Faces of American Spaces – Abeer Abdel Maksoud
Abeer Abdel Maksoud
We sat down with Abeer Abdel Maksoud, associate information service specialist at the American Corner in Cairo, during a recent training visit to Vienna. We are excited to share what Abeer had to say during our Q&A (questions and answers) session with her. Read what Abeer had to say on our website (link here).
We sat down with Abeer Abdel Maksoud, associate information service specialist at the American Corner in Cairo, during a recent training visit to Vienna. We are excited to share what Abeer had to say during our Q&A (questions and answers) session with her.
Q: Tell us about your role.
A: I’m an associate information services assistant at the American Corner in Cairo. There I am responsible for meeting and greeting visitors to the center. I help answer their questions, provide information about the United States, collections and programs that we have available.
Q: What is the most exciting part of your job?
A: Getting to describe the services we provide – online and in person – to the people who visit our space and telling them it’s all free. For a lot of Egyptians finding a place that would allow them to develop their skills, like English language resources, could be very costly. I always enjoy telling people about the services we provide and the fact that they’re completely free. They’re always so happy and appreciative of what we’re doing for them, and they show their gratitude for the programs they have access to.
Q: Who is your main audience?
A: We serve a lot of students – anyone over the age of 18. People completing their undergraduate and graduate degrees as well are part of our audiences. A new audience that we’re excited about are researchers, librarians and teachers. We have expanded our services to meet these audiences’ needs.
Q: Tell us about a program or project that you’re most proud of.
A: We launched our overdrive digital library for the first time a while back and it was a great project. Our team’s work became a model for other American Centers – they reached out for help with setting up the digital library and for resources to help their launches be successful as well.
Q: What advice do you have for your colleagues worldwide?
A: Don’t be afraid of change. Keep an open mind. Be a risk taker. Put in your mind the lessons learned and remember that life always changes. Don’t give up, take risks. Be ready for new challenges and always have a plan B. Always ask yourself “what if.” If you do this, you’ll be safe.
Q: What’s your favorite part of working at the American Corner?
A: I enjoy meeting our visitors every day. I enjoy helping people and making them smile — it’s a great opportunity and a great mission in life.