About 15 minutes West of the Sadat Metro at Tahrir Square lies Cairo University, as well as its eponymous station. In the heart of Giza, Cairo University’s sprawling main campus – excluding the Medical School as well as other faculties – dominates the area from behind its walls.
Even on a Saturday, thousands of students walked amongst the academic buildings and socialized in the countless grassy squares and pavilions. Some of the largest buildings belong to the faculties of science, law, and commerce, and most other departments such as political science, economics, and mass communication maintain similarly towering buildings.
The central library and clock tower are two central parts of the campus that epitomize how Cairo University rivals its American counterparts in aesthetics, and would hardly seem out of place at American schools known for their architecture, like Stanford or Columbia.
All in all, walking around Cairo University provides a useful reminder that despite immediate fears and concerns – certainly including a lackluster public education system – there are still hundreds of thousands of young Egyptians building their skills and networks (200,000 students at CU alone), eager to take the reins of their future. Indeed, talking to students around campus, the vibe was definitively positive. Friends gathered for group photos and laughs, while couples sat on benches discussing the politics of the day.
Photos: Cairo University, Cairo – October 29, 2011.