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5 Impressive Reasons to Get You Excited About Egypt’s New Education Minister

From giving his own TED talk to taking home various research awards, here are five reasons we believe the newly appointed minister of education might turn things around for Egypt's deteriorating education system.
Omnipresent writer, reporter and researcher. Original author of War & Peace.

The Egyptian Ministry of Education has a history of being headed by poorly qualified leaders. Over the past 20 years, most education ministers remained widely unpopular because of the continued deterioration of Egypt's public education system. And while it's still quite early to formulate an opinion on his performance, the newly appointed Education Minister, Tarek Shawki, surely seems to be the man for the job. The former UNESCO counsellor was appointed education minister after the Egyptian government's reshuffle was approved by parliament on Tuesday. Here are a few impressive facts about Shawki:

He gave his own TED talk.

Yes, he had a powerful 20-minute talk where he walks the audience through his life's big moments and his passion for learning.

He is the dean of the School of Sciences and Engineering at AUC.

Since September 2012, Shawki has been leading one of Egypt's most advanced engineering departments.

He was the director of UNESCO's Regional Bureau for Science in Arab States.

He maintained the position for four years until 2012, following the tenure of another leading position at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

He only spoke German until the age of six.

Shawki's family resided in Berlin for the first 6 years of his life, after which they moved back to Cairo and he started attending an Egyptian public school.

He won multiple awards for scientific research excellence.

He won Cairo University's award for scientific research and has reportedly won a similar award from the US presidency in 1989.

Photo: Teachers First Egypt

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