Notable alumni and attendees of Cairo University
are listed here, first by decade of their graduation (or last attendance) and then alphabetically.
Unknown date of attendance/graduation
- Taha Hussein (1889-1973) was born in Izbit il-Kilo, Egypt. In 1914 he became the first person to graduate from Cairo University. Later he was the first Egyptian Dean of the Faculty of the Arts there and the first Egyptian to be nominated for a Nobel Prize in literature. He was also Minister of Education. He was blind from early childhood. Source: Hussein, Taha, The Days: His Autobiography in Three Parts, American University in Cairo Press; 2nd edition (October 1997).
- Philosopher and writer Abdurrahman Badawi was born in Sharabas a village in Dakahlia Governorate (Now in Damietta Governorate), He graduated from the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University in 1938. He earned his PhD in 1944 at the age of 27, Taha Hussein said:"Today we see the birth of the first Egyptian Philosopher" he became a Professor of philosophy at Cairo University then went to Ain Shams University in 1951. He also taught at Kuwait University. He wrote over 150 books, he passed away on July 25, 2002.
- Writer and philosopher Naguib Mahfouz was born in the Gamaliyya district of Cairo in 1911. He graduated from Cairo University in 1934. He has published more than fifty books of fiction, many of which have been translated and published in English. The film Cairo 1930 was based on his novel al-Qahira al-jadida. In 1988 he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
- Zaki Naguib Mahmoud was a "Philosopher of Authors & Author of Philosophers" He was an associate of philosopher Bertrand Russell and John Eyre. He graduated from the Faculty of Arts at Cairo University in 1930. He earned his PhD in England, then returned to Egypt and became a Professor of philosophy at his alma mater. He also taught at Kuwait University and wrote for Al-Ahram newspaper. He wrote many books, including The Philosophy of Science (1952), The Reasonable and the Absurd in our Intellectual Heritage (1975), and Seeds and Roots (1990).
- Yehia Hakki the writer.
- Boutros Boutros-Ghali is an Egyptian diplomat and was the sixth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1992 to December 1996. He graduated from Cairo University in 1946 and earned a PhD in international law from the University of Paris as well as a diploma in international relations from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris.
- Nazeer Gayed is Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria. Born in 1923, he earned a BA in English and history from Cairo University in 1947. Later he attended the Coptic Theological Seminary. After becoming a hermit for several years, he became Dean of the Coptic Orthodox Theological University. He was consecrated the 117th Pope of Alexandria in 1971.
- Saad Aziz Ibrahim was a Coptic Church Bishop who was killed along with Anwar Sadat in 1981. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at Cairo University in 1940. He was "a major figure in the Coptic revival." (The Times, October 12, 1981) He was the former chairman of the Middle East Council of Churches. He was elevated to Bishop by Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria in 1962. In 1971 he won the most votes in the papal election to succeed Cyril VI, but lost when the final decision was made by drawing lots (ibid.). [www.st-peter-st-paul-coptic-orthodox-church.org]
- Michel Wahba (1912-2000) was a clinical psychologist and academic. He grew up in Cairo and attended the College of Engineering at Cairo University. He graduated at the top of his class and was offered a full scholarship to study in the United Kingdom, but he turned it down to care for his brothers and sister. After graduation, he worked for American University in Cairo. Later he won a scholarship to the University of Chicago, where he earned his master's in 1951. In 1959 he won the Fulbright Scholarship and went with his wife and children to the University of North Carolina, where he earned his PhD. He worked for UC Davis as a clinical psychologist at Sacramento County Mental Hospital.
- Halim El-Dabh (b. 1921), Egypt's foremost living composer of classical music, and the composer (in 1960) of the original score to the Son et lumière show at the site of the Great Pyramids of Giza. He earned a bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering in 1945 and emigrated to the United States in 1950.
- Hassan Fathy the Eco-engineer.
- Osman Ahmed Osman the engineer & politaican.
- Poet Muhammad al-Fayturi was born in Al-Janina, Sudan. He spent his childhood in Alexandria, Egypt. He studied Islamic sciences, philosophy and history at Al-Azhar University in Cairo until 1953. That year, he published his first book of poems, "Songs of Africa." He then attended Cairo University for two years. His other poetry collections include Sunrise and Moonset and Lover from Africa. His work deals with issues of race, class and colonialism and is influenced by Sufi philosophy.
- Latifa al-Zayyat (1923-1996) was an Egyptian artist and intellectual. She was born in Dumyat and earned her Ph.D. in English literature from Cairo University in 1957. She was head of the English department there from 1976-1983. Her first novel, Al-Bab al-Maftooh (The Open Door) was published in 1960. Later in life she founded and led the Committee for the Defense of National Culture, which spearheaded efforts against the normalization of cultural relations with Israel.
- Yasser Arafat was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (1969–2004), President of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) (1993–2004); and a co-recipient of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize alongside Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin, for the successful negotiations of the 1993 Oslo Accords. He graduated from the King Fuad Cairo University Faculty of Engineering in 1956. While there, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood and served as president of the Union of Palestinian Students from 1952 to 1956.
- Albert Arie (aka Mohsen Allam) is an Egyptian Jew born in Cairo who converted to Islam. He earned his degree from the Faculty of Law of Cairo University in 1950. He was a Wafdist and devoted socialist. He is a historian of Jewish culture in Egypt.
- A. H. Kafrawy, BDS, MSD - Professor Emeritus, Indiana University Kafrawy taught at Indiana University School of Dentistry for over 30 years. He earned his BDS from Cairo University in 1958 and later attended medical school there before earning his MSD in Oral Diagnosis/Oral Medicine from Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1962. He is a Faculty Member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching from the Indiana Dental Association in 2000.
- Amr Moussa is the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. He graduated from the Cairo University Faculty of Law in 1957.
- Yusuf Idris the Physician and writer.
- Ali Abdelghany is a prominent Egyptian academic and marine biologist. He graduated from the School of Agriculture in 1966. He later attended Auburn University and the University of Idaho as well as working with the FAO.
- Ghazi Al-Qusaibi is a Saudi Arabian liberal politician, novelist, current Minister of Labor,and well-known intellectual. He received his law degree from Cairo University in 1961. He earned his MA in international relations from the University of Southern California in 1964, and obtained his PhD in Law from the University of London 1970.
- Mohamed ElBaradei is the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He was born in Egypt in 1942 and earned a Bachelor's degree in Law from the University of Cairo in 1962 and a Doctorate in International Law at the New York University School of Law in 1974. He won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.
- Saddam Hussein was the President of Iraq from 1979 until he lost power over Iraq when American troops arrived in Baghdad on April 9, 2003. He entered the Faculty of Law at Cairo University in 1962 and left to return to Iraq in 1964. He also attended Mustanseriya University in Baghdad. He was executed on December 30, 2006 for crimes against humanity.
- Kamal A. Mansour is a retired professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Emory University School of Medicine. He provided the funds for Emory's Kamal A. Mansour Professorship of Thoracic Surgery. He attended medical school in Cairo, earning his M.D. from Emory in 1968. He has pioneered lifesaving techniques in thoracic surgery. He has trained surgeons at Cairo University Faculty of Medicine, the National Institute for Cancer of Cairo University, Tanta University Faculty of Medicine and the El Galaa Military Hospital of Cairo.
- Archeologist Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovski is the director of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was born in Armenia in 1944. In 1967 he graduated from the Oriental Faculty of Leningrad State University, having majored in Arabic Studies. He attended Cairo University from 1965-66. He is a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a professor at St. Petersburg State University. He was awarded the Russian Order of Honor in 1997. Asteroid 4869 Piotrovsky is named after him and his father, Professor Boris Borisovich Piotrovski.
- Omar Sharif is an Egyptian-born actor (of Lebanese and Syrian origin) who has starred in many Hollywood films. He studied math and physics at Cairo University and graduated in 1963.
- Ahmed Ezz (born in 1959) graduated from Cairo University with a degree in Civil Engineering. He is an Egyptian politician and business tycoon and the Chairman and Managing Director of Al Ezz Industries.
- Ayman al-Zawahiri is a prominent member of the al-Qaeda group, a physician, author, poet, and formerly the head of the militant organization Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He obtained a degree in surgery at Cairo University in 1974 and an advanced medical degree in 1978.
- Mohsen Badawi Chairman of Aracom Systems, was born in Cairo on November 10, 1956. Entrepreneur, political activist and writer, graduated from Cairo University majoring in Accounting at the Faculty of Commerce, co-founder of the Egyptian Soviet Chamber of Commerce (1989), the main founder and first Chairman of the Canada Egypt Business Council "CEBC" (2001-2003). He is also the main founder and Chairman of Abdurrahman Badawi Association for Cultural Creativity "Ebdaa"(2003-), a member of the Egyptian Romanian Friendship Association (1988-1991), member of the Arab Scientific Transportation Association (1989-) and a member of The Egyptian International Economic Forum (2003-).
- Youssef Boutros Ghali politician & Egypt’s Minister of Finance.
- Taher Elgamal is a cryptographer and inventor of the Elgamal crypto algorithm. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cairo University in 1981, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1984. He served as chief scientist at Netscape Communications from 1995 to 1998.
- Ahmed E. Kamal is an engineering professor at Iowa State University. He was born in Giza, Egypt. He earned his B.Sc. in electrical engineering in 1978 and his M.Sc. in 1980, both from Cairo University. After graduation, he won the Connaught Fellowship to the University of Toronto, where he earned two more electrical engineering degrees: his M.A.Sc. in 1982 and Ph.D. in 1986.
- Ibrahim A. Karawan is the Director of the Middle East Center and an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah. Between 1995 and 1997 he was the Senior Fellow for Middle East Studies and Directing Staff Member at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, IISS, in London. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for International Studies at Oxford University and a Fellow at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He is a former Senior Research Associate at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo. He began attending Cairo University at the age of 16, majoring in economics and political science. Upon graduation, he worked for the Egyptian Army's Aid Defense System.
- Jehan Sadat was the second wife of Anwar Sadat and served as first lady of Egypt from 1970 until Sadat's assassination in 1981. She is a Senior Fellow at the University of Maryland, College Park and won the Pearl S. Buck award in 2001. She earned her B.A. (1977), M.A. (1980) and PhD (1986) degrees from Cairo University.
- Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd is an Egyptian academic and civil rights activist. He was born in 1943 and earned his PhD in Arabic and Islamic studies from Cairo University in 1981. He opposed the use of Islam for political ends in his 1992 book Naqd al-khitab al-dini (Critique of Religious Discourse). As a result, a Cairo court forced him to divorce his wife, Cairo University faculty member Ibtihal Yunis in 1995. After 1996, he and his wife fled Egypt and settled in The Netherlands, where he works at State University of Leiden. Source: "Abu Zayd, Nasr Hamid." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 3 December 2004 http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=9345158.
- Mustafa al'Absi is a professor of behavioral medicine and neuroscience at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He was born in Yemen. He received his undergraduate psychology degree from Cairo University in 1985. He also received doctoral training in biological and clinical psychology at the University of Oklahoma. He currently directs multiple behavioral medicine research programs. He has received several honorary awards, including the Herbert Weiner Early Career Award and the Neal E. Miller Young Investigator Award. He has published more than 80 scientific articles, chapters, and edited books. He served as an editor or on editorial boards of multiple journals. He has also assumed leadership positions in several national and international organizations.
- Mahmoud Mohieldin the Minister of Investment in Egypt.
- Anti-war demonstrator and Cairo University student Nourhan Thabit was allegedly kicked by police who arrested her while she was pregnant and protesting in March 2003. During this time many students were arrested and taken to Giza State Security Intelligence Headquarters, where some were allegedly tortured.