Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs / H.E. Nabila Makram
On February 15th, AmCham Egypt Inc. headed by AmCham Egypt’s former CEO; Hisham A. Fahmy hosted its first event in Washington D.C.; a roundtable lunch with H.E. Nabila Makram, Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs.
Attending the event were Mr. Ayman Dessouky, Consul General of Egyptian Embassy in Washington, Mr. Mohamed Youssef, Ministry of Investment and Mr. Khaled Hassan, Ministry of Housing; in addition to a number of senior officials from the World Bank and private sector representatives residing in the D.C. area.
During the luncheon, Her Excellency discussed the role of the ministry in engaging with Egyptians living in the United States, as well as the support extended to Egyptians working abroad. She also discussed that she will be proposing a new immigration law that will tie up all the loose ends related to the work of the Ministry. Discussions touched upon several issues; including some obstacles facing the Egyptians living in the U.S.; difficulties in issuing legal documents related to military service; especially for second and third generation Egyptians.
Attendees praised the effective role that the Egyptian Embassy in Washington plays in communicating with Egyptians and agreed on the need for a wider communication effort and awareness building as it relates to issues of bilateral strategic importance.
A number of recommendations came out of the discussion; including the need to develop a comprehensive database facilitating communication with all Egyptian expatriates.
It was also mentioned during the meeting that the New York branch of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) holds an account for the ‘Tahya Masr’ initiative, where Americans may donate and this donation can be deducted from taxes.
On a positive note, hundreds of Egyptians in the United States have enjoyed successful careers; of which around 58 currently work at the World Bank and 51 at the International Monetary Fund (IMF); as well as many well-established professionals in different fields are said to be willing to lend their support to Egypt through serving on advisory boards or through other means. Uniting efforts and creating the right channels of communication between different stake holders that can work towards supporting Egypt is essential.