One strength of the CAC community is the support shown by generations of alumni and former students. Many of our alumni actively give back to the CAC community by making gifts to the school or returning to campus to attend events and assist with classes. Some alumni return to CAC for a longer time, serving as teachers and coaches.
Zane Ahmadein '04 returned to Cairo shortly after graduating from Boston University '08, and his positive experience as a student at CAC inspired him to re-engage with the community and become a soccer coach at CAC in 2009.
Since returning to coach, he has also come to understand the value of his role as an alumnus. He explained that alumni becoming involved at CAC “strengthens the core [of the community] and continues to perpetuate a cycle. You can’t just give, give, give or receive, receive, receive. It has to have a loop. There has to be a loop in terms of energy and the more alumni act, I think, the more CAC can invest and keep on giving [to students]… I think the alumni network here is really fantastic and a very powerful thing, and I’d like to see more and more alumni come back.”
His connections with the CAC community also led Ahmadein to create a soccer camp and later start his own business with a friend. Ahmadein explained that “there was a real positive atmosphere around the soccer program... and based off that, parents came up to us ... and asked the coaches if they would be willing to facilitate a soccer camp.” They hosted their first camp in Gouna in summer 2012.
Over time, Ahmadein was able to develop this project into a fully-fledged business calledElite International Soccer(EIS). In addition to facilitating soccer camps, EIS coordinates a soccer academy for children ages 5-18 and a men’s league. The company also assists high school students who are interested in playing at the collegiate level with the recruitment process. “The driving factor is to provide state of the art training in terms of coaching, facilities, equipment,” according to Ahmadein. “[Our coaches] are always very hands on, and we always try and ensure the quality is there. We don’t want to sacrifice anything for quality.”
Ahmadein also explained the reason for the name of his company. “Elite, first of all, because that’s the quality of coaching… Everyone is certified, everyone is up to par, everyone continuously improves or gets new training... International because we have an international profile, which means we’re not just limited to Egypt or the States or Europe,... and then soccer is to differentiate between everyone else because soccer is American and... we have ties to the American college community and CAC.”
While Ahmadein is now spending more time expanding EIS, he still makes time to coach at CAC. “I’m still coaching at CAC. I love it... I do it for the love of the kids… The school supported me in a lot of ways directly and indirectly and it’s a very satisfying and rewarding experience to be able to come back.”
Ahmadein is not the only CAC alumnus to serve as a coach. Other alumni currently serving as coaches are Ahmed El-Gharabli '98 and Byron Skaggs '90.