INVESTING IN PEOPLE features stories of some of the thousands of individuals AMIDEAST worked with in 2010. Together with our partners and donors we worked to help thousands of individuals across the Middle East and North Africa access educational and training opportunities that will enable them to transform their own lives and bring positive change to their communities and societies. Learn about our activities in our 2010 annual report and read the stories of a few of the many individuals whom we proudly served this past year.
Women’s empowerment and inclusion are critical to the economic and political transitions currently taking place in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Specialized training programs such as the 10,000 Women program at the American University in Cairo (AUC) are important components of what must be a broader effort to enhance the ability of women in the region to achieve their potential and contribute fully to the social and economic development of their societies.
Consistent with the government’s efforts to expand educational opportunities for Saudi women, the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education recently approved the enrollment of women at Alfaisal University and the University Preparation Program (UPP), a special program that prepares high school graduates to tackle the challenges of university studies, particularly in English, math, and the sciences. As a result, as many as 120 women will begin classes next fall in the UPP, a four-year-old bridge program affiliated with Alfaisal University in Riyadh.
“The time is ripe for entrepreneurship in the Middle East, and I am confident that it can, indeed it must, play a crucial role in the political, social, and economic changes sweeping across the region,” AMIDEAST President and CEO Theodore Kattouf told participants in the William Davidson Institute’s Global Summit on Educating Entrepreneurs, held June 16-17 at the University of Michigan.
AMIDEAST is pleased to announce the appointment of James Ketterer as country director for Egypt. He assumes responsibility for AMIDEAST’s largest field operation, which includes field offices in Cairo and Alexandria, as well as activities that extend beyond Egypt’s two primary cities.
As part of the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, which met in Washington, DC, in mid April, Safwan Masri, Director of Columbia University’s Middle East Center in Amman, and Katherine Wilkens, AMIDEAST Vice President for Communications, co-chaired a Working Group on Higher Education in the Arab World. The group brought together a distinguished group of educators, specialists, and public sector officials from the United States and the Middle East to review the current state of higher education in the region and consider the key challenges facing reform today. Discussions over the three-day conference, which was held April 12–14, 2011, focused on three key challenges: Quality, Governance, and Educational Outcomes for Development.
A partnership between AMIDEAST and Bank of Beirut is helping Lebanese youth hone skills needed to enter the workforce and advance in Lebanon’s competitive job market. Since November, AMIDEAST has joined with Bank of Beirut, one of Lebanon’s largest banks, to offer the “Successful U!” program as a way of addressing a variety of professional development needs that the country’s young adults ages 18–25 face in the early stages of their careers.
AMIDEAST is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Chris Ludlow as Country Director for Iraq. After serving as acting country director since last December, he takes over the helm of AMIDEAST’s Iraq operation during a period of growth and expansion. Since resuming operations in Iraq in 2004, AMIDEAST has worked from its main office in Erbil to offer scholarship and exchange opportunities for the entire country. Last year saw the resumption of English language and test preparation programming at the Erbil site, as well as the addition of representation in major cities including Baghdad and Basra.