World through my eyes

Thursday 30th September

This was the Grid day open to all and had attendees from Helwan and other universities in Cairo including Cairo University which has 250,000 students and 22 faculties. It was held at the Guest house. It has a very nice conference room with air conditioning and WiFi. There were about 150 attendees, probably 60:40 women:men, 2 women had full veils, 4 had no head scarf. I was the second speaker and gave a talk on the Internet in Africa. At the end of the morning there was a panel session on computing and networking that I served on. Lunch was upstairs on the 4th floor. I sat next to Professor Salwa Nassar who earlier on had given a talk on High Performance Computing (HPC). She is associated with 2 government institutes in Cairo. We discussed installing a PingER monitoring site at one or both of here institutes, and she was very receptive. We also discussed many other topics including an interesting discussion on the comfort (in the heat) of womens-wear in Egypt. She wore a scarf and a floor length black robe. The afternoon session was mainly on applications using the Grid in the areas of the LHC and space science. The president of the university stopped by and awarded certificates to the students and the lecturers.  Mikhail and I also worked with Ahmed to get a taxi for the next day to take us to Giza and Saqara. It will pick us up at the front of the Guest House at 8:00am on Friday (tomorrow) and the driver will take US $ which we negotiated in advance. Afterwards there was a closing ceremony followed by a photo of the students and teachers followed by farewells etc. When I returned to my room at 6:30pm I found my laundry had been returned. I took a shower and washed some socks since we now had hot water. Dinner at 7:30pm, for the first time since getting to Egypt I felt reasonably hungry so I ate well. I borrowed Monique’s 3G stick (which Ayman had lent to Luc who lent it to Monique) and was able to logon and send the second installment of the blog.  Tomorrow we breakfast at 7:30am since it is Friday the Muslim holy day so we are free and want to get an early start for the pyramids. Outside it is very windy, which may make it cooler, and may make it even more dusty, we shall see tomorrow.

 

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