Annual Highlights


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


12 Years of Reforming Education in Palestine

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Despite growing up amidst conflict and an uncertain future, Palestinian children, both girls and boys, have one of the region’s highest literacy rates — evidence of the value that Palestinians place on education. This success with literacy has not, however, historically extended to other subject areas — science, math, and foreign language instruction, for instance.

What students needed, Palestinian leaders recognized in the mid-2000s, were schools for the 21st century. Since 2007, AMIDEAST has responded, working in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE) to implement three USAID-projects that have brought much-needed support for and investment in basic education in the West Bank.

Congratulations to Our 2018 Hope Fund Graduates!

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Lisa Shalhoub on graduation day at Virginia Tech

Heartfelt congratulations to four Hope Fund scholars who graduated this past academic year.  Dina, Liza, Tala, and Khaled took advantage of the opportunities afforded by the Hope Fund to excel and put themselves on a path that will lead to further accomplishments. In the three previous academic years, 46 Hope Fund scholars graduated.  The Palestinian community and their supporters can take enormous pride in these future leaders as do we.



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.


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