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AMIDEAST Fundraising Gala Dinner: “Supporting Lebanon’s Top Students and Talents”

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Ambassador Theodore Kattouf, president and CEO of AMIDEAST, addressed the gathering, saying, "I am so honored to head AMIDEAST, an organization that is doing so much to assist young people in this region to expand their opportunities."

Beirut, Lebanon, April 8, 2016—The AMIDEAST/LEBANON Advisory Board hosted its first fundraising gala dinner on April 8, 2016, at the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut. The event, which was attended by 500 prominent political and social figures, was held to spread awareness of AMIDEAST’s wide range of educational and training services and their impact in Lebanon, as well as to raise funds that will strengthen the organization’s already robust efforts to empower students in their lives and careers through scholarships for study in the United States.

The AMIDEAST/Lebanon Advisory Board

AMIDEAST is a leading American nonprofit organization that has been engaged in education and training activities in the Middle East and North Africa since 1951. Its office in Lebanon is one of 12 country offices across the region through which AMIDEAST delivers programs and services that touch the lives of half a million individuals a year.  “I am so honored to head AMIDEAST, an organization that is doing so much to assist young people in this region to expand their opportunities,” noted Ambassador Theodore Kattouf, president and CEO of AMIDEAST.

Reaching Out to Syrian Refugees

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Syrian refugee children in a makeshift school near Zahle, Lebanon (Getty Images)

In Lebanon, where millions of Syrian refugees have relocated, AMIDEAST is pursuing a two-pronged approach to making a difference for the children and youth whose education is at risk: expanding scholarships that enable youth to realize their higher education goals and helping to build capacity that will enable Lebanon’s public schools to meet the educational needs of Syrian and Lebanese children alike.

 The scope of the crisis is immense. Enrollment of Syrian refugees in formal education at the beginning of the 2014 school year was about 25 percent in Lebanon (with 102,000 Syrian children enrolled, out of an estimated 408,000 school-age children), according to a recent RAND report.

AMIDEAST Adds Hope Fund Program

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Dr. Fahim Qubain and his wife Nancy greeting new Hope Fund students Manal Zaher and Hiba Al-Assi at Roanoke Airport in 2006. Manal excelled at Bryn Mawr and Hiba is pursuing her PhD in Theoretical Physics at Virginia Tech.

AMIDEAST recently assumed responsibility for the Hope Fund Program, ensuring that its mission of expanding higher educational opportunity for Palestinian youth will survive and thrive in years to come. AMIDEAST is no newcomer to the Hope Fund, the organization that has helped nearly 100 students receive scholarships for undergraduate study in the United States since it was started in 2000 by Palestinian scholar Fahim Qubain and his wife Nancy. AMIDEAST served as its key in-region partner, assisting with the selection of students and their preparation to apply for scholarships,

AMIDEAST now takes on the added task of applying on behalf of qualified students for admission and scholarships and meeting their remaining financial needs. The Hope Fund Program, in fact, uses the same formula as the Diana Kamal Scholarship Search Fund (DKSSF), an AMIDEAST initiative established in 2007 to open doors to undergraduate education for deserving Arab youth. Like the Hope Fund Program, the DKSSF succeeds by matching youth with scholarships offered by U.S. institutions.

Testing Supports EU Youth Project

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The EU Ambassador to Lebanon, Angelina Eichhorst, distributed TOEIC Bridge test certificates to participants at the program's end.

AMIDEAST recently partnered with the European Union on a training program designed to expand employment and educational opportunities for youth in Akkar, Lebanon’s northernmost district bordering Syria. Known to have the country’s highest poverty rate, this impoverished area is able to offer little support for young people seeking to prepare themselves to take advantage of new opportunities, whether in the job market or academia.

The EU’s Economic and Social Fund for Development (ESFD) seeks to change that. At a new training center funded by a grant administered by the ESFD’s Community Development Unit, youth have a chance to improve their English skills and take the TOEIC Bridge™ test, which benchmarks their workplace English proficiency. Created by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the TOEIC Bridge test is internationally recognized as an important credential that enhances employability.

أمديست و"جنرال إلكتريك" تتعاونان لتقديم التدريب المتخصص لمدرسي اللغة الإنجليزية في الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا

                                خريجي PCELT في الأردن يعرضون شهاداتهم بفخر.


واشنطن العاصمة، الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، ودبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة، 14 مايو 2014: تتعاون "مؤسسة جنرال إلكتريك" الخيرية التابعة لشركة "جنرال إلكتريك" (NYSE:GE) والتي تركز على قضايا الصحة والتعليم والبيئة والإغاثة من الكوارث، مع منظمة "أمديست" التعليمية الأميركية لتقديم برنامج الشهادة المهنية في تعليم اللغة الإنجليزية (PCELT) كوسيلةٍ لتحسين نوعية تدريس اللغة الإنجليزية في مناطق الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا.

المشاركون المصريون في الصف.

تم إطلاق البرنامج، الذي تقدمه "أمديست" عبر شراكة مع معهد الدراسات العليا بكلية التدريب الدولي SIT Graduate Institute التابعة لمنظمة التعلم العالمي World Learning، في خطوة تهدف إلى الارتقاء بالمعايير الشاملة الخاصة بتعليم اللغة الإنجليزية في مدارس المنطقة وجامعاتها، من خلال رفد المرشحين للمشاركة في البرنامج بأدوات وتوجّهات مبتكرة ومناهج رائدة تجمع ما بين أفضل الممارسات على الصعيد الدولي، وأبرز المواضيع التي تهمّ المنطقة.

AMIDEAST, Union for the Mediterranean Launch Employability Skills Initiative for Women in Five Arab Countries

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Ms. Helena Simas, AMIDEAST Regional Director for English Language Programs, presents an overview of the Skills for Success program.

Washington, DC, March 26, 2014—AMIDEAST is pleased to announce the launch of a new partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) to provide employability skills training in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia. "Skills for Success–Employability Skills for Women" will specifically target disadvantaged women who have completed secondary school with training designed to improve their ability to enter and succeed in the workforce.

AMIDEAST Vice President for Business Development Vincent DeSomma (center) and representatives of the UfM and the Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs sign the agreement launching Skills for Success.

The launch of Skills for Success took place during the UfM's "Women's Socio-economic Empowerment: Projects for Progress" conference at its Barcelona headquarters on March 26-27, 2014. It included a formal signing of the agreement between AMIDEAST, the UfM, and the Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs, which will add to funds already provided for the program by the government of Norway.

Empowering a New Generation of Arab Women Entrepreneurs with Citi Foundation Support

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Ameena Barakeh of Lebanon

AWEP alumnae are breaking new ground as they succeed as business owners meeting diverse needs.

Lebanon Advisory Board Expands Funding for Scholarship and Training Initiatives

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Members of the AMIDEAST/Lebanon Advisory Board

A generous pledge of $350,000 in new contributions from AMIDEAST’s advisory board for Lebanon will strengthen AMIDEAST’s efforts to expand educational and training opportunities in Lebanon in the coming year. The pledges, made during the board’s recent annual meeting in Beirut, continue the valuable support that the three-year-old board has provided in crucial areas such as scholarship aid, entrepreneurship training, and English teacher development.

Board Helps Celebrate AMIDEAST/Lebanon‘s 45th Anniversary

AMIDEAST/Lebanon was pleased to host the board at the same time that it celebrated its 45th anniversary in Lebanon. AMIDEAST President and CEO Theodore H. Kattouf joined the advisory board, the AMIDEAST/Lebanon staff, and AMIDEAST’s many friends in Lebanon for a reception on September 30, 2013, commemorating the 1968 opening of the Beirut office and AMIDEAST’s dedication to serving Lebanon, including throughout the difficult years of the country’s civil war.

Record Year for AMIDEAST Scholarship Initiative

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Lebanon’s DKSSF Scholars celebrate their success at AMIDEAST’s Beirut advising center.

Participation in AMIDEAST’s DKSSF program is hard work, but well worth the effort, as 15 exceptionally bright young men and women from Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, and the West Bank discovered this year. This largest-ever pool of deserving Arab youth in the six-year-old program succeeded in gaining admission and generous scholarships that will make their college dreams come true!

This fall, the eight men and seven women will begin their undergraduate studies at Barnard, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Wesleyan, and Williams Colleges; Brigham Young, Duke, Harvard, Hawaii Pacific, and Northeastern Universities; and the University of Pennsylvania.

Two of the women students have also been nominated for the NeXXT program, a U.S. Department of State initiative that encourages international women undergraduates to major in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. 


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