Watch this Face - Azza Faiad
Issue 98 November 2012
It’s not often that rubbish can win you a prize, but it was the case for 17-year-old Egyptian student Azza Faiad.
It’s not often that rubbish can win you a prize, but it was the case for 17-year-old Egyptian student Azza Faiad. Her innovative project proposed a method to break down plastic waste using a low-cost catalyst to generate biofuel, a renewable energy resource, and she was awarded a prize at last year’s European Union Contest for Young Scientists, ahead of 130 competitors from 37 countries.
Azza’s passion for science began when she was seven years old. “My science teacher was the main reason, as he used to explain science in a very exciting manner that encouraged me to keep asking questions.” From there, she attended a number of summer science programmes and also participated in science fairs, where she presented her plastic waste recycling project. “The ongoing fuel problem Egypt is facing is what made me think of designing this project in the first place.”
“Islam was the powerful push that directed me towards science, and nothing has inspired me more than the amazing Islamic figures and historical icons who have always been seeking for knowledge from everywhere.” Still studying at high school in Alexandria, Azza hopes to find a balance between her research and school studies to help her secure a place to study environmental science or chemical engineering at university. “Soon, I’ll be working on the implementation of my project on a wider scale, as I plan to make it the business I will run, God willing.”