interviewed by Salma Farouq
- There are always reasons behind our choices, what motivated you to choose to study law?
My main motivation was to save the world, and because of my cultural background as I am half Egyptian half German, at an early stage I was exposed to fundamental social differences between life in Egypt and life in Germany and I thought that I could serve as a cultural bridge between the two countries.
- Could you take us through your path as a law student?
In Germany studying law is very different from studying law in Egypt, there is the 5 years general law study that ends with a state exam that I did at the University of Cologne in Germany and then I did my legal residency which is a 2 year practical training and that ends with the second state exam which I did at the high regional court of Dusseldorf and then I proceeded with my PhD and I did most of my research in New York.
- As you studied law abroad, what differences do you see between studying law in Egypt and in Germany?
In Germany, there is 5 years study of general law and the state exam and after that the 2-year practice, you also have a comprehensive overview not only in theory but also in practice on what law looks like. The other thing is that in Germany it is very essential to always carry your legal codes so you learn how to argue everything based on the actual legal texts.
- You have recently published a law book “The Impact of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women on the domestic legislation in Egypt”, would you give us more insights on the book?
The book gives account on the implementation of the UN women’s rights convention in Egypt, and the basic question behind that book was whether or not these international human rights treaties actually have any benefits on the ground or they are just serving the signatory state’s image.
- You are currently The International Cooperation advisor to the minister of tourism; could you tell us more about your position?
It is a very exciting position, we have recently launched Egypt’s reform tourism program, and I am also responsible for handling the international relations of the minister.
- What are your plans for the future?
We have agreed from the beginning that I will be taking the position of the International Cooperation advisor to the minister of tourism for one year and the year is coming to an end soon, so I am really looking forward to going back to academia and do different consultancies.
- What advice would you give to the young generation of law students and the law practitioners?
Dare to find your passion, and once you have identified your passion and what your aim is, then go with all you have towards that. Try to get an internship position, engage yourself in conferences, blogs, and international or national law magazines.