Reflection on Digital Games

Mahmoud Yehia

Playing Spent has been a joy for me to be honest, I love the idea and I love the choices you have to make in order to balance yourself financially. Every decision will either make you broke, or will make you survive another day. The Syrian Refugee game has also grabbed my attention and I’ve had to make choices this time, with my life and my families life. Fake it to make it is also one hell of an interesting game, I get to be the person who spreads fake news! How great is that haha! Honestly, the game was an experience of its own, its a simulation of how it actually is. I mean, I get to see the likes, shares and how many people actually believe me and everything I’m saying, it is sick! I’ve also given 2 of the student’s games, one of them is Living. I…

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Bucket List

Here are a few things that are on my Bucket List.

1. Exhibit my designs in galleries as that is my passion and I would like to share it with others and be proud of doing something of my own.

2. I would like to swim with dolphins as it looks so interesting and friendly.

3. I want to learn Spanish as the language is widely used and I love how it sounds.

4. I would like to finish a thousand piece puzzle, frame it and hang it somewhere in my house.

Image Sources:

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Unboxing Sexism

Sexism is one of the dilemmas that exist worldwide and should be forbidden in all cultures and societies due to its negative impact on the mentalities and on the production level of men and women, yet, it is believed that it still exists even within the most educated and diverse societies in Egypt. Sexism can be defined as any form of discrimination, underestimation, or prejudice against both genders, and is mostly illustrated through language. There are numerous causes of sexism, some that include culture, religion, tradition, stereotypes or stigma. In this project and report, this paper will examine the existence of sexism in the American University in Cairo, and most importantly, unbox sexism through media outlets and future campaigns. According to the facebook page ‘Unboxing Sexism’, created specifically to engage people in our cause, 90% of 31 votes have agreed that sexism remains to exist inside the AUC, whereas only 10% of the 31 votes have voted that sexism does not exist in AUC. Our topic is a crucial topic of investigation, due to the extremely negative impacts that could occur as consequences; furthermore, negative impacts to the mentality or to the productivity of both genders are guaranteed as a result of sexism. In this investigation, women are our target focus, in other words, we are aiming to investigate whether sexism against women in the AUC remains to exist or not. The location is specific as the AUC is one of the most diverse and educated places in  Egypt, yet, the majority as mentioned earlier believe that sexism remains to exist even within such a society.

This section of the report aims to portray all the significant information concerning sexism towards women in Egypt as a whole, in advance of the investigation. According to CAPMAS, the dropout rates of preparatory education in Egypt is somewhat similar for both genders, with a recorded rate of 4.6 for females and 4.4 for males, as of 2014. In terms of the marriage rate for women under the age of twenty, for instance, it has been gradually increasing ever since 2009 until 2014, which is unfortunate. It was also surprising to know that in the participation level in the Egyptian economy, 77.5% are males, whilst the rest are females, as well as the fact that the unemployment rate for both genders massively vary, as the unemployment rate for women is 24, whilst the unemployment rate for men is only 12.8. Such indications could be one of the many reasons why sexism can never end in a country like Egypt.

Bringing more focus to our specific target, the university president, Francis Ricciardone, addressed this problem in an email he sent to the whole AUC community guaranteeing that it is vital to make sure that the campus remains sexism-free. As he wrote, “Any AUCian who has witnessed or experienced instances of any forms of sexual abuse or any form of bullying or discrimination, or who has ideas for how to strengthen our culture of respect and dignity, has the full personal attention and support of the AUC leadership team, for timely, appropriate, and effective action.” These words show how he is concerned and offers support for those who faced discrimination. He encourages the community to speak up, be active about it, and ensures the AUC body that they are supported.

Sadly we have concluded from interviews we have conducted with several girls, we found out that sexism is greatly embedded in our community. It revealed that even AUC, that is highly educated, still discriminates between men and women and treats women as inferiors. They are judged by their clothes, by their intellect, and by their looks. Till today in 2018 and in one of the highly respected institutes, women are still discriminated against to study engineering. Women are still stereotyped as they belong only in the kitchen and as housewives. Awareness about this social problem must be spread out. Women should be encouraged to report sexist behaviors and to fight for their rights to put an end to it. Basic human values as respect should be taught and stressed on to live in a world full of gender equality and high standards of ethics. Our message is to encourage women to “unbox” sexism; to reveal it, report it, and fight against it.

This podcast reveals confession of AUCian girls thoughts on Sexism:

This infographic shows the discriminative statistics between women and men in Egypt

Sexism Infographics

Check out our facebook page “Unboxing Sexism” on https://www.facebook.com/unboxsexism/

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Smiling Depression

Ahmed Okasha, Founder and Emeritus Chairman of the Institute of Psychiatry, criticized physicans’ diagnosis of depression and their treatments in Egypt in an event held at the American University in Cairo on the Second of May.

Professor Okasha denounced doctors’ several fabricated diseases that are based on physical pain. He claims that the reason behind those pain is actually psychological and not physical. These are called Somatic Symptom Disorder (SSD) which are somatic symptoms that are not caused by an obvious medical explanation.

“There is nothing called Romatism, Liver laziness, or bodily humidity,” sarcastically says Okasha. His words are to reveal how doctors have made up false beliefs to explain those somatic symptoms to patients and to be able to give them medications in order to get money.

“They would not tell you that that is depression,” said Okasha criticizing physicians on mistakenly (but purposefully) diagnosing patients. “Back and joints pain, constipation, diarrhea and so on have psychological reason,” adds Okasha.

Okasha explains how this is easily believed in our country, Egypt, as of several reasons and one of the main reasons is that mental illnesses are severely stigmatized in our society. He introduces the idea of how parents prefer that their children do not suffer from psychological symptoms as they believe it is because Kufr, Hassad, or has a devilish connotation. Especially in the country side, where they are mostly illiterate, and they go to one regional doctor first and when they find no development they later refer to Sheikhs for a cure rather than psychiatrists.

“One in Three people goes to a psychiatric clinic to treat their depression,” he states.

Also, guardians feel responsible towards their children as they feel that they have messed up or are not satisfying their children’s needs in a way or another.

Another reason for Somatic Symptom Disorder is that people are accustomed to express their pain in physical terms and not in a psychological manner or in emotional symptoms and this is called Alexithymia. An example for such are expressions like “my chest is suffocating, or I want to burn my body,”

“Some people cannot describe their emotional symptoms, so they describe it by their bodies,” adds Okasha. “Anxiety, Panic, Depression all can cause somatic symptom disorder.”

The reason behind some bodily pains are psychological and this idea is suppressed in Egypt due to several reasons such is Stigma of Mental Illness, Physicians’ over-diagnosis to get paid, parents’ feelings of responsibility and that they are not satisfying their children.

“All of you get headaches and you only cure it by taking pills like Panadol and that is it. However, have not you thought of the real reason behind this headache?” he rhetorically asks.

In Mental Health Month, the Office of Student Well-being were celebrating and honoring this event and have brought the Legendary Okasha as their guest speaker to commemorate this event.

Ahmed Okasha is a psychiatry professor in Ain Shams University Faculty of Medicine in Cairo. He is a pioneer in the field of psychiatry. Okasha has authored several books and articles about mental disorders. Okasha is the Director of WHO Collaborating Center for training and research in mental health institute of psychiatry. He is an international professor who is very well-known around the world because of his achievements in the psychiatry field.

Soliya has finished

The Soliya connect program in brief is an online weekly class that aims to aid students in getting to intertwine different cultures. It is a program that connects people from all across the world to discuss whatever topic they want to discuss, monitored by a facilitator who, by their title, facilitate the discussion that takes place for those two hours a week. My experience with Soliya had its positives and negatives. Starting off with the positives, I have met great people. Inspiring if I may say. It amazes me how Italy, Palestine, Tunisia, and Egypt we’re connected through this platform and having the opportunity to discuss ideas, beliefs, passion, and traditions. My weekly group were a group of five ladies. We were a small group and we got to know each other personally and we had greater things in common and we got to discuss our topics in depth and know each other’s views. The thing about the topics discussed in the program is that we talk about important educational topics. We have conversed about identities, economics, women in each of our culture and how they are treated and portrayed in films, citizenship, and more. These topics would not have been discussed on other platforms. Other platforms are not as educational.

I have found out that I am the type of communicator who tries to find common topics of interest and discuss native and personal things that are very simple. Also, it seemed like my colleagues were interested in the content I shared as I have noticed that I was questioned on my topics rather than shifting to other ones.

However, since it is an online program and since I live in Egypt were the Internet is terribly slow. I have faced a lot of technical issues were I had to login on and off a couple of times and trying to catch up on what I have missed in the conversation and even sometimes the camera would totally shut down and the program would work in audio only. These issues were challenging and a bit frustrating, but to my benefit and luck, I had a great facilitator who would instantly help me follow up and also, honestly, when it worked audio only I was more comfortable speaking.

One thing that disappointed me, was that there was not much of a controversy. I thought it was essential for better learning to have a debate rather than just sharing of ideas and having a mutual agreement. By the end of the sessions, it got to be a bit boring and that all the sessions were the same and there was no excitement.

Overall, I have enjoyed my Soliya experience and my group.