The 10th Anniversary All-Arab Forum of alumni of Soviet and Russian universities opened in Cairo on November 17, 2018. About 200 former students who studied in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation in different years gathered in the capital of Egypt to share experience accumulated in their home countries after graduation, to discuss current issues including further cooperation with Russia and just to recall university years.
The official part of the event held with support from the Rossotrudnichestvo (Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation) and the Egyption Alumni Association under the patronage of the Ministry of Higher Education of the ARE will last from November 17 till November 19. It will include a series of plenary sessions. The Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the ARE Sergey Kirpichenko, the representatives of the Rossotrudnichestvo and the ARE authorities, Vice-Rector for International Activity of People's Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) Larisa Efremova as well as the heads of Arab countries' associations took part in the opening ceremony.
The forum is held once in two years, the previous forum took place in Jordan, and the next forum is to be held in Palestine.
Sherif Ged, the Chairman of the Egyptian Alumni Association, pointed out that at the meeting alumni can not only recall university but also outline plans for the future. What is important is that the anniversary forum takes place in Cairo, it received about 200 people, not only from Arab countries but also from Nepal. There are 44 alumni from Jordan, 33 from Lebanon, 25 from Palestine, and other colleagues from Morocco, Bahrein, Sudan, Yemen, Syria.
The serving head of the All-Arab Forum, Salam Tual from Jordan, who graduated from RUDN with a degree in Civil Engineering, highly appreciated the role Russia plays in the modern, primarily Arab world. He said that their primary goal is to expand relations with Russia and the countries of former USSR as much as possible, especially in the field of education and science.
According to Salam, many of those who studied in Soviet and Russian universities achieved great success and a certain status in their countries. Five deputies of the Jordan parliament are alumni of Russian universities. All those who pursued higher education in Russia are heads of major companies and hold public offices.
Alexey Tevanian, Head of the Russian Center for Science and Culture in Cairo, one of the main forum organizers, also noted the importance of this event for the development of relations between Russia and the Arab world.
'Our Center actively participates in the forum discussions which provide an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas with all country associations regarding the ways of strengthening the cooperation with Russia in culture, arts and humanities. Establishing and maintaining the contacts with our graduates is one of priority tasks of the Rossotrudnichestvo, in particular, in Egypt, all the more so as we regard them as active and reliable partners for strengthening the positive image of Russia and activating its soft power in the world.
It should be mentioned that popularity of Russian education in the world is steadily increasing— every year according to the state quotas around 15,000 students from Egypt qualify for free tuition in the Russian Federation. But even during this year about 4,000 Egyptians came to Russia to pursue their studies on a commercial basis, which means that in the near future there will be a significant increase in the number of these alumni— a new generation is approaching.'
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