Kutayba Alghanim’s passion for education runs deep. He believes that empowering our youth, building cross-cultural bridges and providing support to the region’s best and brightest will bring us closer to a peaceful and prosperous Middle East.

AMIDEAST is a leading non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. Founded in 1951, AMIDEAST in its early years focused on promoting U.S. study to students in the MENA region and managing U.S. scholarships and exchanges such as the flagship Fulbright Foreign Student Program, and now has programs that aim to expand global understanding and assist deserving youth to realize their dreams of study in the United States for their higher education.

While these important programs continue apace, AMIDEAST’s work has expanded significantly.

The focus went beyond education to reach institutional development in the region. Societies require effective public and private institutions in order to meet the social, economic and civic needs of their people. Programs focused on building the capacity of institutions to effectively implement their missions and respond to local demand for quality services are at the heart of successful development.

AMIDEAST is working with local, regional, and international partners to assist efforts to strengthen and build institutional capacity across the Middle East and North Africa region. These efforts are concentrated in four vital areas: education, legal and judicial reform, public administration, and civil society.

In light of the political situation in the region, AMIDEAST’s Tawasul (“Connections”) Project, which is funded by UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), plays a critical role in solving a major problem in the refugees’ camps in Yemen. While aid is available, and a number of both international and local organizations are working in Yemen, getting aid and information to affected communities and transmitting the needs of widely dispersed populations to aid agencies is a challenge.

Another important initiative of AMIDEAST is the Arab Women’s Entrepreneurship Project (AWEP), done in cooperation with Citi Foundation. This initiative is dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship among Arab women.

 Today AMIDEAST programs and services touch the lives of half a million individuals a year – improving educational opportunities and quality, strengthening local institutions, and developing language and professional skills critical for success in the global economy. AMIDEAST also supports numerous institutional development projects in the region and administer some of the world’s top educational exchange programs.

Kutayba Alghanim’s relationship and support for AMIDEAST spans decades, stemming from his deep belief in the power of education. He continues to serve as a member of AMIDEAST’s board of directors, bringing with him his knowledge of the Middle East and his experience as one of the region’s leading business figures.

[photo credit: Amideast]