Conference Inspires Fulbright Alumni from Tunisia and Libya

AMIDEAST joined with the Fulbright Program to organize a conference for Fulbright alumni from Tunisia and Libya. Over 100 alumni representing 45 years of different Fulbright programs attended the event, which took place on the Tunisian island of Djerba.
AMIDEAST 's country director for Tunisia, Jennifer Smith, delivering welcome remarks

The Tunisian and Libyan alumni came from the far corners of their home countries. Also attending were staff members from AMIDEAST’s headquarters and AMIDEAST/Tunisia, who organized the event, and David Blome, the U.S. ambassador to Tunisia and former chargé d’affaires to Libya.

Over the four busy days, Fulbright alumni had the opportunity to develop new contacts and discuss shared challenges. For many of them, it was the first time they were meeting and connecting with other alumni in their professional fields or with similar interests. Trainings focused on developing leadership, communications, project management, and community engagement skills. Several alumni showcased projects they have implemented using Fulbright Alumni Community Action Grants to train English language teachers in Libya, build playgrounds in rural Tunisia, and other activities.

Many alumni pledged to meet in the future to work together to tackle these problems in their communities and create innovative solutions based on the knowledge and skills developed during their Fulbright programs. At meeting’s end, both staff and alumni felt optimistic about the conference’s success. Already, several alumni have been meeting informally to work on an action plan for creating a more successful alumni network in North Africa. 

Capturing the enthusiasm felt by the attendees at the end of the conference, Tunisian alum Escandar said, "I would like to thank AMIDEAST for letting me participate in the 2019 Fulbright MENA Conference in Djerba. It was an amazing opportunity for me to reconnect with my fellow alumni from Tunisia and Libya, while strengthening my leadership skills and developing a new vision for our two countries."