Celebrating 42 Years with a New Facility in Tunisia
AMIDEAST's new office in the heart of Tunis

In December, AMIDEAST marked its 42nd anniversary in Tunisia with the formal opening of its new office in Tunis, a spacious, modern facility that will enable AMIDEAST to continue to expand its educational and training services to meet Tunisia’s growing needs.  An anniversary celebration, held December 11, inaugurated the new building with more than 200 friends, clients, partners, teachers, alumni, and Tunisian ministry colleagues attending.  Their Excellencies Tunisia’s Tunisia’s Minister of Finance Slim Chaker and Minister of Employment and Training Zied Laathari made remarks, as did U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, Daniel Rubenstein.

Interior reception area

The new five-story building will serve as the headquarters for AMIDEAST’s operations in Tunisia and replaces two aging structures that housed the Tunis office for 18 years.  In addition to consolidating the administration and teaching faculty under one roof, it offers 25 percent more classroom space and is equipped with state-of-the-art technologies that will enhance the learning of students and expand the testing center.  The new office remains close to its customer base in the city’s central business district, while the proximity of public transportation ensures that it will still be accessible to many others living in the metropolitan area.

AMIDEAST President and CEO Theodore H. Kattouf said, “Our move into larger, more modern quarters supports our efforts to expand our educational and training services in Tunisia at a critical time in the country’s history. We look forward to serving more people, particularly youth in need of  education and training that are key to their ability to realize the bright future they yearn for.  This is an important moment in our continuous commitment to serving Tunisia and its people since 1972.”

“We are excited about the move, which is the fourth move in the 42-year history of AMIDEAST/Tunisia.  We look forward to welcoming Tunisians to a modern, professional space that is spacious and well-equipped with the goal of enhancing their learning experience,” Dr. Chris Shinn, AMIDEAST’s country director for Tunisia, said.

The relocation coincides with the pressing need to expand opportunity for the country’s youth in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.  The new facility enables AMIDEAST to strengthen its support of government efforts to address the country’s high youth unemployment rates. Enrollments in AMIDEAST’s English language training programs have increased sharply in recent years as Tunisians increasingly link English proficiency with new opportunities. The popularity of these programs is expected to grow as Tunisians seek to qualify for a growing number of jobs that require English fluency and other skills that Tunisian companies need in order to be competitive in regional and global markets. More classroom space will also permit AMIDEAST to expand training in busi ness and management skills and to offer its new Skills for Success® curriculum to help unemployed recent graduates overcome obstacles to entering the country’s crowded job market.  

The new space also accommodates an enlarged, combined space for EducationUSA advising activities and the American Corner cultural center, as well as an improved administrative space for the Academic and Cultural Exchanges Department.  The three divisions work together to provide Tunisians with  guidance on study in the United States, daily access to American cultural resources, and access to numerous scholarship opportunities.  Four annual scholarships, in particular, receive wide interest from Tunisians:  the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, the Tomorrow’s Leaders Program, and the English Access Microscholarship Program.  The American Corner promotes U.S.-Tunisian friendship through a variety of cultural programs offered daily, a free library of hardcopy and electronic resources, and participation in numerous clubs focused on activities such as debate, photography and book discussions.

AMIDEAST has been serving educational and training needs in Tunisia since it opened the Tunis office in 1973. The opening of a second office in Sousse followed in 2004, and recent expansion has included a new satellite campus in Lac II, a suburb of Tunis, and a partnership with the Palais de Science in Monastir in the south, which started in 2015.  Over the span of 42 years, it has benefited tens of thousands of Tunisians and today welcomes over 25,000 individuals annually.