Economics Professor Ibrahim M. Oweiss taught his last class Wednesday after a 35-year career at Georgetown.

Oweiss, who recently turned 70, said that his greatest accomplishment has been his teaching, to which he has devoted his life. “Education and teaching are my love,” he said.

Oweiss left his native Egypt in 1960 to complete graduate work at the University of Minnesota, where he later taught. He began teaching economics at Georgetown in 1967 and was appointed First Under-Secretary for Economic Affairs in the Egyptian Cabinet in 1977 while on leave from the university. He also served as the Chief of the Egyptian Economic Mission to the U.S. In 1981 he developed the Oweiss demand curve, which attempted to find a theoretical framework for changes in the price of oil at Oxford University.

Explaining why he became a teacher, Oweiss said that “early on I discovered that I have a comparative advantage in communicating with other people and expressing my thoughts, as well as a love for academia.”

Oweiss said that one of his favorite experiences as a professor has been seeing the smiles of his students upon graduating. “It’s not only a matter of teaching, it’s a matter of involvement [with students],” Oweiss said. He said he remembered sharing shock and sorrow with his students the day artin Luther King, Jr. was shot, and more recently in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. On Sept. 12, Oweiss began class by recognizing a moment of prayer to honor the victims of the attacks. He was so overcome with emotion that he was unable to give his lecture and dismissed class.

Oweiss’ students praised his amicable personality. “Professor Oweiss brought a wonderful combination of life experience and genuine warmth to his teaching,” Josh Bancroft (SFS ’04) said. David Russo (SFS ’04) added,”his total commitment, his enthusiasm, his unswerving dedication to reaching his students on the human level, truly sets him apart. I will remember him as a dear, favorite professor, and I know he has formed my intellect and the professional outlook that I will carry into the world.”

“Professor Oweiss is like a father to all. Not only does he teach the principles of economics, he also teaches the principles of life,” Oweiss’ teaching assistant, Alvina Chan (SFS ’02) said.

At his last lecture to his International Trade class on Wednesday, Oweiss discussed the potential of future political leaders. During his career, he taught former President Bill Clinton (SFS ’68).

“When Bill Clinton walked into my class in 1967, I never thought that he would be the President of the United States,” Oweiss said. He said he was proud when Clinton later told him that his class had “planted the idea of free trade,” in his mind.

Oweiss, who was dressed in a convocation robe and cap, concluded by reading a poem he wrote for his two children and students which provided life advice. Oweiss and his wife, French Professor Celine Oweiss have two children, Yasmeen, (COL ’01) and Kareem (SFS ’02). “[My children] are also my greatest accomplishments,” he said.

“In your life, learn with joy and contribute from your heart,” Oweiss concluded his last lecture after 35 years of teaching. “There ought not to be any monopoly over truth.”

After retiring, Oweiss plans to devote more time to writing. He has two books coming out soon, one on economic theory and another on a ninth century classical work by a Muslim philosopher.

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