About the Author: Josh Goldberg is the Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt.
Science Envoy and Nobel Laureate Dr. Ahmed Zewail concluded his second official trip to Egypt with a visit to the northern city of Alexandria on February 15. The main theme of his visit was education, and Dr. Zewail met with a group of more than 350 students and teachers to discuss ways to implement reform in the country's school system.
A graduate of both Egypt's public schools and the University of Alexandria, Dr. Zewail spoke briefly about the value of knowledge, science and technology for development. Following his speech, he moderated a 90-minute discussion that largely focused on teacher and student concerns with the Egyptian education system and local and international solutions.
Dr. Zewail's second Envoy trip generated even more enthusiasm and media coverage than his first visit, which took place in mid-January. Tens of millions of people watched a four hour interview on Egypt's most popular television channel, on which Dr. Zewail spoke about Egypt's need for comprehensive education reform. Throughout subsequent meetings, people repeatedly told Dr. Zewail that they watched the entire program and were eager to help him.
In the wake of Dr. Zewail's two trips to Egypt, excitement about science, technology, and education ideas has risen to a level that recalls the enthusiasm for President Obama's June 2009 speech in Cairo. We look forward to working with Dr. Zewail to ensure that these ideas remain a core part of our relationship with Egyptian civil society, academic, government and business leaders.
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