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Desert Development Center


- Announcements -

New Training Session 

The DDC is happy to announce a new training program titled Drip Irrigation Systems, which will take place between  July 7 and July 11, 2012. To view the program, topics and schedule, please click here. For more information about the session, please contact us at 0122-733-5294 or 045-366-8130 or 01067505680.

DDC and World Bank Host Cairo's First Water Hackathon

The DDC successfully hosted Cairo's first Water Hackathon October 21 and 22, 2011 in conjunction with the World Bank awarding 15,000 dollars in prize money to Egyptian water and technology experts in a 36 hour competition to develop innovative ICT solutions to water challenges in Egypt. See details in this press release.  

 In March 2009, the Desert Development Center produced the documentary film ‘Farming the Ancient Waters of the Desert’. The film tells the story of oasis farmers who have moved to the Abu Minqar oasis to create new livelihoods for themselves deep into the Sahara Desert. For details, please read the story about Making a Documentary Film. The film is now available on AUC's YouTube channel. To obtain a DVD, please e-mail research coordinator Tina Jaskolski.



Welcome to the Desert Development Center

The Desert Development Center (DDC) is a non-profit, applied research institution established by the American University in Cairo in 1979. Since its inception, the DDC has focused on the ecological, social, and economic sustainability of communities in Egypt's arid lands. Through agricultural and socioeconomic research, training programs, and community service, the DDC seeks to improve the overall well-being of Egyptians living in desert areas.

Since the 1950s, desert development has been a strategic goal and a major focus of Egyptian domestic policy. As the Egyptian population continues to grow, so too must the infrastructure that supports that population. Developing Egypt’s desert areas offers one potential solution to problems of rural unemployment, urban overcrowding, export growth, and food security – if pursued in a sustainable fashion.

The DDC shares AUC’s commitment to education and social service. At the Center's South Tahrir and Sadat City research stations, staff members work to improve desert farmers’ technology, crop quality, and marketing options. Through its projects, the DDC opens a channel for the AUC community and its partners to apply their resources to the sustainable development of Egypt.

We invite you to learn more about the DDC, both online and in person. If what we do, where we are, and who we are spark your interest, please consider any of the many opportunities listed to learn more and get involved.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn more about desert development in Egypt >>

Where we are:

In the NEWS: Read the article titled, Earth Week about the DDC and Sustainable Campus Committee's Earth Week celebrationgs from the online website,, a new online blog promoting sustainable activities in Egypt!

In the NEWS:
The DDC helped celebrate the first Earth Week on the New Campus with a variety of activities from plantings, campus sustainability tours to creating an educational video about the AUC trash system.  For more, please read News@AUC!

In the NEWS:   Read about the DDC's current water monitoring
study in  News@AUC where volunteer students have been working to understand the actual water use on the AUC New Campus.