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.
Palestinian educators have begun a series of national roundtables to address issues critical to the future of higher education in Palestine. The nine roundtables, which began in September and will be held monthly through next May, draw together university faculty and staff, government representatives, and international experts to review international best practices in higher education and how to apply them to the local context. A major goal of the series is to promote the continuing professional development of current and future leaders of higher education in Palestine.
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.
Growing up in a refugee camp in the West Bank, Nada Rehan faced limited opportunities for higher education. The bright young Palestinian woman had excelled in her studies and stood out for her energetic leadership in youth community service activities. But “there was no way for me to go to college ... because my parents cannot afford it,” says Nada. Today, though, the high school senior is thrilled to have received an “amazing” scholarship from Mt. Holyoke College, making her college dreams come true.
Bethlehem, March 31, 2011 — The Palestinian Faculty Development Program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by AMIDEAST, held a launching ceremony Thursday to acknowledge the recent establishment of a Center for Teaching Excellence at Bethlehem University.
Ramallah – March 18, 2011 – With co-sponsorship from Souktel, AMIDEAST recently provided a glimpse of what it has in store with its collaboration with Cisco to open a Cisco® Entrepreneur Institute Training Center in Ramallah, Palestine. The collaboration will bring entrepreneurship training to youth and aspiring entrepreneurs in Palestine as well as foster job creation and enable entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses in the region.
AMIDEAST will soon launch a Cisco Entrepreneur Institute in Ramallah, making the successful entrepreneurship training program available to aspiring entrepreneurs in the West Bank. High turnout for a demo workshop, co-sponsored by Souktel, underscored the strong interest in acquiring these types of skills in Palestine. AMIDEAST expects to hold the first Cisco Entrepreneur Institute workshops later this spring and has established a presence on Facebook, where it is actively sharing information of interest to prospective entrepreneurs.
For the fourth consecutive year with funding from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem and in partnership with UNRWA, AMIDEAST conducted “Camp Discovery” — a multi-faceted, learner-centered summer camp experience for Palestinian youth aged 8–14 in refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank.
Arab-American country and pop singer-songwriter Kareem Salama performed at the opening ceremony of the new AMIDEAST center in Hebron, adding to the festive atmosphere. Dozens of students attended the ceremony and the performance and remained afterwards for a discussion with Mr. Salama regarding his life in the United States as an Arab and a Muslim.