The American University in Cairo (AUC) has kicked off its week-long celebrations to mark the beginning of its second century under the slogan ‘Be the Future.’
The programme got underway Saturday with an on-campus community carnival packed with activities, food and fun games. Entry was free for all community members, their families and friends.
The activities included musical performances by an array of AUC bands and singers, a virtual reality exhibition, a runway show on the evolution of fashion over the past century, an international food exhibition, carnival games, kids’ activities and an AUC centennial gift shop.
The celebrations also involved a hub exploring scientific innovations that could impact education over the next century.
“Sci-Tech Hub reflects the AUC’s vision for the next 100 years and what education will look like," Associate Provost for Research, Innovation and Creativity Alaa-Eldin Adris explained,.
Innovations include bioinformatics, which combines biology, computer science, information engineering, mathematics and statistics to analyse and interpret biological data, as well as integrated genomics, which is concerned with mapping the genome.
Also on display were new techniques for high-resolution scanning of monuments and archaeological sites.
The runway show ‘100 Years of Fashion Evolution’ saw AUC designers go back 100 years to showcase the evolution of fashion, show director Ghadir Alagabany said.
“We started from the 1920s and 30s, all the way up to 2000. Then, [we] moved forward to the future era," she said.
The designers who created the pieces for the show are alumni Hebatallah Ghobashi, Dina El-Missiry, Nihal Abdel-Akher, Farida Temraz, Donia Ashry, Yossra Hamouda, Farah Wagdy, Jumana Tawfik and Hisham El-Samahy, as well as student Farida Kortam.
The show has brought together a line-up of professional fashion designers, alongside undergraduate students, who flaunted genuine talent and great creativity, Alagabany said.
“This show has presented an intriguing mix of designers, with some who graduated from the AUC 20 years ago and other younger designers who are fresh graduates,” Alagabany added.
AUC student Shaimaa Atef said she "enjoyed my first time attending centennial celebrations", while Graduate Yasmine Mostafa said “the whole atmosphere was very pleasant and warm."
The international food exhibition brought together cuisines from all around the globe, reflecting the AUC’s global community of various cultures from around the world.
Around 60 AUC Student Union members organised the international food festival, Vice president of the AUC’s Student Union Salma Ihab said. Some 50 restaurants based in Egypt serving different cuisines took part, she added.
Food vendors were available from the morning till the end of the day, with food competitions held throughout the day, including a pizza eating contest. "We are holding different food competitions throughout the week," Ihab said.
Trevor Naylor, assistant director of sales and marketing at the centennial gift shop at AUC Press, said a book titled ‘100 Years, 100 Stories’ by author Andrew Humphreys was available for sale for the first time Saturday, alongside a selection of merchandises carrying the centennial logo.
On Monday, the AUC will hold a conference and exhibition about the future of design. Guests and speakers at the conference include dean of the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation Hani Asfour, director of Amman Design Week Rana Beiruti, founding director of the Khatt Foundation Huda Abi Fares, and founder and creative director of Fikra Graphic Design Biennial Salem Al-Qassimi.
The conference will be held at the Malak Gabr theatre, and the design exhibition runs from 17 February till 5 March at the Sharjah Art gallery in the New Cairo Campus.
Speakers will share their visions on the future of design and introduce creative solutions to solve key challenges, Director of the Graphic Design programme at AUC Ghalia El-Srakbi said.