Our Trip to Egypt
Mazharul Anwar, Kalpana, Humayun
I woke up soon before reaching the Cairo airport while my university mates were enjoying the panorama of the city. Four of us from the University Of Development Alternative (UODA) went to participate in the Second International Conference of Virology held on 5-6 April 2008 in the Egyptian International Center for Agriculture in Giza, Egypt.
Prof. Atef Sadik, from the Ain Shams University was waiting in the terminal. He escorted us up to the Capsis Hotel located at Ramses Square.Next morning we were taken to the Ain Shams University. At first we went to the office of the Society of Virology where we had the privilege to meet some veteran scientists. Afterwards we visited the tissue culture lab where they are currently trying to develop virus free straw berry and banana. Then we moved to another lab, which was equipped with modern equipment for producing commercially viable products on a large scale. We also had a chance to visit the Microbiology Department.
Time went away like a breeze. Egyptian International Center for Agriculture was the venue for the conference. Prof. Karl Marmorosch and Prof. Ali M. Harandi were the guest speakers from USA and Sweden, respectively. We had lunch with them and exchanged our views about contemporary issues. They were highly impressed to see such young scientists from a developing country. The next day was very exciting for us because it was time to present our research work. Mazharul from the department of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering (BGE) and Kalpana from the department of Molecular Medicine & Bioinformatics presented their papers. I talked about “Medicinal Plants Used In the Traditional Treatment Of Several Viral Diseases in Bangladesh” and later on Kalpana talked about her research on “Protective Ability of an Alkaline Extract of Paddy Husk against White Spot Syndrome Viral Disease in the saltwater Tiger Shrimp Penaeus monodon ”. Humayun as one of the authors answered some questions during the FAQ session. Ace researchers felt interested to work with us and gave ovation for our work. It was successful because of Prof. Mohammed Rahmatullah whose endless supervision and encouragement gave us a strong platform, indeed.
Before we ended the trip we went to see one of the seven wonders (pyramids) and Egyptian Museum, Sayeda Ayesha mosque, Al-azhar mosque and the fascinating cities of Luxor and Alexandria. We tasted fresh juice and other alluring local dishes. Egyptian people are generous and friendly. The students from these departments already have published their scientific papers by attending conferences held in Pakistan, Japan and Tanzania
(The writers are Graduate students of UODA)