Despite making positive strides, Egypt still has a long way to go when it comes to education, so it is always cause for celebration when an Egyptian makes an impact in the field. One such Egyptian is Harvard graduate student Amin Marei.

After studying law at Cairo University and Finance at the AUC, Marei recently completed his master’s degree in Technology, Innovation, and Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). And as if that isn’t impressive enough, in May this year HGSE awarded Marei its prestigious Harvard Intellectual Contribution Award, which honours graduating master’s students who have influenced the learning experiences of their peers, and who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, according to Marei.Speaking to Cairo Scene, Marei describes his experience studying at the prestigious school and why he chose the field of Technology, Innovation and Education, “I believe that technology with all its different forms provides a multitude of opportunities for scaling high quality education. I am especially interested in using technology to create innovative sustainable educational models for low income communities.” Despite being incredibly far from home, Marei initially enrolled in the programme to learn how to utilise media to provide scalable learning experiences in the Middle East.

“It has been a tremendous learning opportunity. Harvard's learning environment allows you to learn every day. From your faculty, from your colleagues, or from all the events and projects happening around campus. Harvard also allows you take classes at MIT, which is another enormous learning opportunity.”

In fact, Marei hasn’t just been taking additional classes at MIT; he is currently part of a team developing a maker media brand called the Hands and Mind Studio. “Its aim is to develop the creativity and knowledge of Egyptian youth (6-10 years old) by providing them with original media content that teaches them science and engineering in a fun and engaging manner” Marei explains. The team, including Marei, was recently awarded two grants from MIT’s Legatum Center and the MIT Public Service Center.

With his time at Harvard coming to an end, Marei hopes to take what he learned and bring it to Egypt. “My plans after Harvard involve working to support educational initiatives in Egypt that aim to improve the quality of education in low income communities. I also plan to continue working on Hands and Mind Studio.”

Photos: Amin Marei