Israa El Taweel / youthjournalism.org
Volunteers at the Egyptian Engineering Day
By Ghada Abdelhady
Youth Journalism InternationalCAIRO, Egypt – Egyptian Engineering Day. If you haven't been there, then you have missed a once-a-year chance to be inspired, motivated and more importantly, to connect with minds that know how to create, innovate and give limitlessly.
On the other hand, if you have attended as an exhibitor, volunteer or even a visitor. I must infer that you are not the same person you were before the opening ceremony early this month.
The Egyptian Engineering Day, organized annually by Egyptian board members of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, launched in 2002 as the first exhibition of its kind in the entire region for engineering graduation projects.
Held at the Cairo International Conference Center, the event paved the road for fresh engineering graduates to put their ideas into market products that can compete with breakthroughs in engineering industry all over the world.
I got to cover this year’s Egyptian Engineering Day as a reporter for Youth Journalism international, from the initial preparations till the closing ceremony and the distribution of awards and announcements of the winning projects.
After a year and a half of political struggle and development digression, we Egyptians were ecstatic to take the first step into the battleground of innovation with unprecedented fierceness.
“There cannot be any progress without democracy,” said Sherif Abdel Azim, founder and chairman of the NGO Resala. “Revolution was the key to the progress.”
The entire EED committee starting from Chairman Amgad Ibrahim to the youngest volunteer all worked collaboratively to not only supply exhibitors with the chance to be distinguished but also to embed in their brains the interpersonal skills and in their hearts the entrepreneurial spirit.
After giving an inspirational didactic talk titled ‘The change game,’ Amr Elfass, the chief executive officer of ZAD Group, said, “What you love to do, is something that you can spend a lot of time doing it without getting paid.”
The Made In Egypt program, aimed at emphasizing the need for interpreting great ideas into industrial products, got started by the Egypt GOLD team in 2005.
Many public figures attended, coming to witness this edifice of talent and dreams of the next generation.
Former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and Hany Mahmoud, minister of communications and information technology, honored the summit by their attendance and gave a boost to the spirits of the young engineers.
With more than 9,000 attendees, we can say that Egyptian Engineering Day is not any more an expo but will be considered from now on as an annual gala of originality.
Speakers representing companies, academic institutes and NGOs participated. They played a role that might be referred to 10 years from now as “The Dawning of the Innovation Era.”
Fadel Digham, research and development director of Egypt’s National Telecom Regulatory Authority, said in his talk about recent trends in telecommunications market and research that society is in the “GIFT era” explaining that it included Google, the iPhone, Facebook and Twitter.