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We are proud to bring you stories about CAC giving back to the community, student success, faculty innovations, and alumni making a difference in the world.  Read, share, and help get the word out about our accomplished community.
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  • 02/06/2018 2:12 PM | Yara Youssef (Administrator)

    CAC Middle School (MS) is always committed to host every year three Maker Day events. The objective of this initiative is to expand on and complement the strong design technology culture among the MS students. Maker Education or Maker Movement was initially originated in the US, and it focuses on enhancing the students’ thinking and problem-solving skills through encouraging them to develop creative ideas, collaborate with other students and engage in hands-on making experiences.  

    On CAC Maker Days, regular classes are replaced by a wide variety of makerspaces and workshops for the students, each of which is equipped with different materials and tools for them to bring their ideas into reality. The students are asked during the day to come up with pieces applying the design cycle that helps them do their work by following certain steps (create, evaluate, investigate and design). Usually, students always participate with great enthusiasm and they produce a wide range of creative, interesting and useful products.  

    Various kind of activities and workshops were offered for the students on this Maker Day including sessions for recycled sports, custom scarves, cardboard Arcade, top chef, 3-person puppets, rubbish instrument rock-out , pin buttons making, rockets, string constructions, cake decorating, laser cut designs and toy making. At the end of the day, students have the opportunity to share with their colleagues their work, reflections about their products, and what they would do differently if they could do it all over again.

    It is worth mentioning that Mr. Elhamy Naguib, parent of former CAC alumnus hosted one of the Maker Day workshops. "I had a great time working with these bright young minds. I was planning to use only hand tools but their positive attitude helped me in deciding to also use machines. They were careful and considerate of each other, which encouraged me to ask the fast kids to help the slower ones. Some of the kids insisted on coloring the xylophones and I let them because it made them happier. I am pleased with the division of work. Looking forward for the next session of Maker Day. Thank you.". Mr. Elhamy Naguib is an internationally renowned artist that has travelled the world learning and teaching art and creative thinking to children and adults. To honor his late wife (an alumni teacher from 1975 to 1987), he provided a mosaic art piece "Paradise Before Sin" that is placed at the theatre entrance. 


  • 01/03/2018 12:20 PM | Yara Youssef (Administrator)

    Aligned with CAC’s Strategic Plan, the Middle School (MS) at Cairo American College has adopted a service learning program for all students; this service learning program was successfully launched in 2004. The MS works to provide a well-rounded educational program which focuses on CAC Core Values, and providing an academic program that challenges its students to learn and give back to the community. The program offers two models, one is compulsory and the other one is an elective model.  

    Sixth graders at CAC take a mini course in Community Service as part of their required ‘Wheel’ of courses. The Wheel exposes them to subjects they can later choose as electives. The Service portion of the Wheel lasts for six weeks for each group of students, a group of sixth graders are enrolled in it at all times during the year. This model aims to pave the way for students to learn and develop through organized service learning programs in the local community. The course provides students with structured time in which to plan and reflect on their service experiences. The objective of this program is to increase their knowledge and understanding of Egyptian society as well as developing their sense of social responsibility and efficacy. 

    Through their Service course, CAC sixth graders have conducted visits to “Awlady Orphanage” in Maadi. The visits enable them to practice an effective and successful service experience. During the visit, CAC students led two activities with the children, in which they had  the opportunity to build engagement strategies and enrichment services with the orphans.  The visit was followed by a reflection session in the classroom during which the CAC students examined what they have learned and the obstacles they encountered, so they come up with strategies for overcoming these challenges during their next visit.

    In grades seven and eight, CAC Middle Schoolers can elect to take a course called “The Power of One.” This course provides various service learning opportunities, empowering the students to make meaningful contributions to their community and to the world more broadly. The students participate in organized activities which help them become proactive citizens and allow them to experience the value of reaching out to those in need. They are guided through this specific model to become responsible global citizens and and to make a positive difference in the lives of others.  

    It is worth mentioning that all of this is lining up with the strategic vision and the mission statement of the CAC.


  • 06/12/2017 1:10 PM | Byron Skaggs (Administrator)

    June 2017

    Dear CAC Community,

    As a part of the CAC community, both alumni and current parents, the Alumni and Community Engagement (ACE) Office is pleased to compile and provide the 2016-17 CAC Annual Report to you (see link below). To our knowledge, this is the first all-school annual report since 1992. 

    A quick note of thanks as I want to personally thank Salma Adly, parent extraordinaire, for stepping in and managing the project to completion on short notice. And our thanks to the team at Ink Tank Communications including owners and CAC parents, Hadia Mostafa and Patrick FitzPatrick, for writing support, graphic design assistance and layout.

    You'll notice a subtle recurring theme in the report of "Opportunities and Challenges". The ACE Office experienced those this year as well. We said goodbye to both Sarah Shalash and Katie Patterson this spring. I am grateful for their efforts and role in building the ACE Office. 

    We welcome Engy Rabie to the role of Alumni Relations and Stewardship Officer. Engy grew up in Austin, TX and most recently worked at a well-known Egyptian charity to support children with cancer uniquely named after its special Egyptian hotline number: 57357.

    Regarding other opportunities and challenges, I resigned from leading the ACE Office and will complete my CAC contract this month. It has been my pleasure to serve the CAC community and lead the re-creation of the Alumni and Community Engagement Office (formerly Development and Alumni Relations Office). It has been my privilege to create and grow the active alumni base, reinvigorate alumni interest in CAC, manage a successful 70th Anniversary celebration, design and implement formal processes for development and fundraising, introduce the interconnected role of school communications and community story-telling as well as re-structure and liase with the CAC Foundation. The benefits of these efforts will only continue to strengthen the reputation and status of Cairo American College.

    I am grateful for this time with CAC as it allowed me to give back to the very school that has made a huge impact on my life. As I start a business consulting firm in Cairo, CAC's impact to the community will carry on as my company will seek to foster Egyptian and regional business growth. And I look forward to continuing my financial support of CAC, volunteering when possible and attending events as an alumnus, parent of alumni and former employee.


    Please consider joining me in support of CAC for the future that includes academic excellence, world-class campus facilities and a thriving and unique community for current student families as well as our global alumni.

    Yalla! Let's go Eagles!

    Warm regards,

    Byron Skaggs, '90
    Alumni and Community Engagement Office
    Cairo American College

    2016-2017 
    Annual Report

    Click here to view report

    Take Your Seat Campaign
    Continues Into Summer

    School is out for the summer, but your continued support for CAC's theatre improvements and performing arts programs is needed.

    Personalize your message on a seat for 15 years by sponsoring the purchase of one (or more) or the 521 theatre seats. 

    You may be asking yourself, "What do I write on a personalized nameplate?" Consider ideas like paying tribute to a former CAC faculty member, honor a son or daughter, or celebrate a special CAC memory or event.

    Easy payment options available!
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    Many CAC alumni receive emails from us but are not "members" of the alumni website.

    If you are an alumni of CAC, become a member of the alumni website and update your profile information. Benefits include access to the growing library of digitized yearbooks and the alumni directory of other classmates, former faculty and parents of alumni. An online business directory for CAC alumni and community businesses is set to launch soon.

    Click here to join or update profile

  • 04/11/2017 10:11 AM | Anonymous



    Nora Shawki ‘08 discovered her passion for Egyptology two weeks after arriving at CAC in third grade. “We had to take an Egypt culture class, and my teacher Jailan Abbas showed us a movie reenactment of Howard Carter discovering King Tut’s tomb.” She explained, “it was one of the first times I saw anything that had to do with Egyptology, and this class made me more interested in my own heritage. When I saw that movie I thought, ‘this is what I want to do.’”

    Shawki maintained her passion for Egyptology, and after graduating from CAC at the Great Pyramids of Giza, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in archaeology from the SOAS University of London and a master’s from Durham University in the UK. Recently, she returned to Egypt to pursue a PhD in Egyptian archaeology at Cairo University in partnership with Durham University.

    For her PhD research, Shawki is focusing on settlement archaeology, a relatively new subfield. “I focus on regular people and what they were doing and where they were living. I use material culture from royal, religious, and regular people to understand the impact of royal policy on Egyptians who lived during the Late Period,” she explained.

    She has chosen to focus on the Nile Delta in particular because the wet environment and expansion of modern settlements threaten to destroy the remains of ancient settlements. “Studying the Delta is a race against time. It’s more motivating to hurry and link all of the sites before we lose them because once they’re lost, they’re really lost forever.”

    In 2015, Shawki received the prestigious Young Explorers Grant from National Geographic, which provided her with the funding needed to lead her own excavation of Tell Zuwelen, a site in Sharqiya Governorate. This settlement was a satellite of Tanis, a major religious, economic, and cultural center in ancient Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Late Period. Many people know Tanis, though, as the ancient city uncovered in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    Shawki is both excited and nervous to lead her first dig, which will hopefully begin in October, after she receives official permits from the Ministry of Antiquities. She explained, “I prefer the actual archaeology part of my work, getting in the dirt and digging. You have to be passionate about it because you encounter a lot of obstacles on excavations.”

    In addition to managing a team, ensuring the security of the site, and coordinating publication of any findings, one of the most significant challenges Shawki anticipates is engaging the local community in understanding and caring about her work. “You have to create a good relationship with the site so you can keep coming back every year and it turns into a type of community archaeology. The site is related to [the local people’s] heritage, and if they feel a connection and start to care, they’re going to want to help you.”

    Despite the challenges, Shawki loves the day-to-day of her work. “You’re constantly finding artifacts, whether it’s a bead or anything. It’s history that you’re literally holding in your hands, and you’re the one who’s going to interpret it. Your job is to catalogue, research, and document everything properly so other academics can help you with the research, and we can all figure it out together. It’s really a collective effort in understanding our heritage on a larger scale.”

    While Shawki has studied at many world-class institutions since leaving CAC, she appreciates the impact of her experience at the school. “My education at CAC inspired me to do what I do today. It motivated me. I can’t say I would have had that opportunity at any other institution in Egypt because I know schools don’t focus on Egyptian culture or heritage in depth. My end goal [in life] is to come back and be the Egypt culture teacher at CAC.” Shawki has many goals to accomplish as an archaeologist before making this dream a reality. However, she hopes to engage CAC students in her current research by having them visit and learn about the site in fall 2017.

  • 03/28/2017 2:44 PM | Anonymous


    Visitors passing by room 42 in the CAC Elementary School in the next few days will notice something a bit out of the ordinary: 10 baby chicks happily hopping around in a wooden cage. For 21 days, CAC Kindergarten students diligently monitored, turned, and cared for an incubator full of eggs as part of an annual science unit on the life cycle of animals.


    Kindergarten teacher Ana Chavez explained how the lessons are organized to help students direct their own learning process. “It’s an inquiry-based unit. Students begin by saying what they know about animals to start making connections. A lot of conversations happen in small groups, and later on we introduce the science project.”

    The family farm of a teacher in CAC Middle School provides the eggs each year. Once the eggs are delivered to campus, students have a few weeks to wait for the chicks to hatch.


    Chavez explained, “they make predictions about what is going to happen and learn where the eggs come from and about the hatching process.” Students read this information to one another in class and are encouraged to discover new information on their own by reading nonfiction books about the egg-hatching process.


    Caring for the eggs also helps students to develop a better understanding of the CAC Core Value of responsibility. Students ensure that the future chicks have what they need to survive by monitoring the incubator and turning the eggs regularly. “It’s their responsibility to take care of the eggs, and it’s a lot of work” Chavez explained. Having this responsibility helps students learn, though, and keeps them engaged while they wait.


    This year, the chicks hatched over a long weekend; when students came into class on Monday, they excitedly crowded around to see the peeping products of their hard work. After a few more weeks in which students will learn to care for the chicks outside of the eggs, the babies will be returned to the farm.


    Chavez also reflected on the ways that this experiential unit enhanced students understanding of animals’ life cycles. The unit allows students to “make more of a connection between the content they’re learning and real life. Having an experiment where they can see and touch and take care of the eggs creates a more meaningful experience for them.”
  • 03/15/2017 11:13 AM | Anonymous


    CAC emphasizes holistic student development by teaching social and emotional literacy in the classroom. One way we do this is by integrating discussions of the CAC Core Values into lessons and activities. When elementary principal Julie Jackson-Jin came to CAC in 2012, she brought with her another unique teaching tool called Circle Solutions for Student Wellbeing.

    Developed by psychologist and educator Sue Roffey, Circles is a method for fostering relationship-building skills in the classroom. This year, CAC Elementary invested in the longevity of the program by having school counselor Dana Purpura and teachers Bonnie Greene, Trillian Clifford, and LeeAnn Kasel trained as Circles facilitators. The group then led a training for all other elementary teachers.

    Clifford explained how a Circles session works: “It’s kind of like a meeting time where we all come together in a circle and all students and adults participate. There’s a greeting, we mix up and sit in different places, and there’s always a fun game we play together to get to know each other.”

    Not every Circles session is the same, though, and teachers can change up the game and discussion to address different aspects of building relationships. Oftentimes teachers lead Circles sessions focused on CAC Core Values. One of Clifford’s favorite exercises is based on the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. She explained, “the idea is that everyone has this imaginary bucket that can be emptied by people doing less kind things to you or filled by people doing kinder things to you.”

    In the activity, students decorate droplets of water to fill their buckets by drawing examples of kindness. They return to the circle and share these drawings with one another. “They’re really excited to share their bucket droplets with the class,” Clifford reflected. “Every single day in class, they talk about how ‘someone filled my bucket today’ or ‘I want to fill up your bucket.’ The activity really resonates with them.”

    A key value of Circles Solutions is that it creates a safe space where students can understand one another on an individual level, bridging cross-cultural differences and creating a closer classroom community. Purpura explained that “Circles promotes getting to know people [individually] and learning how to appreciate differences. I think it really helps with breaking down walls because students are learning about each other and realizing similarities in feelings or differences they might have.”

    Circles’ popularity in CAC classrooms is also likely because it is fun. Greene reflected, “CAC is academically rigorous, and this is a little time to relax, have a laugh, and have some fun. At the same time, we can weave in learning opportunities and teach emotional literacy.”

    CAC emphasizes holistic student development by teaching social and emotional literacy in the classroom. One way we do this is by integrating discussions of the CAC Core Values into lessons and activities. When elementary principal Julie Jackson-Jin came to CAC in 2012, she brought with her another unique teaching tool called Circle Solutions for Student Wellbeing.

    Developed by psychologist and educator Sue Roffey, Circles is a method for fostering relationship-building skills in the classroom. This year, CAC Elementary invested in the longevity of the program by having school counselor Dana Purpura and teachers Bonnie Greene, Trillian Clifford, and LeeAnn Kasel trained as Circles facilitators. The group then led a training for all other elementary teachers.

    Clifford explained how a Circles session works: “It’s kind of like a meeting time where we all come together in a circle and all students and adults participate. There’s a greeting, we mix up and sit in different places, and there’s always a fun game we play together to get to know each other.”

    Not every Circles session is the same, though, and teachers can change up the game and discussion to address different aspects of building relationships. Oftentimes teachers lead Circles sessions focused on CAC Core Values. One of Clifford’s favorite exercises is based on the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. She explained, “the idea is that everyone has this imaginary bucket that can be emptied by people doing less kind things to you or filled by people doing kinder things to you.”

    In the activity, students decorate droplets of water to fill their buckets by drawing examples of kindness. They return to the circle and share these drawings with one another. “They’re really excited to share their bucket droplets with the class,” Clifford reflected. “Every single day in class, they talk about how ‘someone filled my bucket today’ or ‘I want to fill up your bucket.’ The activity really resonates with them.”

    A key value of Circles Solutions is that it creates a safe space where students can understand one another on an individual level, bridging cross-cultural differences and creating a closer classroom community. Purpura explained that “Circles promotes getting to know people [individually] and learning how to appreciate differences. I think it really helps with breaking down walls because students are learning about each other and realizing similarities in feelings or differences they might have.”

    Circles’ popularity in CAC classrooms is also likely because it is fun. Greene reflected, “CAC is academically rigorous, and this is a little time to relax, have a laugh, and have some fun. At the same time, we can weave in learning opportunities and teach emotional literacy.”

  • 03/01/2017 1:30 PM | Sarah Shalash


    Marwan Refaat ’18 has attended CAC since fourth grade and is currently a junior in the High School. At school, he pursues an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. After school and on the weekends, in addition to studying and rehearsing for the spring musical, Refaat is an entrepreneur.

    Though he is only 16, Refaat is currently in the process of launching a catering company called Tabakhy. Refaat explained that Tabakhy “is an online platform that connects chefs with people who want to host private dining events. It’s kind of… an Airbnb-type model that connects chefs with people who want to host dinner parties.” In recognition of his efforts, he was recently featured in CairoScene’s recent article “25 Under 25: Egypt’s Youngest, Bravest, and Most Impactful Entrepreneurs of 2016.”

    The idea for Tabakhy came to Refaat after a conversation with an Uber driver. When the driver, who is also a chef, made a joking comment about wishing that a version of Uber existed for chefs, Refaat started drawing up a business plan. He then coded the website with a friend he made at entrepreneurship camp. Another connection from the camp helped him recruit around 15 chefs to participate. Once he updates the look of the Tabakhy website, the company will be ready for a proper launch.

    Refaat’s passion for entrepreneurship stems from a desire to be creative. For a few years, his main after school activity was trading stocks. “I was making money but it was really boring,” he explained. “It simply didn’t come with the sense of accomplishment that I find in innovating. It was just researching and executing trades, I felt like a robot… so I took the money I had invested in stocks and bootstrapped Tabakhy”. He started attending camps and events organized around entrepreneurship, where he met people who share his passion and have become friends, mentors, and networking resources. “It’s really motivating to talk to someone who’s grinding to get their startup going and then see them in a news article or something like that… It just goes to show that success is not as esoteric as we tend to think it is – they’re just normal people who worked a bit harder, that’s all.”

    While developing a network within the entrepreneurship community has been important, Refaat also attributes his success in entrepreneurship to his passion for theatre. “Theatre teaches you to put yourself out there. Learning to perform in front of an audience is really similar to pitching in front of an investor. It’s like a presentation in some ways, but there are questions that come at you that you didn’t even know could be asked, so you almost have to perform to sell your product.”

    Participating in theatre has also provided Refaat with the resilience needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. “You need to have a thick skin when you don’t get a role. That’s something that’s very characteristic of entrepreneurship too. There are a few people who just make it on the first try, but most people don’t, and you rarely get to see any of that. I think that’s very similar to theatre. When you go to a theatre you only see the polished final product and not the long nights spent refining every scene. You don’t look behind the scenes and see how many people were not able to get that part or how many times the actors on stage auditioned before they could get a lead role. Despite the excitement and hype behind entrepreneurship, there’s a lot of people who fail, and I guess theatre has taught me to overcome that.”


    Refaat performing in last year's production of The Sound of Music

    While Refaat is putting much of his energy toward launching Tabakhy, it is not his only project. He is also developing an application that will allow students and faculty at schools and universities to pay for food on campus with their mobile phone credit. Structured as a non-profit venture, a small royalty from each transaction will be donated to a food or water charity.

    “I calculated that if one student at CAC uses the app for a year, assuming they spend LE 25 a day and we have 180 school days, that’s enough money to provide one person with clean water for a lifetime… I think it’s very significant to have a student empower another person in a developing community just by using an app that makes their everyday life easier.” While Refaat only started this project a few months ago following his win at the AUC business plan competition, he hopes to have it ready for CAC next year.

  • 02/13/2017 2:34 PM | Sarah Shalash

    Below is a letter that CAC Superintendent Wayne Rutherford sent to the current school community in Cairo on February 1, 2016.

    ~~~

    Parents, Faculty, Staff and Students,

    Greetings from the United States, where I am recruiting teachers whom I know will make wonderful contributions to our school in coming years.  I am aware that recent changes in U.S. travel policy are very much in the news in Egypt as they are here in the U.S.  This moment in America’s history is, I feel, unprecedented, and I would like to share with you my feelings about our responsibilities as educators and as an institution.  

    CAC is an American school with its roots in the values of the American families who came together to found the school in 1945. We are supported by American agencies, businesses, government offices, and corporations. Many of our teachers are American and indeed, we proudly promote our ‘product’ as an ‘American-style education.’ I am an American and proud of my nation’s achievements and the way in which it has represented its ideals to the world during its history: freedom of religion, free speech, independence, democracy through representative government, and civil discourse, protest and sometimes, civil disobedience. America was formed by courageous individuals and it has been shaped and developed by courageous women and men of all colors who stood up for what they believed.

    CAC is an inclusive school that celebrates its diversity. We are proud to have 54 nations represented in our student body. We believe strongly in the value of diversity for all of our students, and that in interacting with each other, with those who are from different backgrounds, religions, and cultures, our students are allowed to become more thoughtful, understanding, wiser, and more capable of operating in an increasingly connected and complex world. The traditions of each culture represented in our community enrich our experience and make us better human beings. We embrace and celebrate our differences; we honor and value all families, of all nationalities, that are part of the CAC community.

    CAC’s student body includes students with Sudanese, Yemeni, Iraqi, and Iranian heritage.  Two years ago, our Student Body President was a Yemeni girl, Arwa Said. She led our student body with grace, intelligence, and wit; she played soccer, basketball, and softball; she embraced the diversity of our community and she matured in the American-values-based environment that makes CAC so special. Each student from each nation contributes to CAC’s rich diversity. Each student from each nation enriches all of our lives and the CAC experience for each of us.

    I want to assure you that each student at CAC is safe, valued, and will be protected by our school, its policies and core values. New geo-political realities may affect our students’ lives outside of our walls, but inside our walls, each student is equal, entitled to an excellent education, and given every opportunity that his or her peers is given. Each student is a part of the CAC experience for all of us.

    We are faced today with some life-changing ‘teachable moments.’ I encourage us all to embrace this opportunity. In the coming days, weeks and months, I encourage all to...

    1. Discuss, debate, and think deeply together about current events.

    2. Learn about the US constitution, about the branches of government, about the checks and balances included in that document designed to balance power.

    3. Listen respectfully and with deep reflection to the views of others. Walk in their shoes. Work to understand their viewpoints. Do so civilly and with an eye towards constructive dialog that leads to greater comprehension of the world’s complexities.

    4. Seek the truth. Be a critical thinker. Ask hard questions. Do the research necessary to tease the truth out of the bluster and noise of politics.

    5. Be cautious, slow to act, but quick to question. Be sure of the validity of your position before putting it forward.

    6. Be a critical consumer of media. Share only what you are certain is factual and accurate.

    7. It is the collective responsibility of ALL of us to uphold CAC’s Core Values, particularly Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, Courage and Integrity. It is our duty to model them, and to step into to help when we see that they are not being upheld by others.

    Finally, as we all know, our community includes many Muslims. We embrace them and they are a core, key population for CAC. We all stand together; CAC--all of us--value their presence and their contributions.

    I regret that my obligations for recruiting the best teachers for CAC force me to be away from campus at this moment. I thank you for reading this and for your positive contributions to the beautiful, diverse family that is CAC.

    Wayne Rutherford
    Superintendent

  • 01/24/2017 4:50 PM | Anonymous

    Just across the street from CAC’s campus is a business with a beautifully decorated and inviting display window. In its current incarnation, this space is known as 18.213 (a reference to its address on Road 213). Owned by CAC alumna Sahar El Arishy ’83, 18.213 is the first pop-up venue in Egypt that is “an experiential launchpad for startups and entrepreneurs.”

    In recent years Egypt has become a hub of entrepreneurship in the MENA region, and many startups are struggling to establish their brands and grow their businesses. El Arishy uses her expertise to help businesses with integrity to stand out. She explained, “When an entrepreneur comes and approaches me I don’t just create an event. I curate their brand story. I dig very very deep to understand what it is about their story that makes them unique.” She also recently led a workshop on how to build an authentic brand story at the 2016 RiseUp Summit.

    In 2009, after completing the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, El Arishy transformed a space on Road 213 in Maadi -- formerly her mother’s art gallery -- into her own boutique firm for corporate communications. 18.213 thrived until 2011, when Egypt’s revolution challenged her to meet the changing needs of the country’s business community.

    “I had to find a way to generate income but in a different way. So I got on Google, and I literally put in ‘what to do with a small space,’” she explained. Through this search El Arishy discovered the concept of pop-up venues, temporary retail platforms where businesses can test products and market their brands. “I was totally intrigued,” El Arishy explained. “I said ‘you know what, I’m going to be the first pop-up venue in Egypt.’” Within a few days El Arishy had her first client in Deana Shaaban, a popular Egyptian fashion designer.

    In 2014, El Arishy completed a degree in Event Planning and Management in Montreal, Canada, which gave her the foundational skills needed to “take 18.213 to another level.” She returned to Egypt in 2015 and relaunched her business; her first client was Dana Dinnawi ’91, a health coach who is also a CAC alumna and current parent. Since returning she has also worked with mosaic artist Amal Akhnoukh, who is using her art to inspire public school kids to feel a sense of ownership of their community and develop a spirit of collaboration.

    Her latest event was a Christmas pop-up for Riham Zaghloul’s jewelry brand ZAGH; Zagloul is also a current parent at CAC. ZAGH is an exclusive Egyptian brand inspired by calligraphy, nature, philosophy, and Egypt’s cultural heritage.

    That El Arishy has been so successful and worked with so many outstanding entrepreneurs is reflective of her high standards. “I only work with entrepreneurs who have brands that matter, who have purpose, who want to make a difference, and I can take them to another level… My reason for being is authenticity and branding stories that have meaning and impact on the community.”

    El Arishy also explained, “all the service providers that I outsource have to be people who I feel would be vested in the brand. I have very high standards, very high expectations for my work. My ultimate vision for 18.213 is to continue to use my platform to tell exceptional stories of Egyptian entrepreneurs that want to change and disrupt the status quo. Egypt’s creative economy is defined by its diversity and innovative changemakers. 18.213’s core purpose is to bring those ideas to life.”

  • 12/28/2016 4:37 PM | Anonymous


    Maadi Community Theatre (MCT) recently performed its second show, A Seussified Christmas Carol by Peter Bloedel. Formed in 2014, Maadi Community Theatre serve two key purposes: raising money for a worthy cause and bringing together Maadi community members.

    Since its inception, MCT has established a relationship with CAC to rehearse and perform in the CAC Theater. “CAC has been amazing… at allowing us to use their facilities,” explained Brandon Zerr-Smith, a CAC mathematics teacher who is also co-founder and director of MCT. Many other CAC teachers, parents, alumni, and students are also involved in the MCT cast and crew. “CAC has the best community of any school I’ve ever worked at, and that community really comes out when you do something like this. Parents get involved when they see that this is good for their kids because they see the importance of the arts.”

    Many members of the greater Maadi community also participate in MCT, which is not a CAC organization. Zerr-Smith explained, “we have a lot of people on the stage that are not of the CAC community, which is really quite refreshing… [MCT] breaks down barriers and allows you to interact with people from different parts of the Maadi community, which is awesome because you get to know some pretty groovy people.”

    MCT’s impact is twofold: it provides an artistic outlet for the community and raises funds for organizations in need in Cairo. A portion of the proceeds of the group’s first performance was given to the Fard Foundation, a Syrian refugee school, to make capital improvements to their facilities. “We didn’t feel comfortable just giving money,” explained Zerr-Smith. “We wanted to work with [the organization] and then give money to a project that they’re working on.”

    This year MCT will continue supporting the Fard Foundation; it will also be donating funds to a school established by Tawasol for Developing Istabal Antar NGO. Now that the show has finished, MCT organizers will meet with members of both organizations to decide how the funds will be used.

    Zerr-Smith has aspirations to expand MCT and ensure its future sustainability. “The goal is creating a sustainable project where if we leave other people can step into our roles… I would love to step back and just help in the background and not have to direct because I’m sure people are getting tired of seeing my shows at this stage, right? Let’s let someone else put their flavor into it.”

    CAC is also currently in the process of raising funds to support capital improvement of its theater, which has become worn after hosting decades of school and community events. CAC provides students with a holistic education, and the theater is key to fulfilling this commitment. Having studied theater in school and continued pursuing the passion, Zerr-Smith explained, “you learn really important lessons on stage about yourself and about being a part of a team.” The CAC Theater is central to both the educational mission of the school and the life of its community. “All the performing arts happen in the theater, and events too… it’s a heart of the school, and we need to make it healthy again.”

    Would you like to support the renovation of the CAC Theater? Find out how.



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