The title of our annual report for 2011— covers a year of fruitful engagement to meet new challenges in the Middle East and North Africa. As AMIDEAST marked its sixtieth anniversary in 2011, it was also a time to reflect on AMIDEAST’s legacy of serving this important region since 1951 through education, training, exchange, and institutional development in order to expand opportunity, better young people’s lives, and advance mutual understanding.
Washington, DC, April 16, 2013 — AMIDEAST is pleased to announce that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has selected it to implement a four-year initiative that will provide support for 50 Palestinian public and private schools. The School Improvement Program (SIP) will focus on strengthening leadership, teaching quality, and community engagement in these schools. In addition, the program will provide career guidance, life skills training, and experiential learning in order to overcome low student achievement.
Muscat, April 7, 2013. His Highness Sayyid Taimur bin Assad Al Said officially opened the new premises of AMIDEAST today at a ceremony that featured remarks by U.S. Ambassador Greta C. Holtz and a letter from AMIDEAST’s President and CEO, Ambassador Theodore H. Kattouf, read by an AMIDEAST headquarters representative. Officials from various Ministries, private sector companies and educational institutions participated in the event and then toured the new facilities at Airport Heights, which include four floors of classrooms, computer labs, testing facilities, conference and meeting rooms, a library for educational advising, a student lounge, and staff offices.
AMIDEAST advises that the following resources are available to assist Syrian students and scholars:
In a Nov. 16, 2012, speech, AMIDEAST President and CEO Theodore H. Kattouf underscored the vital role of education in ensuring a successful outcome of the revolutions in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. Addressing the joint annual benefit of the National Arab American Medical Association (NAAMA) and Egyptians Abroad in Development (EAD) in Chicago, he said, “A bright future for the region is one in which its many young men and women are able to improve their life circumstances and realize their dreams of political and social inclusion. The region must create many more jobs, but it must also prepare youth to have English language, IT, and critical thinking skills required in a 21st century global economy that is increasingly knowledge-based and high tech.”
AMIDEAST is pleased to be the managing partner of the new Rhamna Skills training center in Benguerir, Morocco. Inaugurated by King Mohammed VI on Nov. 12, 2012, the youth center offers training in soft skills and entrepreneurship along with career coaching and guidance in order to assist youth in their efforts to enter the job market. It is the first of several youth training centers that Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP), Morocco's national phosphates company, is setting up as part of its OCP Skills initiative, which seeks to address the country's dual challenge of reducing its high youth unemployment rate and increasing the pool of domestic talent for the country's growth industries to tap.
AMIDEAST’s staff in Muscat were excited to begin 2013 by moving into a large, modern facility in the city’s Airport Heights/Ghala section. The new headquarters for AMIDEAST’s operations in Oman, which opened in January 2013, features an EducationUSA library, a Cisco Entrepreneur Institute, a variety of classrooms and meeting spaces, a student lounge, and two computer labs, including one certified by U.S. testing company ETS for administration of the Internet-based TOEFL® exam. It also offers ample space for visitor parking.
In a little over a year, the Arab Women's Entrepreneurship Project (AWEP) — an AMIDEAST partnership with Citi Foundation to expand opportunities for entrepreneurship training for women in the Arab world — completed a first round of training and recently launched a second one. In all, nearly 150 women from six countries — Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan — are participating in these initial efforts, which are being implemented with generous support from Citi Foundation.