The American University in Cairo (AUC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Cairo governorate to collaborate on urban development initiatives in the Egyptian capital, where AUC established and maintains a campus in historic Tahrir Square. According to the terms of the MOU, AUC and the governorate will establish a workshop and invite international experts to share expertise and experience in relevant areas and provide suggestions for the implementation of development and revitalization programs in Cairo. The experts will include American urban development specialists who contributed to similar projects such as the revitalization of New York’s Times Square.
The agreement also ensures that AUC will provide communications and community outreach support to establish support in among Cairenes, and to stimulate the participation of the private sector.
In addition, AUC will explore opportunities to develop Tahrir Square as part of a cultural revitalization program that will be a component of a comprehensive development program. There will be regular meetings between the representatives of both parties to identify priority issues, and to determine the extent and means of cooperation for the parties involved.
The MOU was signed by Lisa Anderson, president of AUC, and Abdel AzeemWazeer, governor of Cairo, in the presence of AmrSalama, AUC counselor, MedhatHaroun, AUC provost and NabilFahmy, dean of AUC’s School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
In his speech in the signing ceremony, Wazeer said that the governorate began an ambitious plan five years ago to preserve the unique urban heritage of the oldest part of Cairo, Khedieval Cairo. “In order to contribute to our efforts, AUC offered to provide us with technical support, administrative service, and the needed expertise to go ahead with our development plans,” he said, adding that this is a practical example of the university’s contribution to the local community.
“I am very pleased that AUC is able to contribute to sustaining Cairo’s downtown and to contribute to the vitality of the community we are living in,” said AUC President Lisa Anderson, who noted that AUC has been a dynamic part of the Cairo community for more than 90 years “We need to work as a catalyst and attract other institutions to follow our trend,” Anderson added.
AUC counselor AmrSalama said that the revitalization of Tahrir Square will be the first phase of this cooperation between AUC and the Cairo governorate. “We are situated in this area and the Cairo governorate is exerting a significant effort to preserve and develop it,” he said. “AUC felt that it is its duty to participate in such an effort through the contribution of its expertise or through summoning international specialists in the field, “ he said. “Participation in the development of society is one of the main roles of the world’s universities, and it is time now for universities in Egypt to follow this trend.”