YES Programs



Egyptian YES Alumnus Advocates for Visually Impaired

Abdel Ghany smiles for the camera

YES 2005-06 alumnus Abdel Ghany Barakat was recently featured in the American University of Cairo’s Student Life newspaper as their “Weekly Palmerian”. A Palmerian is described as someone who “..grasps the gift s/he has been given and shares it with the world in order to spread seeds of inspiration through initiative and creative processes.”

Read about Abdel’s recent accomplishments with assistive technology for the visually impaired. Congratulations Abdel!
This article was originally published in the AUC Road Student Life News
by Erin Schumann
Hometown: Kafr El Sheikh, Egypt
Double Major & Minor: Journalism and Mass Communications. Political Science and Business Administration
Activities: Bedeya, Columnist for Dimensions , Research & Materials Committee member of Glow, LEAD, Assistant Head for Internal Content in the Planning & Development Committee of the SU, Delegate in the Cairo International Arabic League.
Favorite Music: Beatles, Classical Music, and Abdel Halim Hafez.
Favorite Food: Mashi, Mexican Food, and Papa John’s Pizza
Ever since Abdel Ghany was in elementary school, when he wasn’t playing in the fields and farms with his 2 older brothers, he dreamed about attending AUC. “It was known all around Egypt that AUC was the best.” Not only did Abdel Ghany value AUC’s quality of education, but also their level of awareness in the community and the opportunity to add and grow your personal and life schools. As Abdel Ghany continued his education, his mother saved all of his awards he received throughout the years. She did this so when the time came for Abdel Ghany to apply to AUC, his achievements would be right there for AUC to look at. All of her hard work and diligence paid off, because Abdel Ghany is now in his third year at AUC and loves every minute of it.
Abdel Ghany has been involved in so many activities, programs, and internships it is a wonder he has any free time. When I asked Abdel Ghany what he likes to do for fun he just laughed…but he was only kidding, because Abdel Ghany has a great deal of fun on the new campus of AUC and in the Zamalek dorm where he lives. “I love hanging out with friends, reading, going to class, discussing topics, and learning about life.
” Abdel Ghany is always working to make AUC a better place for all students, including visually impaired students. Beginning in September of 2009, Abdel Ghany was the Assistive Technology Advisor for UACT (University Academic Computing Technologies). He conducted research into the latest technologies for visually impaired students and worked with department chairs to bring the latest advancements to AUC. After a year of diligently working at UACT, Abdel Ghany convinced AUC’s administration to build an independent lab for the assistive technology for the visually impaired students.
Before, there was only a corner in the library and a small area in the multimedia lab. He also convinced the administration to buy 2 of the most up-to-date and advanced technologies for visually impaired students. “We have to make it clear that the term disability is just a legal term. It does not mean that someone is unable to do something that a non-blind person can do. For example, I can’t read a book in the same way you do, but I can read it using other ways like Braille or electronic text.”
Over the past 5 years, Abdel Ghany has experienced a multitude of opportunities. He joined a foreign exchange program and lived in the United States for a year. While in the US, he traveled to Colorado, New York, Washington DC, Oregon and more. He worked with Mobility International to help build a bridge of understanding between the United States and the Middle East. He is part of the LEAD program. He was an intern through the Fulbright Commission and was asked to extend his internship because he excelled so highly at it…And much more. After graduation Abdel Ghany wants to get his masters degree and then either work with international organizations or be the host of a talk show that discusses and works on development and community issues. Abdel Ghany is an extremely bright, well-rounded student whose goal is to make his community, and the communities around him, better.
So far, I’d say he’s succeeding and will continue to succeed in whatever he does.
“The real mission for us as human beings in this global society is to develop and impact the place we live. If we sit there and do nothing, then we are accepting our circumstances and we cannot complain.”