Nidhal Guessoum

Egyptian chemist Ahmed Zewail first proposed building a $2 billion science and technology institute in Cairo 12 years ago, just after he won a Nobel Prize. Then-President Hosni Mubarak promptly approved the plan and awarded Zewail the Order of the Nile, Egypt’s highest honor. Within months, the cornerstone was laid in a southern Cairo suburb for a “science city” due to open in five years.