole orientation is our needs and interests. He speaks to us then, not in person, but through social media. But then again is he really talking to us? Are we his target audience? Or is he speaking, through us, to his real target group: prospective students, prospective (money-providing) parents, investors and donors? Is he not, as a man with a corporate philosophy, primarily concerned with the survival and expansion of AUC, which has always been determined by external factors? This campus, this mausoleum of consumption and decadence (except when the infrastructure is brought down by some rain), does it not remind you everywhere you go, that you are here because of the generosity of the people who donated to AUC? Their names are written on buildings, walls, benches,and for the love of God, even on trees and plants! As a corporate man, he understands that there is no room for community, for democratic discussions; in fact in a meeting with the Student Union he proudly stated that though [we] may teach democracy, this is not a democratic institution. No, we students only exist as expendable customers - ones who are easily replaced. His real customers are investors who can help expand AUC’s funding as well its reputation, with which comes the justification of increasing the cost of education, increasing the revenue the institution makes, and keeping the Board of Trustees happy - all so he gets to keep his job, along with all its wealth and privilege. But if the administration insists on taking the site of the battle against it outwards, are we then not forced to do the same? Do we not reach out to the judicial system, the courts, and the external auditors and accreditation committees because the administration allocates them more worth and value than they do us? Do we not utilize these last resorts when all forms of internal measures have been exhausted, be they petitions, call for dialogue,
meetings, stands, etc? And yet there is no solace in doing so, there is no solace in thinking that, well if all else fails internally, we have guaranteed solutions externally. Does taking the site of the struggle outwards empower or disempower us against the administration? Some decisions are just so absurd that you can rely on the national courts to uphold verdicts against the administration. This isn’t for example the first instance of the Niqab being banned; it was similarly decided in 2008, contested by a PhD student, and the court ruled in her favour. But the law has its antics as well, it is neither objective nor morally guided, and upholds the idea of individualising cases between assailant and victim. Therefore, the verdict only applied to that student, was not renewed, and so we find ourselves again in this dilemma. Similarly, in a globally neoliberal world, where what matters is how much you earn, how stable your job is, how much you consume, how down you are with hip culture, how employable you are for corporate, and how many startups you can build, is there really a place for civic and political engagement? Do universities around the world uphold their mission of being not only a provider of specialised education, but also a catalyst for social change and agitators of the system? No. With more and more corporate funding, a market-driven mentality, and philosophy of providing education just as you would any other merchandise or commodity, very few care to contest these practices, and even less succeed in retaining their institutional integrity. In this sense, the world is not our ally. In fact, the problems that infest AUC are similar, if not the same as those that ail the world in its entirety; issues perhaps differ in form or degree, but not in essence. If we run to the world to help us rid campus of these problems, we may find support; as I write this I have received word from the MSCHE accreditation committee (the committee which gives AUC its accreditation) that they have received our complaints and will look into their validity. Perhaps there is something there. However, we may also find that our problems have compounded, that to fix AUC, we have to fix the Egyptian state and the capitalist society we inhabit, and by extension, the whole world, because everything is indeed connected. No man is an island. No society is an island. No country is an island. No region is an island. Maybe even no island itself is an island. Or maybe it is, I don’t know. If it’s pregnant with rich resources, I doubt it’ll remain an island for long. We are not obliged to take on the world, not morally, not realistically. But we are obliged to do what we can in the spaces we populate. We have an obligation to make where we are a better place. We have an obligation to stand against discrimination, exploitation, and injustice; an obligation not to be consumed by our own privileges and not to forget our dues. We have an obligation, against these constant attempts to transport the site of battle outwards, to take it back in, back into campus, to reclaim our university (which they say is ours to begin with anyways, so supposedly no discord there) to what it should be. And if civility doesn’t work, if petitions and calls for dialogue don’t work, then I ask you, what is to be done, nay, what is left to be done, but to overthrow the system, build it a new, and reclaim this site - our site, the site of just one battle, that is just as important as the entire war.
By Amy El Zayaty
Author’s Note: No Fuccboi’s were harmed in the making of this article. The names of participating fuccboi’s have been changed. The American University in Cairo; home to disillusioned tuition fees, ignored student protests, and cliquey student-habitats. As with any community, there are times when we come together, and times where we split, but the one thing we always share in common? The always-inthe-vicinity, fuccboi. Ah, fuccbois. Would it really be a college experience without them? We’ve dated them, hated them, but now it’s time to come together and commemorate the “fuccboi”. There’s a fuccboi at every AUC corner; the BEC, SSE, HUSS, and PVA - it’s a fuccboi spectrum, really. So no matter what your department of study is, rest assured, there is a fuccboi, lurking around to save your day. BEC: “When she’s around, always point out other girls who were interested in you; it may appear as though she’s getting annoyed with you, but trust me, keep going!” -Fady, Junior, BEC Fuccboi Possibly the most iconic AUC Fuccboi. He rolls through The Pepsi Gate in his grey or black BMW (darker tones just really highlight his testosterone) wearing his Armani shades and puffed-up black winter coat in the midst of April. He snickers at spoken-word-poetry events, only shows his face in your CORE class once at the beginning
of the semester, and once at the end. After all, Baba’s company will give him a job regardless of how much information he retains four years of education and approximately one million Egyptian pounds later. Fady, BEC fuccboi of three years, generously decided to share with us some of his first-date tips. “Let the girl know how special she is to be spending time with you. When she’s around, always point out other girls who were interested in you; it may appear as though she’s getting annoyed with you, but trust me, keep going! Later on, it’ll dawn on her how lucky she is that you could’ve been with all these other girls, but chose her! And when you’re in Sahel this summer, make sure all the photos you post to your Instagram are either a) shirtless (can’t let all that effort at the gym go to waste!), b) wearing a tank-top that could fit your little sister, or s) El. bros. Fady also firmly believes in taking a girl out to sushi on the first date; not only does it show her what a slave to capitalism his wallet is, but girls just “LOVE Chinese”. And if dinner goes well, maybe he’ll take her out dancing, but to mask his fuccboi cover, he has to let her win the Gangnam Style competition, despite his love for Japan. Oh and, if you’re hoping to get some action by the end of the evening, Fady shares what he calls “the cherry on top (soon to be popped): Axe”. Listen to Fady and you will never be friendzoned! SSE: “The BEC girls are the best - Easily pleased, don’t ask too
fun together, but do not, I repeat, DO NOT, tell her that you like her. Girls have this weird thing where they expect some form of commitment after you go out on several dates with them and shower them with affection. It’s crazy, I know, but what can you do? Just don’t tell her that you like her, that way when a new girl comes along and the current girl calls you an asshole for leading her on, you will have never told her you liked her in the first place, so it’s all in her head. You are in the clear, my man.”
Photos by Yasmin El Nawawy many questions, and LOVE aggression. Man, raise your voice at her in front of your petroleum lab. -Ismail, Sophomore, SSE Fuccboi Despite the fact that no one has walked out of SSE without having earned a grade that made them intensely question their IQ or calculate their GPA on every GPA Calculator on the web, these fuccbois seem just fine caring about neither. Petroleum Engineer fuccboi, Ismail, tells us that grades are for sissies, and all this talk about girls wanting “responsible” men? PAH! “Girl’s are totally satisfied with a D-average if you know what I mean(wink-wink).”, claims Ismail. He also states, “Getting girls isn’t just between you and the chicks, it’s between you and your peers. The ones that show up to class with calculators and pencil cases know that when a girl is between the two of you, he’s gotta back off. Chicks are impressed when all you come to class with is your car keys and pack of Marlboro Reds.” Other fuccboi accounts make it appear as though SSE is where guys should go for the most action. One of our interviewees claims that one can, “Just head out to the steps, and have a flower garden of air-headed beauties just waiting for you to leave them on ‘read’. Take a whiff of all the flowers, fellas; don’t settle for just one”. Ismail also informs us that, “The BEC girls are the best; easily pleased, don’t ask too many questions, and LOVE aggression. Man, raise your voice at her in front of your petroleum lab. HUSS: “I don’t write poetry, babe; poetry writes me” -Omar, Political Science, HUSS Fuccboi He smokes cigarettes, wears bracelets, plays his guitar at The Yellow Umbrella, and Communism is his religion (even though he’s probably only read one chapter of The Communist Manifesto for RHET 1020). We were honored to have Omar as our HUSS fuccboi represenative, as he gave us the rundown on the HUSS’ian fuccboi archetype. “For starters, NEVER tell her how you feel. Take her out to dinner, take her to the opera even, have some naughty
HUSS fuccboi’s are most commonly spotted in the caves of HUSS, smoking amongst their peers as they try to topple one another in who has the highest alcohol tolerance.When it’s vacation time, you’re likely to run into them in Ras Shitan, because, “the bedouins are eshta with them”. Conversation amongst HUSS fuccboi’s is detacable through keyphrases such as, “Freud is the father of literature”, “hash has so many benefits”, and “if men and women are equal, and women can hit men, then men can hit women”. And PLEASE, for the love of all that is good and holy, don’t let the, “I don’t write poetry, babe; poetry writes me”, get to you, girl. PVA: “If you can get into character on stage, you can get into her pants.” -Rami, Theatre, PVA Fuccboi The art-heads of AUC. Deemed as the “weirdos” and “creeps” of AUC, the presence of fucckboi’s in PVA is no secretfuccbois to the PVA are no exception. PVA fuccboi, Rami, has described why he isscenrios in the PVA that he has personally gone through, making him the quintessential PVA fuccboi. When Rami was in a play, his girlfriend accused him of having commitment issues, and Rami’s response was, “You can’t blame me for my commitment issues, I have to detach in order to get into character, its second nature now!” So not only can you not blame them for their commitment issues, but you also must not try to resist that fake stage-charm. To Rami, getting into character is key; as he always says, “if you can get into character, you can get into her pants”. The Film department fuccboi’s are typically narcisstic in nature, showing off their amateur short-films (which absolutely suck) to their love interest. He’s always droning on about the signified and signifier, jerking-off a bunch of other fluffy film terminologies they learned in Introduction to Film, and getting sweaty whilst expressing his no-homo love for Quentin Tarantino. Similarly, the visual arts fuccbois can’t stop expressing their no-homo love for Andy Warhol. Long story short, they think the arttheory-wankery can knock a girls panties off. And that is our fuccboi spectrum, my fellow AUC’ians. Here are some key points to take away from this article: • Purposely infuriate a girl by constantly talking about all the other girls you’ve been with; it’ll make them feel real special. • Ladies love it when you raise your voice at them - really brings out the testosterone allure. • Prove your intelligence to girls by making backwards, misogynistic, and unnecessarily-complicated arguments • Art theory. Wankery. Stay safe, and stay thirsty.
By Rima Amr
Photo by Haya Tarek
BREAKING NEWS: STUDENTS STRIKE FOR HIGHER FEES
In what the media dubs as a shocking, yet expected turn of events, AUC students recently took to the plaza to protest that simply, tuition fees are not high enough. The scene in the plaza could only be described as peaceful, with students peacefully urging the administration to raise tuition fees, peacefully of course, because they’d never do anything to anger the administration. Ever. It’s a well-known fact that boycotts and marches never work. If you ask nicely, the fair capitalist system will comply to your demands. The protests are fueled by multiple goals, as shown in the 12-page essay released last week. The essay includes multiple demands, such as a concert every weekend, a sushi bar next to every building on campus, and a daily salary for attending classes. However, it seems as if there is one goal that everyone agrees upon, and that is the students not wanting the university to seek cheaper alternatives as a way of budgeting. “It’s all for our own good of course” said Omar, a sophomore whose major is still undeclared. “Imagine being on a campus where you’re unable to find the same food you eat at home. The first thing to be affected by the budget cuts would be food. I have my meals on campus everyday, usually malted custard french toast or white truffles. Instead, I would be forced to eat foul and t3mya. My stomach hurts just thinking about that.” Another student, Hagar, said “I’m willing to clean out my dad’s bank account to insure the quality of my education
stays the same. I can’t afford to study more than fifty eight minutes a day, I just can’t.” While students seem to care about the service provided by the University, parents have a different view on the situation. Over an expensive cup of coffee, we chatted with one of the parents, Awni. With a cigar between his fingers Awni stated: “We need to raise the prices to keep the others outside; anyone who doesn’t own the latest Lamborghini shouldn’t be allowed on campus” “That’s why we live in gated communities, that’s why we send them to gated and expensive universities. If that means increasing the tuition so that the others can’t enroll, so be it. I can’t have my children socializing with people who own a Mercedes.” He reasoned, “education is a privilege, people try and pass it as a human right, but I believe that if you can’t afford education that’s your problem, not ours.” The administration has yet to issue a response. However, it is clear that the students are not willing to give up any time soon. There have also been recent rumors about students preparing to take a more aggressive route if the administration refuses to cooperate, perhaps standing, instead of sitting on the plaza floor! But who knows what could happen, in these exciting times. Will the protests influence the administration? And if they do, will this pave the way for other universities to do the same? Is this a sign that the world is finally coming to an end? What a time to be alive.
May ‘18 issue
By Yasmeen Badawy
FROM THE CENTRALITY OF THE DOWNTOWN CAMPUS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW CAIRO It may be news to some people that AUC’s relocation from Downtown to New Cairo was more than just a physical change of location and that in fact, it involved changing multiple aspects of the AUC community. As we chill here in our New Cairo Campus, constantly stuck in the Tagamoa bubble, maybe even attached to and proud of it, many professors who have survived the move from Downtown to New Cairo have struggled to accept the new environment. The complex layers of such a drastic move is often overlooked, even though it has deeply affected many lives as well as New Cairo as a burgeoning site. The relocation has succeeded in both isolating students and turning a previously political campus into an apolitical one. Due to this move from AUC Downtown to Tagamoa, we are now stuck in a manmade island, in which we are both victims and contributors––part of a bigger plan where politics play a huge part. In order to get a deeper insight into how AUC’s relocation has affected many people, I met with Dr. Samia Mehrez, a former student who obtained her BA and MA at AUC Downtown and a former professor at AUC Downtown who currently teaches Arabic Literature at AUC’s New Cairo Campus and the founding director of the newly established AUC Center for Translation Studies. In the introduction to her book, “A Literary Atlas of Cairo”, Dr. Mehrez expresses her feelings towards the Tahrir campus when she says “the old campus witnessed my student years at AUC as well as eighteen years of my professional life in the institution. This imminent displacement from the city of my childhood, school years, social life, and professional growth—not to mention emotional attachments and a lifetime of memories—all brought forth a surge of sudden desire to try to capture this everexpanding space all at once before I was uprooted from it, so to speak.” Can you tell us the reasons or politics behind the relocation of AUC? It was a political decision made by the state that the university, which is one of the hubs of Downtown Cairo, and also home to affluent families, has to move out, so schools and families would move out. It was purely due to neoliberal capitalism and urbanization as this part of Cairo [New Cairo] would not have grown as quickly as it has, had we not come out here. It wasn’t like we could’ve said no, but it’s a much bigger plan that we definitely were at the very heart of. There were also other practical questions like the fact that Downtown was overcrowded with us as a population; if you do a headcount, you would find that the numbers were staggering. Another issue
is that the university could not absorb a larger student population as long as we remained in Downtown. AUC tried to buy the French Lycee which was right next to us, but the French never agreed, so there were two colonial powers at war, and the French didn’t want to bow down to the Americans. So the authorities at AUC tried to expand the campus itself, but they failed. Given all of this, there was no other option but to move to Tagamoa. How has AUC New Cairo acted as a bubble or isolated the students? In the Tagamoa Campus, the students are safer but when AUC was in Downtown, the students were two minutes away from Tahrir square. The last huge demonstration against the American invasion of Iraq was led by AUC students; they were the first to arrive and occupy Tahrir Square. It was not until later, that Cairo University students and people in general joined, but AUC students were at the forefront of that huge demonstration. As you can see now, when events erupt in the region such as Trump declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, you had a tiny little demonstration here [in AUC New Cairo] that lasted for 10 minutes, where approximately a hundred students marched with a banner, burned the Israeli flag and that was it. It was [still] very symbolic to say that we as students, continue to be aware of what is happening out there in the world. It is still very difficult to sustain political action on this campus, even if it’s just symbolic, because you are totally isolated and if not, you are isolated because of what you are surrounded with. Can you describe how you feel about the New Campus in relation to the Downtown one in terms of architecture and spaces? I really have no relationship with this campus. I have no feeling whatsoever for the architecture or the spaces we use. It’s very sad because when I was in Tahrir, I had an office that used to be a bedroom in the dorm which was located in the Falaki building. It used to be the boys’ hostel and they transformed it into offices, so they were much warmer; there was a very different feel to the building. I think because we walk so much here on campus and it’s so spacious, you just want to get to your office. In Tahrir, we had more time to socialize as faculty and students because we didn’t have to rush to catch the bus. But here, if you miss the bus, you’re trapped here for another hour. Also, the cultural life and evening life of the Downtown campus was throbbing, it was Cairo’s entertainment scene. We had art exhibits, film screenings and theatre
Photo by Nada Mohamed
May ‘18 issue
performances, which were one of the most important things happening at AUC. In this sense, lots of things have unfortunately changed. Having said this, however, it’s different because I know Tahrir, I am from there, but many people on campus today don’t know Tahrir and have never been there. My students don’t know that we have another campus. When I take them on a literary tour of Cairo, some of them see our [old] campus for the first time. How are two parts of the same city, Downtown and New Cairo, different?
How do you feel about the New Cairo campus in general? I used to love being on campus all the time since it used to be the only place I can do whatever I wanted to do. I used to even invite my [non-AUCian] friends and we would hang out here instead of going out, but now you can’t even light a cigarette in peace. You’re constantly watched now that they have cameras all over the place. It feels uncomfortable. However, the physical campus itself, if we don’t take into consideration the administration and such, it is beautiful.
When you talk about New Cairo, you’re talking about a new capital. And who owns it? Who are these capitalists investing in it? Mostly AUC clientele, and once you map that, you know that this city is not like that other city, not even with the people who inhabit it, and this brings us into their morals, values, language, fashion and taste. Look around you, at the architecture and the show of wealth in very bad taste, at least from my point of view. I’m prejudiced, I mean they think they have the most beautiful architecture and I think it’s absolutely obnoxious, and it has to do with taste - it says something about class and background. What I consider of value and what other people who reside in New Cairo consider of value, is completely different. They present this new capital as an alien place with alien residents, which it is.
Do you think that the fact that the campus is in New Cairo isolates students?
How do you think it would have been to be a student at the Downtown Cairo Campus?
In contrast to Dr. Samia’s view of the issue, Salma Khaira, an Integrated Marketing Communications undergraduate who has spent four years as a student on the New Cairo campus, narrates her experience differently. How would you describe your relationship with AUC’s New Cairo Campus in terms of people who inhabit it and it’s spaces? When I first entered university during my first semester, I was a “steps” girl then I moved to [hanging out in] the gardens, then I spent most of my time at the dorms, and eventually I moved to HUSS, where I currently spend most of my time. Every place on campus has very obvious dynamics and politics, and it’s something that can’t be denied. The “steps”, was where everyone who skips classes and mostly SSE people hung out. The “steps” area is mostly male dominated with sexist, racist, and homophobic jokes being the norm. There is also a distinct male hierarchy where there is a “male’s competition” based on how much “3adalat” they have or how often they go to the gym. It was always the same group of people who hung out at the “steps” which is also known as “the Gucci Corner”. Everyone else would feel out of place. Then I moved to the gardens where I felt that people who hung out there were the “misfits” or the ones who escaped the university and hated everywhere else at the campus. However, people there were the friendliest; you could engage in any conversation with people you don’t know which was great. Then I moved to HUSS where everything is very politicized, and everyone is so aware and friendly too. For example, regarding the scandal of the Student Union about the “empowerment of women”, everyone at HUSS was furious, while my friends at BEC knew nothing about it.
I think the politics of the campus isolates the students more than the environment itself. By making supposedly “culturally acceptable” rules, the university kind of tries to convince us that anything we see here on campus, is what we should expect to see off-campus, which is not true. You are not likely to see a girl in a sundress in Cairo in broad daylight, so the campus does not in any way represent what the Egyptian community or culture is, and in that way, you can say we’re isolated. There are also many students who are oblivious to the real world, and don’t have any knowledge [about anything] beyond this campus - only university politics and their college life.
I think it would make the biggest difference if I studied there during the 2011 Revolution, because then I would have been able to participate easily. I also think that if I was a student there, we would be more exposed to these kinds of things, in terms of politics and culture. -----------------------------------------------------------------------Dr. Samia Mehrez described the Tahrir campus as her own, as opposed to the New Cairo campus, which felt rather foreign to her. Reflecting on Dr. Samia and Salma’s words, it also seems that the New Cairo Campus is much more spatially-segregated as opposed to the Downtown campus where segregation was not half as blatant, if present at all. Many of the people who have seen and lived in the Downtown campus, do not seem to accept the new campus that some current students, who have never visited Tahrir, are proud of. It still seems that the New Cairo campus has and still continues to isolate students from surrounding dynamics, whether it’s through its location or internal politics. This kind of isolation did not seem to exist in the Downtown campus, since it was in close proximity of Tahrir square which gave former AUC students more opportunities to get involved in national and international political fronts. However, this does not mean that the Tahrir campus was better or worse; it only means that urbanization and the phenomenon of “gated communities”, which continues to spread out globally, has significant effects on communities such as that of the American University in Cairo.
By Rawan Sohdy
LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
May ‘18 issue
I was once told that people fall in love when they watch others eating because there is beauty to the vulnerability of responding to basic human needs. However, just like our sauce-spilling faces doesn’t make our burger bites look as attractive, some parts of our vulnerable selves us aren’t really that pretty. There are tens of washrooms in AUC campus. Between the time of scribbling inside stalls and having AUC cleaners feverishly scraping those walls clean, there is a period where scribbled writings and drawings lay stagnant for us to see and for some to reply to. And if eating makes a person vulnerable, you could only start imagining what responding to mother nature’s call makes of us. This provides an excellent opportunity for us to see what AUCians think of during peak vulnerability. So when you do see it, would you like what you see? At first the AUCian seems functional, purely in for the business they visit the washroom for as seen in the endless shatafa warnings the maintenance staff really need to start noticing.
Then, food might cross their minds, maybe as they reminisce over what got them there in the first place, “what did I have for lunch?” #WhyHateWhenYouCanHaveMac
But as they sit, inescapably half naked, the tension of being ever so exposed in a public place seeps in. Psychology emphasizes this notion where their privatest of matters is only concealed by a flimsy boundary. This generates humiliation, humiliation generates anger, and anger sets hell loose. Anger from personal experiences..
Anger against the AUC community...
The entire patriarchal society...
Or even world politics and economy as a whole (which we mess up by drinking from Starbucks according to this argument).
And as the wave of tension passes, ease seeps in. The AUCian would realize that the initially humiliating setting is, in fact, a collectivist space. Everyone is here for the same reason, and atop of that- everyone here is from the same gender.
Evidently, this collectivism breeds empowerment and optimism..
That you can almost choke on the positivity in the air. #LoveYourself
May â€˜18 issue
This moment of ease consequently generates trust. Add to that a pint of anonymity, and the AUCian turns washroom walls into AUC Confessions, revealing their darkest secrets: being homosexual or homophobic.
They speak about their identity crises (given that the AUCian majority are of that age).
Photos by Yasmin El Nawawy
Or they cry out for help, softening it with a smiley face.
The AUCian then walks outside the stall nonchalantly. They would wash their hands, possibly from Sharpie ink, just as they had washed away their thoughts and emotions on the walls a few seconds ago. They will respectfully avoid having eye contact with those around them despite the possibility of having had a heart-to-heart with them on those walls at some point. So did you like what you saw? Or has this question become invalidated by not being able to match the writings with a face? The anonymity made these writings becomes less of how you see the vulnerable person and more about how what you read made you feel about yourself, or how you thought it made others feel. Turns out it was never about the beauty of being vulnerable, but how it resonates our own suppressed vulnerability.
Photo by Sally ElFishawy
Photo by Yasmin El Nawawy
Photo by Yasmin El Nawawy
Photo by Yasmin El Nawawy
Photo by Georgenia Bassily
Photo by Georgenia Bassily
Photo by Georgenia Bassily
By Laila El Refaie
THOSE POOR ENGINEERS HAVE NO FUTURE My name is Farah Ahmed and I’m going into my first semester at AUC. When I checked my email for the fifteenth time that fateful morning, reading The Office Of Student Services made my fingers tremble on the touchpad as I dragged my pointer towards the subject title. Click. I’d received early acceptance! Anyone who knows me well will know that I’ve always dreamt of being a businesswoman; the thrill of taking that daunting risk to run my own company has always awakened my excitement like the promise of Summer break after exams. But everyone knows Business is for beggars, after all. You can hardly find a job with a BBA. The only thing worse could be a Bachelor of Science. So a while ago, I settled on majoring in the one thing I’m good at (that also pays well): Philosophy. Despite finally settling on philosophy, I still doubted myself. How could I keep myself away from what I was so fiercely passionate about? I decided to wait and see what would happen at my very first Advising session at the CORE office. I followed the other students into the CORE office lounge and saw around eight other freshmen waiting for their turns to meet with their advisors. They gave us a form that requested basic information to fill out while we waited: Name, ID, Major of choice... A few girls were talking about how excited they were to become Sociology majors but another guy was having a less pleasant conversation with his mum on the phone. He was trying to tell her about all the amazing jobs he could land by majoring in English Literature. There only seemed to be one other person who was as pessimistic about the answer of this question as I was - a guy with black hair and a light beard of the same colour who had walked in a few moments after me. Whenever the black haired boy looked up in exasperation, I’d see his eyelids fall over his eyes behind his frameless glasses. As I made my way closer to him, I peered to the side to find that he, too, was hesitating on writing which major he wanted to go for. “Guess we’re both having trouble picking one, huh?” I said quietly. He seemed nice enough, and I really wanted to make friends. I never really found any shame in taking the first step in getting to know a person. Plus, I really was curious. “Yeah.” He replied. His voice was deep, almost as if he was perpetually drowsy no matter how open his eyes look or how his voice shook with the uncertainty of indecisiveness. “What did you have in mind?” I asked, hoping to keep the conversation going. “I really wanted to go into Mechanical Engineering, but there isn’t even a major for that here. Just a minor. Then I figured I could go for Electronics, but my dad wants me to follow in his footsteps and be an Anthropologist. And I guess he does have a point… I mean, what am I gonna work as with an Electronics degree. Dad says Anthropology is like the army; it builds men.” He seemed to want to vent to someone about it, as he exhaled heavily after having voiced the sentiments that seemed to have been choking him. Right at that moment, my turn came to go see my advisor. I excused myself and made my way to the desk where she waited. She greeted me with a smile and looked over my form. Her blonde hair hung over her shoulders and bounced with them as she nodded her head whilst reading. She
skimmed over my name and details, but paused at my major. I hadn’t written anything, and she pointed it out. “Yeah, I’m not really sure what I want to major in.” I mumbled. She seemed to hear me nevertheless. “Well, what are you interested in?” She asked in a soft voice, shifting her chair closer to the desk between us. “Um… Business, maybe.” I replied. She remained quiet for a moment, before asking if there was anything else. “I mean, I’m also good at Philosophy.” “Well, most people go for HUSS majors, especially Philosophy. You know you can do almost anything with a Philosophy degree, right? And you can either doublemajor or minor in Business if you like it that much.. You could also choose to stay undeclared, but bear in mind you have to select a major by the end of your sophomore year.” The knowing look she gave me told me that I most certainly wasn’t her first rodeo, and to argue with her would be to argue with a brick wall that definitely knew more than I did. I considered the last option she had provided, but then I thought of the looks of disapproval I would get from my family. My father would demand to know why I was wasting his money when I was clearly destined for Philosophy. Fearing the repercussions of disappointing my parents, I settled for Philosophy, succumbing to the hierarchical system that gave them power over me and to her initial words. After all, she was my advisor. She then proceeded to help me choose my courses, selecting first the prerequisites to major in Philosophy, then moving onto the Core courses. I walked out just as the guy who’d wanted to major Mechanical Engineering was walking in, and we exchanged sorrowful glances. As I looked at his form, I saw a shamefully scribbled Anthropology written on it. It was time to go home after finishing my advising session. My parents were on their way back from some family gathering or another, and told me they’d drive me home, along with my best friend and neighbour Salma. When I got into the car, my mother cheerfully asked me how it went. “It was good.” I gave my somber answer, mourning my inability to fight for my own dreams. “What’d you pick for your major? You didn’t go ahead with Business, did you? You’d never have made any money with that.” Salma interjected. “No. I went for Philosophy.” I replied. “That’s my girl! Besides, what do you want with those farafeer in Business anyway? All those Business and Engineering kids do, is play around. You’re going where the real work is!” my dad said as he grinned at me through the rearview mirror. I gave him a small smile in return, mostly in appreciation for his enthusiasm. “I haven’t spent my entire life writing philosophical journal articles just so you can abandon my legacy and do something silly like Business!” he carried on. He kept talking, but soon the conversation shifted as my mother voiced her pride at having such a smart daughter. “Can you believe your cousin Ahmed’s going into Construction Engineering? It’s ridiculous.” She shook her head in disapproval. “Only women go into Construction Engineering - no one’s ever going to hire him.” I sighed, silently sympathising with him. “Those poor engineers really don’t have a future.” I mumbled, rolling my eyes. “I can only imagine how much more difficult it’d be for a guy.”
Photo by Nada Mohamed
May â€˜18 issue Page 33
ARE AUC CLASSROOMS DEMOCRATIC?
A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+ A+
At first sight, an AUC classroom seems promising. It appears full of potential and creativity. You would think that with all the money our parents pay for us to receive an education at this institution, our minds would flourish inside the classroom, that we would be part of a more advanced, critical pedagogical experience; not just an advanced version of a school classroom. AUC students are essentially paying for a prime education; to put it in bourgeois terms, we are paying for an “elite education.” However, the truth of the matter is that the education you are ‘served’ is nothing more than a banking system designed to produce specific knowledge; you simply stuff the student with all the ‘information,’ so she/he could spill it somewhere, some time, on a piece of paper. We give them money, they give us information that keeps the cycle merely going. Except that this is not an equal or balances exchange; it is generally quite one-sided. Inside an AUC classroom, professors assert themselves, with all the might they think they possess, in front of their subjects: students. These students are more or less ‘trained’ to sit in a panoptic arrangement, to absorb specific, well-calculated material and to circulate normative rhetoric that only perpetuates variations of a mechanical ideal that they are expected to implement in the workspace; the material does not attempt to subvert the current status quo, that most might disagree with. An AUC classroom is not necessarily as critical as one may expect it to be, it isn’t a free space where you could discuss and personally relate to the material in an effective way. On the contrary, the professor more or less wants to hear her/ himself speak and only ever allows you to utter whenever ordered to. It’s likely that they would preferably like you to mirror one version or another of their arguments in yours.
May ‘18 issue
Of course, this is not the case for all professors. I would argue that ‘scientific’ classrooms are the least critical; they do not really encourage anything beyond a set of dogmas. The more ‘managerial’ classrooms flourish with fruitful discussions on how Marxism is the stupidest thing ever! They would often give various examples of how the Soviet Union was a complete “inefficient” failure. The Soviet Union isn’t state capitalist though, definitely not, how could you say that?…The more ‘humanitarian’ classrooms are more or less bound by specific guidelines that prevent a great number of professors to teach the way they see fit and to engage their students creatively. One must also be aware of the immense Taylorism that goes into formulating course syllabi; that you are constantly being managed in a specific way by the professor, who writes the syllabus, to test your reception of knowledge and your ability to use it later on. Of course, such a scientific method of managing students and validating them according to specific guidelines, is far from empowering the student, on the contrary, it makes students feel more alienated and more anxious by the day. The problem we need to address here, is students’ acceptance of this way of managing the classroom and the various faculty members, departments, provosts and the overall administration who want to keep this deep-seated and often dysfunctional, educational system-structure. This institution’s administration and overall personnel have a vested interest in maintaining the current state of affairs, often confining faculty members to stick to specific guidelines, and by default, the professors have to oblige if they want to get that paycheck. Another problem, is that most students do not want to participate in classroom discussions, let alone to even think about critically opposing the content being circulated in our classrooms. I have to say, it is quite terrifying for a lot of students to participate because they are different and they do come from different educational and experiential backgrounds which sometimes hinders the pretense of expressing oneself—this leaves many fearful of being shamed or deemed “wrong.” Participating in the classroom can be a nightmare for many -- something that not all professors and students realize. Professors who try to encourage participation should foster an appropriate setting for such a thing. For example, if professors want to have expressive, meaningful discussions, they have to, in a way, suppress the guise of the student-professor hierarchy and give attention to each student, and not just the outspoken group. There needs to be some sort of accommodation between students who want to
circulate actual substance and other students who merely participate for grades. Some teachers put a tremendous amount of participatory grades that some students find completely daunting, often counting the number of times she/he did not speak in the classroom so they could prepare something the next class (that next class never comes). For an “efficient” pedagogical experience, each and every student should put his or her input that deems the discussion liberating for everyone, even the professor. But sadly, neither the professor nor the students provide that suitable setting for everyone to be comfortable enough. Everyone is driven by the ‘coercive laws of competition,’ that neither parties really want to do anything about it. Education should be the practice of freedom. Sadly, this is not apparent in every AUC classroom. It is crucial to point out that our lovely neoliberal institution does not care about us having the prime quality of education it promises. This institution is more of a resort than it is a liberating educational space. Recently in countless disciplines, students are seeing some of their favorite “critical” professors leave, due to institutional pressures. As sad as it may seem, this institution only wants certain ‘liberal’ notions of knowledge to be spilled onto the student. Any other type of pedagogy is clearly rejected. One of the most respectable professors this institution has ever seen, Dr. Sean McMahon, is denied his tenure and his freedom of using “his own” method of pedagogy which is essentially critical. Dr. McMahon is one the very few professors who formulates an effective setting for critical discussions that students can all learn from. However, this institution does not want legitimately critical professors who want students to question every single thing. No no, it wants students who will shut up and take the exam. It is also crucial to say that various students voiced their concerns about Dr. McMahon’s case, however, their voices where ruthlessly ignored. I wonder how much longer will students accept this form of treatment? That we are just simply a bunch of privileged kids who do not know what is “right” for them, but old patriarchal men miraculously do? It is important to point out that not all AUC classrooms are down-right uncritical, but the vast majority is. The professors who are currently often celebrated by the institution and the students however, are the ones who give away free candy, or grades if you will. Indeed, excellent grades, excellent evaluations. The students need to realize that they are essentially paying all that money for something that is immensely regressive.
By Laila Ghoneim
THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY If you, like me, were one of those lucky kids whose childhoods were shaped by J.K. Rowling’s intricate and spellbinding Wizarding World, then you have definitely endured the greatest disappointment of all time: the devastating realization that you were not actually destined to become a witch or wizard. You probably spent many a year fantasizing about taking the Hogwarts Express from Platform 9 ¾, buying your supplies from Diagon Alley, and honing your magical abilities over your seven years at the best wizarding school there is. Unfortunately, your Hogwarts letter never came and after accepting this harsh reality, you applied to AUC, condemning yourself to a long life of dissatisfaction because nothing could actually live up to Hogwarts (especially not AUC). But let’s solemnly swear that we are up to no good for a minute and stare into the Mirror of Erised, where we could see ourselves at the idyllic Hogwarts version of AUC. Just imagine: you’d go to campus by Floo powder or by broom instead of suffering through hours of Cairo traffic on those terribly uncomfortable buses. You’d eat from the glorious feast in the Great Hall instead of narrowly escaping getting poisoned by Catering every day. You could skip the hassle of declaration by just having the Sorting Hat decide your major for you. Every morning, you’d be late class because you just had to get your Butterbeer-flavored coffee (but, of course, you wouldn’t dare try that with Professor McGonagall). It would be mandatory to take a Potions or Herbology lab and to fulfill a Muggle Studies requirement for the Magic Core Curriculum. Your life would be made a million times easier by having the Marauder’s Map tell you how to get to get to those classes that are impossible to find and by owning a Time-Turner that allows you to do the mutually exclusive tasks of finishing your papers on time and sleeping. Now, wouldn’t that be a dream come true? But, if you really think about it, AUC, in its current form,
isn’t all that different from Hogwarts. For instance, a lot of students are extremely loyal to their schools (whether they’re from HUSS, SSE, PVA or BEC) and the informal competitiveness between them is quite similar to Hogwarts students’ allegiance to their houses, only there’s no House Cup at AUC to explain the excessive pride and antagonism that accompanies this rivalry. The few lounges we have are our own (admittedly very inferior) versions of the Houses’ common rooms, and student senators are the AUC equivalent of prefects. While our campus is no castle, it is located in quite a remote area of Cairo, keeping us far away from most of the city’s population, and it even has its own restricted underground tunnels that can get you anywhere on campus if you have the authority to access them, much like Hogwarts’ dungeons and secret passageways. Bloody hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were moving staircases in SSE, where you could get so lost you’d end up in the same place you started without even realizing you’d been walking in a circle. Not to mention the labyrinth that is HUSS, where you could probably find the Room of Requirement if you stayed lost there for long enough. All that fun stuff aside, though, we have to admit that Hogwarts has never been the utopia our nostalgia paints it as. Throughout the Harry Potter series, it proved to be an incredibly dangerous school with a long and dark history of corruption, abuse of power and student subjugation, and it is here that the parallels between AUC and Hogwarts become most prominent. Right now, the institution of AUC looks a lot like Hogwarts at its worst moments. One can’t help but notice a striking similarity between a certain president of AUC and one tyrannical Ministry of Magic bureaucrat with an unhealthy affinity for the color pink. Just like the oh-so-delightful Dolores Umbridge, our beloved President Ricciardone spent a very long time working for a notoriously meddlesome
government before being in charge of the institution. The unreasonable new rules that have started popping up left and right, with students being denied their right to have a say in if and how these rules should be implemented, bear an uncanny resemblance to Umbridge’s ludicrous Educational Decrees. These Educational Decrees only served to give Umbridge more power, allowing her to severely punish, or even expel, students for exercising their basic rights, and they forced both students and professors to effectively censor themselves in fear of violating these Decrees. Because of them, Hogwarts was transformed from a renowned educational haven for students of all backgrounds into an extremely oppressive and hostile establishment controlled by the totalitarian Ministry of Magic. According to AUC’s Tobacco-Free Campus Educational Decree, if you’re caught smoking twice outside of the sparse and cramped designated smoking areas and don’t pay a fine, you have to attend a six-hour educational course, where I can only assume you’ll be forced to write I must not smoke with a Black Quill until it’s engraved on your skin and in your mind. Two scenes in particular from The Order of the Phoenix really come to mind when examining the parallels between AUC and Hogwarts during Umbridge’s reign. The first is when Umbridge decides to fire Professor Sybill Trelawney, a loyal member of the Hogwarts faculty. Shedding tears of disbelief, Trelawney tells Umbridge that she’s worked at Hogwarts for sixteen years, and that it’s her home, while Umbridge callously stands there, insisting that she leave. The second scene is when Umbridge and a few other Aurors from the Ministry sneak out in the middle of the night to forcibly remove Hagrid from the school’s grounds. Rings a bell, doesn’t it? The only difference here is that Umbridge only fired a couple of good people, while the AUC administration took away the livelihoods of around 170 housekeeping workers during a time when most students and faculty
members couldn’t really be there to stop them (although some did try—to no avail). Things have gotten so bad that AUC students have had to start their own Dumbledore’s Army, the growing AUC Student Rights Coalition, to fight for proper shared governance. Sadly, the similarities don’t end there. AUC’s current crackdown on security, with funds being allocated to installing new metal detectors and having detection dogs at the gates, is quite reminiscent of The Ministry’s insistence that Dementors be sent to “guard” Hogwarts from the innocent Sirius Black, who was regarded as a “security threat”. Likewise, the AUC administration has been treating Niqabi members of the AUC community as if they had invisibility cloaks on, when, in fact, they’re just wearing different robes. Also, while Mrs. Norris would probably feel right at home among her fellow cats at AUC, it appears Filch won’t need her help catching wandering students since there are cameras watching you everywhere you go on campus. Filch won’t even need to lift a finger since the cameras now have facial recognition and are poised to catch you holding a cigarette (you don’t even have to be smoking it), so they can send you a Howler telling you that you violated The Ministry’s—I mean, AUC’s—smoking policy. So, yes, dark times lie ahead of us at AUC, and now has come the time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right. If the history of Hogwarts has taught us anything, it’s that no amount of power, not even Voldemort’s, can last against a united community. Hogwarts, and AUC, belong to their students. Always. Even though we’re emptying our Gringotts vaults on a place that doesn’t have the magic we’ve always wanted, we’re still going to fight for it. So, behold our wrath, Death Eaters, because the brightest witches and wizards of their age are ready to get their school back, and we’re going to take you down, one Horcrux at a time. Mischief Managed.
By Mariam El Ashmawy
HOW WHITE ARE OUR SYLLABI? If there’s one thing we’ve internalized almost religiously as university students, its citing the works we’ve used in our papers. Not just that, we’re also reminded time and again to use the voices of those who are prominent and renowned in the field; unsurprisingly, the prominent voices of academia happen to be white, male, and Western. The implications we face with the liberal arts education utilized in our university is how lacking it is in including diverse voices of scholars and systems of thought, especially in terms of gender and race. The syllabus contents we receive at the beginning of each semester are as white as the sheets of paper they’re written on. The predicament of white scholarship that we’re embedded in, is not simply because it is white. Firstly, it is the exclusionary manner of that scholarship that we’re critical of. One can argue that not all white bodies of work are inherently abusive to the students’ mind, but we should be able to point out that these works can be both––racist in their content, and exclusionary of the surfacing of other works in similar fields due to the monopoly it has on academia. Secondly, there are the power structures that support these racial and colonial categories of supremacy and rationality within scholarship. Moreover, these power structures give value and precedence to white scholarship over others. The canon texts that stem from racialized and colonial powers have been sacralized as The Texts to be referred to when discussing so and so, and that excludes people of color’s scholarship. When taking an introductory anthropology course, we’re bound to tackle a hundred page reading of Malinowski moaning and groaning over his lost youth on the islands of the “savages”, but we’re not given the opportunity to engage with Ibn Battuta’s writings as a traveller who documented the diverse civilizations and cultures he came in contact with. Whilst Malinowski is put on a pedestal for being the father of anthropology, Ibn Battuta is not included into the discourse of early ethnographic work. As an attempt to challenge white scholarship’s monopolization of university curriculum, movements have been on the rise during the past few years across university campuses, sparking conversations over the whiteness of the syllabi we are taught. These movements challenge the sacralization of Western canon texts; increasing awareness of the essentiality of decolonizing our learning experiences. “Why Is My Curriculum White?” is a movement instigated by University College London’s students as a response to the reigning dissent in our contemporary moment of students who want to decolonize their reading lists and the bodies of work they’re presented with. The aim of such movements is not to completely dismiss white bodies of work, but to allow for diversifying reading-lists in all university courses so that when I take a political theory course I don’t study
a vast number of white medieval and enlightenment theorists but only come across Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of The Earth as a recommended reading. People of Color’s scholarship is seen as a production of knowledge that is patted on the back for being present, but not allowed entry into the exclusive world of white, male, and western scholarship. These non-western texts being given as only recommended reading or for the sake of “seeing the other point of view” in one small week in the syllabus is problematic in itself. We see the theories of Kant, Nietzsche, and Machiavelli as the canon and indisputable texts through which we should conduct our academic work and think about life, but contributions by Ibn Khaldun, Mohammad Abduh, and Fatima El Fahria, are presented as bodies of work that came from another part of the world, however, they are ones that do not hold the same academic power and position to be taught alongside the white works. Therefore, being a university that calls for a so-called liberal arts education, AUC should be able to acknowledge its own shortcomings of a traditional western curriculum. Furthermore, students should become more engaged with the ramifications this western-centric education has on us; if we become socialized into the language and ideas of the reigning powers, we lose the ability to subvert it or instigate change. While we take in passively the bodies of work we are presented with, we allow it to white wash both–– our histories, and our contemporary moment, leaving us in this limbo state where we are not able to reconcile the conflicting ideas in our head because no “Other” view has been brought before us. The channels present in the university have not been utilized to address this monopolization of scholarship; student activities have not been proactive in addressing the type of education we receive through possible panels and campaigns to start conversations over this topic. Unfortunately, the reigning sentiment towards course content is whether or not it’s an “easy A”, there aren’t any attempts to rile up interest and indignation at the exclusivity of the white scholarship. It is important to challenge the age-old power-structures manifested in the status-quo our university as an institution maintains. The process of decolonizing the syllabus should begin by us asking for more inclusive, intersectional, and non-Western bodies of work and striking up conversations through cooperating student activities and clubs to dissuade the air of apathy we’re all engulfed in. We should be able to expose our thoughts, our language, and our environment of a university to diverse scholarship that is not monopolized or racialized. I enjoy Thomas Hobbes’ nasty, brutish, and short conceptualization of life as much as the next existential person, but would it be so hard to see someone else’s name on the very first line of the syllabus that doesn’t scream white for once?
Photo by Georgenia Bassily
By Catherine Yassa
BURST THE BUBBLE Bam. The white Mercedes hurtles towards the parking space and scratches the Beamer next to it. Malek looks out the window and realizes the scratch wasn’t too major and decides to ignore it. Stepping out, he fumbles for his keys and accidentally spills his Starbucks coffee all over his advising sheet. He groans out while trying to wipe the liquid off. No luck. Still fuming, he marches towards the entrance with advising in mind. Exiting the security gate, two butlers dressed in their finest whites stand tall with gold-plated trays, but all he could think of was that these trays should’ve been made entirely of gold. “May I interest you in a blood orange mimosa, sir? It’s our Drink of the Day. ” He hands Malek a champagne flute topped with a citrus slice, while the second butler hands him a cold bottle of Evian water. Not too cold, not too warm either, instead a crisp 18°. Malek drinks the glass hurriedly, flexing his muscles to reaffirm his strength. Chugging the last bit, he aims for the trash can but misses. Without looking twice at the shattered glass, he leaves it so that the cleaning crew would have something to do. Entering Core building, he takes a number and starts
flipping through advisor bios. The sign above reads that each student can meet with as many advisors as they’d like until they’re satisfied with whichever one they receive. Malek grabs an iPad and sits on one of the massage chairs. “Would you like me to heat the chair up for you, sir? Perhaps some snacks?” He brushes the masseuse off, so she starts giving him a neck and shoulder massage. Remembering the time when students were too stressed during the advising process to concentrate, he chuckles at how easy it was to persuade the administration to implement a new stress-relief service. An on-call masseuse was hired within 48 hours to help relieve any anxiety during advising period. He finishes his back rub and heads inside, successfully getting a new advising sheet. Stepping outside, he phones the golf-cart service. No more than sixty seconds later, a shiny red cart comes to a stop right at his feet. He hops on and is driven the one hundred feet to his class. Walking inside, the professor claps as soon as he enters, thanking Malek for coming
May ‘18 issue
to class only fifteen minutes late. The professor goes on to ask questions, giving out Lindt bars to anyone who participates. As the class comes to an end, Malek and the other students are kindly requested to email the professor on which questions they want included in the midterm so as to avoid any unwanted stress. Malek calls his friends, picks them up with a golf-cart and heads straight for the lavish swimming pool in the spa section of the sports complex. Mojitos and other miscellaneous drinks flow all around. Next comes a soak in the jacuzzi, followed by a long steam and sauna session - all compliments of the new stress-relief policy. Giggles and throaty laughter fill the atmosphere, making the students hungry for food. The golf-cart is called upon and drives the students off to the university’s restaurant. A buffet is unfurled across each surface, with delicacies ranging from tagliatelle to bœuf bourguignon. Artisan desserts lay behind, with a fully-functioning bar situated in the back corner. The group assort their plates and head to a table, two waiters materializing with freshly made sashimi and sushi rolls. World-class chefs flown in from Paris and Tokyo await their feedback patiently by the door, making sure all students have the most exquisite dining experience. Malek finishes up his meal and bids his friends goodbye. Walking back to his Benz, he curses once noticing the absence of the advising sheet. Thinking back, he remembers seeing it by the pool next to the half-filled margarita pitcher. “Oh well,” he mutters unaffectedly, “I bet I can get someone to do the whole thing for me.” He entertains the idea of getting his mom to call someone at the advising center, meaning he doesn’t have to lift a single finger. Resolving to do so as soon as he’s home, he starts picking up his pace, a new spring in his step. I’d hate to take you away from this fantasy but it’s time to come back down to Earth. Some will view the above scenario as completely ludacris. Unfortunately, people outside these beige walls think that Malek’s story is representative of the complete student population, so bear with me here. It’s easy to criticize such stereotypes for we know how untrue they are. First of all, the parking lot isn’t littered with luxury cars (although the amount of BMWs on campus raises a few eyebrows). Getting food poisoning from the “artisan” vendors on campus is a normal occurrence that you’d be lucky if all you got was mediocretasting food with some bugs sprinkled on top. Golf-carts don’t cater to students whatsoever. Professors have the students’ well-being as the last priority. Yes it is true that we have one helluva sports complex, but it’s not as lavish as some make it out to be. I’ll admit, it’s understandable why outsiders think Malek’s story is entirely plausible. Students pay north of 300k a year to be here (excluding caffeine budget), a figure highly reflective of how cushioned many of the students are. Also, AUC exudes a certain fragrance on its pupils, one easily sniffed out once you’re outside these walls. It’s true, we’re an isolated bunch once thrown out into the real world - tending to stick only with our kind and not approach other species. It also doesn’t help that AUC has became one gigantic, inescapable bubble where it’s easy to lose track of reality. Add all these ingredients together
and you get one-too-many elitist stereotypes. Coupled with one badass campus, you can’t blame outsiders for thinking we’re a snobby bunch. It’s understandable why such stereotypes exist but they don’t paint a full picture of who AUC students really are. Not all are able to afford the university’s tuition, with many students relying heavily on financial aid and scholarships. Also, most fight tooth and nail to get the most out of their education. As for academic diversity, no students are as well-rounded and informed in as many disciplines as the ones walking around within these walls. Parallel to whichever major one chooses, students are forced to take so many courses outside their field of interest. Graduates then go on to be become highly influential members of society. Many of them travel abroad, but the ones who do stay have the proper skill set to create a collective future. So before you decide to chop someone’s head off for thinking that we’re a bunch of pretentious, bougie schmucks, all I ask is that you take a second and think about what could’ve lead them to this conclusion. Can we deny the valid reasons behind their misconceptions? And if not, shouldn’t it be our responsibility to show how much we’re like any other college student? We all struggle in the same battle of pursuing a higher degree. The same sleep deprived, stressed out, caffeinated-yet-somehow-tired battle.
By Arwa Hezzah
BEFORE YOU PLAN YOUR ESCAPE FROM EGYPT,
Photo by Sally Elfishawy
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The idea of studying abroad and living away from Egypt has become extremely popular over the past decade. One might even say that the idea has become overrated. For some reason, many assume that going to a university abroad is better than staying in Egypt. As a matter of fact, I was one of the people who thought so until I was proven wrong. To begin with, I must mention that I have lived in Egypt my whole life. I’d heard about AUC, life in it, and its people for quite some time.
When the time came for me to go to college, I went to a small university in the US, thinking I would get a better education there. But, as fate would have it, I ended up leaving the United States and coming back to Egypt; to AUC. Coming home was something I had never expected to do and, of course, the matter came as a surprise to most people as well. In truth, I wasn’t as happy in the US as I thought I would be. My return - while unplanned felt like the right thing to do at the time.
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The first major obstacle I had to undergo upon starting my journey at AUC were the few days known as FYE, or First Year Experience. Having gone through the “First Year Experience” ordeal before, I dreaded going to FYE before the start of my first semester. I felt like I was going to constantly be forced to explain to people why I was older than them, why this was my second year of college and not my first, and why I had left the “Oh-so-glorious” United States of America to come back to Egypt. Despite my below-average expectations, I managed to fit in and get involved the moment I set foot on campus. Contrary to my experience in the US, I found a way to become a part of the AUC community almost immediately. I was quite surprised when I managed to make friends at FYE. During FYE’s engagement fair, finding clubs dedicated to things I found interesting made me feel like I could find people like me in these communities; people who were captivating, inviting, and who were interested in same things as me. I began to consider the possibility that I could make something out of myself at this university, like there was much to be done and places to be included. I was also blessed with people who were willing to help me with whatever I needed to get started. I’m not saying that this wasn’t something I found in the US too, but here in Egypt I felt more at home. I felt like I was actually a part of the whole and not an outsider who was seen as “different”. I must admit that, at first, I felt like AUC was too big for me. Coming back from a small university in the US, where everybody knew everybody and where the entire community was small, AUC felt a little overwhelming at first. At AUC, I felt like suddenly, I was being bombarded by multitudes of different people and different stereotypes. I must add, one of the most distinguishing things about AUC is the labels people set up for each other across campus. For instance, I was surprised to hear that every building was known for its people and that the people of each building had their own distinguishing “personalities”. The idea is actually still a little humorous to me. I had never before been exposed to notions like “HUSS people” or “PVA people.” In the US, buildings were just buildings. The biggest label they had back there was “the theatre kids” and even that wasn’t used as often as one would think.
Consequently, I began to feel like it was inevitable that I would get judged by the people on campus, that every choice I made - be it my major, my clubs, or my hangout spots - would lead me to carry a label on my back. Ironically enough, going to AUC made me realize the importance of working with people. When I was in the US, I always kept myself at a distance, always worked by myself for myself. At AUC, I found people working in groups and gathering each other up to help each other move forward; a rarity to me in the US. I must admit, the first time someone from one of my classes formed a “class Whatsapp group”, I was extremely judgemental of them. I made fun of the idea and thought that this person was taking class a little too seriously. Now, I ashamedly have to admit how wrong I was. In the US, I discovered that a lot of the time, people only cared about their own ability to succeed, but here at AUC I feel like people are willing to share what they know. Not to imply that people at AUC are angels that have people’s best interest at heart or what not, but it should be noted that one can’t always find help when it’s needed. My point in writing this is not to make a generalized assumption. My intention is not to degrade the study abroad experience, or universities in the US; I don’t claim that the people of Egypt are better than people anywhere else in the world. My point is to clarify the misconception that people have come to have: that Egypt is this hellhole that they need to rush to get out of before they’re stuck in it forever. I was one of the people who religiously believed in that. I was actually one of the people who wholeheartedly fought against staying in Egypt. The truth is, it isn’t as bad as people have come to believe. I believe that people tend to overlook a lot of the privileges that they have being at AUC; things that shouldn’t go unnoticed. One might argue that I haven’t had enough time to make an informed decision about AUC, that AUC is actually an awful place with awful people. But the truth is, in AUC, I found a community. I found involvement. I found welcoming people; people who were willing to help. And I stopped feeling like an outsider. And I think that in itself shows that it really isn’t as bad as one might think.
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Now I must admit, I came to AUC with plenty of expectations. I came back convinced that I was going to be unhappy at AUC; that I was not going to find an education as good as the one I was getting back in the US, and pretty much planning to drop out of college the moment things started getting too difficult. After coming to grips with the fact that I was going to be an “AUCian”, I started feeling nervous. I was afraid of the rumours I had heard about AUC and its people; that they were all rich snobs, and that they were competitive backstabbers. And of course, being the pessimist that I am, I came to AUC expecting the worst.
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Photo by Hussam Ashraf
By Arwa Hezzah
In early 2018, AUC administration declared that the campus will be a tobacco-free campus by Spring 2019. Upon hearing the news, members of the university -both students and faculty alike- began to voice their concerns about the issue. From what has been witnessed, the smoking ban has caused members of the community to act differently; some in defiance of the ban, some in support of it. To initiate the complete ban of smoking on campus, university officials placed “designated smoking areas” around campus in the hopes of limiting areas where students can smoke. Any violation of the new smoking policy rules results in horrible penalties that only cause students’ mental states to deteriorate even further. Penalties involve forcing students to sit through a six-hour educational course on the effects of smoking and paying the university more money, as if they haven’t stolen enough already. By carefully considering the discomfort that the aforementioned penalties, as well as the smoking areas, have caused students, one could assume that the university’s penalizing system has not worked towards its students welfare as it claimed it would. Now, let’s talk about the set up of these smoking areas. It would appear that smoking areas have been made to look like uninviting barns. They are basically small, wooden, square-shaped fences spread across different parts of campus where smokers can go sit or stand and smoke. The eccentricity of smoking areas on campus makes them stand out, thus causing people’s attention to be drawn towards them. This has led students to feel like animals being watched through cages at the zoo. Perhaps the administration intended to make the areas feel uninviting as an attempt at decreasing the number of smokers. Perhaps their purpose was to point out the supposed “animality” of smokers. But, it would appear that making smoking areas as discomforting as they are only caused smokers to lash out against the confines. In defiance, or perhaps as an act of rebellion, students have started stepping out of the small enclosures and smoking their cigarettes “beyond their borders”. But that’s not all. Some students have taken even more daring steps of resistance and began smoking their cigarettes miles away from smoking areas. As a form of silent mutiny, students
started setting up secret hideouts where they can smoke without getting caught by campus security. As a result, a new organization of people has come to the rise. Students on campus call them “Reporters”. Reporters are non-smoker students and faculty who do everything they can in attempt to catch smokers stepping out of line. Not only do these reporters have an impeccable eye for spotting misbehaving smokers, but they also spy on their fellow students whom they expect might transgress the rules of the smoking ban. Of course, upon catching smokers in the act, reporters immediately inform higher authority. Hence, their name. It has been rumored that reporters receive some sort of compensation from the administration for reporting their fellow students. As a result of the rise of Reporters, a new culture of antagonism has broken out on campus. People have started distrusting each other. Smokers are constantly suspecting that their non-smoking peers would report them, and non-smokers are starting to feel resented by smokers. Not only has this created divisions between students, but it has hindered a sort of resistance across the student body. Furthermore, university officials have placed hidden cameras all over campus in order to catch students smoking away from the designated areas. The cameras are said to identify students’ faces, find them within the university system, and automatically send emails that inform them that they’ve received a first warning. Rumor has it that a student who was holding a rolled up piece of paper and pretending to smoke was recognized by the cameras and was sent a warning out of the blue. It’s safe to say that the smoking ban has led to a rise of silent acts of rebellion across campus. It’s also safe to assume that the ban is splitting people into “smokers” and “nonsmokers”, something that could become dangerous in the years to come. Supposedly, the initial concern of creating a tobacco-free campus is ensuring the health and wellbeing of the university’s students. Whether or not banning smoking completely will have positive results on the AUC community as a whole is a matter that is still without an answer.The question is how long will the ban go on? And what will become of AUC in the months to come?
May ‘18 issue
By Omar Abo Mosallam
10-YEAR OLD BOY LOST IN HUSS ADOPTS FOUCAULDIAN THEORY Last week, Menna Refaat, 41, visited the AUC campus to pay her daughter’s tuition fees, but was met with unexpected tragedy. Instead of going to the on-campus bank, Mrs. Refaat and her 10-year-old son Youssef took a wrong turn. Mrs. Refaat asked for directions to the bank, but left Youssef unattended for a few moments. Unsupervised, he wandered off into the uncharted abyss of the HUSS buildings, which stretched out before them not unlike a dense rainforest. Panicked, she hurried through the veritable maze that is spans a quarter of the campus, until she found him in peril. Apparently, Youssef was surrounded by, as Mrs. Refaat calls them, “a gang of loud, rabid and pretentiouslooking students.” To her horror, they pelted Youssef with surprisingly nuanced opinions on politics and current affairs, a topic seldom discussed by Mrs. Refaat’s family. “They kept mentioning ‘political discourse’ or something, the savages! Whatever that is, I really don’t want my son anywhere near it!” says Mrs. Refaat, recovering from shock. After shooing off the crowd, she rescued her son from what she labeled ‘ungodly indoctrination’. This heartwarming reunion soon took a woeful turn. Half an hour later, with the Refaats still lost in AUC’s very own labyrinth, Mrs. Refaat hesitated to ask for directions. “I won’t ask any of these politically correct mongrels for help, I’ll find my own way out of here,” Mrs. Refaat told us, “My son shouldn’t hear this drivel!” “I’m sorry about her, she’s just… unenlightened,” said Youssef suddenly as he flipped through ‘The History of Sexuality’ by Michel Foucault, “ Mom, that’s just how things are here… Pretty chill.” Baffled by the book, Mrs. Refaat was taken aback. “Who is this Michel guy anyway?! Is he like their god?” queried Mrs. Refaat, as she eyed suspicious onlookers. “No mom, most of these people don’t really believe in god” replied Youssef as he casually puffed a cigarette that seemingly appeared in his hand out of nowhere, “No biggie really, they’re pretty cool.” Judging by his mother’s response, it was, indeed, a biggie. This was the last straw. Mrs. Refaat was determine to whisk Youssef away from HUSS before his transformation
became irreversible. In spite of her sheer determination, escape proved unlikely, as the tormenting and diverging halls of HUSS all somehow led them deeper and deeper into the void. Being held within these walls seemed to cause Menna question her reality. She started asking questions like: ‘how come my son’s been assigned a 60 page reading if he’s only been here for an hour?’, ‘when will I see my husband and daughter again?’ and ‘why do some of these doors only open from one side? That’s inconvenient.’ After realizing his mother’s continuing mental collapse, Youssef spoke out again. He deliberately pushed back his new eyeglasses to maximize his intellectual condescension, “Look, a lot of things in the world don’t make sense…” He was soon interrupted by his mother, “Yeah, obviously!” she cried out, “Like, when did harem pants get so popular?!” Her son quickly said “I know, I know, I don’t get the pants either,” Youssef went on to hold her hand and continued “the thing is, some things just don’t make any sense, but that’s what these people do, they try to study the world and make sense of it, just like you. This might surprise you out, but in a way we’re all just as confused as you.” The undeniable familial bond between them was fascinating; it was unlike anything like I’ve ever seen throughout my three weeks of journalism. The two embraced and, with the help of a political science major, emerged from the winding spiral that is HUSS. It seemed like all was well with the Refaat family, but only at first. It soon became clear that Mrs. Refaat regretted how Youssef won’t have a ‘normal and well-behaved life’ in university. “I just wanted him to be more like his sister, Hana, she’s a sophomore here, actually.” She pointed out, with maternal pride, how Hana was “brought her up to know which places are a poor influence, and that’s why my daughter avoids HUSS; I can’t imagine anywhere on campus being more subversive and morally bankrupt.” Where then does Hana spend most of her time on campus, you ask? “PVA,” answered Mrs. Refaat, “she might even spend the whole day there and come home late, but at least i know her morals won’t be tainted.”
تصوير ندى محمد
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عدد شهر مايو ٢٠١٨
كتبه أحمد املناييل
الجامعة رحلــــة ومرحـــــلة «يف رحلتنــا لنكتشــف مــا نحــب ،أو لنصل إىل الغايات ،ســنواجه كل يشء نكرهه ،كل يشء قــد يخالــف طباعنــا ،كل يشء قــد يقف عائقًا أمــام رغباتنا .ويف الطريق ،لن تكون الراحة أبدً ا مريحة ملن يســعى وراء يش ٍء غري متا ٍح يف الســوق». تلــك قاعــدة ثابتــة يف الحياة ،تبدو وتتضح طاملا عشــنا ،ولكنهــا ال تتجىل مثلام هي تتجــى خــال مراحــل معينة من حياتنــا ،ولعل أهم هذه املراحل هي املرحلــة منقطعة النظــر ،عظيمــة التأثــر ،مرحل ُة الجامعة .قــد يكون ذلك تصو ًرا مبالِ ًغــا لتلك املرحلة التــي يراهــا الكثــر أفضل مراحل الحيــاة ،وأكرثها تحر ًرا ورفاهيةً .فمــن ناحي ٍة يصبح الفــرد فيهــا نســب ًيا صاحب قــرا ٍر بعي ًدا عن أعني األهل ،ومن ناحيــة أخرى ال يتحمل الفــرد يف هــذه املرحلــة ذلك القدر من املســؤوليات الذي قد يعكر عليــه صفو الحياة؛ فأبســط األمر أنه ال يتحمل إال أمور نفســه ،وإن كان ذلك يف األغلب وليس يف العموم. لكـ ّن حريــة القرار وتضاؤل املســؤولية يجعالن من مرحلــة الجامعة أول اختبا ٍر ـي يف الحيــاة لكثــر مــن الناس ،وقد يكون هو األصعــب للبعض؛ فالذي مير به حقيقـ ٍ ـوذج مصغ ٌر لكثري من الفــرد يف مرحلــة الجامعــة ،وإن كنــت هنا ال أعمم أيضً ا ،هو منـ ٌ التجــارب التــي ميــر بها اإلنســان يف كامل حياته .واألصل يف رحلة الحيــاة هو التغيري. فاإلنســان ال يتعــرف عىل نفســه حقًا إال عندمــا تصيبه اختبارات الحيــاة ،فينجح مرة ويتعرث مرة ،ورمبا مرات ،ويف كل مرة يدرك اإلنســان شــيئًا عن نفســه .لكن ما يه ّون شــقاء الرحلــة ح ًقــا ،ويعني عىل االســتمرار أب ًدا ،هو األمل أن ما هــو قادم لن يكون كام فــات ،فقــط ألننــا نتعلم ،فنتغري .لــذا فالحقيقة األكرث صدقًــا يف الحياة هي أننا دامئا يف حالــة من التغيري. تشــكل مرحلــة الجامعــة إذن أخر مراحــل التعلم النظري للكثــر .لكن املثري أنها أوىل مراحــل االصطــدام الفعيل بالواقــع ،وبالتايل أوىل مراحل التعلــم العميل .فالطالب منغلق متامثــل صغري إىل مرحلة ينتقــل مــن مرحلة املدرســة التي هــي مجتم ٌع ٌ املجتمــع الجامعــي حيــث يكون التعدد والتنوع واالختــاف هم الطابع واألصل. والحــق أننــي ال أســتطيع أن أذكــر مكانًا آخر غري الجامعة قــد يحتوى ذلك القدر من التنــوع الــذي ال يقتــر عــى ذلك املادي أو االجتامعي أو الثقايف بــل ميتد أحيانًا إىل تنــوع الجنســيات ،واللغــات ،والفكر ،وامليول ،واملعتقدات وغريهــا .إذن تكون الجامعة للبعــض هــي نقطــة تحول فارقة يف الحيــاة ،وقد تكون أيضً ا نقطــة القمة يف منحني التجــارب الحياتيــة واالختــاط بأطياف النــاس ،وهناك من ينتقــل لنقطة القمة هذه مــن نقطــة بالغــة االنخفاض فتكون كالصدمة بالنســبة له .فإىل أين قــد يصل تأثري ذلك التحول عىل اإلنســان؟ الحق أن اإلنســان ال يســتقر عىل حقيقة نفســه وتعريفه لشــخصيته إال مبقارنتها باآلخريــن حولــه ،شــئنا أم أبينا .فالفــرد بطبيعته ال يقتنع مبــا ميلك ،وهو أيضً ا دائم التشــكيك يف صفاتــه وقدراتــه .ذلك فإن تعــدد النظائر حوله يف مرحلــة الجامعة يخلق كـ ًـا هائـ ًـا مــن املقارنات التي ال تنصف عادة مــن يقوم باملقارنة ،فنحن نقارن أنفســنا دامئًــا بقمــة الهــرم .أضف إىل ذلــك أن أوجه املقارنة تلك تتبايــن ج ًدا فقد تكون يف املســتوى الــدرايس أو الثقايف أو القيادي ،أو الشــكل واملظهــر العام ،أو رمبا متتد إىل العالقــات الشــخصية والعاطفية ،وقــد تكون كل تلك األوجه مجتمعة .واالســتنتاج الوحيــد مــن تلــك املقارنات الغري محدودة هو دامئًــا حتمية التغيري من النفــس للتأقلم مع الغري ،وما دون ذلك يعترب فشـ ًـا أو استســا ًما. لكننــي يف تأكيــد تلــك الحقيقة ال أقول أن األنســان قد يتخىل عــن كل معتقداته أو مواقفــه يف ســبيل ذلــك التغيري .فالجامعــة تعترب مكانًا مثاليًا إلشــباع حاجة برشية حقيقيــة وهــي حاجة االنتــاء .قد يكون االنتامء ذلك ألرسة معينــة ،أو لفرقٍ رياضية أو فنيــة ،أو لجامعــات فكريــة أو سياســية أو دينية أو حتى لحزب الكنبة .وألن ســكان الجامعــة هــم دامئًــا مجموعة من الشــباب غري مكتمل النضج ،عادة مــا يتطور االنتامء ذلــك إىل درجــة التعصــب األعمــى .وبالطبع ما يتلو ذلك التعصــب ما هو إال تحي ٌز وأنانيـ ٌة وتنافســية تفتقــر إىل أبســط القيم واألخالق ،بالضبط كأمثلــة كثرية يف الحياة.
هكــذا تكــون الجامعــة مرحلة فارقة ،بل هي مرحلة يتشــكل فيها حقًا بناء اإلنســان. فالجامعــة نقطــة تغــر وثبات .فام نكون عليــه قبل الجامعة عادة مــا يختلف كث ًريا عام نصبحــه بعدهــا .كذلــك فإن ما نُبقــى عليه من اعتقادات وانتامءات خــال تلك املرحلة عادة ما يســتمر معنــا إىل باقي الحياة. عــى الجانــب اآلخــر ،فإن تجارب الجامعــة تعكس جان ًبا كب ًريا من التجــارب الفعلية للحيــاة .فعــى خالف مرحلة املدرســة حيث تكون مصلحــة الطالب تحت اهتامم املعلــم وويل األمــر ،تــريس الجامعة القاعدة أنه ال أحد يهتــم مبصلحتك إال أنت، وبالتــايل تُلقــى املســؤولية كاملة عــى الفرد .من هنا تبدأ رحلة الفرد الستكشــاف الحياة كام هي. ولعــل أول الــدروس التــي نتعلمها خــال مرحلة الجامعة هــي أن الجامعة كالحياة ليســت مكانًــا للموضوعيــة أو اإلنصــاف .بل أنه من الطبيعــي أن تجد من يد ِّرس قواعد املوضوعيــة والحيــاد هــو آخر مــن يلتزم بتلك القواعد .كام أنــه قد ال يهم يف الواقع قــدر اجتهــادك وســعيك قدر ما يهــم أن تكون ماملقا جيـ ًدا أو مطي ًعا جي ًدا .كذلك األمــر يف العالقــات االجتامعية بــن الطالب ،فإن أغلب ما يحكــم تلك العالقات هي املصالــح املتبادلة والغاية املنشــودة وليســت الصداقة بذاتها. مرتبطتــان بفكــرة املصلحــة دامئًا قضيتا الســلطة واملكانة .والجامعــة بالطبع تزخر بالســلطوية ،والســعى وراء القوة واملصلحــة املصاحبة لتلك الســلطة .والقاعدة هي أنه ال ســلطة دون نفوذ وال نفوذ دون انتشــار وال انتشــار دون شــبكة كبرية من العالقــات واملعارف .وال تتحقق تلك الشــبكة الواســعة دون أن يتحــى الفرد بالقدرات التــي تؤهلــه لذلــك .وأول تلك القــدرات بالطبع هو أن ميتلك الفــرد ما قد يقدمه مقابــل يشء آخــر ،أو أن ميتلــك عىل األقل لســانًا ميدح وي ًدا تطبــل .هنا يدرك الفرد أن الجامعــة كغريهــا من املؤسســات يتمتــع صاحب املنصب فيها بســلطة ال تحدها إال ســلطة مــن يعلوه ،وأن الطــاب فيها هم عادة قاعدة التسلســل الهرمي. يف نفــس الســياق يتطــور وعي الفــرد بطبائع الناس بشــكل ملحوظ خالل هذه الفرتة. فالفــرد يبــدأ مــن خالل تجاربه الجامعيــة يف تقبل حقيقــة أن الصحيح والخطأ هو يشء نســبي جـ ًدا بــن الناس .وأنــه يف الحياة ال يشء قابل للحدوث ال يحــدث بالفعل .فام قــد يــراه الفــرد عيبًا أو غري مقبو ٍل قد يكــون هو الطبيعي عند بعــض الناس والعكس. لذا فإن الفرد يصل دامئًا إىل اســتنتاج حتمى وهو دامئًا أن تحت ســقف الســلطة أو الحريــة ،كل يشء ممك ٌن ومرب ٌر مســبقًا. هكــذا تتجــى الجامعة كرحلة استكشــاف وتعلم ،وكمرحلــة تغري وثبات .ذلك أن تلــك الفــرة من حياة اإلنســان ما هي إال مثــال مصغر لطبيعة الحيــاة بعدها ،تعكس تجــارب كثــرة مــن حياة األفراد .قد ال يتوقع اإلنســان طبيعة فرتتــه الجامعية ،قد ال يفهمهــا ،قــد ال يتفــق مع ما أو مــن يقابله خاللها بالرضورة ،ولكنــه يف معظم األحيان قليل، ال ميلــك إال أن يتقبلهــا ويســتفيد منهــا ،متا ًمــا كالحياة .قد يتغري لها ،قــد يتنازل ً وقــد يضطــر لتقبــل ما لــن يتقبله يف أي مكان آخر .ذلك ألن يف غــر ذلك ،لنقل عىل ســبيل املثــال املعارضــة ،طل ًبا ملا هو غري متواف ٍر يف ســوقٍ تتجىل فيه الســلبية واملصلحة الفرديــة ،وتتحكــم فيــه الســلطة فيام هو معروض ومتاح .لكنــه يف نهاية املطاف، يبقــى لفــرة الجامعــة رونقهــا ومتيزها عن غريها ،وتبقى هي حيــث يكون مبتدأ الحيــاة الفعليــة ،ونهاية الحياة العبثية ،وحيث يُشـكَّل اإلنســان الذي يُشـكِّل املجتمع مستقبل . ً
ده لحد اللحظة دي. هل واجهك أي خوف من تركك لوظيفة مستقرة كمهندس وبداية تجربة جديدة غري تقليدية؟ يف السن الصغري بتبقي قادر تتحمل املخاطر اليل ممكن تقابلها يف سبيل تحديد هدفك أو عمل اليل بتحبه ،لكن وأنا داخل عىل الخمسني تقبيل لتجربة مبخاطر جديدة هيبقى أصعب من وأنا يف العرشينات من عمري. قابلت معارضة من األهل عىل قرار العمل باملوسيقى؟
political scienceوبعد كده سجلت course literatureمع دكتورة نور املسريي لـ core requirementsوجذبتني جدا للـ literatureده غري إنها مرة عزمت حسن الجريتيل ،املسؤول عن مرسح الورشة ،ودكتور محمود اللوزي عشان يتكلموا عن التمثيل وشدين جدا كالمهم .قررت بعد كده أسجل classمع دكتور محمود اللوزي عن modern dramaوحسيت إين حبيت املجال ده .يف نفس الفرتة دي فيلم املهاجر خصوصا إين كنت أول مرة أشوف فيلم ليوسف كان بيتعرض يف مرص وانبهرت بيه جدًا ً شاهني .شفت الفيلم يف السينام سبع مرات وكنت بقول لصحايب إين هركز مع تعبريات الجمهور إلين خالص شفت الفيلم ،وعرفت إن شغيل بعده كده الزم يكون ليه عالقة بالسينام عىل الرغم من إن الجامعة ماكانش فيها film majorيف الفرتة دي .غريت majorمن political scienceلـ literatureإلين لقيت نفيس مستمتعة بالكالم عن حكايات الناس وخواطرهم وأفكارهم .ويف النهاية السينام واألدب مشرتكني يف إنهم بيقدموا حكاية مع اختالف األدوات ولكن لغة السينام ليها جمهور أكرب.
ال ألن أهيل كانوا مؤمنني مبوهبتي ومن البداية كانوا عايزين أدرس موسيقى يف الكونرسفتوار بدل ما أدرس هندسة ،فبالتايل ساندوين يف قراري عىل الرغم من تحذيرهم ليا من ترك وظيفتي كمهندس.
ماكانش فيه خوف من مشاكل صناعة السينام يف الوقت ده؟
إزاي بتشوف املوسيقى كصناعة حال ًيا؟
يف السن الصغري بتبقي عايز تجرب اليل بتحبه من غري ما تشغل نفسك بحسابات تانية
أنا شايف إن اللعبة اتغريت متا ًما ،ألنه مع اختفاء الرشايط واالسطوانات وظهور itunes و ، youtubeحركة البيع بقت ضعيفة عشان كده مش شايف فرصة قوية للنجاح مبجال األغاين ،إمنا يف مجايل اليل هو املوسيقى التصويرية متصور إن يف احتياج ملواهب جديدة ألن عددنا قليل جدًا باملقارنة مع عدد األعامل اليل بتتقدم.
كان يف معارضة من األهل عىل العمل بالسينام؟ بالعكس ،أهيل كانوا مصدر دعم كبري ليا .ميكن والديت كان نفسها إين أكمل يف املجال األكادميي وأعمل phdلكن أنا فضلت أقف بدراستي عند Mastersبس.
لكن مشاكل صناعة السينام مأثرتش بالسلب عىل مجالك؟
هل بتواجهك مشاكل يف التدريس هنا يف الجامعة؟
صحيح أنا كنت بعمل مثال 7أفالم يف السنة ودلوقتي بعمل واحد ،بس ده بيتعوض يف املسلسالت ايل صناعتها ازدهرت يف آخر كام سنة فبقيت بعمل موسيقى خمس مسلسالت تقري ًبا يف السنة الواحدة .ده مش يف مرص بس لكن عامل ًيا كامن حصل التغيري ده من بني الصناعتني.
خصوصا إين عندي شغف يف بداية عميل من عرش سنني ماكانش يف عقبات كبرية، ً لتدريس الفيلم بالجامعة ،لكن حاليًا بيحبطني الطلبة اليل اهتاممهم كله هو final gradeبس مفيش اهتامم باملحتوى اليل بدرسه .عارف إحساس إنك تكون طفل وتطلب من أهلك إنهم يلعبوا معاك وتالقيهم مش مهتمني بلعبتك بس مجرد بيحاولوا يرضوك؟ ده اليل بحسه أثناء التدريس مؤخ ًرا.
يف نوعية أعامل معينة تحب تشتغلها؟ أفالم من نوعية املدينة وباب الشمس وشقة مرص الجديدة هي اليل بفضلها والطيور عىل أشكالها تقع ،فاملخرجني اليل بحب شغلهم هام اليل بيحبوا يشتغلوا معايا زي كاملة أبو ذكري ويرسي نرصالله ومحمد عيل ،وده ألنه فيه تقارب يف الذوق والثقافة السينامئية بيني وبينهم .اشتغلت بعض األفالم الكوميدي اليل محبتهاش ومكررتهاش تاين .صحيح إن آخر فيلم (طلق صناعي) اشتغلته كان كوميدي ،لكنه حمل قضية فوافقت عليه. إيه رأيك يف ابتكار فعاليات سينامئية جديدة زي مهرجان الجونة؟ رأيي إن مهرجان الجونة منصة مهمة للتواصل بني الصناعة املحلية والعاملية ،وواضح إن هام بيقدموا دعم مادي لصناع السينام الشباب وده ساعد فيلم زي «يوم الدين» إنه يوصل ملهرجان كان السنة دي بعد أكرت من خمس سنني مفيش فيهم فيلم مرصي التحق باملسابقة الرسمية وده بيدينا أمل يف الصناعة. ---------------------------------------------وأخريا قابلنا املؤلفة واملخرجة السينامئية ماجي مرجان واملدرسة أيضا يف نفس الجامعة التي تخرجت منها و عن الجامعة وصناعة السينام سألناها: يف فيلمك البديع «عشم» صوريت اإلسكندرية كمكان مريح وهادئ عىل عكس القاهرة الخانقة فهل ده كان شعورك بعد انتقالك من اإلسكندرية إىل القاهرة للدراسة بالجامعة؟ مش بالظبط ألنه أنا انتقلت يف طفولتي بني كذا بلد زي الكويت وكندا ،فالنقلة كانت من دول تانية ملرص عمو ًما .أما اختياري لإلسكندرية كمكان للتصوير له عالقة بهدوئها ونورها حتى ناسها متفهمني أكرت لعملية التصوير أكرت من سكان القاهرة ،ويف النهاية أنا من مواليد اإلسكندرية فهي بيتي األول. و ازاي تم اختيار مجال دراستك؟ بعد أول سنة يف الجامعة كان عندي GPAعايل وحسيت إن الخيارين اليل قدامي political scienceو businessلكن ملقتش نفيس مهتمة ب businessفاخرتت
هل قدريت تغريي رؤية البعض للمحتوى اليل بيتم تدريسه؟ بيحصل كتري بستقبل emailsمن engineeringأو business studentsبيكلموين عن فيلم عرضته يف classأثر فيهم بشكل مختلف ،ويف بعض األوقات التجربة نفسها بتغري من تفكري الطالب. يف طلبة يف Film majorشايفني إن الجامعة مش بتقوم بدورها يف تدريس التكنيك املحتاج يف السينام؟ ده حقيقي ،بس املشكلة الحقيقية إنه هنا يف مرص اليل يقدروا يرشحوا التكنيك ميقدروش يوصلوا املعلومة باإلنجليزي ،واألهم إن التكنولوجيا يف مجال السينام بتطور بشكل رسيع .اليل بنتعلمه هنا هي األساسيات اليل محتاجها الطالب عشان يحيك قصته من خالل الكامريا .أنا مثالً ملا اتعلمت مونتاج كنت بتعلم avid editingاليل هو مش موجود دلوقتي ،بس القواعد األساسية للمونتاج هي اليل استفدت منها. رغم كل املشاكل املوجودة بصناعة السينام ازاي تقدري تولدي أمل للطالب؟ أنا حاسة إنه دراسة السينام مهمة مش بس عشان تطلع مخرج ،ألنه املنتج واملوزع لو عندهم ثقافة سينامئية مميزة هيقدروا يغريوا مجال السينام متا ًما .يف أي بلد عايزة صناعة سينام قوية الزم يبقي يف ناس تقدر تدير فعاليات ومهرجانات مشجعة للمخرجني واملنتجني ،وده حصل يف مهرجان الجونة اليل اتنظم بشكل محرتم فبالتايل بيشجع منتجني إنهم يعملوا أفالم أكرت وفلوس أكرت بتدخل صناعة السينام .املشكلة إن مفيش اهتامم حقيقي بالسينام يف مرص ،و ده حسيته ملا اشتغلت يف كذا مهرجان زي القاهرة واإلسامعيلية ،ألين ملا كنت بكلم أي ممول عشان ميول جوائز األفالم الكسبانة يف املسابقات كانوا بريفضوا ،لكن هام هام ممكن يدعموا املشاريع الخريية عىل الرغم من إن ناس كترية بترصف فلوسها عىل املشاريع دي .هنا دور Film majorوهو إنه يخرج ناس قادرة إنها تنظم فعاليات مهمة ترثي تفكري الناس وتحرر خيالهم.
عدد شهر مايو ٢٠١٨
اإلدراك ده غايب يف مرص لفشلنا كمجتمع يف إخضاع األجهزة ألي رقابة وده يشء يف غاية الخطورة .يف أمريكا بنسمع كتري عن انتهاكات من األمن ضد مواطنني عزل من أصول أفريقية ولكن يف تحقيقات بتحصل وتغطية إعالمية ومحاكامت بتتم ..لكن مفيش اآلليات دي يف مرص. ----------------------------------------وألن التنوع يف التجارب مهم للتعرض ألكرث من منظور مختلف ،اتجهنا من أستاذ التاريخ لفنان ومؤلف موسيقي هو تامر كروان مؤلف املوسيقى التصويرية ألعامل فنية مهمة مثل « بنت اسمها ذات» و «باب الشمس» ،لتامر تجربة مثرية لالهتامم تحول فيها من مجال آلخر مختلف متاما .عن تلك التجربة سألناه: يف البداية هل تذكر أنشطة قمت بها بالجامعة لها أثرها عىل شخصيتك؟ يف فرتة دراستي بهندسة انضميت لـ music clubوكانت فرصة إين أتعرف عىل ناس ليهم نفس الهواية وأتبادل معاهم أنواع مزيكا مختلفة وعندهم شغف باملوسيقى، منهم ناس كملت يف املجال ده زي عايدة األيويب ،والبعض اعتربها هواية. هل التجربة دي كانت سبب إنك تغري اهتاممك من الهندسة للموسيقى؟ ال ،أنا فضلت معترب املوسيقى هواية بحبها ومكنتش متخيلها كمهنة ،لكن الجامعة كان ليها دور كبري يف التحول ده .أنا درست philosophyمع دكتور عبدالله سشليفر وفاكر إنه اتكلم عن جمهورية أفالطون وتحديدًا يف جزء بيناقش فيه إن اإلنسان موجود يف الحياة ألداء مهمة محددة ،دورت يف النقطة دي تحديدًا وخرجت بإحساس إن املوسيقى هي الوظيفة املعينة اليل أنا موجود عشانها. هل يف coursesتانية أثرت فيك؟ هو عمو ًما liberal arts educationأثر عىل اختيارايت، ألنه وقت ما دخلت الجامعة ماكانش فيه مدارس internationalكترية ،والتعليم املرصي معتمد عىل الحفظ بشكل كبري ومبيساعدش عىل اإلبداع ،إمنا ملا درست coursesزي psychologyو sociologyو literatureده وسع من مداريك وخالين أفكر بشكل مختلف. اتجهت مبارشة للموسيقى بعد التخرج؟ بعد ما اتخرجت اشتغلت سنتني يف رشكة عاملية وسبتها لحبي يف املزيكا وقلت الزم آخد خطوات جدية يف إين أشتغل يف املجال ده .وجدت فرصة مناسبة لصداقتي مبغني يف التسعينات كان عايز يعمل رشيط وعايزين أوزع ألحان األغاين ،ولألسف الرشيط مخرجش للنور بعد ما اشتغلنا عليه .بالصدفة اتعرض عليا بعدها أشتغل يف رشكة بتشتغل يف أجهزة املونتاج واتعلمت من خالل الرشكة دي املونتاج وتحديدًا non-linear . editingالتجربة دي أهلتني إين أقدم بعد كده يف خصوصا إين كنت اإلذاعة الربيطانية بعد طلبهم ملونتري، ً من القالئل يف الرشق األوسط اليل يقدروا يتعاملوا مع التكنولوجيا الجديدة يف املونتاج .بعد أربع سنني من العمل يف ،bbcرجعت مرص تاين واتعرفت عىل املخرج يرسي نرصالله أثناء عمله بفيلم املدينة ،وقرر يختربين يف املوسيقى التصويرية وفعالً عجبه شغيل وكملت يف املجال
Khaled Fahmy credits: Cambridge website Tamer Karawan: elcinema.com Magy Morgan credits:helmelnoor.com
لتنظيم املعرفة عىل الرغم من أن املعرفة أعمق من ذلك .خالل دراستي للـ economics يف الـ bachelorكان اهتاممي األسايس هو سياسة االنفتاح االقتصادي ،بعد كده لقيت إنه من األفضل إين أناقش املوضوع ده من ناحية العلوم السياسية فاتجهت إليها يف الـ ،mastersمحستش بتغيري حقيقي ألن املعرفة متعرفش الفواصل الجزافية بني .majors بعد كده كنت مهتم بدراسة التاريخ االقتصادي ملرص وقدمت املوضوع ده لجامعات يف إنجلرتا ولقيت نفيس مقبول يف جامعة أكسفورد عشان أحرض الدكتوراة يف قسم التاريخ رغم اعتقادي إن املوضوع له عالقة بقسم االقتصاد. ملاذا كان االنفتاح االقتصادي تحديدً ا شاغلك األول؟ كنت مهتم بعالقة التبعية بني مرص والغرب ،كامن كنت شايف تناقض بني واقع مرص الصعب وفرصها الكبرية للنهوض .عشان أحل اإلشكالية دي بدأت أبحث عن إجابة لسؤايل بشكل تاريخي وأحاول أعرف امتى تحديدًا مرص انخرطت يف النظام الرأساميل العاملي كدولة تنتمي لألطراف تابعة للمركز ،ومع محاواليت لبلورة سؤايل وتطويره لقيت نفيس مهتم بجيش محمد عيل كمؤسسة اقتصادية ويف النهاية اهتميت أكرت بجيش محمد عيل كمؤسسة اجتامعية والنتيجة كانت كتاب كل رجال الباشا. إزاي شفت الفرق بني أكسفورد و AUCيف التدريس؟ عيل الرغم إن اكسفورد أكرث عراقة وأغنى وعدد مكتباتها من الصعب مقارنته مع مكتبة ،AUCلكن أكاد أجزم إن نوعية التعليم اليل اتعلمتها يف AUCمختلفش عن أكسفورد. إيه العقبات اليل قابلتك يف عملك كـ chair of history departmentيف AUC؟ املشكلة إن الجامعة اليل اتخرجت منها يف 1987مش هي اليل رجعت أدرس فيها .ملا كنت طالب فيها كانت حقيقي liberal arts collegeوكانت رسالتها األساسية تعليم الناس إزاي يفكروا ويعربوا عن نفسهم من خالل الكتابة والكالم باإلضافة إىل املهارات البحثية .لكن AUCاليل درست فيها بداية من 2010طغى عليها الـ majorsالجديدة وبدل من تعليم الناس كيفية من business engineeringوانزوى التفكري النقديً ، التعبري عن أنفسهم أصبحت قضية الجامعة منح شهادات للطلبة للعمل بيها ،وده مهم، ولكن العالقة بني الشهادة والوظيفة عالقة واهية ،والجامعة فاشلة حال ًيا متا ًما يف توصيل تلك املعلومة للطلبة وأولياء األمور وللـ .advisors الحقيقة إنك عشان تكون كاتب مش رشط تلتحق بقسم األدب وعشان تبقي دبلومايس مش رشط تلتحق بالعلوم السياسية والعكس صحيح ،لكن الدراسة أهميتها تكمن يف تحرير فكر اإلنسان ومساعدته يف التعبري عنه .هنا كان التحدي بالنسبة ليا مع الطلبة واألساتذة والـ advisorsاليل مش شايفني قيمة لقسم التاريخ ألنهم يف النهاية شايفني إن مصري خريج التاريخ الوحيد هو تدريس التاريخ يف املدارس ،عىل الرغم من إن دراسة
التاريخ ممكن تخليك دبلومايس أو صحفي مميز .لألسف يف مرص الدبلومايس عىل سبيل املثال مهتم فقط بدراسة العالقات الدولية والقانون الدويل مع تجاهل تام للتاريخ وأنا شفت دبلوماسيني مرصيني يف أمريكا يجهلوا متا ًما تاريخها ودي كارثة مبيدة ،عىل الرغم من إن السيايس األمرييك عارف تاريخ بلده ومعتز بيه .و بعيدا عن املهنة ،كنت عايز أوضح إن التاريخ مهم يف احتكاكك باملجتمع وفهمك ملشاكل بلدك بشكل أعمق. هل قابلتك مشاكل مع إدارة الجامعة؟ كان يف كتاب مرتجم من اإليطايل للمرصي عن طريق املركز القومي للرتجمة التابع لوزارة الثقافة ،وهو كتاب عن تاريخ الحركة الشيوعية يف السبعينيات .طلبت من نارش الكتاب وهو أستاذ العلوم السياسية بالجامعة إننا نعمل مناقشة بينه وبني القيادات الشيوعية والعاملية اليل بيتكلم عنهم الكتاب .فوجئت يوم املناقشة إن نسخ الكتاب ممنوعة من دخول الجامعة واألمن بيقول إنه الزم الكتب دي تتفحص .كلمت مدير األمن وقلت له إذا كنت عايز تعرف الكتاب فيه كالم خطري أو ال فأنا بقلك الكتاب كله خطري ووظيفتك متنع دخول املخدرات والسالح بس مش الكتب .بعد ساعة من الجدال الكتب دخلت الجامعة وكلمت العميد للشكوى فص ّعد األمر لرئيسة الجامعة ليزا أندرسون اليل وافقت عيل كالمي وأعطت أوامر رصيحة ملدير األمن بعدم مراقبة الكتب وده موقف مرشف ليها .الحقيقة دي مش أول واقعة ،ألن يف أواخر التسعينيات اتصادر كتاب «الخبز الحايف» ملحمد شكري اليل كانت بتدرسه الدكتورة سامية محرز وكتاب «محمد» ملكسيم رودنسون وكان بيدرسه دكتور ديدييه مونشو .الكتب دي امتنعت نتيجة النزعاج الطلبة اليل بلغوا أولياء أمورهم عشان يقدموا احتجاج رسمي للجامعة ،فيكون رد الجامعة هو االستجابة للشكاوى بسحب الكتب من املكاتب واستدعاء الدكاترة ملحاسبتهم ،عشان كده أول ضامن طلبته للجامعة أول ما تفاوضوا معايا هو الحرية األكادميية والجامعة تعهدت يل بالحرية دي. إذا كانت رئيسة الجامعة ال تعطي أوامر مبنع الكتب ،من الذي يحرك أمن الجامعة؟ أمن الجامعة خلفيتهم من الرشطة اليل قضوا فيها من 20لـ 30سنة ويف خالل الفرتة دي فهموا إن وظيفتهم حامية القيم واملثل واألخالق والوصاية عىل الشعب .املشكلة إن الجامعة مبتعملش تدريب للمعينني الجدد يف األمن عشان يعرفوا إن وظيفتهم تسهيل العملية التعليمية وليس الوصاية عليها ،ولكن يشء يف غاية الصعوبة إنك متحي عقلية عاش بيها صاحبها 30سنة عشان كده أنا بأشفق عىل الجامعة يف النقطة دي. هل قابلتك مشاكل مشابهة يف جامعات أخرى؟ خصوصا يف املدن لكل جامعة حزازات معينة لكن يف الجامعات األخرى القواعد أوضح، ً الكبرية بالغرب .يعني ممكن رجل األمن يبقي حامل سالحه عنده إحساس بالقوة ولكن بسبب القوانني ،واألهم بسبب ثقافة وعقلية املجتمع ،بيبقي مدرك إنه تحت الرقابة.
عدد شهر مايو ٢٠١٨
كتبه عمر أبو حمر
عن تجربهتم يف الجامعة يتحدثون: مقابلة مع خالد فهمي واتمر كروان وماجي مرجان قد يبدو للكثري أن السنوات التي نقضيها يف جامعتنا األمريكية تساهم بالقدر األكرب يف تشكيل وعينا وقدرتنا عىل مواجهة الحياة خارج أسوارها ،ففي التنوع الثقايف والتعليمي الذي تحتضنه الجامعة بيئة جيدة لتطوير تفاعالت مختلفة ومتداخلة بيننا وبني الجامعة واملجتمع خارجها وحتى مع أنفسنا .ولكن إىل أي مدى ميتد هذا التأثري وتلك التفاعالت املتداخلة بعد التخرج؟ وإىل أى مدى تؤثر تلك العالقة املتداخلة بهذا املكان الذي ننتمي إليه اآلن يف حيواتنا ومساراتنا بعد التخرج؟ مل نجد طريقة أفضل لإلجابة عىل هذه األسئلة من اللجوء إىل بعض خريجي الجامعة األمريكية الذين أبدعوا يف مجاالت مختلفة .حاورناهم وسألناهم عن تجربتهم الجامعية وعن مدى تأثريها عىل تكوينهم ومدى قوة هذا التأثري اليوم. بدأنا بالدكتور خالد فهمي أستاذ الدراسات العربية الحديثة بجامعة كامربيدج وصاحب األطروحات الفريدة لتاريخ أرسة محمد عىل يف مرص وأحد من أثروا يف وعيي بنظرته العرصية للتاريخ .سألناه: ما هي األنشطة التي أثرت يف حياتك كطالب؟ يف أول semesterليا اشتغلت يف املكتبة كـ student assistantوبعد كده قدرت أشتغل يف أقسام باملكتبة مختلفة ،أهمهم reference departmentاليل اشتغلت يف الـ information deskالخاص بيه واليل مسؤول إنه يساعد رواد املكتبة .تجربة العمل يف املكتبة استمرت خالل السبع سنني اليل حصلت فيهم عيل bachelorو Masters Degreeوأكاد أزعم إن التجربة دي كانت أهم من جلويس لسامع املحارضات ،ألن خصوصا إن ده كان يف الثامنينات يعني املكتبة كانت منفذ مهم للمعرفة واالطالع ً مكانش اإلنرتنت ظهر .طب ًعا مقدرتش اقرأ كل الكتب لكن بقي عندي القدرة إين أوصل للمعلومات اليل محتاجها وده وسع مداريك بشكل كبري .يف تاين سنة ليا يف الجامعة
انضممت لـ student service society clubكنائب رئيس يف البداية وبعد كده رئيس، ونشاطنا يف الفرتة دي كان مرتكز عىل مساعدة املالجئ .أول انخراط ليا يف القضية خصوصا إن الفرتة دي شهدت غزو الفلسطينية كان من خالل نادي أصحاب القدس، ً إرسائيل للبنان ومجازر بشعة زي مجزرة صربا وشاتيال ،ده كان بالتزامن مع الوقت اليل مرص بتعيش فيه أجواء السالم مع إرسائيل وظهور حركات مناهضة للتطبيع يف مرص. دور نادي أصحاب القدس كان توعية الطلبة عن تاريخ الرصاع العريب-اإلرسائييل ،وده كان مفيد بالنسبة ليا أكرت من أي courseدرسته عن الرشق األوسط .من خالل النادي قدرنا نقيم معارض فيها صور مجازر لالحتالل وده كان عمل مهم ألن يف الفرتة دي الحصول عىل صورة ملجازر االحتالل كان شئ يف غاية الصعوبة وكنا بنضطر نجيب الصور من جرائد عاملية زي Timesو .News Weekاملعارض دي صاحبها أغاين ورقصات دبكة ومرسحيات دبكة. هل الجامعة تعنتت ضد أي من النشاطات؟ محصلش منع لكن كان بيحصل مراقبة عىل أي كتاب أو بوسرت بيدخل تبع النادي ،كانوا بيتفحصوا بشكل دقيق جدًا. إزاي اهتامم حرضتك اتغري من economicsيف bachelorلـ political scienceيف mastersلـ historyيف phd؟ من مميزات التعليم األمرييك إنه مرن جدًا وقبل الـ declarationعندك فرصة إنك متر عىل coursesمختلفة .أول سنة ليا دخلت courseاسمه Tutorialوكان الـ theme بتاعه human questوكنا بنقرأ كل أسبوع كتاب بريكز عىل رحلة اإلنسان ملعرفة أصله. أمثلة من الكتب دي كانت The odysseyو «موسم الهجرة للشامل» و «بعيدًا عن املئذنة» ،ده غري كتابات فرويد وماركس .الكورس ده غري حيايت ألين عرفت إن رحلة اإلنسان ملعرفة ذاته مبتنتهيش ،وإن الـ majorsما هي إال وسيلة إدارية بريوقراطية
مســتواي الــدرايس لفصــل ،فقــد أحصل عىل إنذار ،وإن مل أصلح هذا األمر ،واســتمر مســتواي يف التــدين ،فقــد أخــر املنحة وأفصل مــن الجامعة» .تابــع بعد ذلك حتى يــرز يل إيجابيــة األمــر« :أن تكــون تحت وطــأة ضغط ما ليس بالرضورة أم ًرا ســلب ًيا دامئًــا ،فهــذا الضغــط يهيئنــا لضغوطات الحيــاة يف مرحلة ما بعــد الجامعة ،فمن الجيــد أن نعتــاد عــى األمــر وأن نعــرف كيفية التعامل مــع هكذا وضع ،ورمبا هذا األمــر قــد يســاعدنا أكرث مــن الطلبة اآلخريــن الذين قد ال يتعرضــون لضغط مامثل». كانــت هــذه إجابــات طلبــة البكالوريوس ،فرأينا أن نســأل طلبة املاجســتري ،والذين قــد يشــعرون بضغــط أكرب أحيانًــا لتوفيقهم بــن أكرث من حياة ،فكانــت إجابة داليا مرشقــة عــى عكس توقعايت« :أشــعر بالضغــط بطبيعة الحــال ،فالربنامج الذي التحقــت بــه عــا ٍل يف املنافســة ،كام أن وضعي الخاص مل يكن يســمح مبزاولة الدراســة عــى شــكل دوام كامــل ،ولكــن املنحة قامــت بااللتفات لوضعي الخــاص ،فقللت من بعــض املتطلبــات التــي كنت ملزمــة بها ،وســاندتني الجامعة يف طلبــي .كانت لفتة كرميــة ورائعــة مــن املنحــة والجامعة .أعتقــد أين كنت سأشــعر بالضغط يف كافة األحــوال ،فشــعوري باملســؤولية تجاه مــن يقوم بتمويل دراســتي حتى وإن كان األمر عــى حســايب الخــاص ،يجعلنــي أجتهد وأن أوجه طاقتــي كلها نحو هديف». كذلــك ســحر ،فهــي تــرى أن الضغط معقول إىل حــد ما ،رغم أنها تشــعر بالضغط بســبب التزامهــا بأخــذ 9ســاعات معتمــدة كل فصل ،حتى وإن مل تتوفــر املواد لقلة الطلبــة يف برنامــج املاجســتري الــذي التحقت بــه« .ال يوجد الكثري مــن الطلبة يف بعض يل كل برامــج الدراســات العليــا ،فنحــن ال نتعدى الخمســة معظم الوقــت ،ويتحتم ع ّ فصــل بــأن أقــوم بأخذ بعض املواد ،حتى وإن شــعرت بأنها ليســت متعلقة بشــكل مبــارش ببحثي». ومبــا أننــي رصــدت ما قد يكون ســلبيًا يف ظاهره ،قررت ولوج ســؤال آخر ،أال وهو عــن االمتيــازات التي يشــعر بها طلبــة املنحة يف الجامعــة ،فاملنحــة تعرضهم لتجارب ال يتعــرض لهــا الطالــب العــادي أحيانًا .فهــم يُدعون عادة إىل فعاليــات معينة، كااللتقــاء مبجلــس األمناء ورئيــس الجامعة ،كذلــك االلتقاء باملانحني وبشــخصيات مهمــة أخــرى ،وغريها مــن الفعاليات التي تعرضهــم لخربات جديدة. «نتلقــى بعضً ــا مــن اإلمييالت من وقــت لآلخر ،حيث تشــجعنا الجامعــة عىل القيام ببعض األنشــطة املهمة لنا يف مســرتنا الدراســية ،كتشــجيعنا عىل العمل كمرشــدين يف الجامعــة يف حفــل تخــرج هــذا العام .هذا األمر إيجايب ورائع» ،تخربين ســهى حني ســألتها عــن االمتيــازات التي تشــعر بها .تؤكــد داليا هذه النقطــة كذلك« :نُدعى أحيانًــا ملقابلــة املانحــن ،أو لحضور فعاليات توســع مداركنــا وتعطينا فرصــة للتعرف عــى شــخصيات ملهمــة يف تخصصاتنــا ويف الحياة عامة». أمــا رامــز ،فقام بتســليط الضوء عىل أشــياء أخــرى تبدو كامتيازات بالنســبة له:
«تتفهــم الجامعــة وضعــي كطالــب منحة معظم الوقــت ،ففي وقت التســجيل لبعض املــواد التــي أحتاجهــا حتــى أتخرج يف الوقت املتاح يل مــن املنحة ،تتفهــم الجامعة هــذا األمــر .كذلــك فيام يخــص هيئة التدريــس ،فهم يتفهمــون أن طالب املنحة يشــعر بالضغــط ،وقــد يســاعدونه -فيام هــو متاح وعادل بالطبــع -عىل أن يحافظ عــى مســتواه الدرايس ،ولكن هذا األمر ســاح ذو حديــن ،فأحيانًا يتوقــع منك بعض قليل ،يشــعرون بخيبة أمل، الدكاتــرة أن تكــون متفوقًــا ،وإن تدىن أداؤك الــدرايس ً وقــد يظنــون بأنك قد أصبحت مســته ًرتا». يؤكــد جميــع الطلبــة تقريبًــا عىل أن تلقي منحة دراســية غري مــن حياتهم ،وإن كان األمــر بدرجــات متفاوتة .يقول ســامل بهــذا الخصوص« :فاقت الجامعــة األمريكية توقعــايت ،فقبــل أن أتلقــى هــذه املنحة ،كنت يف وضع حــرج وصعب ،ومل أكن أتوقع أننــي سأســتطيع تلقــي تعليــم جيد كهــذا يف بلد عريب .رمبا هنــاك بعض املالحظات عــى أســلوب بعــض املحارضين يف إيصــال املعلومة ،ولكنني بشــكل عام ،أحاول أخذ الجانــب اإليجــايب من األمــر كالعادة ،وأحاول مســاعدة الجامعة يف عمليــة التطوير التــي تحســن من جــودة التعليــم فيها بإبداء رأيي كلام اســتلزم األمر».
أمــا داليــا ،فهــي ترى أن دخــول الجامعة غري الكثــر يف حياتها« :فقد قمــت بتغيري مجــال عمــي ودراســتي متا ًما ،يف تخصــص يختلف متا ًما عن تخصيص الســابق، ودخــويل إىل الجامعــة أتاح يل دراســة هذا التخصص والشــعور بالشــغف تجاهه». يف النهايــة ،أعتــر نفــي شــخصيًا مــن املحظوظني الذين حصلوا عــى هذه الفرصة التــي غــرت الكثــر من جوانب حيــايت ،وجعلتني أتعرف أكــر عىل نفيس وقدرايت، ففــي دراســتي الســابقة ،مل أحصــل عىل نفــس التجربة من حيث حضــور فعاليات أو ورشــات أو نــدوات تطابــق اهتاممايت الشــخصية ،وبعي ًد ا عن تخصــي العلمي البحــت .يف الجامعــة األمريكيــة ،اســتطعت أن أجمــع اهتاممتــي املختلفة يف قالب واحــد ،وتعرفــت عىل أنــاس من كل مناحــي الحياة ،وتفاعلــت معهم عن قرب، فتعلمــت منهــم الكثــر .هــذه التجربــة غريتني كث ًريا ،وزرعت يف قلبــي بعضً ا من األمــل باملســتقبل رغــم القتامة التي نشــعر بها كشــباب عــرب يف الوقت الراهن.
ي وعىل غريي كذلك من خالل هذا االســتطالع ،هو رمبــا األمــر الــذي كان صعبًا عـ ّ أن تأسيســنا األكادميــي قــد يعــاين بعضً ا من القصــور لقدومنا من أماكــن مختلفة، وهــذا األمــر قــد يفرض علينــا بعضً ا مــن الصعوبات للتفاعــل التام يف املحارضة وما بعدهــا ،لذلــك؛ يجــب أن يكون هنــاك طريقة ملعادلة مســتوى الطلبــة ،ولتحريضهم كذلــك عــى التعلــم الذايت يف ظل إرشــاد هيئة التدريس .شــعار الجامعــة األمريكية يف األســاس هــو «نحــو تعليــم يجمع بني كل املجــاالت العلمية واإلنســانية وغريها»، وقيمــة التعليــم ال تكتمــل من غري شــعور املرء بأنه فرد مســؤول نحــو مجتمعه، وبأنــه حتــى وإن مل يكــن ملـ ًـا بجميع مجــاالت الحياة ،فإنــه وا ٍع بأهمية كل مجال، كل من منربه ،ويتطلــع إىل خلق نوع من ويقــدر القيمــة اإلنســانية التــي يضيفهــا ٌ الرابــط الذي يحقق الهدف اإلنســاين األســمى يف الحياة.
عدد شهر مايو ٢٠١٨
كتبته كوثر الرشيفي
أان عىل منحة: ُ لست من فصيلة أخرى تعــد الجامعــة األمريكيــة يف القاهــرة من أرقى الجامعــات الخاصة يف مرص ويف الــرق األوســط عمو ًما ،فغري أنها ســتكمل عامهــا املائة منذ بداية تأسيســها ،تعد أيضً ــا يف الرتتيب الســادس من بني جامعات الرشق األوســط كــا يذكر موقع QS حلم يراود الكثريين .ولكــن ،ما يجعل ،Rankingsوهــذا يجعــل االلتحاق بهــا ً حلم شــبه مســتحيل -هو رســومها الغاليــة باملقارنة االلتحــاق بهــا صع ًبا للغاية -بل ً مــع الجامعــات املرصية األخرى ،وبعض الجامعات األخرى يف الرشق األوســط. لذلــك ،رست بــن املرصيــن وغري املرصيني ســمعة أن كل َمنْ يــدرس يف الجامعة هو مــن طبقة اجتامعية وقدرات ماديــة معينة. ومــع ازديــاد تدهور األوضــاع االقتصادية يف العــامل عامة ،ومع تزايد الوعــي بأهمية توفــر التعليــم الجيــد للجميــع -أو هذا مــا يخيل إ ّيل -برزت مع الوقــت الكثري من املنــح الدراســية يف الجامعــة لطلبة البكالوريوس واملاجســتري ،بــل وحتى الدكتوراه املحصــورة يف بعــض الربامــج ،وتعددت املنح لتشــمل الطلبة غــر املرصيني ،مام جعل حلم أقرب حلــم الحصــول عــى تعليــم جيد يف الوطن العــريب عىل املســتوى الجامعي ً للتحقيــق ،خاصــة وأن الكثــر مــن املنح تضــع الوضع املادي للطلبة يف الحســبان. ســاهم ذلــك يف جذب الكثري مــن الطلبــة املتفوقني دراسـ ًيا للحصول عىل فرصة تعليــم مميــزة ،يف جامعــة تختلــف كث ًريا عــن الجامعات التقليديــة يف الوطن العريب، كــا ســاهم ذلــك يف ازدياد التنوع بــن الطلبة ،حيــث أصبح هنالك طلبــة من جميع طبقــات املجتمــع املــري والعريب عمو ًمــا ،بعي ًد ا عن أن الجامعة كانت يف األســاس تزخــر بالكثــر مــن الجنســيات غري العربيــة ،تلك التي تناقــص عددها بعد 2011 وغريهــا مــن أحداث قــد عصفت بالبــاد .برزت يف ذهني أســئلة كثرية تجاه هذا األمــر ،خاصــة وأين طالبة أتــت إىل القاهرة والجامعــة األمريكية عــى نفقة منحة دراســية ،وأردتُ مــن خــال هذا املقال إذابــة الكثري من املعتقدات الســارية عن الطلبــة القادمــن إىل الجامعــة مبنحة بشــكل عام .كانت إحدى األســئلة الرئيســة التي رست يف ذهنــي هــي عــن مــا إذا كان هذا األمر يصنــع فروقات معينة بــن الطلبة، أم أن الجامعــة توفــر بيئــة مناســبة الختالط طالب مــن جميع الجنســيات والخلفيات الثقافيــة واالجتامعية؟ رامــز عصــام ،طالــب بكالوريوس مرصي ،قــدم من محافظة بني ســويف بعد أن حصــل عــى منحــة دراســية ملتابعة دراســته يف الجامعة األمريكية .حني ســئل عن إذا مــا كان يشــعر بفــرق بينــه وبني الطلبــة اآلخرين يف الجامعــة ،أجابني بثقة« :ال أشــعر بالفــرق أبـ ًد ا .لدي صداقات كثرية ،ومل أشــعر يف لحظة مــا بأن هناك فرق يف التعامــل ،أو صعوبــة يف تكويــن صداقــات وعالقات اجتامعية مــع الجميع». ورمبا يختلف األمر من شــخص آلخر ،فســامل (والذي فضل عدم ذكر اســمه الحقيقــي) ،طالــب مــن جنســية غري مرصيــة يف مرحلة البكالوريوس ،أخربين بشــكل رصيــح« :ال أعتقــد أن الشــعور بالفروقــات نابع مــن كوننا طلبــة منحة أم طلبة قادمــن عــى نفقتنــا الخاصــة ،فكم من طلبــة قادمني من طبقــات اجتامعية (أعىل) كــا يحلــو ملجتمعاتنــا تســميتها ،ويعاملــون الجميع بشــكل عــا ٍد ولطيف ج ًدا ،وكم مــن طلبــة أتــوا عىل نفقة منحة ما ،وميارســون بعضً ــا من العنرصيــة والطبقية ضد الطلبــة اآلخريــن» .حني ســألت أكرث عــن نوعيــة العنرصية أو الطبقيــة التي يتحدث عنهــا الطالــب ،أخــرين رصاحة أنه يف بعــض األحيان ،يتم الســخرية من ثقافة جنســيات البلــدان التــي ت ُعتــر «متخلفــة» يف نظر البعض ،بل وقــد يكون هناك نوع مــن الطبقيــة واألنفــة ضــد املجتمع خارج الجامعــة ،وهذا األمر كان مزع ًجا بالنســبة قائل « :ال أحــب أن أرى األمر بســلبية ،فهذه الظاهرة لــه .اســتدرك يف نهايــة الحديــث ً غــر منتــرة ،بــل عىل العكــس ،فإنهم ال يتعدون 2%رمبا مــن الطالب الذين تعاملــت معهــم وقابلتهــم منــذ أن أتيــت إىل الجامعة األمريكيــة .هناك ألوان كثرية يف الجامعــة ،وميكننــي اختيــار اللون الذي أشــعر بالقــرب منه ،فالجامعــة تخلق لنا مجتم ًعــا مصغـ ًرا يتيــح لنــا مامرســة التعايش فيه ،وهــذا األمر يعلمنــا تقبل اآلخرين واحــرام اختالفاتنا». أكــدت كذلــك ســهى عبدامللــك ،طالبة مينية قدمت للدراســة يف الجامعــة األمريكية
بعــد تدهــور األوضــاع بســبب الحرب يف اليمــن ،أن معظم الصعوبات التــي واجهتها كانــت بســبب كونهــا غــر مرصية أكرث من كونهــا طالبة منحــة« .كان من الصعب ي االندمــاج منــذ البداية مــع الطلبة املرصيــن يف الجامعة ،فقــد كان معظم من عـ ّ يلتحــق بهــا يعرفــون بعضهم مــن قبل يف مدارســهم الثانوية ،فلم أســتطع التعرف يل االندمــاج مع الجنســيات العربية األخرى، عليهــم عــن قرب .كان من األســهل ع ّ والجنســيات األجنبيــة األخــرى بشــكل عــام ،فجميعنا كنا غرباء ،وكان التواصل أســهل بكثــر» .تســتدرك ســهى قائلــة« :مع الوقت تعرفــت عىل الكثري مــن الطلبة املرصيني، واســتطعت أن أندمــج معهــم ،ولو أين أشــعر بالقــرب أحيانًا للطلبــة العرب الذين ميرون بظروف مشــابهة». كان الســؤال الثــاين مؤرقًــا ،فهل يشــعر طلبــة املنح باالنتــاء للجامعة كبقيــة الطلبة القادمــن عــى نفقتهــم الخاصــة؟ حني تم توجيه هذا الســؤال لنفــس الطلبة الســابقني ،كانــت األجوبــة متفاوتــة« .يزعجني يف بعض األحيان عدم شــعوري باالنتــاء لبعــض األنشــطة الطالبيــة ،كاالنتخابات التــي حدثت قبل فرتة ،أو اإلرضاب الذي تم بســبب ارتفاع الرســوم الدراســية» .أخربتني ســهى برصاحة تامة .حني ســألتها عن ســبب ذلك ،وعن إذا ما كان وجود منحة دراســية هو الســبب الرئييس، يل أجابتنــي برصاحــة« :ال أعلــم ملاذا ،ولكن رمبا ألين ال أشــعر بأن هذا األمر ســيؤثر ع ّ مبــارشة ،أو رمبــا ألين أشــعر بأين ال أشــارك اهتاممات بعض الطلبــة يف الجامعة ،أو رمبــا ألن بعــض األمور تخــص املجتمع املرصي ،فأشــعر بصعوبة يف املشــاركة أحيانًا». أكــد يل رامــز كذلــك بحرص« :أشــعر باالنتامء التــام للجامعة والطلبــة ،وتجمعني الكثــر مــن الصداقــات مبرصيني وغري مرصيــن ،فبعض األمــور يف الجامعة قد ال تؤثر ي مبــارشة ،ولكنهــا قــد تؤثر عىل أحد أصدقــايئ أو الطلبــة يف الجامعة عمو ًما؛ عـ ّ فمثـ ًـا ،حزنــت كثـ ًرا حــن ارتفعت مصاريــف الجامعة ألن هذا األمــر مل يعد يتيح ألحــد أصدقــايئ متابعة دراســته ،فاضطر للتحويــل إىل جامعة أخرى». أمــا طالبتي املاجســتري ســحر وداليــا (واللتان فضلتا عــدم وضع اســميهام الحقيقيني)، مثل أنها تشــعر باالنتامء القادمتــن مــن برنامجــن دراســيني مختلفني ،فرتى ســحر ً التحــاد طلبــة املاجســتري بطبيعــة الحال ،واملركــز البحثي التي تعمل فيه« .ال أشــعر بــأين كــا يقــال ،AUCianوال أعتقد أن األمــر متعلق بأين طالبة مســتفيدة من منحــة دراســية ،فمعظــم طلبة الدراســات العليــا يف الجامعة قدموا للدراســة مبنحة دراســية .رمبا ال أشــعر بذلك ألين لســت طالبــة بكالوريوس ،فطلبــة البكالوريوس ميضــون مــا يقــارب 5أعوام مــع نفس املحيط ،مــا يجعلهم يألفــون املكان والناس حولهــم .ال يعنــي هــذا أين لســت نشــطة يف الجامعة ،بل عىل العكس ،فأنا أشــارك يف معظــم الفعاليــات واألحــداث التي تخــص الكيان الجامعي ،حتــى أنني قمت باملشــاركة يف االنتخابــات األخــرة» .تــرى داليا األمر من ذاته املنطلق« ،أشــعر باالنتــاء بشــكل عــام للجامعــة ،رمبا ليس بالشــكل الكايف لكــرة االلتزامات خارجها وضيــق الوقــت ،ولكننــي أرى أن املشــاكل التي ميــر بها الطلبة كمشــاكيل ،وال يجوز يل مبارشة». أن أكــون أنانيــة فال أشــاركهم بعــض همومهم حتــى وإن مل تؤثر ع ّ كانــت أيضً ــا مــن األســئلة امللحة هي عن إذا مــا كان طلبة املنح يشــعرون بالضغط أكــر مــن بقيــة الطلبة ،خاصــة وأن عليهم إكامل دراســتهم يف وقت محدد ،أو أن عليهــم القيــام مبتطلبــات كالخدمــة املجتمعيــة وغريها .أجابني ســامل بامتنان وثقة: «هنــاك ضغــط بالتأكيــد ،فأنــت ال تعلم عن إذا ما كنــت تســتطيع البقاء بنفس املســتوى ،وعن البدائل لو فقدت منحتك الدراســية بســبب تدين مســتواك الدرايس مثـ ًـا؛ ولكنــه ضغــط صحي معظم الوقــت ،يدفعني شــخص ًيا للعمل أكــر ،ولالجتهاد واملثابــرة .أرى يف التطــوع اإللزامــي أم ًرا جيـ ًد ا ،فهو يجعلــك أولً تحتك بأناس مختلفــن ،كــا أنــه يجعلك تشــعر بحالوة العطاء ،وجامل أن تســاعد َمـ ْن يحتاجون إىل املســاعدة ،ويجعلــك تتعلــم منهــم الكثري كذلك». أكــد يل رامــز نفس األمــر ،فهو يشــعر بالضغط دامئًا ألنه مطالب مبســتوى درايس معــن« :أنــا مطالــب بــأن ال يقل معــديل الرتاكمي عن ما تحــدده منحتي ،ولو تدىن
ملــا رجــل األمن بلغني من حوايل أربع شــهور بقرار منع النقــاب بالرغم من اين اســتغربت واتضايقت اال اين برسعــة افتكــرت ان ده يشء عادي وإن دي مش أول مره ،وإن نفس الســيناريو بتكرر من حوايل 14ســنة مــن ســاعة ما أخدت قرار اين ألبــس النقاب بس من أشــخاص مختلفة وبطرق مختلفة من أول مدرســتي الــي كانــت بتوصف املنتقبات انهــم عاملني زي اكياس الزبالــة مرورا بوالدي الــي منعني من اين اروح أي دروس أو مســاجد ملده ســنه عشــان يبعد عني تأثري النــاس اليل عملتيل «غســيل مــخ» ،باإلضافة إىل عمتي اليل كانت بتســميني الدكتــورة «الخميني» ومديرة املدرســة الــي رفضت تعمل االنرتفيــو ملجرد انها عرفت اين منتقبــة بــس أكدت انها مش judgmentalحوايل 4مــرات يف أقــل من عرش دقايق واملدرســة التانية اليل ملــا قلــت لهم يف التليفــون اين منتقبة بعد ماحددوا امليعــاد كلمــوين وقالــوا يل متجيش (مع العلم ان املدرســتني عملــوا يل shortlistingبناءا عىل اليس يف بتاعتــي) .مــرورا بكتب كتــاب بنت عمتي (اليل كان يف نــادي من نــوادي الجيش وكان بعد ثورة يناير بحاجة بســيطة قوي) واليل العســكري رفض يدخلنــي وقــال لنا بالنص «ممنــوع حالة النقاب يا فنــدم» ..أمــا لو حكيت بقى عــن مواقف اليل اعرفهم مــش حنخلــص؛ اليل اتقال لهــا بالنص من املديرة ملا كانــت معرتضة عىل حاجات يف الشــغل وعاوزة متيش «وانــت مني حيشــغلك بنقابك ده» ،واليل مرة كانت يف مــكان واتنني ســتات قعدوا يرتيقوا عليهــا ويتكلموا باالنجليــزي عشــان ماتفهمش هــا بيقولوا ايه و الســت اصــا مامتها انجليزية ،باإلضافــة إىل اليل بتلبس النقــاب بالشــهور من ورا اهلها كأنهــا عملت حاجة من املوبقات.. يف مجتمعنــا لــو قرريت تلبيس نقاب وانــت بتنتمي لرشيحــة معينــة من املجتمــع الزم تتعاميل عىل انك «حالــة» ..أنــا بتكلم عن رشيحــة معينة ألن النقاب يف األوســاط اليل مــش بتعترب من «الصفوة» ثقافــة طبيعية جــدا يف املحافظات والقــرى يف مرص ويف الوطن العريب.. عشــان نكــون واضحني دي مــش أول مرة حتى القرار ده يطلــع حتــى من الجامعة نفســها فإيه الجديد؟ أول حاجــة هــي إن القــرار ده طلع قبل كده يف 2001 اترفعــت قضيــه ضده وصاحبة القضيه كســبتها يف 2007وملــا االجامعــة طعنت عىل القــرار طعن الجامعة برضــه اترفــض ..فأظن من حقنا نتســائل عن مدى احــرام إدارة الجامعة للقضــاء املرصي .تاين حاجة هي ان انــا مش عارفــة الجامعة حقيقــي حقيقي بتجيب القــرارات دي منــن ..أنا لغاية دلوقتــي معرفش جامعة يف أمريــكا بتمنع النقاب وســألت يف جامعات زي كولومبيــا وهارفرد واالتنني ماعندهمش سياســة زي دي ..ولســه مقابلة واحدة بتــدرس يف جامعة أوريجن بالنقــاب ومحدش منعها مــن حقها..الجامعات دي بالنســبة لهــا رداء زي النقاب حاجــة غريبة ،وعندهم نفــس القلــق من ناحية اإلرهــاب إن ماكنش عندهم أكــر فاملفــروض يكون أدعى انهــم مينعوا النقاب يف بلدهــم ومــا عملوش ده ،بس جامعــة من أكرب جامعات الرشق األوســط بت ّدي نفســها الحق انها تحتقر ثقافة موجوده ومستســاغة يف الوطــن العريب وكامن مربوطة بالديــن ،بغــض النظر عن اعتقــاد أي حد انه من الدين أو ال ألن رأيــك يف الديــن مش مفــروض انه يتفرض عىل الطرف التاين. تالــت نقطة ان الجامعــة املفروض انها مش نادي وال كافيــه لكن مؤسســة تعليميــة ،واليل اعرفه برضه واتعلمتــه يف الجامعــة دي ان التعليــم حق مش خدمة أو ســلعة بتتعمــل مقابل فلوس فبالتــايل مليش الحق
اين اديها لحد وامنعها من حد تاين شــكله مش «شــيك» قــوي ..رابع نقطة ان كالم رئيــس الجامعة عىل ان املنتقبــات يف الجامعــة اتنني أو تالتة بيحسســني ان العــدد القليــل مثال ممكن يدي لحد الحق إنــه يقصيهم وده شــئ لــو حقيقي حيكون فعــا غريب! ومع العلم هــا مش بس تالتة لو حســبنا كلية التعليم املســتمر الــي عددهــن فيها بيوصل لفــوق العرشين ،ولو حد عــاوز يتأكد من لســتة اليل عندهــم «حاله النقاب» يقــدر يتأكــد من عىل البوابة.إال لو البعض شــايف ان كليــة التعليم املســتمر دي بتاعــة الناس ال»بيئة» الــي مش «صفوة»زينا فعادي اننــا ندوس عليهم ومننعهــم مــن الحق يف انهــم يتعلموا اإلنجليزي أو انهــم يطوروا من نفســهم يف حاجات بالنســبة لطلبة الجامعــة بديهيــه .لو إنســان بالعقلية دي يف الجامعة لألســف مش هقدر أجادل معاه ،لكن أنا بس هســأله عــن مفهومــه عن العنرصيه..بــس أهم حاجة ان بعد كل ده ان ا الدكاتــرة هيعلمــوا الطلبــة بقناعة تامة دور التعليــم يف تحقيــق العدالة االجتامعية والsocial ..mobilityاد ايه الجامعة ســاعتها حتكون متســقة اوي مــع ذاتها وقيمهــا ومعندهاش اي ازدواجيه يف املعايــر؟؟ حاجة فعال ترشف! انــا ماكنتــش undergraduateيف الجامعة فأقدر أشــوف قوي الفــرق يف التعليم بني الجامعــة الحكومية والجامعــة دي ..أنــا فاكرة أول ترمــن يف الجامعة هنا مامتــي ص ّدعت من كلمــه انتم ضحكتم علينــا وفهمتونا اننــا اتعلمنــا بس احنــا متعلمناش ..عارف ان انا أول مــرة يف حيايت اســتخدم مكتبــة كانت هنا؟ عارف ان انا أول مــرة اقــرأ بحث واتعلــم ازاي اقراه كان هنا؟ عارف ان انــا أول مــرة اعرف يعني ايــه مصادر موثوقة وندور عليهــا ازاي كان هنــا؟ مع العلم ان انــا كنت يف كلية عمليــة املفــروض انها من كليات القمــة ومحدش علمني أي حاجــة مــن الحاجات دي .فكرة الliberal arts دي انــت قــادر تفهم ازاي بتغري فيك؟انــا أهيل بيقولويل انهــم أول مرة يشــوفوين بذاكر بجد هــي دلوقتي ..جايز عشــان أول مرة احس ان الدراســة ليها معنى وقيمة.. معلومــة ،انــا اليل برصف عىل دراســتي يف الجامعة اهيل بس بدأوا يســاعدوين بعد زيادة الدوالر عشــان مكنتش فعليــا هقــدر اتحمل الفرق ده لوحــدي .معظم أصحايب الــي عندهــم نفس «حالة النقــاب» مش فاهمني ايه الزمــة الهــم ده وخصوصا اين احتــال كبري قوي مالقيش شــغل «بحالة النقــاب» دي واألماكن اليل بتوافق بالحالــة بتاعتــي مش بيفرق معاهــا العلم والهري ده كلــه ..وبالرغــم من ده انا مش ندمانــه ،بالعكس انا فخــورة ولــو رجع بيا الوقــت هاخد نفس القرار ألن التعليــم فعال نعمة كبرية مش بس عشــان الشــغل لكن عشــان بنشــوف العامل بنضاره اوضح بكتري …..و مش قــادرة اتخيــل ان ممكن واحدة تانيــة انا معرفهاش تتحــرم مــن نعمة التعليم دي ملجرد انهــا بتلبس زيي… انــا مــش بقول ان جوده الجامعــة اعظم حاجة وانها ممكــن ماتكونش احســن او ان الجامعــات الحكوميه مفيهــاش تعليم متاما……..انا فكريت االساســيه ان الجامعــة فيهــا مميزات ممكــن تكون مش متاحة يف اماكــن كتــر بره......ليه ما يكونــش للمنتقبه الحق انهــا تختار الجامعة اليل هي شــايفاها مناســبه اكرت لطموحتهــا و خططهــا املســتقبليه زي ما هو حقك وحق كل النــاس؟ ازاي مقــدرة الجامعة انها تشــوف مناخريي وبقــي طول الوقت تكــون معيارالعطاء او حرمان حد من حقــه يف التعليم؟ طبعــا عارفــة املقولة املكررة بتاعه ايه الــي علييك بالهم ده والنقــاب اصال مش فرض وال مــن الدين ..مبدئيا انــا مــش هناقش االراء الفقهية لكــن أنا من الرشيحة الــي شــايفه ان النقاب ده حاجة ممكن البنــت تعملها
بنيــه انهــا تقرب من ربنا ومش القيــه حاجة مقنعة تخلينــي معملــوش غري ان املجتمع مــش بيحبه ..نفس املجتمع اليل شــايف انه عادي جــدا حاجات غريبه جــدا ..فلو مشــينا ورا املجتمــع العظيم يف كل حاجة هــروح يف داهية أكرت ما احنــا رايحني ..طبعا حد هيتكلــم عــن ازاي النقاب بيمنــع التواصل وبيعزل الســت عــن املجتمع ..يف الواقع مــش النقاب هو اليل بيعزلنــا ،الــي بيعزلنــا فعال هو الــي بيعاقبنا اننا اخدنا القــرار ده وبيمنعنــا من حقوقنا يف املشــاركة يف املجتمع ســواء يف تعليم أو شــغل ،وبيفرض علينا معايريه لشــكل الســت اليل بيعمل لها متكني ..أما اســطوانة التواصل وأهميــة تعابــر الوجه يف التواصل وإن من حقي اشــوف الشــخص اليل بتكلم معاه ،هقول لنفس الشــخص ده مــن فضلــك متكلمــش ديليفري وال خدمة عمالء وال تســتخدم أي تليفــون أو voice noteوبالش باملره تاخد اي كورس اونالين او تســتخدم وســائل التواصل االجتامعي ألن انت من حقك تشــوف الشــخص اليل بتكلمــه وتشــوف تعابري وجهه عشــان تقدر تفهمه. انــا مــش بقلل من اهميه تعابــر الوجه يف التواصل انــا الــي عاوزة اقوله ان تعبري الوجه مش الوســيلة الوحيده والرئيســيه عشــان يحصل تواصل .الشــخص اليل بيجيلــه هلــع وهو بيتواصل مع املنتقبات احب اســأله هــو اتعامــل فعليًا مع كام منتقبــة وكام واحدة منهم مافهمــش هــي عايزة تقول ايه؟ عارف ايــه اليل بيمنع التواصــل بجد؟ عدم احرتام اختيــار اآلخر وعدم إعطائه حتــى الفرصــة وفرض معايري معينــة لكده يا انتي متخلفــة ورجعية. رئيــس الجامعــة اتكلم يف لقاء قريب عــى التلفزيون عــن دور الجامعة يف محاربة االرهــاب وغالبا مخدش بالــه ان ســبب اإلرهاب الحقيقي هــو عدم احرتام ثقافة ومعتقــدات املجتمــع اليل الجامعة جــزء منه مش فوقه. لــو يف جزء يف مجتمع الجامعة االمريكيه بيشــوف نفســه هو»املتحــر واملتفتح» واملنتقبــات دول «متخلفني ورجعيــن وجهلــه» فادعــى للمجتمع املتحرض ده لو متســق مــع ذاته فعال انه يوفــر «للرجعيني» فرص اكرب يتعلمــوا بيها مش العكس...بس لالســف املوضوع مــش كده املوضوع عنرصيه ونظره انســان ان فهمه وطريقــة حياتــه فوق واعىل من اي حد تاين!!! إزاي الجامعــة بعــد كل ده حتكلمنــا عن حقوق املرأة وهي اول مــن يضطهدهــاا؟ و ازاي الدكاترة يف الجامعة هيصدقــوا نفســهم وهام بيعلموا الطلبة حقوق االنســان و املســاواة والتنوع واحــرام االخر وهام حتى مش قادريــن ينفــذوا القيم دي جوه الجامعــة بتاعتهم؟ وازاي القيــم دي تطلــع للمجتمــع الكبري واملجتمع الصغــر مش قادر يحققهــا؟ ازاي نوعظ واحنا مش بنــارس املوعظــة بتاعتنا؟ ازاي مؤسســه تعليميه تجرب انســان انــه يتخىل عن حاجة معتقدهــا يف دينه مقابل حقــه يف التعليم؟ وازاي الفكــرة تكون اصال مجال للنقــاش والجــدل واقعد اهــري كل الهري ده يف حاجة املفروض انهــا بديهيا حقي؟
عدد شهر مايو ٢٠١٨
كتبته بريهان مجدي
مجمتع الجامعة األمريكية، Keep Calm, It's Just a Niqab
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كتبته بسنت رزق
أثارت حادثة املياه الغزيرة الكثري من الجدل عىل مواقع التواصل االجتامعي وعىل الربامج التليفزيونية .مل يسلم أحد من سكان التجمع من هذه الحادثة .وقع الرضر عىل الكثري ولكن أُلقي الضوء عىل القصص املميزة واملختلفة فقط ورغم اهمية كل االشخاص املترضرين و لكن بالطبع لن يكونوا يف اهمية السيدة ،الغنية عن التعريف، ال ،AUCحيث انترشت بعض الصور عن االنهيار الجسدي الذي سببته األمطار لل .AUC نجح فريق العمل باملجلة للتوصل ألسباب انهيار ال AUCوتوصلوا ألدق املعلومات عن الواقعة .بالرغم من الصعوبة الفائقة للوصول إىل ال AUCبشكل شخيص ،متكن فريق العمل من الحصول عىل العديد من الوسائط ليك ميروا من طاقم الحرس الشخيص لدي ال .AUCمل يسمح طاقم الحرس ألي أحد من الفريق املرور لرؤية السيدة AUCإال بعد إظهار بطاقته الشخصية ووجود أحد األصدقاء املقربني لل AUCليك يضمنهم عيل البوابة. كان من الواضح عيل ال AUCأنها بحالة سيئة للغاية وعلمنا من بعض العامل أنها كانت بحالة أسوأ وأنها بدأت تتعاىف .اتفقت أنا وفريق العمل أن الزميلة سارة هي من وخصوصا سوف تقوم باستجواب ال AUCحيث أنها احسننا يف التكلم وفهم اإلنجليزية ً بعدما حصلت وبعد عناء عىل درجة ٧يف ال IELTSبعد أكرث من 6محاوالت انتهت بالسقوط ،كام تتمتع سارة بهدوء األعصاب حتى تحت االستفزاز الشديد .ذهبت سارة لتجد السيدة AUCتحتيس كوب القهوة الصباحي يف مكانها املعتاد يف الحديقة بجانب .l›Aromaاقرتبت سارة من السيدة الفاضلة يف ارتباك ولكن رسي ًعا ما بدأت الحوار بتمني السالمة لل AUCومتني لها التعايف القريب ثم قالت سارة « واضح إن حرضتك كنتي مجهدة علشان شوية ميه يبهدلويك كده» ردت ال AUCبغضب واستنكار قائلة « املوضوع أكيد مش شوية ميه املوضوع أكرب من كدا وده السبب الوحيد اليل خالين أوافق أقابلكم أصالً» .اعتذرت سارة عيل الفور وقالت أنها تعلم أن ال AUCمن أقوى السيدات وأنها فقط تنقل ما سمعت من اآلخرين .اعتذرت سارة مرة أخرى وقالت أنه سوف يكون من دواعي رسورها إذا سمحت لها السيدة وقالت لها القصة الحقيقية. عمت دقائق الصمت بينهم ثم كرست السيدة AUCهذا الصمت بتنهيدة طويلة وقالت «أنا أكيد منهرتش من شوية Warerأنا انهارت من الفكرة نفسها .من فكرة إن امليه
عرفت تدخيل بعد كل اليل أنا رصفته ده .أنا مشكلتي مش مع امليه نفسها ،أنا مشكلتي إين مش مستوعبة إزاي أنا ال AUCيحصل يل مشاكل زي أي حد» .نظرت سارة يف استغراب ومل تتمكن من الفهم فقالت يف تعجب «أيوة بس دي حاجة طبيعية وكثري من السيدات األفاضل أصيبوا برضه..املشاكل بتحصل ألي حد « .ضحكت ال AUCو قالت بثقة « .. This is the pointأنا مش زي أي حد» عم الصمت مرة أخرى حتى بدأت السيدة بتعريف نفسها لسارة «خليني أفهمك ،أنا ال، AUCمن كام سنة رصفت املاليني عشان أبعد عن عامة الشعب وجيت التجمع، أرصيت إين أبني أحسن security systemلنفيس وألصدقايئ .وزي ما شفتوا ال securityإزاي مشدد عيل البوابات .مش كده وبس ،أنا حطيت أجهزة تفتيش عىل كل البوابات ولسه مغرياهم بأحدث األجهزة .شددت عىل كل الحراس إن محدش يدخل غري لو يعرفني وإنا مدية لكل اليل يعرفوين IDمخصوص .وكامن زيادة يف التأكيد ممنوع أي حد يدخل لو شكله مش باين حتي لو معاه .IDأنا أعرف أهم ناس يف البلد وأشهر املغنيني بييجوا لحد عندي يغنوا .أنا رصفت كتري أوي وعشان حد يعرفني الزم يدفع كتري أوي برضه .ما هو أكيد مش بعد كل ده أي حد يقابلني أو يقرب مني عادي كدا.. صح وال إيه» .شعرت سارة بنوع من الحرج وأحبت أن تستعرض بعض مهاراتها اللغوية فقالت «»of course, it is my pleasure to meet you علمت سارة أن من األحسن استكامل موضوع املياه فقالت «شهرة حرضتك واهتاممك باألمن واضح ولكن امليه كانت غزيرة وكان الطبيعي تأثر علييك» ردت ال « AUCال مش طبيعي خالص أنا رصفت كتري أوي ،وزي ما قلتلك أنا االنهيار اليل أنا فيه ده انهيار بسبب صدمتي مش بسبب امليه» .ضحكت سارة وقالت بسخرية « والSecurity إزاي ساب امليه تعدي كدا ..إزاي ممنعهاش « ملعت أعني ال AUCوقالت «you are ,brilliantأنا همنع امليه وأي حد هيجي بإزازة ميه هتتاخد منه عىل البوابات» ُذ ِعرت سارة وقالت برسعة «أنا بهزر يا فندم ،أنا كان قصدي أقول إن مهام حصل انتم عايشني يف مرص ويف حاجات مش هتعرفوا متنعوها وهتحصلكم مهام شددتم األمن ،انتم مش... « قاطعت ال AUCكالم سارة وقالت متجاهلة كل ما قيل»Time is up but thank »you for the brilliant idea
May ‘18 issue
كتبته أسيل عزب
تنويه: هذا مقــال تحرييض بحت اعتدنــا مــن طغاة التاريخ يشء من الدهــاء والحنكة، فنادرا ما تســود الســلطة باســتخدام القوة الغاشــمة فقــط ،ونــادرا ما تتســع وتتخذ لنفســها قاعدة عريضة متتــد لــكل أبعاد املجتمــع وتحيط بكل أفراده إال إذا مــا وضعــت لنفســها رصحا محصنا أشــد التحصني، منعــدم الثغــرات .ومــا مثال الطغاة عنــا ببعيد .وإذا مــا اتخذنا نظرة تاريخية لدراســة الفلســفة الســلطوية، فمــن الطبيعــي أن نســتنبط هيكل للســلطة ،حيث يتمحــور حــول الفرد الســلطوي فئة عادة ما تســمى بالنخبــة ،تحــول بينه وبني فئــات املجتمع األخــرى الخاضعة بشــكل مبارش للعنف واالســتغالل والتعذيــب .ويتغمــد القائد الســلطوي تلك الفئة النخبويــة بــكل أشــكال النعم والــرف والرفاهية ،حتى يغنيهــم عــن التفكــر يف بديل له ،أو يف مشــاركة البقية املطحونــة يف قلــب نظام الحكم. والجديــر بالذكــر أن التاريخ ميلء بالشــخصيات الســلطوية عىل جميع املســتويات .فالطغاة ليســوا فقــط حكام الدول وقائــدي الجيوش يف املعارك. للشــخصية الســلطوية أن تتبلــور وتتحكــم فيمن حولها يف مختلــف النطاقــات وعىل اختالف الســياق ،ولكن يبقــى التوقــع أن تتميــز تلك الشــخصية بالذكاء الذي يســاعدها عىل البقاء واالســتمرار .وأكــرر ،ليس املثال عنــا ببعيد. ينقســم مجتمــع الجامعــة -إذا ما أتيــح لنا أن نعتربه مجتمعــا -إىل فئــات عــدة :من طلبــة وأعضاء هيئة
تدريــس ،ملوظفني إداريــن وعامل عىل اختالف تخصــص عملهــم .ومــن ثم فهناك أعضــاء اإلدارة العليا، يرتأســهم رئيــس الجامعــة ،الذين عادة ما يرون نفســهم فــوق الجميــع ،فهم يطبقــون القانون وال يطبق عليهــم ،ويقــودون املؤسســة وال يقبلوا أن ينقادوا، بــل يرتفهــون ويتنزهــون عن أن ينتمــوا للمجتمع، فاملجتمــع الجامعــي بالنســبة لهم هو الشــعب األهوج قليــل الخــرة ،عديم الذكاء ،معدوم االســتقاللية ،غري القــادر عــى التفكري بذاته واتخاذ القــرارات .املجتمع الجامعــي غــر كفء ،غري بالغ ،غري عاقــل ،يحتاج ملن يديــره ويعيــه احتياجاتــه ومصالحه .ومــا ذلك الخطاب عنــا بغريــب ،فهــو خطاب املســتعمرين الذين ميجدون اســتعامرهم ويحللونــه بحجة «فرض» الســام والتقدم واملصلحــة عىل الشــعوب الهمجية .ومن املامرســات اإلمربياليــة املعروفــة انتقــاء فئة محليــة لتحل محل النخبــة ،فتصبــح مصلحتهــا من مصلحة املســتعمر، وبقــاء املســتعمر مــن بقائها .أوليــس املثال إذا منا بقريب؟ مــن البديهي أن تقوم اإلدارة باســتقصاء واســتغالل فئــة العامل أوال ،وقــد كنت كتبت مقاال ســابقا عن مــا ميثلــه طرد العامل يف يوليو املايض ،واســتبداد البيئــة املحيطة ســواء كيانات ومؤسســات الدولة أو القوانــن التــي تضعف من النقابــات العاملية وتجعــل مــن العامل فريســة ســهلة .ولكنها مل تكتف عنــد هــذا الحد ،فقد بــارشت اإلدارة بالتعدي عىل هيئــة التدريــس ،مهددة بعقودهم ومشــرة إىل عــدم اعتامدهم مــن اآلن فصاعدا مبا يســمى بكتيب هيئــة التدريــس ،وهــو ما يحتوي عىل كل مســتحقات الهيئــة مــن فوائد وامتيازات واألهم من ذلك املســتند
الصــوري هو إخاللك مببــادئ الحريات والحقوق األكادمييــة والتضييــق عليها ،ثم بارشت باســتقصاء الطالبــات املنتقبــات والتمييــز ضدهم ،مؤكــدة حتمية رفــض أي طالبــة منتقبــة تريد االلتحــاق بالجامعة طاملــا لــن تنصاع لقــرار الجامعة بخلــع النقاب .ثم بــدأت يف خلــق بيئة خانقــة للحريات ،فإذا ما أردت أن تقــوم بــأي عمل يف الحــرم الجامعي ،عليــك التفكري مليــا ،فاملــكان مدجج بالكامريات التــي تتعرف عىل هويــة االفراد ،وقد ســبق اســتخدامها لتأديب بعض الطــاب املدخنني خارج األماكــن املحددة ،طبقا لسياســة جامعيــة جديدة مل تأخذ بالحســبان آراء واحتياجــات املدخنني أنفســهم .وأخريا ،فلــن يتفاجأ مــن عارص الجامعة يف ســنتها األخرية ،من سلســلة االســتقاالت التــي طالت الصغــر والكبري يف اإلدارة :من أول املديريــن إىل مديــرة مكتــب التنوع )Office of (Diversity and Advocacy إىل نويــل مديــرة الخدمات واملوارد يف الحرم الجامعــي ،إىل برايــن مكدوجال نائب الرئيس للشــؤون االداريــة واملالية .إن االمتعاض واالزدراء ســات العــر يف الجامعــة األمريكية. ولبعــض هؤالء األفراد بالذات تاريخ أســود يف الجامعة، وليــس هذا املقــال بتمجيد لهم أو ألعاملهم الخسيســة، وإمنــا هو مدعاة للتســاؤل :لقد خنــت كل من كان ميكن أن يواليــك يا ريتشــارد ،فمن تبقى لــك ومجلس األمناء؟ ومــاذا ننتظــر نحن وقد أصبح الــرح مليئا بالثغرات؟
رئيسة التحرير ندى نبيل
أحمد املناييل شريين أبو الوفا
مدير تحرير قسم اللغة العربية عمرو عليم
مستشار هيئة التدريس رامي عيل
مساعد مدير التحرير ريم بدر
املنسق العام كريم دكروري
مديرة التصوير جورجينيا باسييل
مديرة املوارد البرشية آالء محمود
مصممة الجرافيك ندى هشام
مدير اللوجستيات عمر أبو حمر
املحررون ريم بدر حازم العيسوي
مدير التسويق مصطفي عرفه
جميع الصور والرســومات الغــر مذكور مصدرها إمــا مســتخدمة بترصيح مــن صاحبها أو مرخصة لإلســتخدام الغري التجاري.
AUC Timesمجلــة طالبيــة .اي آراء مذكورة يف املجلــة متثــل الكاتب/الكاتبــة فقط ،وال تعكس آراء فريــق التحرير أو إدارة الجامعــة األمريكية بالقاهرة.
أنا عىل منحة: لست من فصيلة أخرى ُ
عــن تجربتهم يف الجامعــة يتحدثون :الجامعة مقابلــة مع خالــد فهمي وتامر رحلــــــة ومرحـــــلة كــروان وماجي مرجان
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كلمة رئيســة التحرير نحن نعلم ونشعر مبا تشعر .إنه موسم االمتحانات وميكنك بالكاد أن ترفع ٍ لحشد من برصك عن مسؤلياتك الجامعية ،ناهيك عن أن تويل اهتاممك األصوات والقضايا واألفكار. أيوة ..إحنا عارفني .الوقت ده وقت فاينلز والواحد مش مالحق حتى يرفع عينه عن املليون حاجة اليل وراه ،ناهيك عن إنه يعري انتباهه (اليل هو شقى عمره دلوقتي) لحشد من األصوات والقضايا واألفكار .بس املرة دي، مش هتحتاج تبص بعيد .ألن موضوع العدد ده هو الجامعة نفسها (أيوة الجامعة األمريكية دي) ..الجامعة مبشاكلها ومسائلها و حكاويها وسياستها. ليه؟..ألن عىل قد ما الكالم بيتنقل وعىل قد ما النم واملناقشات والحكاوي بتلف وتدور يف أرجاء الجامعة وحواليها ،لسه شايفني إن فيه كتري مسكوت عنه ..لسه فيه كتري محتاج يتقال ..عن السياسة اليل بتحكم الجامعة سواء سياسة اإلدارة أو السياسة بني الطلبة وبعضهم ..عن الفئات األقل امتيازًا وحظًا يف الجامعة ،سواء كانوا عامل أو طلبة انضم لبسهم لقامئة الحاجات املمنوعة تدخل من عىل أبواب فقاعتنا امل ُ َؤ َم َنة .محتاجني نتكلم
عن الفقاعة نفسها ومفهومها ..وإزاي الحامعة مش مجموعة اجتامعية متجانسة وإزاي لسه قادرين نخلق مساحات إيجابية لنفسنا .محتاجني نتكلم عن جحيم الريجيسرتيشن وجودة التعليم ..عن انعدام الكفاءة والفعالية اليل اإلدارة بتتحاىش مواجهتهم وذكرهم يف ظل انخراطها يف تسويق صورة مرسومة عن الجامعة للمجتمع الدويل. محتاجني نتكلم عن فني برتوح فلويس وفلوسك وإزاي بتترصف. محتاجني نتكلم عن الخالفات والنقاشات املتزايدة عن النسوية والهوية واأليدولوجيات وإزاي مجموعات محددة يف الجامعة بتكتسب قوتها وسلطتها .محتاجني نتكلم عن عملية «عسكرة الجامعة» العنيفة اليل املفروض تحمينا بكامريات وحظر دخول ومنع تدخني ،يف حني إن املشاكل الفعلية واضحة وظاللها غطت البالزا .لسه فيه كتري ما قلناهوش عن غلبة الصمت وحصاره .محتاجني نتكلم ألن اليل اتقال مش كفاية. العدد ده مبادرة مننا بنحاول بيها نحفر مساحات أكرب فيها األصوات أجرأ وأقوى والحوار أشمل ..مساحات بنأمل إن محدش فيها يحتاج يفرض عىل نفسه السكوت.
انهيــار عصبي حاد للAUC
مجتمع الجامعة األمريكية، Keep Calm, It›s Just a Niqab
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