Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dinosaurs and women in Egypt

During this past week, there was something called "The Day of Women in Science," or something like that.

So the BBC Arabic got in on the act, too, and they interviewed in several different programs Egyptian women who discovered a dinosaur out in the Sahara. They discovered it, then they did the research to unearth all the bones and write up their results.

Here's the model of the dinosaur they found.

And here's one of the women scientists involved:

Her name was Sarah [Didn't catch the last name]. She says that since she was little, she wanted to know how mountains were formed. She loves fossils. A teacher inspired her to study further in this field.

She and other researchers were out in the desert when they found the dinosaur bones. They didn't know for sure it was a dinosaur; but they called for back-up, and eventually it was confirmed that it was a dinosaur.

Here they are out at the sight, organizing their materials.

Later, they talked to Sanaa El-Sayed via Skype:
She was getting her master's degree at this university in Egypt and she became part of the dinosaur research team. She spent weeks out in the desert. She says it was fun, and one thing she really liked about it was how careful, how particular, how meticulous the work required her to be.

She described the process a little bit, because the interviewer from the BBC pointed out that the dinosaur bones had been found four or five years ago; yet the news was only spreading now. Why?

So Sanaa explained: people won't pay attention to your scientific discoveries until you've carefully done all the work and published it. It took them a whole year to dig the bones up. Then they had to go around to all the museums in Europe and the US, to see if similar bones had ever been found before, and to compare. They had to make sure this dinosaur was indeed a completely new species. Then they had to write up the paper, and that also took a very long time! They had to follow all the rules about how to structure and write the paper from the different journals.

Also, this university apparently has the only department in the whole Arab world that does this kind of work. Sanaa says: if we had some more capacity and resources, then we might be able to work a little faster, and do more. But we're still proud of what we did.

And in the meantime, Dr. Sarah is hard at work training the next generation of archeologists. Here she is teaching the next group of women scientists!

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