Excerpts of interviews. For more information please contact the author. 

Samih Sawiris

One of the three well-known Sawiris brothers, leaders in Egypt’s business world

“Popular? No, I don’t think we are very popular. Education, timing and my father’s background are the three points that have contributed to our success as a business family. When I si and just think on how many things can be done yet, I run out of time”.

Cairo, Egypt. October 2003

Norbert Schiller


“In my job I always have this philosophy: I do what I do, I never stayed, I shoot and leave!”

Cairo, Egypt. July 2003

Mona Mansour

Egyptian gynecologist in Italy

“Mass media give very little space to certain issues concerning the Arab world. Nobody is able to know a disease without first studying it. Arab women are very smart people. The veil covers their hair, not their brain!”

Milan, Italy. April 2007

Eugenio Belgiojoso


West Tide means West Africa Trading Initiative for Development and Energy, the company built in December 2007 by Eugenio Belgiojoso and three other partners, together with twenty Italian investors. A 20 million euro investment spread in ten years for a business, which will start in June 2009, giving a job to over one thousand families. “We plan to recover the investment within six years, if prices remain stable”. The interest toward renewable sectors and a wish of a personal change brought the Italian entrepreneurs to choose Africa as a ‘the country’ to start a business: “It is relative near Italy – says Belgiojoso – and owns huge developing potentialities”.

Milan, Italy. August 2008

Antonio Arévalo Andriola

Los Lingues Resident Manager

“Many famous families have lived here. Jofréy Montero de Aguilla has built this property in 1650 and spent over a century in this place. The families Lira and Claro have come after him.”

Santiago, Chile. November 2002

Giorgio Cecchetto

Italian businessman in Egypt

“Egypt is only three and a half hours from Italy. It is a country destined to succeed, where tourism, together with its culture and people history, is increasing …. Traditions and values, such as the deep sense of family, remind me my land. I love Egypt, but I miss all of Italy.”

Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt. February 2001

Adel Taher

Underwater doctor

“Getting aware of what is going on inside my body and being a passionate of scuba diving since a long time have brought me to take a certain direction.”

Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt. February 2001