March 8, 2017 — Today, AMIDEAST joins the global community in celebrating International Women’s Day, an annual event dedicated to promoting gender equality and inclusivity by highlighting notable achievements of women in various fields. AMIDEAST is committed to empowering women throughout the Middle East and North Africa by expanding educational and training opportunities that can lead to personal and career success. We are proud to say that our efforts are making a difference—in 2016, women comprised more than half of all students participating in our educational exchange and scholarship programs, and 350 women received employability skills training tailored to help women overcome gender barriers to employment. Take a look at any of our programs throughout the MENA region, and you will find talented women showcasing their intelligence, creativity, and determination. Here are just a few of our most notable stories from the past year:
Amira studies law at Mansoura University thanks to a scholarship through the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative (HEI), a USAID-funded program that provides opportunities for undergraduate study at Egypt’s public universities. One of three blind students currently in the HEI program, Amira is challenging herself daily to increase her independence and confidence while pursuing her long-term goal of defending the rights of the poor and underserved members of society. You can find more HEI success stories on our website.
AMIDEAST’s Skills for Success program has provided 495 women from Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, and Jordan with English language training and employability skills in order to combat high rates of unemployment among young women. Learn more about how the Skills program has impacted women’s lives.
As part of “Pink Month” last November, a group of Youth Exchange and Study (YES) and English Access Microscholarship (Access) alumnae in Gaza organized a breast cancer awareness campaign at three local UNRWA centers. Through the campaign, the alumnae reached out to women from marginalized communities in order to educate them about early detection methods. Go to the YES website for more on the Pink Month project.
Several Fulbright alumnae presented at the 2016 Fulbright Alumni Regional Conference on Natural Resources, held in Cairo this past December. The conference focused on sharing research and innovative solutions to global environmental problems such as water scarcity, desertification, and air pollution.
Waad has achieved success through multiple AMIDEAST programs, first through the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program and, most recently, winning a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in software engineering at San Jose State University. She recently earned a fellowship to work with a technology company in Silicon Valley, which will bring her closer to her goal of founding her own tech company. Read the rest of Waad’s story on the YES website.
Hope Fund student Dalia Aita is another great example of how AMIDEAST programs can open the doors to more opportunities. After finding success through the English Access Microscholarship (Access), Youth Exchange and Study (YES), and Abraham Lincoln Grant programs, Dalia received a scholarship from New College of Florida, where she began her undergraduate studies this past fall. She plans to pursue a career in science. Read more about Dalia on our Hope Fund Facebook page.