1. Could you please describe your academic/ professional career in a few words?
I studied pharmacy at Misr University for Science and Technology, and graduated in 2003. In 2004, I was recruited for a permanent position as researcher pharmacist at the National Center for Radiation Research and Technology (NCRRT), where I completed my Master thesis and then subsequently my PhD work. After completing my doctorate in 2009, I received my PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry from Cairo University in April 2010. After receiving my PhD, I moved temporarily to work as a Lecturer of pharmaceutical chemistry in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Egyptian Russian University (2010-2012). In 2012, I was selected for an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship and started to implement my collaborative research project in two institutes in Würzburg; the Institute of Pharmacy and Food Chemistry and the Institute for Molecular Infection Biology, as Humboldt fellow and a staff member of SFB 630 (2012-2015). In the beginning of 2016, I came back to my home institute, the NCRRT, and I moved again in November 2017 to work as a Lecturer of pharmaceutical chemistry in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Modern University for Technology and Information (till present). I have about 12 publish articles and 6 papers under publication. My academic interests are finding novel drugs against infectious diseases, with a particular focus on bacterial infections, and combining the tools of chemistry and biology to understand and control the biological processes of pathogenic microorganisms at the molecular level.
2. What do you find most fascinating about your home country?
I can find four things fascinating about my country:
1) Nature: Egypt has an amazing places which are recognized as of the most beautiful places in the world. Most of them are located in the Red Sea region. Tourists from everywhere in the world visit these places regularly. Some of these places are very famous, for example Dahab, Marsa Allam, Sharm El-Sheikh, Ras Mohamed, and others. Most of them are nature reserves.
2) Ancient Egypt: Egypt has more than one third of the monuments in the world. The monuments of the pharaohs, which are distributed over all the country, are more than impressive. The ancient Egypt has unbelievable number of scientific secrets. The research in Egyptology is now an important research field in several universities and research institutes worldwide to resolve these scientific secrets. Due to the unbelievable and the impressive facts about ancient Egypt, some people worship the pharaohs and it became a religion. These people believe that the pharaohs who built the ancient Egypt are not humans.
3) Different cultures in one country: The Egyptian population are very variable. In different regions in the country, you will find people with completely different traditions, dress, accent, color and even food. You will feel that you traveled to another country. Some of the Egyptians are highly educated and have a big scientific achievement and Nobel prize winners, and some of them are illiterates. Some cities are well built with the most recent techniques and accommodate very reach and classy population, and some cities are very primitive and very poor people live there. In Egypt, you can find everything and the opposite of it.
3. Do you have any experience regarding a scientific or economic exchange between your home country and countries of the European Union?
Yes, I am very interested in the scientific exchange between Egypt and Germany, not only in my field but also in all fields of natural and human sciences. Here are some of my activities after my return from Germany in December 2015;
1) In February 2017, I was funded from the AvH foundation to organize the conference German-Egyptian Network for Innovation and Development (GENID). It was my idea and I was the organizer and the chairman of the conference. It was a big conference and discussed five research topics, infectious diseases, solar energy, radiation research, natural products and Egyptology. German researchers from 3 universities in Germany participated as keynote speakers in the conference. Representatives from the German Embassy in Egypt and the Egyptian Embassy in Berlin attended the conference, in addition to the Minister of Higher Education and the president of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) in Egypt. About 60 postdocs and 40 Humboldt alumni from 50 different research institutes in Egypt attended the event.
Please check this short clip, it is only 4 min video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WhGQchHGMM
Due to the success of the first GENID conference, I will repeat it next year in October. Representatives of the United Nations and all the German organizations in Egypt (DAAD, Alumniportal Deutschland, Geothe Institute, GIZ, Fraunhofer, ....etc) will participate. I have submitted a pre-proposal to the AvH foundation and it was accepted.
This is our Facebook page of GENID (https://www.facebook.com/genid.org/), which publish regularly any news about the funded scientific exchange opportunities between Egypt and Germany. I have designed a logo for GENID.
2) I am a member of the Clusters of Scientific Innovation in the Middle East and North Africa (COSIMENA), health cluster. COSIMENA was launched by DAAD Cairo. We have an upcoming event at the premises of the DAAD Office Cairo, on 25-26 June 2018.
3) I presented the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (distributing the brochures and answer the questions of the attendees in the booth of the AvH foundation) four times:
· The German Science Day, DAAD Cairo Office, Cairo, Egypt, 28.05.2016
· The German Science Day, Conrad Hotel, Cairo, Egypt, 17.07.2017
· The Career Fair Trained in Germany Egypt 2017, InterContinental Cairo Semiramis, Cairo, Egypt, 16.10.2017
· German Science Night, DAAD Cairo Office, Cairo, Egypt, 24.05.2018
· We have an upcoming German Since day, on 18.07.2018
4) I have submitted an application for a research grant (co-funded by the EU and the ASRT in Egypt). The collaborators are from Wurzburg in Germany, Poland and France. The Pre-Proposal was accepted and the full application is under review now.
There are several other activities, but the e-mail will be too long. :) If you would like, I can send to you my detailed CV.
4. What do you think about the importance of Alumni in terms of the cultural, academic and economic exchange?
I think this is a very important question!!
The alumni have a very important role to act as a link between the two countries after their return to their home country. This will keep the sustainability of the cultural, academic and economic exchange. For example, an alumnus can 1) keep the scientific cooperation by publishing research work in cooperation with her/his former host institute in Germany, 2) invite German researchers to come to Egypt to participate in events, 3) nominate and encourage young generations to move to Germany, 4) publish and present information about her/his experiences in Germany and cooperation opportunities and so on.
For example, on personal level, I have invited three German professors to Egypt and it was the first time for two of them to visit Egypt. Another example, I connected one of my students with a German researcher in Wuerzburg and he was successful to get a GSLS scholarship as a PhD student in IMIB. Also, I connected my younger brother with another German colleague in IMIB and he is employed now at the university of Wuerzburg as a Bioinformatician (http://www.presse.uni-wuerzburg.de/aktuell/einblick/single/news/zur-quelle-des-wissens/).
I mean, alumni are able to keep and promote the cultural, academic and economic exchange through different possible activities.