Edited by: Yasmin Adham
Known for his deadly exams, helpfulness, kindness, and coolness all at once, Professor Slim is one controversial professor. Having him teaching in our university for fifteen years non-stop, maintaining everything he does, is the reason we sat with him and had this interview.
1. What is your life motto?
“Be happy and enjoy life”, This is the most important thing because if you didn’t, it will be useless. Do and achieve a lot of things and you will experience real happiness.
2. What is your favorite quote?
I do not like quotes that much, but here is one“Life is easy, but we complicate it”. In fact, it is aligned with my motto, the main reason for being happy is understanding how easy life could be. Those who complicate things will lose what life aim is, it will stress them out and eventually leave them unhappy.
3. What is the aim of life for you?
To do something good. Do something good to yourself, your family, and to the community, Be an ethical, honest person, and try to help as much as you can; whenever you reach that, then most probably, you have achieved the aim of life.
4. What inspires you the most?
Success. Success makes success. That is why I do not really believe that much in quotes that say, ‘’If you fail, you will be more successful.’’, it is not always the case. Some people fail, get depressed -and in some cases- can even stop trying.
However, if you are successful, you learn better and faster than from failures. If you fail, it is still not a big deal; try it out again, but you should not fail over and over a lot. That is why the best inspiration for me is success. Success for me is being satisfied with what I have achieved. One should not compare themselves to others because there will always be those who are better or worse.
5. While you were growing up, have you ever pictured your life to be this way?
For sure not. Growing up, I didn’t picture my life at all. I just wanted to have a good life with a good job and that was it! When we were young, we did not have an internet or an access to a foreign TV channel -which was good- we were not exposed to other’s lives to picture ours to be like theirs’. And for my life now, it was never planned. It all came by chance, as I have never imagined spending 15 years of my life in Egypt.
6. How do you feel about spending 15 years in Egypt?
It is nice and that is why I am still here. I like the place, the culture, and the people; otherwise, I would have never stayed here for that long.
7. What achievement of yours would you consider your greatest achievement?
Being involved in a team that was able to graduate successful people, and the nice thing is that it happens with every batch, giving every achievement a different taste. As there are different people in every batch, and when those people of all batches become successful, you will believe that you are contributing to shaping every generation of those batches.
8. Don’t you ever get bored of lecturing?
For me, every lecture is a new experience even if I’m giving the same lecture 10 times. Teaching is twice learning. It is one of the few jobs where you keep on learning until the last day. You learn from students as you adapt your teaching to keep an interesting environment, You also learn how to deal with different people, communicate, and inspire them.
9. Why are you still in the academic field?
Because it is a passion. Without passion, delivering information would be boring. Education is generally a problem-solving tool. A lot of people who are poor can conquer this by becoming successful with education, which will help them have good job opportunities. One more thing is “inspiring people to attend lectures” because they feel inspired by the lecturer as sometimes a lecturer is not there to teach them content; sometimes, a lecturer is there to teach them life.
10. If you were not teaching, what would you be doing instead?
Actually, teaching has never been my aim, It all came by chance. When I did my Ph.D., I wanted to go to the industry, but the market at that time was not that good; I proceeded in the academic field, and I got my habilitation (qualification of a professor position). Then I got an offer from the GUC, which I accepted and here we are. On the other hand, instead of computer science and teaching, I would have chosen sports.
11. Why did you choose to study computer science in the first place?
I got a scholarship in three majors: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science. I had no prior knowledge in any of the three, I decided to go for computer science randomly without even seeing a computer in my life.
12. What are the moments that make you feel glad you’re teaching?
Witnessing people learning and understanding. Also, getting recognition back when I stumble upon students whom I have taught before and hearing that they are happy that I have taught them and that my teaching affected their lives in a way or another always makes me happy.
13. Do you know that you are the most feared professor in the university? Yet all the students still love you. How do you do that?
Why do they fear me? Most probably, because they think that I am strict. In lectures, I want them to attend to understand the content. Sometimes they may fear my exams. However, once they go to an exam and find out that they actually learnt from the course and the exam they took, the fear they once had turn automatically into love because they get to know that I am doing this to ensure that they are getting a quality of education that can guarantee them a good job.
14. Has any student of yours affected you in return?
Sure, all of them, the good and the special ones. They did change something in me, and the things that I have learned from them could be more than those that I have taught them. It is not easy to be said, but it is a fact.
This was our interview with Prof. Dr.Slim We hope you enjoyed reading it as much as we enjoyed interviewing him.