Moushir Youssef

Education at IHE Delft exceeds the simple objective of learning for obtaining a degree, getting a promotion, or finding better job opportunities: it plants a seed for being an agent of growth and positive change in the world through tackling issues related to water.

Middle East and North Africa
Egypt Middle East and North Africa

Moushir Youssef, from Egypt, is studying Hydraulic Engineering and River Basin Development.

How did you hear about IHE Delft?
I am from Cairo, Egypt, where I studied at university after growing up in Kuwait. My first knowledge of IHE Delft was through an email that was forwarded to me by my supervising professor for my bachelor’s thesis. The email showcased various achievements of IHE Delft, and included information regarding the upcoming events and scholarship deadlines.

What are the benefits of studying here?
IHE Delft is a leading name within the field of water sciences. Its reputation is boosted due to various reasons, including its location and its connections with other organisations such as Deltares, the Delft University of Technology, UNESCO, and the World Bank. Also important is the tailoring of the education process to tackle real life issues in the field, particularly those in the students’ home countries. All of this makes IHE Delft an easy choice even when comparing to other reputable and worthwhile institutes and universities. Various factors such as financing, location, the international and culturally diverse atmosphere were all to my liking at IHE Delft.

What is good about studying at IHE Delft?
The benefits and little unnoticed perks of studying at IHE Delft are countless. I think a good starting point for those perks would be coffee machines that provide free coffeeof your choice – they certainly include your favourite! On a more practical note, the way that the education process is tailored and adjusted to tackle practical modern-day water issues from countries all around the world, including students’ home countries, is extremely useful in developing knowledge and skills for creating a positive change. The small number of students also allows for this to be accomplished, and creates a sense of belonging to a place where everyone knows everyone else. It creates a sense of familiarity.

Education at IHE Delft exceeds the simple objective of learning for obtaining a degree, getting a promotion, or finding better job opportunities: it plants a seed for being an agent of growth and positive change in the world through tackling issues related to water. This is achieved through careful consideration of the students’ feedback, the involvement of leisure activities and communities and through providing personal support, educationally and emotionally.

Why did you choose to study in the field of water?
My interest in the field of water-related studies started when I was choosing a topic for my bachelor’s thesis. I saw it as an opportunity to be exposed to a relatively uncommon field of study in Egypt. I did not expect that this would develop into something as realistic as it is now for me.

The driving reason behind that choice was I personally wanted the world to become a greener, lush, and more beautiful place - and this certainly has something to do with water. Coming from a country where the desert dominates a huge portion of its land, water and greenery is not a very common sight. As childish as my initial idea may sound, no one can deny the importance of water for living and development, and in turn also the creation of more beautiful landscapes. Water affects population growth, placement of communities, production of food through agriculture and fisheries, production of power and energy, and in turn the general appearance of landscape, as well as its role in a region’s economy. 

Water-related problems in Egypt
My personal opinion, based on my life in Egypt and my general exposure to the situation, is that the general situation regarding water in Egypt is unfavourable. It is not bad; it is unfavourable, but barely bearable. The real issue regarding water in Egypt is the rate at which the situation declines. Various reasons affect this decline - overpopulation plays the greatest role. It is nevertheless still entirely possible to control the situation and to improve it, though the way to achieve this may be unclear and always controversial.

My first week and student experience
It would be difficult to find words that describe the intensity of the emotions I feel. I am enjoying every moment of my time at IHE Delft and every aspect of it. The city, the study, the country, the people at IHE Delft: it is all so enjoyable and wonderful. I am so happy that my name is registered as an IHE Delft student, that I am allowed to meet the people here, learn, make friendships. My experience exceeds my expectations. To my mind, this was supposed to be “just another” study to get a degree and get hammered with some information that is disconnected from reality. I am grateful to be here.

The teaching method at IHE Delft is very dynamic and adjustable and helps connect the material studied with modern-day issues and problems that cause water problems around the globe. Situations from various countries, including students’ home countries, are all discussed. The perspectives of students are broadened as they learn about issues that they may have never faced in their own country. The well-rounded knowledge we gain enables us to contribute to solving different problems that may be faced globally. This method of education is influenced by feedback from students and their views on different issues. Discussion is given importance during class.

This is different from the method of teaching in Egypt, where the curricula are centred to provide information and where there is no tailoring of information to focus on modern-day issues, or to prepare for a work environment.

An IHE Delft strength is that it tackles water related issues from multiple perspectives, including socio-political aspects, managerial aspects, development of specialized software, and the utilization of solutions that align with environmental sustainability.

After graduation
My desire is to be able to use what I learn here both academic as well as professional growth. I want to contribute to making a change within the world, both on personal and organisational levels, by sharing my knowledge and education with others. I have an ambition to be able to pursue a PhD and hopefully be able to teach. Egypt is definitely a place where I desire to provide such a change, as the struggles it faces in water-related issues also are opportunities to make a positive impact. Nevertheless, my world has greatly expanded since my study at IHE Delft, and now even other countries in Africa seem extremely attractive for me to pursue my goals. I want to contribute where I am needed the most. As to where or who might need what I could possibly provide, that remains a mystery for the future.

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More information about Hydraulic Engineering and River Basin Development.

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