Some American students may have thought twice about travel and study in the Middle East or North Africa when the Arab Spring began sweeping across the region in 2011. One year later, enrollments in AMIDEAST’s study abroad programs are up across the board, especially in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco, as young Americans seek out in-region opportunities to hone Arabic language skills and improve their understanding of the region’s dynamics.
Washington, DC, July 9, 2012―AMIDEAST is pleased to announce that the Union for the Mediterranean labeled its Skills for Success project at its regular Senior Officials Meeting, which took place in Barcelona, Spain, on June 28, 2012. The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), a multilateral partnership encompassing 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin, promotes sustainable development projects in and among its member states.
After a project receives the UfM “label,” the UfM Secretariat facilitates its promotion, especially its financing needs. Once the project is launched, the Secretariat monitors its implementation, ensuring that criteria required for obtaining and keeping the UfM “project label” are being met.
Eight Deserving Students Win Scholarships for U.S. Study;
Four DKSSF Scholars Graduate.
AMIDEAST is pleased to announce that eight outstanding young men and women have received full scholarships covering their undergraduate studies through the Diana Kamal Scholarship Search Fund (DKSSF), an AMIDEAST initiative that seeks to open doors to educational opportunity by matching highly qualified, deserving Arab students with scholarships from U.S. institutions. Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Concordia, Grinnell, and Wilson Colleges, and Adelphi, Harvard, and Vanderbilt Universities awarded the scholarships to the four men and four women, who come from Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and the West Bank.
Washington, DC, March 12, 2012—American educational organization AMIDEAST announced today that it has formed a partnership with the GE Foundation to fund the launch of a pilot certificate program for English teachers in six countries: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia. AMIDEAST recently introduced the Professional Certificate in English Language Teaching (PCELT) program as a vehicle for improving the quality of English language teaching in schools in the Middle East and North Africa. Generous funding from the GE Foundation will accelerate the implementation of this important initiative and help make PCELT available soon to the region’s teachers, particularly in public school systems that stand to benefit most from increasing their pool of competent English language teachers.
College fairs are a regular feature on AMIDEAST/Egypt’s fall calendar, but it was especially important to hold them this year in the aftermath of the Arab Spring and the January 25th Revolution. The fairs underscore the importance of continuing to provide the many educational and training services that Egyptians seek as they consider the next steps in their academic careers.
Women’s empowerment and inclusion are critical to the economic and political transitions currently taking place in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Specialized training programs such as the 10,000 Women program at the American University in Cairo (AUC) are important components of what must be a broader effort to enhance the ability of women in the region to achieve their potential and contribute fully to the social and economic development of their societies.
AMIDEAST is pleased to announce the appointment of James Ketterer as country director for Egypt. He assumes responsibility for AMIDEAST’s largest field operation, which includes field offices in Cairo and Alexandria, as well as activities that extend beyond Egypt’s two primary cities.
As part of the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, which met in Washington, DC, in mid April, Safwan Masri, Director of Columbia University’s Middle East Center in Amman, and Katherine Wilkens, AMIDEAST Vice President for Communications, co-chaired a Working Group on Higher Education in the Arab World. The group brought together a distinguished group of educators, specialists, and public sector officials from the United States and the Middle East to review the current state of higher education in the region and consider the key challenges facing reform today. Discussions over the three-day conference, which was held April 12–14, 2011, focused on three key challenges: Quality, Governance, and Educational Outcomes for Development.
A unique Fulbright initiative, developed in partnership with Islam’s oldest university, is building bridges of interfaith understanding, while giving concrete expression to President Obama’s call in Cairo in 2009 for broader engagement between the United States and the Muslim world.
The Islamic Studies Program with Al-Azhar University is the result of collaboration between the Binational Fulbright Commission in Egypt and the administration of Al Azhar University, one of the leading Islamic institutions of higher education in the world. This program creates opportunities for a handful of students who specialized in Islamic studies at Al-Azhar to travel to and study in the United States each year, familiarizing themselves with American culture, religious practices, and education. Students in the program enroll in U.S.
Of course, the history lesson was most vivid for the 21 students in Egypt. Drawn to “Um al-Dunya” — or “Mother of the World,” as Cairo is known to Egyptians — to study Arabic and take courses in a variety of Egyptian and regional studies topics (including Egyptology), they were settling into their new lives in Cairo’s Dokki neighborhood when the popular uprising in Tunisia spread to Egypt.