Annual Highlights


Our 2017 annual report — Making Dreams Possible — highlights the achievements of youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region wh


New Country Directors for Morocco and Tunisia

AMIDEAST is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Jennifer Smith as our country director for Tunisia and Dr. Chris Shinn as our country director for Morocco. Under their leadership, AMIDEAST will continue to support the efforts of both countries to expand training and educational opportunities, particularly among less advantaged groups and for youth and women.  

Chris Shinn, Morocco

After serving as AMIDEAST’s country director for Tunisia since August 2013, Chris Shinn became our country director for Morocco in May, bringing to this position his extensive experience in international education, including nearly a decade directing AMIDEAST programs in the West Bank and Gaza prior to his service in Tunisia. 

Congratulating Our 2018 DKSSF Graduates

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We are pleased to congratulate 16 seniors in the Diana Kamal Scholarship Search Fund (DKSSF) program who graduated this year. These impressive young women and men from Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco stood out during their undergraduate studies for their remarkable academic and extracurricular accomplishments.



Farida Sabry graduated from Smith College with a B.S. in engineering and a B.A. in computer science. She stood out as a NeXXt Scholar and GHC Scholar, awards that recognized her outstanding achievements in STEM, and took advantage of internships and teaching assistant positions at Smith and elsewhere, including the NASA Ames Research Center.

Success Stories Highlight International Women’s Day 2017

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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.

Skills Program Transforms Women’s Lives

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Lebanese participants in the UfM Skills for Success Program on graduation day.

To date, 495 women in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Morocco have completed AMIDEAST’s Skills for Success® program. Many have since found jobs, started internships, considered starting a business, or returned to school. A surprising outcome, in fact, is that over 40 percent of the graduates across three countries have decided to continue their studies, at university or elsewhere, because of the new-found confidence and determination that they gained in the program. 

“The skills we acquired …gave us self-confidence and motivated us to set goals, plan, and believe that we can achieve whatever we aspire to do and become,” Lebanese graduate Fatima Annan told the UfM conference.

No wonder, then, that the two-year-old program featured prominently at the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM)’s recent high-level conference, “Women for the Mediterranean: Driving Force for Development and Stability.” The assembled ministers, experts, and representatives of international organizations, civil society, and NGOs identified employment creation as key to strengthening the role of women as agents of change for the MENA region.

AMIDEAST Announces Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Transform English Language Teaching in Morocco

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AMIDEAST President Theodore Kattouf and Chelsea Clinton shake hands following the presentation of the AMIDEAST commitment. Dr. Rachid Belmokhtar, Minister of National Education and Professional Training, is at right.

Washington, DC, May 14, 2015—AMIDEAST was pleased to announce at last week's Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Middle East & Africa Meeting its Commitment to Action to implement a training program that will transform the teaching of English in Morocco's schools. The commitment will help Morocco meet the need for English speakers who are critical to sustaining growth in key economic sectors such as tourism, international trade, and logistics, and in its technology industry.

Under the commitment, AMIDEAST will work closely with the Moroccan National Ministry of Education to provide 240 Moroccan public school English teachers, supervisors, and inspectors with training through an internationally recognized certification program for teaching English as a second language. AMIDEAST will also certify 12 licensed trainers so that the Ministry of Education can continue to provide this high-quality certification to the remainder of the country’s 7,500 public school English teachers.

A Growing Portfolio in Morocco

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Students from the Ecole Mohammadia d'ingénieurs in Rabat benefited from the BOOST program, a joint initiative of Penn State, MIT, and the U.S.-Tunisia-Morocco Partnership for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Stimulation (USTM-TIES).

The AMIDEAST board of directors meets periodically in the region. This year, the choice of Morocco was clear. New partnerships are enabling AMIDEAST to build its capacity to meet the country’s growing needs for education and training. In the 35 years since it opened its doors in Morocco, AMIDEAST has developed a solid core of activities — educational advising and testing, scholarship programs, and English language training — at its main office in Rabat and its 10-year-old facility in Casablanca. Today it is moving beyond these urban centers with new programs to tackle youth unemployment and expand economic opportunity for women, all the while developing a robust study abroad program for Americans.

New Initiatives Benefit Youth and Women

Enrollments at AMIDEAST training centers in Rabat and Casablanca office have averaged around 10,000 in recent years, driven by the growing interest in English in the Francophone country and the need for specialized professional skills training. These numbers are beginning to rise as AMIDEAST/Morocco embarks on new initiatives targeting the country’s youth unemployment challenge.

Moroccan Youth Thrive at New Skills Centers

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AMIDEAST President Theodore Kattouf congratulates a trainee at the Rhamna Skills Center.

On a recent visit to Morocco, AMIDEAST President and CEO Theodore Kattouf visited the Rhamna Skills Center in Benguerir, which offers a mix of skills training and other activities designed to expand youth opportunity in this central Moroccan city and surrounding Rhamna Province. 

Since Rhamna Skills was inaugurated in November 2012, close to 750 youths have completed the center’s employability skills training programs, leading to job placements for more than three out of five trainees — meeting a high priority in view of the country’s high unemployment rates, particularly among recent graduates.

AMIDEAST and GE Extend Professional Training for English Teachers in the MENA Region

                                PCELT graduates in Jordan proudly display their certificates of completion.


Washington, DC, and Dubai, UAE, May 14, 2014—GE Foundation, the philanthropic organization of GE (NYSE: GE), which focuses its efforts in the areas of health, education, the environment and disaster relief, has joined hands with the American educational organization AMIDEAST, to offer the Professional Certificate in English Language Teaching (PCELT) program for English language teachers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

PCELT Egypt participants in class.

Launched in 2012, the program is offered by AMIDEAST in partnership with the World Learning/SIT Graduate Institute and aims at raising the overall standards for teaching English in the region’s schools and universities by providing candidates with an innovative approach and curriculum that combines international best practices and topics relevant to the region.

AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs Receive High Marks in 2013 Study Abroad Rankings

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AMIDEAST ranked seventh among providers of study abroad programs for Americans and its Area & Arabic Language Studies Program in Rabat, Morocco, was rated fifth among single programs in the latest worldwide annual rankings issued by Abroad101, the oldest and largest study abroad review website. 

Abroad101’s “2013 Study Abroad Rankings” rated AMIDEAST’s Education Abroad Programs in the Arab World on the basis of its 18 programs in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, and Tunisia, which offer study and intensive language options.  They received an overall score of 4.6 out of 5, while its Rabat program received “five stars” from 19 out of 22 reviewers.


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