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I am David - the latest fellow to join CILAS in 2013. I have given the newsletter a fresh face, and called it 'Borg El Hamam', which translates to 'pigeon tower'. Pigeon towers are integral to Middle Eastern rural life. Like a pigeon tower, CILAS is home to people from different walks of life. Indeed, when approaching CILAS, one can discern the enthusiastic chirping and chattering of birds!

Feel free to drop me a line about the newsletter's revamp at: 

Looking forward to keeping you posted,

Director's Note

Dear friends of CILAS,

Egypt continues to endure troubling times. Despite recurring eruptions and perpetual political uncertainty, we decided to take the last step towards setting up CILAS. On August 24th, we inaugurated CILAS. Forty attendees, an inaugural speech, classical music and Mexican food contributed to a well-rounded and joyful opening. Attendees included both supporters and students of CILAS. The inaugural speech emphasised the pressing need for a paradigm shift in education towards a liberal arts educational model that does not fail to study and engage with the social and natural realities of the 21st century.

With best wishes,

Karim Goessinger
Programme Director

Beginning of Academic Year 2013-2014

September 1st marked the beginning of CILAS' pilot year. CILAS is a preparatory liberal arts college. It offers a yearlong bridge programme that seeks to impart the skills and knowledge to critically study and engage with an increasingly complex world. In our first trimester we teach a core curriculum that provides students with basic pragmatics and an intellectual foundation.

CILAS is proud to announce that 12 students formally enrolled. Three are high school graduates, and nine have obtained Bachelor's degrees. With an equal number of girls and guys, our student body is gender diverse. As to accommodate to professional commitments, CILAS offers a flexible program wherein students are divided into a morning and evening class.

Window onto CILAS : Introducing our Students Marwa and Abraham!

Who are you and where are you from?
"I am Abraham Eyasu Liben. I am Ethiopian, and also a member of the Oromo tribe"

What do you hope to get out of your CILAS experience?
"I hope to improve my English, so that I can help other refugees with their UNHCR refugee application and testimonies, as well as helping myself further in education"

Where and what are you doing one year from now? 

"Hopefully I will be living in Mohandiseen, around Mit Oqba (Cairo). I will be helping refugees, have recognised refugee status myself,and be part of a resettlement program"

Who are you and where are you from?
"I am Marwa, from Cairo. I am a street photographer, and interested in art and culture"

What do you hope to get out of your CILAS experience?
"I hope that CILAS will aid me in my quest for self exploration, and that it will help me create some sort of a clear path in what I want to do next"

Where and what are you doing one year from now?

"Well thats hard to answer!

Probably doing a master degree in street photography or urban culture, and probably in London"


Public Events in September

Past month we've had a number of interesting talks and workshops. Our first public talk featured Nawal Hassan on the Center of Egyptian Civilisation Studies. In our second event Abdul Hay Lammert Holdijk spoke about the idea of self-discovery. We also had the pleasure of having Aisha Saad talk to us about the notion of the social contract in the age or corporations. Sarah Lynch provided us with a workshop shedding light on the practical know-how and ethics in journalism. Mansour Kelada-Antoun provided a workshop on principles of finance in development contexts.

CILAS will continue to provide public lectures about interesting topics, developing itself as a hub for the exchange of ideas and well informed debate in Cairo. Stay tuned!

Raising the Profile
In September Karim and Alexandra respectively attended talks in Maastricht and London. Karim was invited by University College Maastricht (UCM) to speak about CILAS as part of the ‘Meet the Future’ event. In London, Alexandra presented CILAS at the United World College Day. 
CILAS is a registered non-profit and relies on private contributions to its budget. Please click the 'Support Us!' tab below if you wish to make a much appreciated contribution. More information? Drop a line!
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