Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Egyptian Physical Therapists


Recently, I have receieved emails from Egyptian Physical Therapists interested in learning more about Occupational Therapy. Many of them report that they heard about OT from the OT in Egypt Blog link posted on the home page of the The Egyptian General Physical Therapy Syndicate: (http://www.gpts-egypt.org/).

As OT's are part of the whole rehabilitation team, I think it is very important that all members (doctors, nurses, speech and language therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers etc.) have an understanding of each other's role in a patients' wholistic treatment plan.

So, thanks to The Egyptian General Physical Therapy Syndicate for linking their PT's to our OT in Egypt Blog!

I think future Egyptian OT's can learn a lot from the history of Physical Therapy development in Egypt.

If any Egyptian physical therapists have specific questions about OT and their role in patient care, please post a comment here.



Saturday, May 24, 2008

Are there any Egyptian OT's or students living abroad?

Since not everyone reads the comment section of the blog, I wanted to move some of the discussions to the posting section so everyone can have the advantage of reading these comments.

Through the comment section, people reading the blog from numerous countries have expressed how excited they are to read about OT advancement in Egypt.

Over the past year, two Egyptian American OT's and several Egyptian American and Egyptian Canadian students have also contacted me through the blog. Some will visit Egypt and are interested in meeting other OT's who are living and working in Cairo. All are happy to hear that OT awareness is growing in Egypt.

I recently received two messages in the comment section from two Egyptian American OT students, Khalid and Hind, who are living in New York and are future first and second year students attending university in New York.

Khalid brought up a good point, as he posted the following comment on the blog:

"I think why Occupational Therapy is not well known or understood in the middle east, is because the definition of Occupations differs, in Middle Eastern countries as oppose to the United States and Europe. Middle Eastern countries tend to define occupations as just a "job" that they must attend to everyday. While in Western society it is defined more broadly as what we call ADLs. Occupational therapy needs to be well understood so that the profession takes off in Egypt as well as other Middle Eastern countries."

Public awareness of what Occupational Therapy is and how one can benefit from these services is key in developing educational programs and job opportunities in Egypt.

If anyone has any stories (not only written material, but also accompanying them with pictures or video will provide a strong message) about their experiences with Occupational Therapy services, please share them on the blog.

If there are any other Egyptian born OT's who are interested in corresponding with OT's currently living and working in Egypt, please contact me through the blog or email me at LME1169@gmail.com

Hope to hear from more Egyptian OT's and future Egyptian OT's!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Survey Results: What prevents you from pursuing international OT work in Egypt?

There were 28 posts on the last survey: "What prevents you from pursuing international OT work in Egypt?," with the results listed below:

Financial Reasons (13) 46%
Family Obligations (10) 35%
Political Reasons (2) 7%
Cultural Reasons (3) 10%
Present Job Obligations (6) 21%
Lack of Awareness (15) 53%
Other (1) 3%

Financial reasons and lack of awareness were the highest ranked as far as reasons for not seeking employment in Egypt.

If anyone would like to comment on this and/or future surveys please do so.

Friday, May 9, 2008

CDOT Meeting: May 2, 2008

On May 2, 2008, we had another Committee to Develop Occupational Therapy in Egypt (CDOT-E) meeting. Present members on the committee live in Cairo and actively support the development of OT.

We had the pleasure of Madeleine Corstens-Mignot, WFOT Delegate of the Netherlands and Egypt Co-Project Leader and Christiane Menthrup, former WFOT Vice President and Egypt Co-Project Leader also attending our meeting. Madeleine and Christiane were visiting Egypt for several days to follow up on the progress of their Egypt Project, which they initiated several years ago.

The following people attended the meeting, which was held at the Learning Resource Center in Maadi:

Pictured: (back row) Laura Efinger, Maha Helali, Dorothy Witt, Deepak Andhare, Christiane Menthrup, Madeleine Corstens-Mignot, Pip Dow, Sue Hartshorne, Ahmed El Kakhy; (front row) Majdi Bzoor and Ahmed Hassan.

During our meeting, we discussed several new issues, as well as, finalizing older issues discussed in previous CDOT-E meetings.

In Summary:
  • The OT Blog will now be used to replace the CDOT newsletter that Christiane Menthrup previously completed. All CDOT-E members are welcome to post on the blog or to send myself, Laura Efinger, information to post on their behalf.

  • Membership forms will soon be available to be downloaded through this blog and can also be obtained from current members. A more detailed explanation of the membership process will soon be posted with the application.

  • Pip and Sue presented an OT workshop at a Back and Spine Conference in Cairo and reported positive feedback regarding their information and style of presentation.

  • Prof. Ahmed El Kakhy, representing Ain Sham’s University, and Prof. Ahmed Hassan, representing 6th October University and Cairo University, asked Christiane Menthrup to clarify the WFOT’s role in supporting educational programs in Egypt. Specifics regarding the WFOT support of programs in Egypt will be finalized during their university visits over the next few days.

  • Ahmed El Kakhy and Maha Helali will work together to develop a proposal for funding from the Sawiris Foundation to cover the cost of hiring an experienced OT Director from abroad for the Ain-Shams University OT program.

  • Christiane Mentrup & Madeleine Corstens-Mignot, WFOT representatives, together with Sue Hartshorne, WFOT Ambassador and Maha Helali, CDOT-E Director will be meeting with HE Dr. Hany Helal , Minister of Higher Education on May 4th. They will report to the group the outcome at a later date.

The next CDOT-E meeting

Date: Saturday June 21st, 2008

Time: 2 pm

Place: Learning Resource Center, Maadi

***Anyone interested in supporting OT development in Egypt is welcome to attend the meeting. Please contact myself if you are a new attendee so accommodations can be made at the Center for the appropriate number of attendees.

***Please email myself (lme1169@gmail.com) any topics to include on the next meetings agenda.



Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I was recently speaking with an Egyptian friend regarding the OT survey about "What prevents you from pursuing international OT work in Egypt?" and she had a good point that I wanted to follow up:

If you answered politics or cultural reasons prevented you from working in Egypt, was this specifically due to issues of safety and language barriers?

Once a survey has been started, I cannot change the choices of answers, so can people please clarify in the comment section?

BTW, I have been receiving a lot of junk mail in the comment section, so people may start to see a lot of comments that say "deleted by administrator."