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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Times Higher Education interviews Lisa Anderson

“When nothing is ordinary, ordinary is very important,” former American University in Cairo (AUC) president Lisa Anderson said, explaining her decision to reopen AUC just two days after Mubarak was deposed on 11 February, 2011. In an interview with Times Higher Education’s Chris Havergal, Anderson said, “People would say they were surprised we opened and I said: ‘That’s what we are here for.’ We owed it to our students, to the families and to the faculties to do what we were supposed to be doing.” She spoke more about her tenure in Egypt, talking in depth about being the target of student protests; “Anderson stresses that the budget was not entirely under her control, being the responsibility of the university trustees.” Her personal security was also at stake as her personal bodyguards “were concerned that she looked too similar to Anne Patterson, the US ambassador who became a target of protesters’ wrath, and Anderson wryly recalls her relief that Patterson’s successor was a tall man.” For Egypt’s wider future, Anderson is sanguine; believing that “the political awakening in Egypt’s population that the revolution brought about will allow progress to be made over time.”

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