On the evening of 16 May 2019, the DAAD Regional Office Cairo opened its door during Ramadan to a public audience for the third German Science Night organised by COSIMENA.
The German Science Night is inspired by the German initiative of “Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften” (long night of the sciences), where research institutions in a city present their current work in an engaging and entertaining manner. With this idea in mind, the DAAD Regional Office Cairo provided its visitors with the unique opportunity to discover the fascinating world of science at first hand. This year, the event has been especially designed to engage with young students.
Inaugurated at the Zamalek Cinema by Isabell Mering, Director of the DAAD Regional Office Cairo, and H.E. Julius Georg Luy, German Ambassador to Egypt, COSIMENA introduced for the very first time a Science Slam. Seven young researchers from different Egyptian universities competed in presenting a scientific topic or idea in the most entertaining and understandable way. Here, COSIMENA successfully managed to utilize the different DAAD networks and bring them together. Slammers like Hammad Mohammed Osman, Aya Mohamed Ali, Hossam Ismail and Laila Ziko, for example are Falling Walls Alumni while Ahmed Saber El-Fiky, Nouran Tantawy and Ahmed Obeid are former FameLab participants. These young talents got a maximum of three minutes to hold their presentation on stage in English and were later then judged by the audience. They were free to talk about any scientific idea which they had in mind, creativity knew no boundaries and their ideas were truly inspiring and worth spreading. The evening was hosted by Mohamed Ashraf Hilal who also led the audience through the voting and later announced all participants to be a winner.
Right afterwards, the German Science Night continued at the DAAD premises. Together with new partners, COSIMENA could offer a diverse and interactive programme. For the very first time, COSIMENA collaborated with Cairo Climate Talks to raise awareness about climate change. For this purpose, interactive games were offered in which participants could learn more about the environmental challenges and the impact climate change has. This year, the Science Garden hosted two Egyptian start-ups, the Planetarium Science Center by Bibliotheca Alexandrina and the international youth movement Youthinkgreen who transformed the garden to a place where visitors could experience science at close range through several hands-on activities. 5dVR, one of the start-ups that joined this year’s science night, is a digital studio based in Cairo, pioneering the creation of absorbing VR/AR experiences. Visitors had the chance to discover a totally new dimension of science and to experience immerse digital realities. Furthermore, we invited the start-up ORDOchao to attend our event. ORDOchao is a digital transformation and visualization company. This year’s visitors could experience real estate, architecture and furniture at their booth. Another highlight was the international youth movement Youthinkgreen who are dedicated to empower and educate youth to act for sustainable development in their local communities. Therefore, they organised an environmental treasure hunt game through the whole garden to transmit their knowledge in a playful manner. Finally, the DAAD was pleased to welcome the Planetarium Science Center by Biblioteca Alexandrina, who tries to stimulate and cultivate awareness, interest, and understanding of science through educational programs and exhibits. Inside the inflatable Planetarium, several scientific short movies were shown.
Throughout the evening, the liaison offices of German universities and research institutions in Cairo, which are the Technical University of Munich, the Technische Universität Berlin, the Freie Universität Berlin, the Philipps-Universität Marburg and the Orient-Institut Beirut as well as the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo presented their institutions and informed about their study programmes. In addition to that, the DAAD introduced its funding schemes for study and research projects.
The evening was rounded off in the special and vivid atmosphere of Ramadan by fruitful and inspiring discussions between visitors and experts.