Wednesday, September 3, 2008
The New AUC Campus
I have just been informed that my classes (by the way I am a "fellow" at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad at the American University in Cairo (AUC)) will be starting a week late because the new campus in the middle of the desert which the university has decided to move to is not "ready." This is very disappointing because I am only here for 12 months and of course want to maximize my benefit from the program. I have been on vacation and am ready to start classes again and get back into a proper schedule. We had heard rumors that they had to overhaul the electrical system at the new campus because mice had chewed through the electrical lines, that the gym, library and other essential facilities will not be open until January of next year, and of course the busing system from areas of downtown Cairo to the new campus may turn out to be a mess. I am sorry to say that this whole thing may, at least in part, be telling of Egyptian planning and efficiency; even our professors have expressed their frustration. I do not want to judge unfairly, but if you look at this in the Egyptian context as a whole, it is unfortunately not surprising.