CAIRO: In an emotional weekend packed with celebrations, students, faculty and staff at the American University in Cairo (AUC) said their final goodbyes to the Downtown campus ahead of the university’s relocation this summer.
The school of Business, Economics and Communication at AUC hosted an event, under the title “Bye Bye Greek Campus on Friday May 9 inviting faculty, staff and alumni.
“People are very emotional about this campus and even cry when they talk about the move so I thought we should do something for these people and honor this campus, said Dennis O Conner, dean of the School of Business, Economics and Communications.
The dean assigned a student committee, headed by Journalism and Mass Communications Professor Sherine Fahmy, to organize the event.
I m really honored to be organizing this event as a tribute to this campus since I m an AUC graduate, said Fahmy. It was also very hard because we wanted it to be perfect for the guests since the campus meant a lot to them.
“We wanted it to be the perfect farewell.
The entertainment of the evening was also provided by the AUC community.
The AUC Folklore Group and Mass Communications Professor Rasha Abdalla, an alumnus herself, and her band Sunshine gave spectacular musical and dance performances.
The highlight of the evening was a documentary featuring professors, students and alumni talking about their memories, favorite spots and activities on campus.
The following day, May 10, the university’s Student Union organized “Bye Bye Old Campus for all undergraduate and graduate students and alumni.
The event kicked off with a talent show followed by an Arabic play titled “A Thief for the First Time. A talk show featuring Osama Saraya, editor-in-chief of Al Ahram, and AUC alumnus Omar Samra, the first Egyptian to climb Mt. Everest, proceeded. The event closed off with a documentary about the evolution of the campus since its construction in 1919.
“Saying goodbye to a place where you made some of your greatest memories is very sad, for me this campus has been my second home for the past four years, I made a lot of friends here, said Amanie Hashim, journalism and mass communications senior.
The Downtown campus proved to hold a special place in people s hearts, even those who left it more than 20 years ago. “I would like to thank the university for giving us an opportunity to come and say goodbye to this campus, I still can t believe that I won t be able to come back and visit, said Maha Ahmed, from the class of 1987.
Classes are scheduled to start at the new campus in Katameya this September. The Main Campus overlooking Tahrir Square will be kept to host public events, seminars, an art gallery and the AUC bookstore. The Falaki Campus will be kept for the adult and continuing education courses. However, the Greek Campus will be auctioned off.
I hope that whoever takes this campus will love it and honor it the way we did, said Mervat Abou Oaf, journalism and mass communications professor.