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JRMC 2202 Interview Assignment

Interview Transcript

Interviewer: Gloria Botros


Interviewee: Sulaf Taha
Date: 16/10/2014
Place: P024 Office of Leadership Scholarships
Campus Center
American University in Cairo (AUC), New Cairo Campus
Cairo, Egypt
Professor: Kim Fox

Gloria Botros

Sulaf Taha Interview

Persons present: Gloria Botros I


Sulaf Taha S

Botors:

Ok hi. Can you please state you name, title, place of residency and age range.

Taha:

My name is Sulaf Taha, I am the assistant director for the LEAD MEPT
programs and I also manage a number of other scholarships funded by AUC
like Empower and umm other scholarships umm sponsored by Masr El Kheir
and Orascom Construction Industries. My age range is late 30s and I do live
in New Cairo.

Botros:

Ok thank you. I read on the official website that AUC offers students in Upper
Egypt full scholarships. Can you tell us a bit more about it?

Taha:

Ehh well, AUC does offer a range of scholarships with this regard so we have
LEAD for example thats the one thats most known. It did offer scholarships
to students from various Egyptian governorates including Upper Egypt. But
we also lately have scholarships that only focus on Upper Egypt like
Empower and Orascom Construction Industries and MEK, which is
sponsored by Masr El Kheir.

Botros:

What governorates in Egypt exactly?

Taha:

We focus on five main governorates like Minya, Beni Suef, Faiyum, umm
umm Sohag umm and Asyut. And for Orascom we did also include Luxor and
Aswan.

Botros:

Ok. What are the criteria that these students have to meet in order to get
accepted and get the scholarship?

Taha:

Well these scholarships are all merit based in the sense that students have to
have demonstrated high academic potential but they are also needs based so
these students should come from disadvantaged backgrounds and shouldnt
be able to offered to study at AUC on their own but most importantly whats
unique about all these scholarships is the leadership component. All these
scholarships aim to empower umm umm these students to become change
agents in their communities.

Botros:

Ok. Umm what benefits do these students get from these scholarships?

Gloria Botros
Taha:

Sulaf Taha Interview

Benefits vary from one scholarship to another but umm for sure they all
include tuition and book umm and other fees. For the LEAD scholarship is a
totally full scholarship including housing and stipend umm books and umm
travel and even opportunity to travel on a semester abroad umm and for
other scholarships its mainly housing stipend umm and tuition.

Botros:

Ok. Based on your professional opinion and experience, do these students


adapt to living in Egypt easily or do they have a hard time adapting to the
different environment from where they came from?

Taha:

Well students face lots of challenges adapting to the different environment


here in Cairo specially in the beginning because in addition to the culture
shock of living in a totally different communities, staying away from their
own parents umm umm homesickness and also adapting to the American
system because these students mainly come from Thanaweya Amma schools.

Botros:
Taha:

Hmm
So theyre not at all familiar with the American system. Umm so they do have
the support of our office and the Student Life coordinators and the support
of other offices in AUC like the office of Student Support umm but then
because they are carefully and selectively chosen, they do have great
leadership potential and they manage to overcome these challenges by the
time they graduate they are totally mingled into the AUC community.

Botros:

And does the AUC offer them job opportunities or isnt this included?

Taha:

Well our students umm benefit from the services offered by the CAPS office
like to the all AUCians and since they are having engaged in extracurricular
activities and voluntary opportunities usually they stand a very good chance
in competing in the market and like 70 percent of our students are already
employed after 1 year of graduation in addition to other who are drafted into
the army and things of those sort.

Botros:

Ok and umm and do they get good grades like is their GPA high or do they
have a hard time like adjusting to the American system?

Taha:

Well 65 percent thats the latest percentage for these students for example
65 percent have a GPA of 3 plus.

Botros:

Hmm.

Gloria Botros
Taha:

Sulaf Taha Interview

And we do have many of our students receive high honors and highest
honors. We do have some students that face academic challenges but again
with the support of their coordinators and the office student support and
mentoring they manage to overcome their obstacles. Of course there are
some who cannot manage but these are the like

Botros:

Minority

Taha:

Minority.

Botros:

Ok and when they go out to do a semester abroad do they have a hard time
or is it fun for them to go?

Taha:

Well definitely its a life changing experience for anybody and its even more
for them but since theyve already adapted here in Cairo and they overcome
their homesickness so theyre a little bit more prepared in this regard to the
change they will be witnessing but most of them really have good time some
of them umm suffer as a result because theyre in Egypt extremely high
performers sometimes when they go abroad and see the different academic
standards theyre a bit like surprised to find that maybe theyre not that high
performers as they thought they were but generally speaking the experience
have been very fruitful for almost like 99 percent of our students.

Botros:

Thats great. Thank you for your time. Thank you very much.