Distinguished Professor Arafa is one of the foremost Social Entrepreneurs in Egypt and rest of the Arab World. He is a member of the Egyptian National Committee on Climate Change and also a member of the Research Council on Environment and Development at the Egyptian Academy for Scientific Research and Technology.
He has been involved in Civil Society activities and advocacy since 1974, and he is today the Chairman of some of the leading NGOs in Egypt. He served as a consultant to many international organizations, including: US-AID, UNICEF, GTZ, EU, and UNDP. In appreciation of his remarkable contributions to sustainable environment, he was selected a Senior Ashoka Fellow in 2004. And in 2009 he was named ‘Man of the Year’ for Environment and Development.
Professor Salah has been a tenured faculty member at the Physics Department, School of Sciences and Engineering of the American University in Cairo (AUC) since 1968. Before joining the University, he worked as a physics researcher at the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority from 1962 till 1968. He bagged a PhD in Solid State Physics from Cairo University in 1969.
Parallel to his acknowledged contributions in the fields of optical and magnetic properties of solids and radiation effects on materials, Dr. Arafa is well known nationally and internationally for his pioneering work with the environment, utilization of renewable energies and rural community development.
He introduced renewable energy technologies and agricultural waste recycling to many Egyptian villages and remote areas. He also played key roles in promoting biogas technology for environmental protection and production of clean energy and safe fertilizer in rural areas. His field work in the Basaysa village in Al-Sharqiya governorate since 1974 has been recognised internationally as a model for sustainable community development.