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The Caravan started this blog to publish news about The American University in Cairo. Thanks to your continued support and readership, we’re growing again.

Find our new home at — that’s where you will find the latest news, features, video reports and PDFs of our weekly print edition about life at one of the most important universities in the Middle East.

So thanks again, and keep sending your news tips and comments to! And don’t forget to add us as a friend on your Facebook page, where you can join the discussion among students and alumni.

The Editors.


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Faculty passwords targeted by email scam

By Sarah Wali and Nicholas Gerda
AUC’s technology services has issued a warning to faculty and students against a phishing scam that appears to be coming from their office.  The scammers are using the University Academic Computing Technologies’ support email to ask for user passwords.
“They are trying to get you to tell them an account number and a password for some particular use,” said John Stuckey, AUC Chief Technology Officer.
“This message is from messaging center to all email account owners. We are currently upgrading our database and e-mail account center. We are deleting all unused accounts to create more space for new accounts,” reads the email.

“A lot of people use the same password for all their accounts. So if I use the same password for my bank account as I do for my email account, they might use it to break into my bank account,” Stuckey added.
While the email appears to be sent from, an address to the UACT department, replies sent from faculty to the email were traced to a different address: The same address sent phishing emails in October and November to other universities around the world including Pacific Lutheran University, University of Waterloo and Trinity College Dublin.
A phishing scam involves fraudsters asking for personal information such as account numbers and passwords.  They then use this information to either steal money or identities.  Their emails seem legitimate because they come from a reliable and trusted source.

“The people who do this try to find the most plausible things they could make, so that they appear to be legitimate,”
Stuckey warns student against giving out email passwords.   He stresses that no institution will ask users for their passwords. Anyone who is looking for email passwords could be aiming to hack into the user’s bank account.

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Drivers to undergo training after fourth bus crash

By Ingy Hassieb

A Family Transport bus carrying students and staff heading to the downtown campus crashed into a sand truck Sunday afternoon near the Maadi exit off the Ring Road.

Director of Facilities and Operations Sherif Sadek said that the sand truck was backing-up on the road and the bus driver couldn’t control the vehicle in time but luckily nobody suffered from any injuries.

Another bus was sent to the scene right after the accident to take the passengers to their original destination in downtown Cairo where a nurse from the AUC clinic was waiting to ensure the physical and mental well-being of everyone on the bus.

The crash is the fourth since the move to the Kattameya campus a semester ago. Last November nine staff members were injured when a bus hit a truck at the Ring Road, a week after another bus collided with a Pajero near the entrance to Heliopolis

“The issue is they are professional drivers, they should know what to do in situations like this,” said Sadek.

Sadek added that he was “not satisfied” with the standard of driver’s employed by Family Transport, the company that won a $2 million contract to be AUCians mode of commuting from Cairo to Kattameya. According to Sadek, all drivers will undergo in two weeks training on defensive driving as well as customer service and communication skills.

“Two weeks after training begins we can expect the drivers to present us with services that will meet our standards,” said Sadek.

Another bus was said to have crashed yesterday as well but Sadek said that it merely grazed another car involved in a three-vehicle crash in the buses route.

“Please complain,” said Sadek explaining that complain forms have been placed in a booth right outside Gate Four where the buses enter and leave the campus. According to Sadek a representative from the transportation office is present there at times to receive complaints from students or faculty about anything from bad driving to bad attitude.

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Student files discrimination case against professor with SJB

By Sarah Abdel Rahman

A student at The American University in Cairo filed a case with the Student Judicial Board against a professor in the Performing and Visual Arts department accusing him of discriminating against her.

The student, Ingy Mahmoud, said the professor prevented her from taking the winter Art and Architecture course because she was “not physically fit.”

Mahmoud, an Art student, registered for the course and received approval from her parents to travel to Spain to complete the course requirements. She then had to get final approval from the course instructor.

“He said this trip needs physical fitness that I don’t think you have,” Mahmoud said. “I told him I can handle it, and then he said it doesn’t appear so, referring to my weight while staring at my body.”

“He said I would have to prove that I’m up to it [and] when I asked how, he responded, you can go run four laps and come back.I didn’t think that how I look was a criterion for learning. I feel so hurt,” Mahmoud added with tears in her eyes.

The Caravan contacted the course instructor, but he refused to comment.

“Because [the case] involves faculty, we have to contact the appropriate authorities first,” said Seif Abdel Dayem, SJB member. “Then, the normal procedure will take place, and the case will be carefully looked at.”

Stancil Campbell, chair of the PVA, explained there were no written rules that state a student has to be in a certain physical shape to register for a course. Campbell added that professors have to be respectful to students, no matter what they look like.  

According to Mahmoud, the course instructor asked to speak to her after she filed the case. “He said to me, neither the Caravan nor Ann Shafer [Art director] nor even the President will help you, because I have the power to add or drop you into the course.”

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Lebanese pop-stars to entertain at Saturday’s concert

By Safaa Ali

Lebanese pop-singer Ramy Ayash, D.J Carlos, and performer-singer Nicole Saba are going to entertain and sing in the Fall Concert, which will be held by the AUC Student Union this Saturday.

The S.U. organizes and end of semester concert as part of it’s mission statement. “But this year every body wants to celebrate moving to New Campus,” said Ahmed Saleh, the Chair Activities Committee. “So we wanted it big and sparkling.

The cost of the concert is being covered McDonalds, Commercial and Industrial Group, Port Ghalib resorts, Cherry Cars, and Housing and Development Bank. “We are offering 2,000 tickets for 60 L.E,” said Saleh, “they will be available ‘til the day of the concert.”

Saleh said they had not made any arrangements for commuting. However, he is hoping that the concert being on a Saturday rather than a Friday will mean attendees, who are both from within and outside AUC, will be able to take advantage of the university buses running.

AUC students, however, don’t think the timing for a concert is right. “It’s Eid and we have finals afterwards, I won’t have the time to go to a concert,” said Loujaina El Sayed, economics senior.

“The concert should be held after exams, so I can be relaxed enough to enjoy it,” said Nizar Khashaba, mass communications sophomore.

Mohamed Kamal, I.T coordinator in the S.U, said they had been organizing the event for two months. “We all work together as if it’s a one family business,” he added. “Of course we faced some problems regarding the license for the party, taxes and getting sponsors but we have managed through them all.”

The concert will take place at the AUC Portal. Tickets are available at the SU booth opposite the SSE building.

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Barack Obama brings a new era in US politics, AUC professor says

By Safaa Ali

With Barack Obama’s election a new era in American politics is about to unfold, but he may be just a one-term president, said Patrick Mason, assistant professor of history at The American University in Cairo.

The next four years will be a chance to forge a real peace process between nations, Mason told an audience at Moataz Al Alfy Hall, during his lecture on “Analyzing Obama’s election and its impact on the Middle East.” 

“We have to get the most out of this,” said Mason, who is also acting director of the American studies center.

The professor called the recent elections the most significant in the history of the United States. “Finally the dream of Dr. Luther King came true,” he said. “The election gave hope for a whole generation.”

Obama is being guided by five priorities as he enters the Oval Office, Mason said-fixing the U.S., economy, finding alternative energy resources, health care reform, tax reform and education.

Obama is influenced by two political legacies, the Clinton administration and the Kennedy administration.

“Obama wants to use diplomacy instead of cowboy policies used by Bush,” he said.

Mason said that Obama is concerned of the Middle Eastern issues as well as fighting terrorism. He intends to pursue negotiations with other nations including Iran and Syria, and adopting new techniques in fighting terrorism like in Afghanistan, for instance, building schools and cities rather than killing people.

Above all, the President elect is committed to withdraw U.S troops from Iraq within 16 months. “He does not want to be involved in a new war,” said Mason.

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To our loyal readers, a public service announcement

Dear Caravan readers,

If you picked up a copy of the Caravan this week, we hope you understood, it was all a joke. Following the tradition of all college newspapers, this was an end-of-the-semester parody issue.

Why? First, it was an exercise in satire, something that isn’t done much in this part of the world. Maybe if we learned to laugh at our problems more, they wouldn’t seem so insurmountable.

Secondly, it was commentary on some of the more ridiculous things we’ve observed this semester — pandemonium breaking out because of a fox on campus, the never-ending exodus of dorm students, the food situation on campus, and all the perceptions and rumors about AUC that never seem to die.

So, really, AUC isn’t moving back to Tahrir, dorm students will not have to beg, a certain spy agency won’t be operating on the old campus, djinns aren’t stealing stuff on campus, La-Z boy isn’t installing moving sidewalks on campus, Delicious Inc isn’t employing secret police … you get the picture.

Of course, if you were offended by the issue’s dark brand of humor, we apologize for hurting your feelings. Thanks for being such good sport, and such dedicated readers. It really is a pleasure to report about the things that matter to you, and we’re lucky to have you as readers. We’re all hoping for a better (happier) semester in the new year. Good luck on your exams!

The Staff.

P.S. ‘Bigfoot’ is a mythical creature said to roam the forests of North America. Please Google him to see the infamous picture we used. So no, a gorilla did not run wild on campus. No need to be scared.

P.P.S. A ‘label whore’ is not a prostitute. A label whore is someone “who only wears brand name clothes, with the name of the brand usually placed somewhere for all to see. A walking advertisement for a clothing store or brand.”

P.P.P. S. Stop trying to solve the crossword. Hint: Only two answers work. Down 1, 7.

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