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Visiting Librarians: Mohamed El Halosy

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt


OACIS Intern, May 2005

If you ever find yourselves beneath the nave at Sterling, stranded between Machine City and the sloping corridor that leads to the Cross Campus Library, wondering perhaps where the men’s restroom might be, or why the walls are painted such a shocking red, sooner or later you will notice a door with a welcoming sign that says “Security – Staff Only.” If the door is open (and you are bold enough to ignore the warning), you will see a young gentleman sitting at his desk, knowingly typing at one of the two computers in front of him.

He is Mohamed Mustafa Ismail Ahmed El Halosy—but you may call him simply Halosy— the first of the two software engineers from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in Alexandria, Egypt, who will be doing their internship at the Yale Library this summer.

A native of Alexandria, Halosy graduated from Alexandria University in 2002 with a B.A. in Computer Science. During his senior year, he was among the participants of the 2001 ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Arab and North Africa Programming Contest.

During his senior year, he was among the participants of the 2001 ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Arab and North Africa Programming Contest. Sponsored by IBM, the contest draws students from colleges and universities throughout North Africa and the Middle East. Winners selected from regional contests on six continents advance to the ACM Programming Contest World Finals to compete for “bragging rights and scholarships.”

Less than a month after graduation, Halosy started working in the Database Management Unit of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, where he has been involved in the development and investigation of various Web-based tools, including the customization of the Virtua Chameleon Web Gateway interface to meet the BA requirements, and the building of a search engine for the Nasser Web site. The latter project involved the digitization of the collection of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-70), to make it available online through an integrated searchable web-based system.

At Yale, Halosy is assisting the OACIS project by working on two tasks for system enhancement and long-term maintenance. First, Halosy is working on the display of digital content in OACIS. This display was developed in prototype last December during Elizabeth Beaudin’s visit to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. At this time, Halosy is incorporating enhancements to the display window and the search function. Halosy's second task involves automating the loading of patron datasets to the OACIS server. This is an important task as we approach the end of the OACIS grant cycle and plan for long-term system maintenance.

A representative of the more ascetic brand of software engineering, Halosy is not interested in music or movies, and his favorite author is Mostafa Mahmoud, a renown Egyptian writer and television speaker on science and religion. Although he likes to cook (and to help his mother cook), swim, and play soccer and basketball, what he really loves is to write good computer code and develop new desktop applications. Which is what brought him to Yale in the first place.