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DAAD Scholar Dr. Sameh Soror awarded the State Incentive Award for Medical Sciences

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Dr. Sameh Soror, Associate Professor of the Faculty of Pharmacy - Helwan University and Co-Chair of the Global Young Academy in Berlin (GYA) was recognized at the State Awards Ceremony among the top Egyptian researchers in all fields of Science and Research. Soror was awarded the annual State Incentive Award 2013 in Medical Sciences by the Egyptian Ministry of Scientific Research and the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology for the valuable research work he has conducted in the field of structural biology research and using protein structural knowledge for drug design.

"The award puts structural biology research and its importance in the spotlight as one of the advanced biotechnological sciences, which supports medical sciences and specially its role in drug development,” said Soror. "I hope this will draw the attention to this science, which is not familiar in Egypt right now.”

His awarded research project was focusing on the determination of prion protein structures for different drug target proteins. Specifically he worked intensively on development of a new drug series for treatment of tuberculosis. This is of importance for cow mad disease as well.

"The ultimate goal of my research is to discover new drugs, however, in research this is a very long process and your work has to go through several steps to prove efficacy and suitability to act as a drug. Currently, one of the molecules our team with collaborators in France has been proven to be effective for treatment of tuberculosis and is subjected now to animal trials,” he explained.

Soror believes that science and research in Egypt needs more improvement from both sides, from officials as well as academics, in order to be placed in the proper position and to give a real prospect for the future of Egypt. From his point of view a real efficient science and research landscape cannot be achieved only by talks. They should be translated into actions by the officials and academics. "Many people think funding is the main issue in science and research in Egypt, however, in my opinion it is an issue but less important than another issue.  One of the major areas where we need to pay attention and to act as soon as possible is the laws governing the science system in Egypt. The current legalizations are outdated, it does not help scientists to work freely and independently, it is very bureaucratic and obstructive,” he said.

"We are honored and privileged that Dr. Sameh Soror has received such a high honor, which speaks to his distinguished achievements in the field of Medical Sciences,” said Deputy Director of the DAAD Mona Ayoub. "It is not only a distinction for his scientific achievements; we consider this as an awarding for his outstanding support of German-Egyptian cooperation in science and research as well."

Soror maintains close scientific contact with German researchers through his position as the Co-Chair of the GYA and through his former laboratory at Technical University of Kaiserslautern, where he did all his postgraduate studies over six years. He wrote his doctoral thesis there on identifying noval enzymes from bacterial origin that possess unusual characters, which make them good candidates for the pharmaceutical industry. He added, "I have done all my postgraduate studies in Germany, I have learned in Germany what is research and how to design a research project. Simply I have learned all about research in Germany”

He received the UNILEAD Egypt scholarship in 2013 funded by the DAAD for young Egyptian university leaders within the field of Higher Education Management. "The UNILEAD represents another great opportunity, which I got from Germany, to foster my skills. As a young scientist acquiring the leadership skills at an early career stage is very important. I have learned a lot through the different modules presented to us and I am glad that I got the chance to apply many new things that I have learned during the UNILEAD in my current leading positions in the university and beyond,” he commented.

Dr. Sameh Soror earned his B.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Cairo University in 1997. He then moved on to pursue his Master’s degree in Genetic Engineering from TU Kaiserslautern in 2003, followed by his PhD in 2007. Since 1998 he bears teaching responsibilities for undergraduates as well as postgraduate students for their Master and PhD thesis at the Helwan University. In addition to his academic duties, he is establishing a new centre for scientific excellence and is involved in the initiative of launching an international office at Helwan University. Soror also has many engagements on international levels. He is the first Arab Co-Chair of the Global Young Academy in Berlin and is  a member of the Global Council of Science Education Programme runs by the Global Network of Science Academies IAP.

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Seven graduates of the German Schools in Egypt receive a scholarship from the DAAD and the Sawiris Foundation

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A reception was held on the 5th of June in the DAAD Cairo Office to award seven graduates of the German Schools in Egypt with the stipends of the scholarship program for German schools abroad.

Ramesh de Silva, Head of the department for culture and education at the German Embassy in Cairo, congratulated the new scholarship holders:   ”You receive a great scholarship of the DAAD or the Sawiris Foundation, that offers you the opportunity to fully concentrate on your studies in Germany. With this scholarship you now can embark on the adventure of studying without need to worry about funding.   You also receive a certain degree of independence and an additional orientation in the ‘university jungle‘".

This is the tenth year in a row that the international DAAD scholarship program "Deutsche Auslandsschulen” took place in cooperation with the Sawiris Foundation. The scholarship enables the graduates to conduct studies in a field of their choice at a German university. The program’s main objective is to foster the talent of young people who, after having studied at a German institution, will be able to contribute to the development of their country.

The program is designed for highly talented non-German graduates of German schools abroad. Only the best 10% of the graduates with an average grade of at least 1,5 are eligible to apply. "Our seven scholarship holders did not only show an outstanding school performance but also convinced the selection committee at DAAD Bonn, Germany. They competed successfully against candidates from more than 50 countries and won 7 out of 120 scholarships worldwide”, as Dr. Michael Harms, director of DAAD Cairo Office, said during his welcome address.

The five scholarship holders of the DAAD are Joy Nakhla (DSB Kairo), Farah El-Hawary (DSB Kairo), Bassant Abed (DSB Kairo), Yasmine Bakr (DSB Alexandria) and Sherif Rizkallah (DEO). In addition the Sawiris Foundation awarded two scholarships to Ahmed Tageldin (DEO) and Kesmat El Sherif (DSB Kairo).

The DAAD and the Sawiris Foundation congratulate all scholarship holders and wish them all the best for their studies in Germany.

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Visit to the League of Arab States in Cairo

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On 25th March 2014 the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) organized a very interesting visit for its scholars to the League of Arab States. Ms. Hayam Al-Sallal, Department of Culture & Dialogue Among Civilizations, welcomed the German students, who are presently in Egypt to deepen their Arabic language skills or study at an Egyptian University. Ms Al-Sallal and her colleagues presented the work of the League of Arab States in several presentations as well as in dialogues with the students. After speaking about her work at the department of Culture and Dialogue Among Civilizations, Ms Al-Sallal handed over to Ms. Rania Aurag from the Department of Europe and Arab - European Cooperation who explained the differences between the League of Arab States and the EU. Then Ms. Noha Aiad, Department of Education and Scientific Research,  presented the challenges to enhance the education system and her colleague Ms. Afaf Mohamed, Department of Human Rights, followed her with highly interesting explanations on the different situations of the Arab States regarding the Human Rights.

Right after these presentations, the students received a guided tour through this beautiful building from the early 60ies and were shown several conference and reception halls as well as the famous main round conference hall that saw so many historic conferences. Finally, the tour ended at the impressive library which invites scientist to read books and documents from all over the world. The extremely positive resonance of this visit will be a good motivation for all involved to organize this informative tour again next year.

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Information Day on Two Bi-cultural Master Courses of Helwan University

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On 20th March 2014 the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) organized an information day on two bi-cultural master courses of Helwan University: "International Education Management (INEMA)” and the "Joint Master in Heritage Conservation and Site Management (HCSM)”.

The event started with some words of welcome by Mrs. Irene El Khorazaty, DAAD Program Coordinator, who gave the word to Prof. Dr. Yasser Sakr, President of Helwan University. Dr. Naglaa Diaa presented the master course INEMA which was followed by the presentation of Dr. Rania Taher on the master course HCSM in the presence of Prof. Dr. Maged Negm, vice president of Helwan University, Prof. Dr. Hossam Refai, INEMA Coordinator and Dean of Faculty of Tourism and Hotel management and Mr. Mohamed Fathy, DAAD Program Coordinator.

Mrs. Mona Ayoub, DAAD Deputy Director and INEMA student, and Mrs. Nesma Ahmed, HCSM student, gave a short summary on their experience as students of these master courses and answered questions of the audience in this regard.

INEMA is a joint venture of the Institute of Education Ludwigsburg, Germany and Helwan University, Egypt. The program is aimed at developing and providing managerial and modern leadership skills. Graduates receive a joint degree. Target groups are current and prospective managers in the education system and staff members of global players. The masters can be obtained while working with the assigned jobs due to the part-time structure of the program. For more information: http://www.inema-master.com/  

HCSM is a four semester, full time master program with a joint degree awarded by the University of Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany and Helwan University, Egypt. The program is aimed at transferring knowledge and methodologies for the administration and management of archaeological sites. Graduates will be qualified in a broad range of heritage institutions in the private and public sector. The program cooperates with the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and the Ministry of State for Antiquities in Egypt. For more information: www.tu-cottbus.de/hcsm

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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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Almost 1,500 Egyptian students, graduates and scientists funded for study or research stays in Germany in 2012

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New statistic reveals that the German Egyptian Exchange Service (DAAD) almost doubled the number of Egyptian academics receiving funds for short or long-term stays in Germany in the last year.

"This is a strong sign to the Egyptian Higher Education and Research sector – Germany always was and continues to be a reliable partner for fruitful cooperation. We as DAAD are always interested to support a lively exchange between Egypt and Germany and we strongly believe in Egypt’s great potential in the field of science and research. ", says Dr. Michael Harms, Director of the DAAD Office in Cairo, which was established over half a century ago.

The number of individuals from Egypt funded via various programmes and projects in 2012 rose to 1,431 from 896 in the previous year. Parallel the number of Germans coming to Egypt has also risen from 267 to 585. Egypt receives significantly more scholarships and funding than any other country in North Africa and the Middle the East.

Adding to the long-standing co-funded scholarship and funding programmes between Germany and Egypt, the transformation partnership, which has been established between the two countries after the events of January 2011, has made this significant raise of funds possible.  

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Ten Egyptian graduates of the German Schools in Egypt receive a DAAD-Sawiris-Scholarship

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A reception was held on the 18th of June in the DAAD Cairo Office to award ten graduates of the German Schools in Egypt with the DAAD-Sawiris Scholarships. Beside the fact that there was never such a high number of scholarships awarded within the program before, this year for the first time one scholarship was awarded to a graduate from the Europa Schule.

This is the seventh year in a row that the international DAAD scholarship program "Deutsche Auslandsschulen” took place in cooperation with the Sawiris Foundation. The scholarship enables the graduates to conduct studies in a field of their choice at a German university. The program’s   main objective is to foster the talent of young people who, after having studies at a German institution, will be able to contribute to the development of their country.

The program is designed for highly talented non-German graduates of German schools abroad. Only the best 10% of the graduates with an average grade of at least 1,5 are eligible to apply. After the pre-selection in Egypt each of the five scholarship holders was chosen from candidates from 53 countries for one of the 120 scholarships.

The ten scholarship holders of the DAAD are Malak Labib (DSB Kairo), Salma Nosseir (DSB Kairo), Shaima’a Doma (DSB Kairo), Sarah Soliman (DSB Kairo), Nada Kassem (DSB Aexandria), Omar El Feky (DEO) and Mohamed Elkadeem (DEO). In addition the Sawiris Foundation awarded three scholarships to Dina Al-Adawy (DSB Alexandria), Omar Shehata (Europa Schule) and Omar Kamel (DEO).

The DAAD and the Sawiris Foundation congratulate all scholarship holders.

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Environment Gene Interaction in Parkinson’s disease Susceptibility (EGI-PD) Visit of the German cooperation partners in Egypt

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In the context of the DAAD-funded project EGI-PD, the German team composed of Prof. Günter Höglinger and Dr. Thomas Rösler from the Technical University Munich (TUM) / German Center for Neurodegenerative Disorders (DZNE) visited Egypt in April 2013 for multiple purposes:

  • The first aim was to meet the Egyptian team (Dr. Mohamed Salama and his colleagues from Mansoura) for discussing the feasibility of the protocol and the progress of patient recruitment after the first weeks of implementation.
  • A second purpose was to raise awareness about the German-Egyptian collaboration in the health sector and the medical relevance of pesticide exposure as risk factor for Parkinson’s disease, both addressing medical specialists and the broad public.
  • The third goal was to foster recruitment of patients from different universities in Egypt in addition to Mansoura University, to increase the geographic and social diversity of the recruited patients for this project.

Multiple stations were scheduled during the visit:

  1. Mansoura University: The first Egyptian-German conference on Movement Disorders On 21st and 22nd of April, a conference was held at Mansoura University, in cooperation with the Egyptian Society for Movement Disorders. The Vice President of Mansoura University for Research, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the Director of the Medical Experimental Research Center (MERC)-Mansoura University, welcomed the German team and officially opened the conference. During the conference, Prof. Höglinger and Dr. Rösler made presentations about the putative causes of PD with a particular focus on the contribution of pesticides. Egyptian researchers from the Nile Delta area and Kairo discussed research on PD and other movement disorders in Egypt. The conference offered the possibilities to network between the project teams and professors of neurology from the Nile Delta area, discussing the scope of the project and possibilities to cooperate with other neurology center. After the conference, the German team had the possibility to meet the partners at Mansoura University to discuss the ongoing recruitment process and collection of clinical data and DNA.  
  2. Al-Azhar University Cairo : Clinical Meeting: On April 23rd, the project team had a meeting in the Neurology Department of Al-Azhar University in Cairo. This meeting was intended to raise awareness of the DAAD-project among neurologists from different universities in Cairo (Cairo University, Ain Shams University and Al-Azhar University). Again there was great enthusiasm among different neurologists to collaborate in the recruitment of patients and in widening the scope of the project.  
  3. DAAD-premises Cairo: Kick-off event for the project "Environment Gene Interaction - PD Susceptibility”: The official kick-off event for the DAAD-funded project was held in the evening of April 23rd in the DAAD premises in Cairo. Among others the meeting was attended by Dr. Zeinab El-Sadr (RDI Executive, Ministry of Scientific Research of Egypt ), Prof. Magda Nasr (Vice-President of Mansoura University for Research) and Dr. Michael Harms (Director of the DAAD office in Cairo ). Moreover, a group of researchers from all-over Egypt attended the meeting, including professors of neurology, public health and agriculture from the Universities of Mansoura and Zagazig and the three major Cairo Universities (Cairo, Ain-Shams and Al-Azhar).

The event was opened by Dr. Michael Harms who gave a presentation about DAAD-funded research in Egypt, followed by Prof. Magda Nasr who discussed the support of Mansoura University (MU) for the collaboration with the Technical University Munich (TUM). The scientific program included lectures by Prof. Günter Höglinger (TUM, DZNE), Dr. Thomas Rösler (DZNE) and Prof. Abdelhaleem Tantawy (MU), in which they discussed different aspects of Parkinson’s disease related to the project. Then Dr. Mohamed Salama (MU) presented the scope of the present project. This was followed by a lecture of Prof. Ahmed El-Behery (Agriculture Research Center Giza) who raised awareness on the use and misuse of pesticides in Egypt. Finally Prof. Mohamed Sobh (MERC) presented the initiatives of MU in the field of medical research. After the scientific session the attendants had the possibility to exchange ideas about how to strengthen the German-Egyptian collaborations to maximize the mutual benefit in the field of medical research.

This 3-day meeting of the German and Egyptian team was very important for the course of this project. Assessment of the present status of the project was made. Minor modifications to the protocol were deemed necessary and implemented. Awareness about the importance and feasibility of this type of collaboration was increased inside the Egyptian scientific community. Particularly, the project was presented to the neurology research community of different Egyptian universities, who offered to participate and to recruit patients, which tremendously increases the strength of the DAAD-funded project.

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Reading Contest in the DAAD Cairo Office

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On 11 December 2012 the DAAD Cairo Office opened its gates for the annual reading contest. Egyptian students of German as a foreign language and German students gathered in mixed groups in order to present given texts in a creative and enjoyable way to the audience. Therefore texts from the well-known authors Georg Trakl, Hermann Hesse and Wilhelm Busch were handed out as all are in the focus for having either significant birthdays this year or anniversaries of their death. The event aimed at the remembrance of the authors’ words and literate publications. In the reading contest in the DAAD Cairo Office the students have proved their creativity by presenting their texts using self-created videos, audio material or self-made shadow plays. In the end a jury of three DAAD representatives awarded three winning teams that received book vouchers. The evening ended with a reception and a movie presentation.

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…and now for something completely different – EGY-EU Science Slam

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On the occasion of the EU-Egypt Year of Science the German Science Centre in Cairo and its partners opened the stage on 2 December for young scientists from Egypt, Germany and other member states of the European Union to creatively present their research topics to the audience. After the already very successful "First Berlin Science Slam in Cairo” organized on 24 April by Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with Technische Universität Berlin about 120 participants attended this time. Six doctoral candidates from Egypt, Germany, Spain and Hungary currently conducting their research at German universities engaged in a contest and presented their research in an entertaining way. The event was moderated by Dr. Ralph Bodenstein, DAAD lector at Cairo University.

All scientists succeeded due to their performance with great humour to flow down the actual complex topics to an understandable level. They got ten minutes each to show their skills on stage. The performances were judged by the audience and the jury with Heba Gaber, Science Officer of the EU, Dr. Michael Harms, Head of DAAD Cairo Office, Heba Afifi, Director of the Support Office for the Ambassador Scientists of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Florian Kohstall, Head of Freie Universität Berlin Cairo Office commented on the presentations.

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The contesters used different types of presentation to persuade the audience. Plush toys, cartoon characters and animations made for amusement and helped presenting the complex connections in simple abstracts.

Sebastian Koeffer, a doctoral student at the European Research Center of Information Systems of the University Münster, illustrated how he and his colleagues try to figure out what are the IT consumer requirements in the future.   Adrian Gonzalez Casanova who make his mathematical research at the TU Berlin described 100 years of history of the study of evolution. The team of Julia Knifka and Jörg Hartmann explained the radical change of the written book culture with the rise of interactive media. The winner of the EGY EU Science Slam Hany Abo El Wafa, who is researching at TU München, presented his analysis of the urbanization phenomenon and possible solutions. The defending champion Ágnes Cseh from the Berlin Mathematical School showed how Mathematics model complex situations and which decision is the optimal choice.

Subsequent rapper Sony Rahala und singer Adham El Said of the popular band Wust El Balad and young musicians of other bands perform on stage.

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German Egyptian Research short term scholarship GERSS

The year 2007 was declared as the German Egyptian Year of Science and Technology, focusing on scientific activities and co-operation between Germany and Egypt. The Year of Science is considered to be the base of a long lasting and productive scientific and technological relationship between Egypt and Germany.

One of the outcomes of the German-Egyptian Year of Science and Technology was a cooperation agreement signed between the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) and the German Academic Exchange Service, Bonn (DAAD) in order to co-finance the German Egyptian Research short term scholarship GERSS which aims at supporting young Egyptian scientists to travel to Germany for research visits.

Among the young scientists who applied for the GERSS Spring Call 2012//13, 21 candidates successfully passed the pre- and final selections and were by that qualified to be granted the GERSS scholarship. Their research visits in Germany will last between three and six months.

Interested applicants can apply twice a year for the GERSS Scholarship; as of 1 September till 15 October (Autumn Call) and as of 15 February till 31 March (Spring Call).

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   10th group awarded the GERSS scholarship Spring Call 2012/13

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Renewables Made in Germany on Tour

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Organized by the DAAD and touring to six Universities in Egypt, the exhibition "Renewables made in Germany" started its journey at Cairo University on October 1st 2012.

Developed by dena - Deutsche Energie Agentur (German Energy Agency), the exhibition provides fascinating information and facts on renewable energy sources, technologies and systems . During a lunch reception at Cairo University, the first 80 guests had the opportunity to see the exhibition, which has travelled to over 100 countries so far.  

Dr. Harms, director of the DAAD Cairo office, emphasized in his opening speech the importance of sustainability in the Egyptian transformation process. On this occasion he referred to the longstanding partnership between Cairo University and Kassel University in the joint international Master program REMENA. He thanked both Prof. Dr. Adel Khalil, Egyptian coordinator of the project, and his German counterpart Professor Dahlhaus for their prominent effort.

Students, researchers and visitors took the opportunity to view and study the 26 graphic stand-alone panels introducing various sources of renewable energy, like photovoltaics, wind power, or bio-thermal energy. Additionally the advantages and workings of these new forms of technology were presented and an insight into the strengths of German providers and system solutions could be gained.

During the next one-and-a-half months, five other Universities – Helwan, Ain Shams, Alexandria, Ismailia and Assiut University – will have the opportunity to present the exhibition, which is open to the public. DAAD Alumni will take over supervision at each university. Thus, DAAD Cairo hopes to inform the scientific public about the huge potential of renewable energy for Egypt which so far has been almost completely untapped.

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Exhibition opening "Youth's Reflections on Change" at the DAAD Cairo

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The DAAD Cairo provides 16 design students from the German University in Cairo with a forum for their thoughts and ideas. The poster exhibition opened on 19 September with a panel discussion and a performance by rapper Sony Rahala and singer Adham El Said of the famous band Wust El Balad. The panelists were the lecturer of the course, Alexander Tibus, one of the students, Ahmed Al-Adawy, Sarah Wessel, a PhD student at the University of Hamburg and Nouran Maher Mohamed, student of political science and student representative at the Cairo University, moderated by Dr. Florian Kohstall (FU Berlin) and Dr. Sabine Dorpmüller (Orient Institute Beirut).

In the 6th semester "Information Design" course large posters have been created on the topic "change” dealing mainly with political and social issues in the context of the revolution. The posters combine text information with aesthetic art - the students converted simple facts into a compelling information design, Alexander Tibus said. Corruption, lack of prospects and stagnation had driven him to deal intensively with the topic change and revolution, clarified the student Ahmed Al-Adawy. Alexander Tibus added that the revolution was the predominant topic of the past year and the posters were an opportunity to express aspects of the overthrow in a creative way.

The exhibition was made possible under the umbrella of the DAAD Transformation Partnership and was organized in close cooperation with the Cairo offices of the FU Berlin and the Orient-Institute Beirut.

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"Educate. Inspire. Connect." Young researches from Egypt participate at the 62nd Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau

For the 62nd time Nobel laureates and excellent young researchers from all over the world met to discuss newest developments in science and to build new networks. In this year’s conference on Physics, that was dedicated to the motto "Educate. Inspire. Connect.” 27 Nobel laureates participated along with more than 580 young researchers. Dr. Ghada Bassioni and Dr. Elsayed Salam from Ain Shams University in Cairo were among them.

For one week Dr. Ghada and Dr. Elsayed were granted the possibility to meet in different cultural and scientific events with young researchers and of course the Nobel laureates themselves. For both the experience was very inspiring. "I have learned a lot in Lindau and I want to pass that on to my students in Egypt!” says Dr. Elsayed. He realized how important an international network in science is. Particularly impressive for him have been the lectures by the Nobel laureates: "I want to learn the teaching skills to inspire my students the way.”

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Educate. Inspire. Connect. "I have learned a lot in Lindau and I want to pass that on to my students in Egypt!” says Dr. Elsayed.(Photo private)

For Dr. Ghada, who earned her PhD in Munich and who had lived for a long time in Germany, this trip was a special experience, too. Before the event the organizers chose her for making a video diary on her time in Lindau, sharing her impressions on being "a woman in the world of science”. Within this context she even had the possibility to do an interview with Annete Schavan, Federal Minister of Education and Research. "It is still unbelievable to me, that I was allowed to meet all these great personalities!”

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Dr. Ghada Bassioni with the German Nobel Laurate Professor Dr. Harald zur Hausen "It is still unbelievable to me, that I was allowed to meet all these great personalities!”

On the occasion of the German Weeks in April the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Council Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance, through the support of the German Science Center at the DAAD office Cairo, signed a new Memorandum of Understanding in order to ensure the future participation of young Egyptian researchers in the conference.

This year the German Science Center funded the participation of the two young scientists from Egypt. The two candidates were chosen through interviews among numerous applicants from all over the country.

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Ensuring the future participation of young Egyptian scientists in the meeting   Prof. Burkhard Fricke, Vice-President of the Council of the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meetings and Prof. Dr. Abdel-Hamid Zoheiry, Coordinator of European Cooperation, Executive Director of the RDI Programme, Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technology signing a new Memorandum of Understanding (Photo © DAAD Cairo, Nour El Refai)

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Paving the way to a sustainable Egypt-A discussion in the light of RIO +20
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In light of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, known as RIO +20, Cairo Climate Talks held its 8th monthly panel discussion on the topic “Paving the way to a Sustainable Egypt” in the premises of the DAAD. The panel was moderated by journalist Amira El-Ahl.

Experts recognized that Egypt needs a quick shift towards sustainability. The panel also agreed that achieving sustainable development in Egypt is possible, but Egyptian politicians need to adopt measures to enhance sustainable policies, combat pollution and support sustainable business. In this process the help of the non-governmental organizations is crucial to spread awareness in the society. In the Egyptian context linking environmental issues with poverty, education and development is crucial.

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Assessing the outcomes of Rio+20

Dr. Günther Bachmann, Secretary General of the German Council for Sustainable Development, having been to RIO +20, gave a short overview on the outcome of the UN conference. Environmentalists should not be disappointed: on a factual level all countries, with full participation of civil society, renewed their commitment to sustainable development and to ensuring the promotion of an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and for present and future generations.

 

Press Release (English)

 

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Five graduates of the German Schools in Egypt receive a DAAD-Sawiris Scholarship

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A reception was held on the 18th of June in the DAAD Cairo Office to award five graduates of the German Schools in Egypt with the DAAD-Sawiris Scholarships.

This is the seventh year in a row that the international DAAD scholarship program "Deutsche Auslandsschulen” took place in cooperation with the Sawiris Foundation. The scholarship enables the graduates to conduct studies in a field of their choice at a German university. The program’s main objective is to foster the talent of young people who, after having studies at a German institution, will be able to contribute to the development of their country.

The program is designed for highly talented non-German graduates of German schools abroad. Only the best 10% of the graduates with an average grade of at least 1,5 are eligible to apply. After the pre-selection in Egypt each of the five scholarship holders was chosen from candidates from 54 countries for one of the 122 scholarships.

The three scholarship holders of the DAAD are Yomna El-Wakil, graduate of the ‘Deutsche Schule der Borromäerinnen Kairo’ (DSB), Nashwa Okasha, graduate of the DSB Alexandria and Moustafa El-Hag, graduate of the ‘Deutsche Evangelische Oberschule’ (DEO). In addition the Sawiris Foundation awarded two scholarships to Mennathullah Mubarak, graduate of the DEO and Farah Sedky, graduate of the DSB Kairo.

The DAAD and the Sawiris Foundation congratulate all scholarship holders.

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2nd German Cairo Book Fair

German Cairo Book Fair

The DAAD Cairo Office and the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad (ZfA) have presented the 2nd German Cairo Book Fair on the premises of the DAAD Cairo Office. Several exhibitors presented current textbooks for classes in German as a Foreign Language as well as specialized classes and literature in German. Many visitors used the opportunity of the diverse offer.

Additionally, there were special seminars on topics related to education and vocational training. Thus participants could get an overview of the latest methods and teaching books for German classes and had the possibility to address their questions and suggestions directly to the publishers. The event was targeted at specialists in the field of German Language, such as teachers at universities and schools.

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Kick-off event for the new funding scheme "Transformation Partnerships” in the DAAD Cairo

Chances and Challenges in Times of Transformation: Enhancing Scientific Cooperation between Egypt, Tunisia and Germany

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After the popular unrests in Tunisia and Egypt that marked the beginning of the "Arab Spring”, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in close cooperation with the German Federal Foreign Office designed the new funding scheme "Transformation Partnerships”. At the kick-off event 120 professors, University Presidents and scientists from research organisations discussed expectations, experiences and project ideas to enhance the cooperation between German, Egyptian and Tunisian Universities.

"Egypt is still the cornerstone of stability and peace in the region. For this reason and others, it is important for all friends of Egypt to help in building its new future, a future based on partnership, mutual interests and constructive engagement”. This quotation of the key note speech on chances and challenges in times of transformation of Professor Dr. Abdul-Monem Al-Mashat from the Cairo University reflected the atmosphere of the whole kick-off event for Transformations Partnerships. 120 participants from Higher Education and research institutions in Germany, Tunisia and Egypt participated in the event which was dedicated to the further enhancement of scientific cooperation between German, Egyptian and Tunisian Universities.

In the first part of the event prominent scientists from different research fields presented their ideas and expectations about strengthening the democratic reform process in the Arab countries – and how universities can contribute to it. Dr. Khaled Chaabane from the University La Manouba in Tunisia explained the impact of the revolution on the university system in Tunisia: The abolishment of the university police, the reintegration of students and the introduction of democratic structures. He also pointed out that "Transformation Partnerships” with German universities can support the democratization process by giving young students and researchers the chance to get exposed to a different environment and exchange ideas and experience with peers in Germany. He also expressed his hope that the international collaboration would provide a stimulus for the improvement of education structures at Tunisian universities.

The German Ambassador to Egypt, H.E. Michael Bock, encouraged participants to make use of the opportunities of the new funding schemes and engage in cooperation projects with counterparts in Germany. Dr Helmut Blumbach, the DAAD Programme Director for the Southern Hemisphere in Bonn, explained the grass root genesis of the new funding schemes and explained DAAD’s approach: " We foster the creation of networks between German, Egyptian and Tunisian Universities, we enable the development of new partnerships to improve study programmes, research opportunities, service and university management, we support the establishment of improved university internal decision-making structures towards "good governance” and student participation and we strengthen and extend the scientific cooperation between Egypt, Tunisia and Germany.”

Kick-off

Examples of several projects that are being or have been funded within the "Transformation Partnerships” were presented in the second half of the event by project principles: student representatives from Cairo and Helwan University talked about their student trip to Germany and what they learnt there about democratic structures. "We were very impressed by the student parliament of the German universities, but what we also recognized is that the percentage of Egyptian students who participate in the university elections is much higher than in Germany”, said one of them. In another workshop, Prof. Dr. Hany El-Kateb presented a fascinating endeavour between the Technical University of Munich with Ain Shams University in Cairo which aims at the development of sustainable forestry in the desert lands of Egypt by using sewage water.

The range of the funded projects that were presented is manifold: "Structuring an interdisciplinary course of studies Health Economics” combines medical and administrative disciplines. Another project, "Environmental Archaeology”, between the University of Cologne and Cairo University aims at establishing a joint and interdisciplinary Master for students from urban planning, water management and archaeology.

A dialogue-oriented poster exhibition portrayed contents, procedures, challenges and objectives for all bi- or tri-lateral projects. University presidents and professors engaged in intensive talks with project principals: "This event is a great platform to exchange with other universities and departments and to develop new project ideas. I got a lot of new insights about how we can start a project and how we can overcome challenges”, commented one of the participants in the final discussion. Another discussant conceded: "The transformation process will no doubt take time, but we it will not succeed if we do not address the structural problems within the education and higher education system.”

Kick-off3

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Research Equipment Grant for Dr. Ahmed Ihab Abdelaziz from the GUC

Microscope

DAAD Cairo Office director Dr. Michael Harms has inspected a research microscope financed by the DAAD for Dr. Ahmed Ihab Abdelaziz from the Pharmaceutical Faculty at the German University in Cairo (GUC).

Dr. Ahmed Ihab Abdelaziz, who completed his doctorate as a DFG Scholar at the Charité in Germany, is currently a lecturer in the Pharmaceutical Faculty at the German University in Cairo. He is the director of a research group of 19 students and applied for DAAD financing for a research microscope that is useful for his research in molecular biology.

Dr. Harms met with him and his assistant Hend El Tayebi to see the delivered research microscope in action.

Dr. Abdelaziz explained that this microscope is important for him and his team for their research in the field of epigenetics – a research area that among other issues focuses on cancer and the immune system – as well as their research of kidney and liver cells.

The AXIO Observer A1 microscope – one of the leading microscopes worldwide – has the capacity to make living cells visible to the human eye and to transfer these images to a computer.

The inspection was followed by a tour through the various laboratories of the Pharmaceutical Faculty, during which Dr. Harms gained an interesting insight into the teaching and research work of the German University in Cairo, known for its exceptional achievements in the field of pharmacy.

The DAAD furthers the acquisition of equipments for research purposes through its "Sachmittelprogramm für Hochschulen in Entwicklungsländern”, with grants up to 20,000 EUR. Applications for these grants are open to scientists who have completed part of their studies or research activities at a German university.

Further information about this programme is available (in German) here: http://www.daad.de/entwicklung/studierende_und_alumni/sachmittel/08298.en.html

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DAAD as a Gold Sponsor at the Biovision 2012 in Alexandria, 22.-25. April

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BioVision is an international event organized by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in partnership with the World Life Sciences Forum that is held every other year in Alexandria, bringing together distinguished speakers and scientists from all over the world. The ultimate goal is to provide a platform for exchange of information and dialogue so as to explore the different ways in which life sciences can help meet the challenges facing us in the 21st century, focusing on three major themes: Health, Food and Agriculture, and Environment. This year’s conference was held under the theme "New Life Sciences: Linking Science to Society”.

As in previous years, the DAAD Cairo Office supported the Biovision as a Sponsor and participated in various ways in the different parts of the event, this year in cooperation with its partners in the German Science Centre which is being established at the DAAD Cairo office.

For the third time the organizer invited young researchers mainly from developing countries to the so called BiovisionNext, which aims to explore scientific innovation in the developing world and highlight its importance for sustainable development. Two young scientists and former DAAD scholership holders, Dr. Yasmin Aguib from TU München and Dr. Karim Fawzy from Cairo University participated through DAAD funding. They were granted the chance for intense networking and exchange of experiences with other young scientists and felt very much inspired by the event.

In the main event itself DAAD organized a special session, bringing together scientists from its partners in the German Center of Science at DAAD to discuss the topic "Partners in Research – Partners in Transformation: How can Life Sciences and International Cooperation in research Support the Transformation Process in Egypt”. After an introduction by Dr. Michael Harms, Director of the DAAD Cairo Office to the Transformationpartnership, two German scientists introduced examples of research that may be interesting for a future cooperation between the two countries. Professor Dr. Hannelore Daniel from TU München, who was also the key-note speaker in one of the main sessions, spoke about "Research Needs between Malnutrition and Overnutrition – the German Contribution”, while Dr. Mark Bücking from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft presented on "The Food Security Challenge – Contribution of Modern Food Chain Management to Food Security”. Professor Dr. Lamis Ragab from Cairo University, who is very active in research cooperation with German institutions, shared her experiences on "Global Cooperation and the Quality of Education and Research”. The session was closed by a motivating report from Professor Dr. Emad Flear Aziz from FU Berlin on his personal way "From DAAD scholarship to a professorship in Germany”. The well-visited session was very well received by the audience and was followed by many personal discussions between speakers and participants.

Throughout the whole event DAAD was present with an information booth at the Biofair, where hundreds of visitors used the chance to inform themselves about study and research opportunities in Germany and the various programmes of DAAD.  

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Opening of Nobel Laureates exhibition at DAAD

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On the occasion of the 'Deutschlandwochen', the DAAD in Cairo opened the exhibition ‘Nobel laureates in Portrait’ photographed by Peter Badge on Thursday 19 April.

On behalf of numerous respected institutions Peter Badge has been taking photographs of Nobel laureates since the year 2000. This long-term project comprises all living laureates and led the photographer to more than 300 Nobel laureates living all over the world. The result is an impressive kaleidoscope of people standing for a constant pursuit of excellence and innovation.

A selection of the compilation encompassing 26 German and Egyptian Nobel laureates is open for visitors till the 10 May.

Nobel Exhibition 2

The exhibition is part of a wider cooperation between the DAAD and the Council Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance.

The annual meetings take place since 1951 and offer young researchers from all over the world to meet Nobel laureates for discussions and seminars. This year’s meeting will be dedicated to physics, 31 Nobel laureates along with 550 young researchers are expected to come together in July at Lake Constance.

In the frame of the opening the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education and Research represented by Professor Dr. Abdel-Hamid Zoheiry and the Council Lindau Nobelprizewinners Meetings at Lake Constance represented by its Vice-President Professor Burkhard Fricke signed a new Memorandum of Understanding in order to ensure the future participation of young Egyptian researchers in the conference.  

This year the German Center of Science at the DAAD will fund the participation of two young physicians from Egypt. The two candidates were chosen through interviews among numerous applicants from all over Egypt.

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GERSS - Autumn Call 2011-2012

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The German Egyptian Research Short term Scholarship GERSS is a programme jointly funded by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR) and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, Bonn (DAAD) in order to finance short term scholarships for young Egyptian scientists to travel to Germany. The target groups of the programme are researchers enrolled in MSc, PhD programmes and young Post Doctoral candidates. The scholarships may be awarded for a period from three to six months.

Among the young scientists who applied for the scholarship in the Autumn Call 2011-12, fifteen candidates successfully passed the pre- and final selections and were by that qualified to be granted the GERSS scholarship in it 9th round.

There are two calls for application annually:

Spring Call: Electronic application forms can be filled out as of 15th of March till 30th of April.

Autumn Call: Electronic application forms can be filled out as of 1st of September till 15th of October.

• The online application form is available on the GERSS website: http://www.mhesr-initiatives.org/gerss/ as soon as the call starts.

• In order to apply for the GERSS scholarship, you have to register yourself on the GERSS website.

For inquiries, please contact Ms. Heba Afifi:

E-mail: gerss@daadcairo.org

Tel.: +20 2 2735 27 26 Ext. 119

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