<b>Lost in globalization</b> Education and the stranded Egyptian elite

Samia Mehrez

in Egypt's Culture Wars

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9789774163746
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970399 | DOI:
Lost in globalization Education and the stranded Egyptian elite

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In June 1999, in keeping with its twice-yearly tradition, the American University in Cairo (AUC) awarded Edward Said an honorary doctorate. On that occasion, Said delivered a commencement address that focused on the idea of a university to the very last class of the twentieth century. He dispelled the notion that liberal education is a European or western mode of study and reminded his audience that the principle of ijtihad, i.e. the central role of individual effort in study and interpretation, constituted the core of the Arab-Islamic culture. He proceeded to note the special status that every society assigns to the academy “whether it exempts it from intercourse with the everyday world or whether it involves it directly in that world”. The rest of this chapter looks at the changing faces of AUC in Egypt since its establishment in 1919.

Keywords: AUC; Edward Said; Arabic language; open economy; Egypt

Chapter.  7848 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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