Thursday the AMIDEAST bunch headed over to Cairo University, just a short jaunt from my apartment, for a tour of the facilities. In case you didn't know every famous Arab politician or writer ever since 1908 (its founding) attended Cairo University. We got to see the Celebration Hall with its famous Dome and play around on stage, and then the fancy new library, the library's museum, and the Culturama. It was neat. That is a huge campus with highlights of opulence and grandeur amongst Cairo's iconic urban decay. (The connotations associated with "decay" may be too strong to describe Cairo University, but I can't find a better word at the moment...)
After attempting a brief nap, I headed over to Zamalek to meet a language buddy at her college, Helwan's college of Fine Arts. This college was much smaller and a little more haphazard, with buildings and sculptures thrown in at different angles. I sat in on a photo printing workshop, toured classrooms, and even strolled through some kind of printing (on metal plates?) class. Then my language buddy sat me down and gave me a drawing lesson. I needed the review on perspective. I love art. Hopefully, though this new friend, I can get into some classes or workshops or maybe even a gallery exhibit. We shall see... Afterwards we grabbed koshary and I went home pooped.
My main comparison between US and Egypt college campuses is that US colleges are much more concerned with giving the students faux-homey places and cool little hangout spots, while the Egyptian Universities go more for function or reputation. I suppose that makes sense since a majority of the Egyptian students are still living at home.