Annual Highlights


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


Welcoming the DKSSF Class of 2018!

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We're excited to welcome 18 new scholars this year into the Diana Kamal Scholarship Search Fund (DKSSF) program. The 10 men and eight women from Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Yemen are beginning their undergraduate studies on scholarships earned with the support of the DKSSF from Dartmouth, Smith, and Swarthmore Colleges; Columbia, Drexel, Harvard, Jacksonville, Princeton, and Wesleyan Universities; the Universities of Pennsylvania and Rochester; Hult International Business School; Sewanee: The University of the South; and NYU Abu Dhabi and Yale-National University of Singapore (NUS).


Alaa Adel Abdelhamid is driven by his passion for the sciences. During his senior year at the STEM High School for Boys, he created a YouTube channel about science, which he manages and writes scripts for, and cofounded the physics group at his school. He is also an avid blogger about science and participated in multiple science fairs and competitions, including the Intel ISEF Science Fair and Ibn al-Haytham National Science Fair.

Youth Restoring Hope in Yemen

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Nahdhat Shabab trainees learn how to create LinkedIn profiles to improve their job search outcomes.

Since fall 2017, AMIDEAST has been working to address widespread unemployment and underemployment in Yemen, a country where 17 million of its citizens are in need of assistance. Through Nahdhat Shabab, a project funded by the U.S. Department of State, youth from a wide cross-section of society are learning technical and professional skills and gaining community-building experience, all of which will enable them to play a role in stimulating the economic recovery Yemen needs to undergird post-conflict governance.

“The Nahdhat Shabab project is opening doors for women, too," says Maha Awad, who learned how to fix mobile phones and other "skills that make me count in my community."

Meet Our 2017 DKSSF Scholars

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Our incoming class of DKSSF scholars includes students from Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.

Meet 18 bright young men and women who are beginning their undergraduate studies in the United States or at U.S.-style institutions elsewhere on scholarships received through the DKSSF program. The 11 women and seven men come from six countries — Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, and, for the first time, Libya. The support of AMIDEAST’s educational advising staff that is offered all DKSSF students was critical to their successful applications.

Accessing a Ladder of Opportunity

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Meet two bright young women who have been on a path of achievement since they joined the English Access Microscholarship (Access) Program. Hadeel, a junior at AUB from Yemen, says, "The Access Program is definitely my starting point to becoming the person I am today and to what I have achieved." Omnia, an Access alumna from Egypt, recounts how the Access Program gave her self-confidence and skills that helped her to realize her dream of admission to medical school.

Yemeni Alumnus Appointed to UN Youth Advisory Board

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Farea al-Muslimi, an alum of several AMIDEAST programs, was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to the new UN Advisory Group of Experts for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security. The appointment, which took place in August 2016, is just the latest in a string of achievements for Farea.

Farea spent a year of high school in California on the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program—a year that he calls “one of the richest and best” of his life―and the completed his undergraduate studies at the American University of Beirut on a scholarship through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Scholarship Program. But the true turning point in his life, he says, was when he received a grant from the U.S. Department of State to study English at AMIDEAST/Sanaa for a year.

Partnership with UNHCR Meets Humanitarian Needs in Yemen

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The Tawasul call centers provide a critical humanitarian bridge between aid agencies and Yemen’s widely dispersed population. (Photo: A. Alsayaghi, UNHCR)

Ahmed, an operator at the Tawasul Humanitarian Call Center, took the call on March 7, 2016. The desperate caller said that as many as 900 families were trapped in various places in Yemen’s Marib governorate, which has been the scene of intense conflict for months. Attempting to flee on roads to safer locations, the estimated 5,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) had become hemmed in by fighting, airstrikes, and land mines, lacked shelter, and were running out of food, water, and basic supplies. “The caller was devastated seeing his family, relatives and other IDPs afraid of getting killed and deprived of help,” Ahmed recalls.

Tawasul staff alerted the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). UNHCR then initiated coordination with other UN agencies, including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in order to arrange a convoy to deliver aid to these desperate families.

Responding to Crisis in Yemen

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AMIDEAST English teacher Nasreen Kader worries that, “with the recent war situation, kids have experienced a devastating impact on their education, and the fear is that they will lose interest in academics.”

Dedication, resolve, and resilience are words that come to mind as we describe the response of AMIDEAST staff, students, alumni, and teachers to the extraordinary challenges caused by the deterioration of Yemen’s security situation.

“Education seemed to be the safest and most valuable service to provide [and] I was thrilled to be given an opportunity to teach English,” AMIDEAST teacher Nisha Vasudevan recalls.

Soon after the onset of hostilities in late March, our staff in Yemen, Jordan, and the United States exhibited dedication as they lost little time in launching a fundraising effort to assist Yemeni exchange students in the United States at risk of dropping out because their families or sponsors in Yemen could no longer provide the support they relied on.

AMIDEAST Awards Support Funds to Yemeni Students

AMIDEAST is pleased to announce that it has awarded funds to 14 highly-qualified, degree-seeking Yemen students currently studying at higher education institutions throughout the United States under the Yemen Emergency Student Support Fund (YESSF). These YESSF grants were made possible by generous donations provided by private individuals, including Sheikh Abdullah Ahmed Bugshan.

The Yemen Emergency Student Support Fund was established by AMIDEAST to help Yemeni students in the United States whose financial status has been directly impacted by the current crisis in Yemen.  We were pleased to be able to make these contributions to assist Yemeni students complete their studies in the United States.

— September 2015

On Yemen: In Memory of Fulbright Alumnus Abdulkarem Ghazi

September 10, 2015

Dear AMIDEAST Friend,

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of a Yemeni Fulbright alumnus, Abdulkarem Ghazi, a victim of the conflict in Yemen. Abdulkarem was one of two workers for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) killed by an armed gunman attacking an ICRC convoy in the Huth district of Amran.

 AbdulKarem’s death is one more tragedy for Yemen — the untimely death of a young person deeply committed to using his knowledge and skills to benefit his country. Abdulkarem had returned to Yemen after completing his master’s degree in Nursing Administration at Kent State University in 2009.


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