Rania Salah Seddik

Nationality: Egypt
Program: One-year MAPP
Graduated: 2011
Current job: Founder and Managing Director at GebRaa – Egyptian Handcrafted Treasures
Location: Cairo, Egypt

Beyond Work

+1. Which Hungarian words do you still remember?

Köszönöm [thank you] and sajt [cheese].

+2. What is your favorite city in the world?

Cairo. Budapest comes very high on my list, too.

+3. What helps you wake up on Monday mornings?

Getting a good night's sleep.

+4. What is your favorite way to unwind after a long day at work?

Watching a movie, attending a concert, or just meeting friends.

1. What led you to study public policy at CEU?

I was offered a partial fellowship, but at that moment I was unsure whether to take it. As I was the first Egyptian to attend CEU, the university was not that well-known in the country before. So I posted "Budapest or no Budapest" on Facebook and decided I'd go or not based on the replies. More people said "Budapest" than "no Budapest," so I decided to go. It turned out to be the right choice – it was a great experience – and since then CEU has welcomed many more Egyptians.

2. What do you remember most about your time at CEU?

Diversity. I now have friends in around 100 countries. I have already been hosted by seven friends I met at CEU in seven different countries. I remember everything about my time at CEU. I remember the daily commute from the dorm to the university and back. I remember our weekend parties at Szimpla and Instant. I remember the amazing night bus and how we jammed inside it to go back to the dorm. I remember having a support system of 480 students living together on nine floors (countless stories). I remember the great location of the university in the center of the city. I remember trips with my friends. I remember graduation and the spring ball. Of course, I also remember the torture of writing my thesis, papers, and assignments. Most importantly, I'll never forget the huge solidarity movement my friends created while I was participating in the Egyptian revolution back in 2011.

3. What have you been engaged in professionally since graduating from CEU?

I have been engaged solely with my social enterprise GebRaa. The startup aims to revive traditional Egyptian crafts that are at risk of disappearing. We offer training to artisans, inspire pride among them in their cultural heritage, and support product development to streamline and modernize production, so they can sell their wares at a profit.

4. How have your policy studies at CEU contributed to your career?

I would never have read all those papers if I hadn't been involved in a master's program. It was simply a great eye opener, due not only to the readings, but also because of the rich discussions and debates with our professors and the diverse students.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself having finally created a successful brand that brings to the world unique Egyptian products produced by highly skilled artisans from all over the country.

6. Do you have any advice for current students?

Enjoy each other's company and learn about all the cultures represented by the student body. Party less and speak more. But party hard too, and travel as much as you can together. Finally, try to secure yourself a place in the dorm.

7. What is your favorite thing to do in Budapest?

Spend the day at Széchenyi Bath.

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