Khaled Ibn El Waleed Samir (IIPES 02) earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Cairo University in 1999. In 2003, he earned a master’s degree in risk management, operations and regulation from The University of Reading (International Securities Market Association) in the United Kingdom. He has experience as an economic research analyst for the Sigma Capital Group and the Office of the Minister of Foreign Trade in Cairo.
Samir is now part of the Program for Senior Analysts (PSA) at the African Development Bank Head Quarter in Tunis, Tunisia. He works as a financial sector specialist at the Financial Sector Division of the Bank. Samir believes that his experience at IIPES helped him learn to appreciate the inherent value of cultural difference, which has helped him in his career and life.
“In the course of my conversation with friends, family or colleagues, sometime back, the terms ‘us’ and ‘them’ used to always dominate my thinking when I talked about different countries, people or cultures. One day this all changed; now, I do not see different countries, people or cultures as being ‘them.’ Now when I think of different people, countries or culture, I see people, just like myself. I found out that those others turned out to be just like me, only different.
“The biggest and most important thing I learned from IIPES, is that we are all the same, we just approach things and do them differently. I learned that plurality is a value in itself; it helps progress and development. I lived, talked to, and got to make friendships with other young people such as me, who had the same dreams, and aspirations in life; they turned out not to be that different, they want from life the same things that I wanted, they wanted to get ahead in life, they wanted a safer and liberal world for all people.
“From IIPES, I learned that such a thing as ‘universal value’ does exist, common grounds among different people and cultures can be found, and that it is our job to find this common ground, and when we find them, they will always be the starting point for better understanding of each other.
“IIPES literally opened the box for me, but not Pandora’s Box, it opened the world for me, it is amazing how people spend time thinking how different they are from others instead of spending times to think how similar they are to those others. From IIPES, I learned that we could all learn from each other and that in each culture, country or heritage there is always something to learn. I learned that we can all agree on common values that makes us all humans, and that no matter how different we are, how different views of how should the world evolve to, we can still be friends.
“I have always wanted to speak my mind; I very much appreciate IIPES experience for giving me the first real chance to speak my mind. Such a chance had a profound change on me, a change that brought a sense of joy mixed with pride and responsibility. Joy for speaking my mind and finally freeing my entrapped thoughts, pride for being able to represent my country and speak on behalf of the point of view of young people in Egypt, and responsibility towards other friends and colleagues at IIPES, to listen to them and give them my undivided attention as they have given me theirs.”
Most recently, Samir was a lecturer of finance and director of research at the College of Business Administration of the Jeddah Civil University where he lectured undergraduate students in corporate finance, investments, financial institutions and financial regulation. His research focused on the regulatory structure of the Saudi Capital Market.