Haythem works in the civil society for around 20 years, in intercultural dialogue, youth development and human rights education. He was responsible for the Euro-Arab cooperation in the field of youth between the League of Arab States and Council of Europe. He worked in different significant institutions like the League of Arab States, Anna Lindh Foundation and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. He established and managed several NGOs and civil society networks.
“It was an important decision to join scouting in a young age, it made me open to learn and to accept adventures and challenges, being able to travel and explore the world. ” – he explains.
He visited and had projects in many countries in Africa, Europe, Americas, Middle East and lived for a while in Scotland and Armenia then finally in Luxembourg.
“Sabah el Fol” :)= Moien !
What studies did you do and what is your main activity?
I studied finance, worked a bit in the stock market, but I felt passion towards cultures and civil society, I became much involved as a volunteer in many NGOs then established other NGOs and civil initiatives in Egypt and the Arab world.
Later I studied Civil society in the University of Glasgow, and I hold now Masters in Multilearn from the University of Luxembourg, My Master`s Thesis title was: “Intercultural Competences in Non-formal Educational contexts.”
I work as a freelance trainer on intercultural cooperation and youth development, and now coordinating some initiatives on integration and doing my PhD in educational science.
How long have you been in Luxembourg?
I have been in Luxembourg for almost 5 years, since 2002.
Which reason took you to Luxembourg?
I came originally to have my masters’ degree in the university of Luxembourg, I graduated from the Masters in Learning and communication in Multicultural and Multilingual context. But that Luxembourgish context took me to get deeper in its multilingual and multicultural layers and became involved in different initiatives and activities.
Now I am starting my PhD in Educational science in the University of Luxembourg
Tell us few things that have surprised you when first arrived?
The horizontal rain, when I realised that the umbrella will not protect me from the vertical rain anymore. It is fine to have 4 seasons in one day but the wind is very special sometimes. The time that the shops works, and weekends, if you are not prepared well you might have no dinner on Sunday :-)).
Can you give me 3 adjectives to describe your life in the Grand Duchy?
Calm , tolerant, empowering.
What aspect of Luxembourg would you miss if you had to leave tomorrow?
Diversity is a very important aspect that I didn’t find in many other countries, you can feel multiculturalism in every aspects of life in Luxembourg, it can be challenge, but it is very welcoming for the new comers to feel at home.
Tell us what is your preferred district in Luxembourg and why?
I lived for 4 years in Mondercange; it is very calm, quiet, safe for children and have an amazing walking trails all around. I feel nature is very close from the houses, and having fresh air too.
Do you go often out to eat and if yes what is your favourite type of cuisine?
I don’t go out often, gathering with friends and cooking together is very nice, specially in the amazing Luxembourgish summer time to have open air gatherings and barbecues.
Can you give me one word in your language which is impossible to translate into other languages?
“Ma-alesh” : It is in the Egyptian dialect form of Arabic, it can be represented in too many meanings according to the context. Originally it is believed that it came from a sentence that means (it has nothing on him) but literally it could mean: forget about it, it is ok, please accept this, don’t be sad, forgive me, give merci, please and much more.
I would like to help new comers from Egypt and other Arabophone countries when they come to Luxembourg, to act as a bridge of cultures and to share information with them. I want other people who comes to Luxembourg to feel comfortable.
Networking and being part of the diverse group will help each of us to know more, and will facilitate our common aim to feel home and make the new comers feel home too in Luxembourg.