Accelerating the work of reformers in the Middle East and North Africa
“The people of the Middle East share the desire for freedom. We have an opportunity and an obligation to help them turn this desire into reality.”
The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) was created to support the aspirations of people in the Middle East for greater freedom and opportunity. In five years, MEPI has done that by devoting more than $430 million to over 350 projects in 17 countries and territories.
The result? Thousands of participants in MEPI programs across the Middle East have personally benefited and have, in turn, made a significant impact on their families, communities, and countries. A few examples:
Many participants, one vision
What unites hundreds of diverse MEPI projects is the goal of supporting people in the Middle East who are working to overcome the deficits identified by Arab experts in the U.N. Arab Human Development Reports.
Those deficits, which require political, educational, and economic reform, must be addressed urgently, as more than 50 percent of the region's population is under the age of 25. This is a generation that is asking for -- and cannot wait for -- a voice in its future, empowerment for women, improvements in education, and development of economies.
To provide ongoing support to people who have participated in MEPI programs, the U.S. Department of State has launched the Middle East Partnership Initiative Alumni Network. The MEPI Alumni Network, facilitated by AMIDEAST through a grant from MEPI, will accelerate the momentum of those working to advance reforms -- and to bring more peace and prosperity to the people of the Middle East .
This network, which is now active in Bahrain , Egypt , Jordan , Lebanon , Morocco , and Yemen , is offering MEPI alumni opportunities to network with each other, organize training and development activities, and have wide-ranging discussions on issues such as unemployment, women's rights, democratic change, and human rights.
Professional and personal development
MEPI alumni will be invited quarterly to activities to enhance their professional development in areas such as communications or finance. Or the activities may be geared toward personal growth with topics such as time management or goal setting. The network in each country will be flexible in order to respond to the needs of its members.
Because participants in MEPI programs have ranged in age from school children to senior opinion leaders, and represent all sectors of society, the MEPI Alumni Network is being created to support a wide range of participants and to encourage their interaction. This diversity will be reflected in local alumni chapter steering committees, which will provide leadership and vision for the alumni network, so it can be sustained and useful over time.
The MEPI Alumni Network has a presence online mepialumni.state.gov , with a site in Arabic and English for use by alumni only, so members can find out about jobs, activities in their communities, U.S. policies and programs, and resources offered by other alumni. The Web site also offers a forum for vibrant exchanges of ideas.
For more information about the alumni network, please contact the MEPI Alumni Network coordinators at the following Amideast offices:
If your country is not listed, please check back in the future as there are plans to expand the alumni network into other countries as the network grows.