AMIDEAST Tunisia Celebrates 42 Years and Opening of New Tunis Office
AMIDEAST's new office in the heart of Tunis

Tunis, Tunisia, December 15, 2015 – AMIDEAST celebrated 42 years of service in Tunisia with the opening of a large, modern facility in downtown Tunis.  The inauguration of the new 2,400-square-meter facility corresponds with an increasing demand for AMIDEAST’s training services and long history of providing scholarships, testing, and cultural exchange opportunities for generations of Tunisians.  The celebration was attended by more than 200 friends, clients, partners, teachers, alumni, and Tunisian ministry colleagues.  

AMIDEAST President Kattouf (left) cuts the cake, with Country Director Chris Shinn (center) and Tunisian Minister of Employment and Training, Zied Laathari, looking on, at the December 11 celebration.

Minister of Finance, Slim Chaker, and Amy Mabrook, Director of English Language Programs at AMIDEAST/Tunisia

AMIDEAST/Tunisia staff with Amb. Kattouf and U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia Rubenstein at center

AMIDEAST's country director for Tunisia, Dr. Chris Shinn, welcomed everyone while AMIDEAST President and CEO Theodore Kattouf delivered a strong message that emphasized AMIDEAST's enduring commitment to expanding opportunity and hope for an embattled region.  Ambassador Kattouf also noted that AMIDEAST's network of permanent field offices, which includes Tunisia, and its longevity in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region make it a unique partner for U.S. embassies and ministries and other regional partners that depend on AMIDEAST's education and training services. 

Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia Daniel Rubinstein noted in his remarks that AMIDEAST administers a half-dozen U.S. government scholarship programs, including the Fulbright Foreign Student Program and Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program.  He also welcomed the expanded space afforded by the new facility for the American Corner, which hosted over 14,000 visitors last year alone.   

Tunisian government representatives were well-represented at the event. Minister of Employment and Training Zied Laathari spoke of the ministry's ongoing cooperation with AMIDEAST, particularly with providing certifications that lead to improved employment opportunities for youth and the added value of English in seeking employment.  Minister of Finance Slim Chaker drew the largest applause from the audience when he praised AMIDEAST's English language programs, observing that his own study of English at AMIDEAST had allowed him to have direct conversations with President Obama only two weeks ago. 

AMIDEAST/Tunisia has steadily grown over the last 42 years.  This new facility, now one of the largest of AMIDEAST's more than 20 project and country offices in the MENA region, provides significant more space for training and testing activities. Its modern, professional design is also conducive to enhancing the learning experience. 

AMIDEAST/Tunisia continues to expand its various programs, implementing a dozen U.S. Embassy grants in 2015-2016 and expanding outreach to other cities in Tunisia.  AMIDEAST's partnership with the Palais des Science in Monastir now complements its coastal office in Sousse.   Collectively these programs and offices represent an important service to the Tunisian people and form a crucial bridge of academic and cultural exchange that underpin the bilateral relations between the United States and Tunisia.