Yousef Torman, Managing Director of ASREN (Arab States Research and Education Network), is a passionate ambassador of research and education (R&E) networking across the Arab region, a passion fuelled by his mantra of ‘enable, connect, provide access’. He wholeheartedly embraced this mandate when he started off as Head of the Computer Center at Jordan University of Science and Technology back in 1989, helping students and staff overcome capacity issues for their computations, and subsequently became instrumental in setting up JUNet, the NREN in Jordan almost 15 years ago.
Via JUNet, Yousef participated in various EU-funded projects, including EUMEDCONNECT, EUMEDGRID and LinkSCEEM, which provided a platform to collaborate with European colleagues and to explore common ground with other Arab NREN representatives. ASREN now offers an organisational framework to further pursue the development of a pan-Arab R&E network, with active participation in the EUMEDCONNECT3 and AfricaConnect2 projects. And Yousef is, once again, in the driving seat.
We caught up with him prior to e-AGE2017, ASREN’s flagship event which took place 3-4 December in Cairo.