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Tag: Liberal arts education

To curb extremism Egypt must revamp university curricula

Published in Ahram Online on October 27, 2012 Considering the notable number of Egyptian extremists who have medical and engineering degrees, a critical examination of Egypt’s education system and myopic approach to learning is necessary In 1980, Saadeddin Ibrahim published in English an analysis of the social background of two pioneer political Islam groups in Egypt. After acquiring the necessary security passes, Ibrahim made prison visits to talk with members of the Military Technical College and El-Rl-Takfeer wa El-Hijra (Excommunication and Flight) groups who were jailed after carrying out violent attacks that killed dozens, such as seizing the Military Technical…

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Egypt’s students should play politics

Published in Egypt Independent on March 12, 2012 When I worked as an assistant professor in the department for Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, I often represented my department at the large freshmen fair which was organized at the beginning of each academic year to welcome new students and to walk them through the different departments, disciplines and activities available on campus. What really amazed me at this annual fair was the large number of student clubs and organizations, which reflected an extremely rich and diversified student life. These clubs did not have only artistic, cultural or social goals,…

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The production of knowledge

Published in Egypt Independent on March 6, 2012 During my student years at the American University in Cairo (AUC) in the early 1980s I used to work as an employee at the university library. This was by far one of the most enjoyable jobs I have ever had. On Saturdays, when no classes were held, but when the library itself was open, I used to be the supervisor of the whole library, and in this capacity, I would come at ten in the morning and leave at eight at night. Like many quirky librarians (I suspect), I would spend these…

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