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American Today


Egyptian Ambassador Speaks at AU

By Mike Unger

Photo: Egyptian ambassador to the United States H.E. Sameh Shoukry.

Egyptian ambassador to the United States H.E. Sameh Shoukry answers a question during his presentation. (Photo: Jeff Watts)

Egypt’s ambassador to the United States, H.E. Sameh Shoukry, discussed his country’s historic year during a visit to American University on December 2.

Speaking to a crowd in the School of International Service’s Founders Room, Shoukry examined the revolution that removed longtime Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak from power in January and the elections held in November.

During a question and answer period, the ambassador addressed a wide array of questions from students in a frank and direct manner. Among the topics he touched on:

  • the impact of the revolution on Egypt’s economy
  • the future of women in the Egyptian political system
  • the treatment of journalists in the country
  • America’s role in the country’s future

“All of us on the outside have watched the events taking place in Egypt with great fascination,” SIS dean James Goldgeier said in introducing Shoukry. “We’ve greatly admired those who have pushed for a greater freedom in Egypt.”

The session was moderated by SIS professor Robert Pastor, codirector of SPA’s Center for Democracy and Election Management. He praised Shoukry for his candor in responding to questions from the audience.

“I think he has helped Americans understand better what’s going on in Egypt at a very confusing time,” Pastor said. “His answers, in my judgment, are always honest, candid, informed. He’s helped us to understand these issues.”

Brian Cleaver, SIS ’12, is planning to study abroad next semester in Cairo. He called Shoukry’s appearance “very educational.”

“You won’t get this opportunity at most colleges,” the international relations major said.