Cairo –The United States Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs, Maria Otero, visited Egypt on April 15 – 17 as the first stop on a three nation tour to learn about water resource issues in the region and to discuss other global issues. During her stay in Egypt, Otero met with Mohamed Nasr el-Deen Allam, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Dr. Mofid Shehab, Minister of Legal Affairs and Parliamentary Councils, and Deputy Foreign Minister Wafaa Bassim. She also met with local water experts and civil society activists.
Before departing Cairo, Otero went to Gamalia with U.S. Ambassador Margaret Scobey to visit the Friends of Environment and Development Association (FEDA), an Egyptian NGO that works towards alleviating poverty, improving living conditions, and protecting cultural heritage. The organization involves local community members in sustainable human and economic development in areas ranging from environmental conservation to women’s issues and youth education.
The Association’s Chairman, Dr. Adli Bishay, gave Undersecretary Otero and Ambassador Scobey a tour of FEDA’s Gamalia complex. They visited FEDA’s computer skills center and health clinic. They also visited classrooms where women were learning weaving skills, children were learning about science and the environment, and youth were learning about community involvement.
The U.S. Embassy in Cairo funds FEDA’s programs for elementary and secondary school children from the local community to acquaint them with the value of active citizenship, and in developing their ability to express their views and practice respect for the opinions of others. Otero commended FEDA for the work they are doing, and said “I am proud that the United States is supporting civil society in Egypt and around the world. Organizations like this one play a vital role in social development by improving people’s lives, and we are glad to partner with them.”