A little rant on AUC’s commecialization

This will be brief-

– We have had camera crews all around campus for about a week now, where they have been stationing themselves around various parts of the campus filming something I don’t know. At first I thought that it was some class project- seeing as how most students here are far more wealthy than an average person can imagine, it won’t be surprising if everything is just done bigger and better here.

And then I learned today that actually, it was for a kind of soap opera called “Gamiat” or translated to, “college”- a new Egyptian television series being filmed on campus. So I will be seeing camera crews and hoards of people around AUC for a while now, filming something that looks like an imitation of Beverly Hills 90210 or something, Misri style.

It bothers me that this wealthy campus is actually accepting money for a television production. For being the best university in Egypt, let along the Middle East, I am sure it is not for exposure. Allowing this makes me feel like a desperate attempt for…I don’t know what. Money? Attention? Maybe, since charging about six times more than other colleges around the country is not enough. It all seems cheap to me. I am not sure how I will feel about going to a university for my degree where a television serial about teenage-esque drama is also being filmed. So I will just have to accept that my professors will believe me when I say I was late to class because the camera man would not let me pass through god forbid I ruin some action scene on the staires of Huss.

– Also for about a week or two, I have been seeing these booths by banks and insurance companies standing hand in hand with campus organizations and clubs. It looks like a scene I saw first year at Wellesley during orientation when local companies would com to help you get cell phones, bank accounts, etc. Fine. But then I see Coca Cola on campus with their little ad campaign, with banners and a photo booth, clearly trying to sell their product. And then I see other brands around. I am sure they had to pay some price to be allowed to stay in the heart of the AUC campus promoting their goods. How far are we going to let the corporate world come into campus?  Of course, at the end of the day, it is all business. But I just feel that these recent obserations are just a tad bit too much for what I am used to, and what I will remember when I recall the semester I studied abroad in Egypt when I am supposed to immerse myself in the culture of the college scene.

– Finally, with all this money that AUC takes from its students, study abroad students, and adertising and allowing a whole television to be filmed here, why is it that almost half of the tehcnological equipment is donated by USAID? In the newly built, multi0million dollar campus where parking lots are filled with cars not older than seven years old, USAID continues to donate computes, scanners, printers, etc. I of course do not know the entire story, but it seems just a bit ironic that students should complain in my political science classes about the lack of support the United States gives to developing nations when most of the technology you enjoy are from USAID. Especially since these equipments seem to be helping members from the cream of the crop in Egyptian society who are paying for designer sneakers with their pocket change.

And now I will resume to my homework, reading about how it is American media that has destroyed the youth of Middle Eastern society.

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