Annual Highlights


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


Introducing the Hope Fund Class of 2017

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From top left: Mohammed Abumuaileq, Iyad Amer, Khaled Aboughoush, Diana Alzamareh, Ambassador Kattouf, Aziza El-Banna, Fatima Shaat, and Hadeel Al-Hayek. Seated, from left: Sereen Assi, Haitham Al-Atawneh, and Razan Hamad.

We are excited to welcome 13 new Hope Fund scholars this year. Ten are beginning their undergraduate studies this fall on scholarships received from Northwestern University; Bridgewater, Roanoke, St. Olaf, and Union Colleges; the Universities of Findlay and Rochester; and the State University of New York in Binghamton. The other three received scholarships from Kenyon and Roanoke Colleges and the University of Bridgeport and will begin their studies in spring 2018, pending approval of their visa applications.  

Congratulating This Year's Graduating DKSSF Seniors

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We’re pleased to congratulate 15 seniors in the Diana Kamal Scholarship Search Fund (DKSSF) program who graduated in spring 2017. These impressive young women and men from Lebanon, Tunisia, and the West Bank excelled in their college studies and are exceptional in many other ways.

Congratulations to Our 2017 Hope Fund Graduates

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It is with great satisfaction that we mark the graduation of 10 Hope Fund scholars this year. These outstanding young men and women came into the program well before their dreams of winning scholarships to pursue their college studies in the United States came true. They continued to make their mark during their journeys, making all of us at AMIDEAST proud.

What Is the "Access" Program?

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"Educational," "exciting," "useful," and "fun" — four adjectives that stand out in a cloud of words that Lebanese youth chose to describe the English Access Microscholarship (Access) Program, a high-impact initiative that AMIDEAST administers in multiple locations on behalf of the U.S. Department of State — in several countries doing so since the program began in 2004.

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.

Strengthening Basic Education in Palestine

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For nearly a decade, AMIDEAST has been pleased to work with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE) in support of its educational reform goals. AMIDEAST’s involvement began with the USAID-funded Model Schools Network (MSN) Program, which between 2007 and 2012 implemented reforms in a network of nearly 60 public and private schools that would serve as models for other schools. 

Building on these successes, the Leadership and Teacher Development (LTD) Program was launched with USAID funding in 2012 to support MOEHE’s priority of improving classroom instruction in order to increase access to basic education, raise literacy rates, improve the quality of basic education, and nurture a youth population prepared to contribute to Palestine’s social, economic, and political development.

Hope Fund Scholar, Fulbright Alumna Win Prestigious Rhodes Scholarships

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Palestinian Hope Fund Scholar Hashem Abu Sham'a (left) and Lebanese Fulbrighter Diala al Masri were selected from among hundreds of applicants to receive prestigious Rhodes Scholarships to study at Oxford University starting in fall 2017.  They have the distinction of being two of the first three individuals to win the new Rhodes Scholarship for Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine (SJLP), which was awarded in late November.  

Hashem, who grew up in Arroub Refugee Camp in Palestine, received a scholarship through the Hope Fund to attend Earlham College, where he will complete his bachelor’s degree in peace and global studies with a minor in economics in May 2017. At Earlham, he has clearly impressed his teachers and fellow students. “Hashem is like so many of Earlham's students, who are very bright, very active, and very concerned with the world around us,” said Academic Dean Greg Mahler of his selection to receive the Rhodes.

Strengthening Palestinian Higher Education

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The PFDP hosted a series of roundtables that enabled Palestinian educators to share perspectives with visiting experts.

Last June, AMIDEAST brought to a close its nearly 10-year engagement in Palestinian higher education, leaving behind a stronger system and a solid foundation on which Palestinian educators can continue to build as they  seek to meet the needs of current and future generations in the West Bank and Gaza.

AMIDEAST launched the Palestinian Faculty Development Program (PFDP) In September 2005 in partnership with USAID and the Open Society Foundations (OSF), then known as the Open Society Institute, and with funding from USAID and the OSF. The $25.7 million project’s immediate goals were to provide much-needed professional development of promising young academics teaching the social sciences and humanities and to revitalize the teaching of these disciplines.

AMIDEAST Adds Hope Fund Program

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Dr. Fahim Qubain and his wife Nancy greeting new Hope Fund students Manal Zaher and Hiba Al-Assi at Roanoke Airport in 2006. Manal excelled at Bryn Mawr and Hiba is pursuing her PhD in Theoretical Physics at Virginia Tech.

AMIDEAST recently assumed responsibility for the Hope Fund Program, ensuring that its mission of expanding higher educational opportunity for Palestinian youth will survive and thrive in years to come. AMIDEAST is no newcomer to the Hope Fund, the organization that has helped nearly 100 students receive scholarships for undergraduate study in the United States since it was started in 2000 by Palestinian scholar Fahim Qubain and his wife Nancy. AMIDEAST served as its key in-region partner, assisting with the selection of students and their preparation to apply for scholarships,

AMIDEAST now takes on the added task of applying on behalf of qualified students for admission and scholarships and meeting their remaining financial needs. The Hope Fund Program, in fact, uses the same formula as the Diana Kamal Scholarship Search Fund (DKSSF), an AMIDEAST initiative established in 2007 to open doors to undergraduate education for deserving Arab youth. Like the Hope Fund Program, the DKSSF succeeds by matching youth with scholarships offered by U.S. institutions.


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