CAIRO: Egyptian award-winning blogger Mahmoud Salem will receive an honorary degree on behalf of the Egyptian youth from the University of San Francisco on May 19 in recognition of the struggle of Egyptian youth during the January 25 Revolution that toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak.
“USF educates students to initiate positive change in the world and proudly honors the young men and women of Egypt who have done so,” University President Stephen A. Privett, S.J. said in a press statement.
“We hope that this award will be an inspiration and example for the entire university community. USF recognizes this use of technology to advance fundamental human rights in hopes that others may similarly employ technology to fashion a more humane and just world for all,” he added.
USF said that with “sheer determination coupled with the effective use of new technology and social media, the pro-democracy demonstrators prevailed. Egypt and its citizens stand witness to the power of nonviolent resistance.”
Salem is the author of the blog “Rantings of a Sandmonkey,” and has received more than 5.5 million unique views. Salem has more than 40,000 followers on Twitter.
“This is a very nice gesture, I am just wondering where we will place this degree,” Salem told Daily News Egypt.
USF Egyptian graduate Nour Ahmadein was asked to nominate a member of the Egyptian youth to receive the degree during USF’s School of Nursing graduation ceremony, and after extensive research, Ahmadein chose Salem.
“The dean of my university [USF] approached me and asked me to find an Egyptian candidate who is worthy of this year’s Honorary Degree. Usually the degree is conferred as a way of honoring a distinguished visitor’s contributions to a specific field, or to society in general,” Ahmadein told DNE.
“After much research and tons of emails, Mohamed Selim, a professor from the American University in Cairo, and I came to the conclusion that we should dedicate it to the youth of Egypt. We figured that because no one single person spearheaded this revolution, that it would be most empowering to dedicate it to all the youth who participated in the revolution,” he said.
“I have one statement to Egyptian youth: update your CVs, you have an honorary degree from the University of San Francisco,” Salem said.