In his capacity as Project Manager of the Sustainable Development Program at the Industrial Modernization Center in Cairo, Mr. Al-Amir Mohssen manages projects that focus on entrepreneurship and micro, small and medium enterprise development that support young entrepreneurs working across Egypt. He frequently volunteers for youth initiatives and is interested in learning about a broad variety of youth engagement strategies in the U.S. in addition to programs to encourage young entrepreneurs.
What have you been up to since your IVLP experience?
Since my return to Egypt following my IVLP, I’ve been busy and active in both of my voluntary activities and my profession.
In my voluntary activities (social and youth work):
I was assigned to be National Coordinator in Egypt of the international environmental Let’s Do It World http://www.letsdoitworld.org . I have been leading the coordination for the “Let’s Do It” movement in Egypt, participating with other Mediterranean countries in organizing clean-up days in May of each year with the participation of hundreds of volunteers. This year, on May 8, I led a wonderful team of organizers and volunteers (300 young Egyptians) in Alexandria City to clean up a public beach with participation of the Governor of Alexandria and the Ambassador to Egypt from Latvia. We received extensive national media coverage during the event and, in addition to the clean-up, we organized art workshops for kids and held an open discussion about the trash problem in Egypt and the city of Alexandria.
In June of 2015, I was proud to lead my wonderful “Let’s Do It” team of volunteers Egypt to participate in clean-up awareness initiative during a contest for which we organized the longest table in the world, as recognized by the Guinness World Records on that day. In October of this year we are planning for a big clean-up day over Egypt in Alexandria & Cairo at the same time.
In my work: I am a project manager for a development program in Egypt (Industrial Modernization Center) that supports and develops handicrafts industries and artisans who are creative with ethnic and cultural product allover Egypt either working individually or through associations & NGOs. Since my IVLP, I led a team, under the supervision of my director, to create an action plan to develop a national brand of the Egyptian handicrafts and cultural products. The result is “Creative Egypt,” a name created by me and now officially registered. In February of 2015, we exhibited our Egyptian crafts in a big trade fair, in a pavilion of over 1600 square meters, called “Creative Egypt,” followed by the opening of a fair trade store in the heart of Cairo with the same name.
What one lesson that you learned or idea that you gained on your IVLP experience have you started to apply in your organization?
My IVLP theme was Volunteerism in US, and what was new for me there is that it’s part of the culture in United States to volunteer your time for your society. One of the most important concepts I took home with me is the importance of measuring volunteers’ time with a monetary value, so at the end of the year each organization can calculate hours and efforts of volunteers into a monetary figure.
What message would you like to share with the people who hosted and met with you in the US?
I would like to confirm to them that the people are the most beautiful element of United States. I liked them and I loved people I’ve met mostly everywhere there, either in the program or even in metro or a restaurant. You have really wonderful people.