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Papyri from Karanis. Voices from a Multi-Cultural Society of Ancient Fayum


On February 10 the exhibition Papyri from Karanis. Voices from a Multi-Cultural Society of Ancient Fayum was opened in the Egyptian Museum at Cairo, in the presence of his excellency the Minister for Antiquities of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Dr. Mamdouh El-Damaty, and his Excellency the Ambassador of the Federal Republik of Germany, Mr. Hansjörg Haber. Organizers of the exhibition were Cornelia E. Römer (DAAD, Cairo), Mohamed G. El-Maghrabi (University of Alexandria), and students of Ain Shams University, Cairo. All possible support for the exhibition was granted by the staff of the Egyptian Museum and by the German Archaeological Institute Cairo.

The exhibition is based on the volume Papyri Cairo Michigan, an edition of papyri that were excavated in Karanis in the last century by scholars of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and now housed in the Egyptian Museum. In collaboration with Egyptian Universities C. Römer and M. El-Maghrabi edited more than 30 texts from those excavations. The volume highlights the progress of young Egyptian scholars in the field of Papyrology which deals with the history of Egypt over 1000 years, when Greek was the main language in the country from 300 BC to AD 700.

In the focus of the newly edited texts is a man called Socrates, who served as a tax collector in the village of Karanis in the 2nd century AD. By the papyrus texts we learn to know members of his family, and get a close look into his activities as tax collector. Other papyri shed light on the daily life of everybody in Karanis, which was a village in north-western Fayum that flourished between the 3rd century BC and the 7th century AD.

The exhibition will be on show till the middle of March this year, if not longer.

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4th scientific conference of the Ain Shams University "Towards a National Innovation System – Current Indicators and Future Prospects” 

daad auf sin shams tagung 

On the 28th of April 2015, the DWZ, DAAD and the Technische Universität München took part in 4th scientific conference of the Ain Shams University "Towards a National Innovation System – Current Indicators and Future Prospects”. The Conference was organized by the Ain Shams University under the auspices of The Prime Minister, Minister of Higher Education, and State Minister for Scientific Research.

The goal of the conference was to provide an evaluation for the national march of higher education, academic research, technological development, and innovation from 2000 to 2015 and to present initiatives to build scientific and technological capacities nationally and internationally through bringing together stakeholders from the fields of science, research, industry and politics to explore how the comparison and exchange of disciplinary approaches can offer fresh insights and spark new lines of thought.

The DAAD Director, Dr. Roman Luckscheiter, explained the importance of academic exchange in order to achieve the scientific innovation. "Students and researchers who have gained experience in international research collaborations are more creative and productive in their research. Therefore we have to support them as we are doing it through our mobility programs GERLS and GERSS, co-financed by the MoHE and the DAAD, or by offering training courses at DAAD Kairo Akademie", said Dr. Luckscheiter.  

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Visit to SEKEM Farm   

Visit to SEKEM Farm 

On Thursday, 5th of March 2015 the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) organi zed a visit to SEKEM Farm for 20 German Wafedin- and DAAD-Scholars. SEKEM Farm is located on Cairo-Belbis desert road and has developed into an established international organization since 1977. It was founded with the idea of sustainable development and giving back to the community.

Awarded with recognitions like the Alternative Nobel Prize in 2003 or the Business for Peace Award in 2012 , SEKEM has helped around 700 farmers to shift from conventional to organic agriculture selling their products in several companies ranging from Phytopharmaceuticals, Organic textiles and clothes and organic food and beverages. Furthermore, SEKEM established the independent SEKEM Development Foundation ( SDF ), which is running various schools, a kindergarten, a vocational training center, a medical center and a lot of projects. The latest achievement was the establishment of the Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development, which successfully started its operations in the year 2012.

Mrs. Yvonne Floride, a member of SEKEM since its early beginnings, welcomed the students and arranged an inside tour through the factories, the kindergarden, the schools and the medical center. She also invited the group to attend the weekly school celebration with impressive music performances of all classes. After lunch in the canteen of SEKEM, the group had the chance to take a tour through SEKEM’s factory for children’s clothes and hand fitted dolls, of which some are exported to German drugstore chains.

More information on SEKEM can be found here

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Lab Equipment for the Pharmaceutical Biology Lab at GUC  

Lab at GUC

On 27 November 2014, the DAAD visited the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology of the German University in Cairo (GUC). After being welcomed by Professor Abadi, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, and Assistant Professor Dr. Iman Gomaa, Group Leader of the "Molecular and Cellular Biology Research Laboratory”, presented two new devices, a "Laminar Air Flow Safety Cabinet” and a "Bio-spectrophotometer” which had been granted through the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD), by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Dr. Iman Gomaa, received a PhD scholarship from DAAD in 2000 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) to work in the field of "Cancer Gene Therapy”. After finalizing her Ph.D. in 2003, and although Dr. Gomaa, spent three years (2004 – 2007) of postdoctoral fellowship between Mount Sinai School of Medicine – NY - USA and L’Hopital Salpetriere – Paris – France, she has been always in a continuous contact with her former advisors in Munich, as well as an active TUM and DAAD alumni member. Upon her return back home in September 2007, she joined the Biotechnology sector – Pharmaceutical Biology department, at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biotechnology in GUC. As mentioned by Dr. Gomaa, the DAAD has always played a key role in building up her academic career at home. As in 2012, Dr. Gomaa was awarded a short-term postdoctoral DAAD scholarship for 2.5 months at her former lab in TUM, where she started a new research project that represented an extension to her PhD project. Dr. Gomaa was strongly supported by her advisors in TUM to successfully apply for an "equipment grant” through the alumni program of DAAD. She chose two devices for her lab in GUC, to improve research techniques and safety working conditions for her postgraduate students and undergraduate interns. After receiving and installing the two appliances, which were ordered in Germany and are worth 20.000 Euros, Dr. Gomaa was glad to receive the official equipment award certificate by the program coordinator "Mrs. Irene el-Khorazaty” from DAAD. Mrs. el-Khorazaty emphasized that it is due to the great initiative and follow up of Dr. Gomaa as well as the 10% financial contribution of GUC, that this grant was realized.

Dr. Gomaa explained that with the help of the Laminator Air Flow Safety Cabinet, the lab is now able to work under safe conditions on production of gene-modified organisms (GMOs). The Bio-photometer, allows the precise detection of nucleic acids and proteins concentrations of the GMOs in very small volumes which is required during the preparation of different types of gene delivery vectors required for cancer gene therapy purposes. In addition, Dr. Gomaa highlighted that she is now able to continue and expand her cooperation with her lab in Munich, and to teach her students the international research standards that would enable the establishment of strongly based and independent future researchers.

As a future vision, Dr. Gomaa with her team at the "Molecular and Cellular Biology Research Laboratory - MCB”, are planning to continue working in the filed of Molecular Oncology for early detection and therapy of cancer, with a major interest to deeply understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the incidence as well as the possible treatment of oncological tumors. A long-term target of Dr. Gomaa is to find out a new ray of hope in the horizon of cancer therapy.

More information about the Pharmaceutical Biology Department and Dr. Gomaa’s lab activities can be found under: .

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DAAD Kairo Akademie Special Event "Face the Challenge: How to Strengthen the Employability of Egyptian Students” 

DKA Special.PNG

On 30 and 31 March 2015 the DAAD Kairo Akademie (DKA) special event "Face the Challenge: How to Strengthen the Employability of Egyptian Students” took place at the Helwan University Campus in Zamalek. The content of the two-day seminar has been defined in close cooperation between the DAAD Cairo Office and the two trainers Mr. Andreas Eimer, founder and head of the University of Münster Careers Service and Dr. Jan Knauer, manager of the project "Employability” at the University of Münster Careers Service.

The trainers worked on up-to-date questions in the field of employability of university students such as how to strengthen employability in higher education programmes or building up a Careers Service with participants of 15 Egyptian universities and research institutes and representatives of the Ministry of Higher Education and the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAAE).

Other topics that are key in the current development of the system of Higher Education in Egypt that were discussed during the highly interactive workshop are the dealing with qualification mismatches the integration of company needs and alumni experiences into higher education teaching in learning. Participants analysed the current situation of employability in Egypt in general and at their home institution in particular and developed specific measures to strengthen employability at their higher education institutions.

The workshop took place in the framework of the DKA which, since its establishment 2011, has shown tremendous success by offering till date over 550 modules ranging from "Proposal Writing”, "International Networking”, "How to Present Scientific Data” to soft skills like "Effective Time Management” or "Teambuilding”. With about a dozen trainers modules were offered to almost 10.000 scholars in Egypt till date. Besides these regular trainings the DKA organizes various special events throughout the year, most of them targeting the management staff of Egyptian universities. For more information on the DKA and its training opportunities please visit the DAAD Kairo Akademie at

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Visiting ARD broadcast studio in Cairo  

ARD Besuch 

On November 30, 2014 a group of German students and interns of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) had the unique opportunity to visit the ARD broadcasting station in Cairo and catch a glimpse "behind the scenes”.

The head of ARD Cairo, Volker Schwenk, and his team did welcome the group with a tour through the studio. Subsequently, the members of the team introduced themselves and the work they are doing. Thereby, they did provide an interesting insight into the work of the ARD in Cairo, not leaving aside the dangers of working and filming in a mega city like Cairo.   This has left a lasting impression on the participants of the group.

The German students have been very interested in the stories of the team of ARD Cairo. Moreover, the students and the journalists have discussed the authentication of pictures. Which images seen in television or newspapers can be taken as "real” or as "the truth” and which not?

The trip to the ARD broadcasting studio was a great experience for both, the German students and the members of the DAAD.   Sincere thanks are given to all! 

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2nd IWaTec Winter school in El Gouna

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"Sustainable Use of Resources: Water and Energy for Egypt” was the topic of this year´s IWaTec Winter school held at the premises of the TU Berlin Campus El Gouna from Feb, 16th till 20th. In a 5 days comprehensive program more than 50 participants with diverse backgrounds discussed about new developments in the water sector as well as the possibilities of combining water with new energy technologies. German and Egyptian experts gave lectures on the past and future developments in water management, membrane applications, different water treatment and re-use methods and the impact of water on ecology and health as well as the experiences with e.g. solar cell or thermal technologies for desalination processes.

Beside the lectures and discussions the participants had the chance the visit the water treatment facilities and industrial sides in El Gouna and some research installations of the TU Berlin. A Poster exhibition allowed the participating students to present their own research results. As the quality of all posters was very good the scientific committee had a hard task to choose the best poster. Finally the work of Mohamed ElQuelish on "Ammonium Removal using Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation” was awarded. It was an interesting and fascinating week with many fruitful discussions and all participants agreed that this event should be repeated next year, maybe also taking into account the amazing and endangered coral reefs right on the doorstep of El Gouna.

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