My employer, Dickinson College, is a liberal arts college in rural Pennsylvania. It is also the hub of a global network.
The first person I went to see after arriving in Cairo was my former advisee, Anum Khan, who graduated from Dickinson in Middle East Studies and won a Fulbright to study at the American University Cairo and conduct research on women in Egypt. I recommend her blog.
One of Dickinson’s many study abroad partners is AMIDEAST, with whom I have worked in establishing study and internship opportunities for our students in Jordan and Morocco. I enjoyed visiting their Cairo office and spending time with country director Matthew Kuehl, whom I met at one of Dickinson’s regular study abroad fairs last year.
I have spent a couple of entertaining evenings with the poet Mohamed Metwally, an enthusiastic participant in Dickinson’s annual international poetry festival, Semana Poetica, last year.
As academic co-director of the Across Borders citizen exchange programme, I have been privileged to meet some very talented, driven young Egyptians determined to work to improve their country’s environment and society. They make me very hopeful.
And as I prepare to move on to Tunisia, a promising young journalist and student who is helping me with contacts and arrangements immediately recognized Dickinson as an institution with a strong reputation in global study, inviting me to meet officials at his own university to discuss possible future collaboration.
And so the network grows.