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Local Nobel Laureate Details Egypt Educational Institution Plans

Nobel Laureate and San Marino resident Ahmed Zewail is gaining headway in plans to build a $2 billion educational institution in his native Egypt, but detractors say this may not be the right time.

Nobel Laureate, Caltech Professor and San Marino resident Ahmed Zewail elaborated on his plans for the Zewail City of Science and Technology—a Caltech-like institution to be built outside of Cairo—according to a Pasadena Star-News article Saturday.

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See Saturday’s full Pasadena Star-News article, which also details concerns about the educational center, here.

Some aspects of the proposed institution, as mentioned in the article, are as follows:

  • Zewail, a native Egyptian, has wanted to build the center for about 12 years, but said his dealings with former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s prime minister were difficult.
  • The institute’s Board of Trustees includes six Nobel Prize winners and Caltech President Jean Kou Chameau.
  • Classes will be small and focused on areas where Egypt can excel—solar and wind energy, disease research specific to the continent, and eventually nanosciences and images.
  • The project will cost about $2 billion; Zewail has raised about $100 million from private sources so far and hopes the Egyptian government will contribute roughly the same amount annually.
  • Egypt’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces gave Zewail a downtown Cairo villa and 300 acres of prime desert land for the property—all worth about $1.6 billion.

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