Cairo American University professor to offer insight on Egypt


Salah Arafa, a physics professor at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, will be in Brookings Friday, Aug. 19, for two different community presentations in the South Dakota Art Museum Alumni Auditorium. His visit comes through sponsorship of the South Dakota World Affairs Council. Both events are free and open to the public. Visitor parking is available in the parking lot directly west of the museum.

In his first talk at 12:05 p.m., titled “Egypt’s Revolution: Youth-Led Democracy,” Arafa will focus on recent events in Egypt giving his front-row seat perspective. He will describe his experiences with students in Tahrir Square and the political reactions that followed.

His second presentation at 1:30 p.m., “Sustainable Community Development: Basaisa Experiences,” will outline his award-winning efforts to create a sustainable, eco-friendly desert community in today’s environment.

Since 1974, Arafa has been working outside the academic environment assisting residents in the remote village of Basaisa to become an eco-friendly community for sustainable development. He has been called a community catalyst for his many-faceted program which, according to the AUC publication Today, includes “training sessions in agriculture, efficient use of natural resources, literacy, groups collaboration, creative thinking and community building.” Arafa is regarded as a pioneer in the field of rural community development in Egypt. For those efforts, he was selected “Man of the Year for Environment and Development” by the Society of Writers on Environment and Development, SWED, a non governmental organization based in Cairo. Recently, he was awarded the 2011 Medal of the Arab Union of Volunteering Works for Egypt.

Attendees will have an opportunity to meet Arafa during the intermission between his talks.

His visit to South Dakota State University comes on his way to the Midwest Region meeting of the National Council for International Visitors in Rapid City Aug. 23 to Aug. 26.

American University in Cairo was founded in 1919 by Americans with a goal to provide education and community service in the Middle East. It is the region’s premier English-language university. SDSU students have enrolled there and tour groups from the SDSU and the South Dakota Humanities Council have been welcomed for presentations by AUC faculty and administrators.

Additional information about

’s visit can be found by contacting Harriet Swedlund, executive director of South Dakota World Affairs Council, at 605-688-5416 or [email protected].