Supported scholarship and exchange programs for nearly 2,200 individuals
Provided information on U.S. study to 125,000 individuals
Administered 156,500 computer-, paper- and Internet-based tests
Empowered more than 12,600 young men and women through special programs
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.
A pressing concern of young people in the region is how to get an education that will give them the knowledge and skills required for entry into the highly competitive MENA job market and to advance professionally. In April, AMIDEAST and Morocco’s Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research, and Executive Training assembled a group of experts and officials for a discussion of the challenges facing Morocco’s universities as they seek to meet the needs of Moroccan youth who are looking to these institutions to prepare them for the real world.
The topic is timely. According to a recent World Bank report, around 30 percent of Moroccans between 15 and 29 in age—who account for 44 percent of the working-age population—were unemployed. The actual unemployment rate is likely higher, however, as these statistics don’t include many youth who have given up looking for work.
The daylong event, called Innovation in Moroccan Higher Education: Models of Success and Future Challenge, focused on three areas with the potential for producing the greatest benefit: university-private sector cooperation, higher education governance and leadership, and faculty development.
In a Nov. 16, 2012, speech, AMIDEAST President and CEO Theodore H. Kattouf underscored the vital role of education in ensuring a successful outcome of the revolutions in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. Addressing the joint annual benefit of the National Arab American Medical Association (NAAMA) and Egyptians Abroad in Development (EAD) in Chicago, he said, “A bright future for the region is one in which its many young men and women are able to improve their life circumstances and realize their dreams of political and social inclusion. The region must create many more jobs, but it must also prepare youth to have English language, IT, and critical thinking skills required in a 21st century global economy that is increasingly knowledge-based and high tech.”
AMIDEAST is pleased to be the managing partner of the new Rhamna Skills training center in Benguerir, Morocco. Inaugurated by King Mohammed VI on Nov. 12, 2012, the youth center offers training in soft skills and entrepreneurship along with career coaching and guidance in order to assist youth in their efforts to enter the job market. It is the first of several youth training centers that Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP), Morocco's national phosphates company, is setting up as part of its OCP Skills initiative, which seeks to address the country's dual challenge of reducing its high youth unemployment rate and increasing the pool of domestic talent for the country's growth industries to tap.
In a little over a year, the Arab Women's Entrepreneurship Project (AWEP) — an AMIDEAST partnership with Citi Foundation to expand opportunities for entrepreneurship training for women in the Arab world — completed a first round of training and recently launched a second one. In all, nearly 150 women from six countries — Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan — are participating in these initial efforts, which are being implemented with generous support from Citi Foundation.
Washington, DC/Casablanca, Maroc – AMIDEAST et la Fondation Citi ont annoncé aujourd'hui le lancement de la seconde phase du projet d’entreprenariat pour les femmes arabes (Arab Women's Entrepreneurship Project – AWEP) créé dans le but d'offrir plus d'autonomie aux femmes entrepreneurs de la région du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique du Nord et de leur fournir les outils indispensables à la réussite et à la continuité de leur projet afin de les intégrer à l'économie mondiale.
Le projet, qui a débuté en 2011 en partenariat entre AMIDEAST et Citi, sera mis en application au cours de cette seconde année, au Maroc, au Liban, en Egypte et en Jordanie. Ce projet devrait bénéficier à 80 femmes entrepreneurs issues de milieux défavorisées, à raison de 20 femmes par pays.
AMIDEAST strongly condemns the offensive film that has inflamed passions across the Middle East and abhors, as do the vast majority of Americans, the hateful intentions behind it. Such actions must not be allowed to undermine the bonds of friendship that exist between Americans and the peoples of the Middle East. AMIDEAST likewise strongly condemns the senseless violence that caused the deaths this week of four American diplomats in Libya, who were there to assist the Libyan people rebuild their country. Peaceful demonstrations are a right, but there is no justification for violence.
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.