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Did You Know?

Interesting facts about AUC dug up from the archives

The first building secured for AUC was Khairy Pasha’s Old Palace Residence. The same building at one time housed the Egyptian University, now Cairo University.


AUC owned land near the Giza Pyramids until 1959 and originally had planned to have the campus be by the pyramids.


AUC used to host a traditional tug of war contest between sophomores and freshmen. As reported by the Caravan on November 2, 1951, “The traditional tug of war between sophomores and freshmen will take place on Saturday, January 6 during Assembly time. There will be a ditch filled with mud between the two teams, and the winning team will be the one who can tug the other team into the mud.”


In its early days, AUC’s Arabic classes assigned students both a “sheikh” and an “effendi.” The sheikh was someone who did not speak English, and the effendi was someone who did.

— Alan Horton, student, written in 1947


Through the years, AUC students have hosted a range of informal contests, notably including a yelling contest in 1945 and a beard-growing contest in 1956. Below is an excerpt about the yelling contest in the January 5, 1945 Caravan edition:

“Leila Shukri beat all other co-eds who took part in a yelling contest last week in the girls’ room. The aim of the contest was to see who could reach the highest pitch. Leila Shukri reached the highest Mi note on tiptoes and so scored the highest. Ida Chalvarjian could not yell at all. Every time she tried yelling, she produced a discordant sound.”

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