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Blog Category:

The Middle East and North Africa

  • Letter From Abu Dhabi: Selecting the 2015 Falcon Scholar

    By: Dr. Allan E. Goodman on Thursday, January 29, 2015

    Senator J. William Fulbright was a Rhodes Scholar, and the experience gave him the idea that more Americans ought to have the opportunity to study abroad. We know where that led, of course.

  • In Conflict and Crisis, Higher Education Matters

    By: Daniela Kaisth on Friday, January 23, 2015

    You probably have never heard of the Global Platform for Syrian Students. I hadn’t heard of them either until about two years ago when the President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, Dr. Vartan Gregorian, introduced us.

  • Letter From WISE—International Education Supporting Crises Worldwide

    By: Dr. Allan E. Goodman on Monday, December 1, 2014

    It was a real lesson in globalization. The airplane announcement went something like this:

    "The local authorities have asked us to spray the cabin to prevent the spread of disease by mosquitos. Please do not breathe in if you are allergic to spraying. And due to the recent outbreaks of Ebola, MERS, H1N1, and bird flu, please report to local authorities upon landing if you have any of the following symptoms: ..." You can imagine the list.

  • The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Higher Education: A View from Turkey

    By: James King on Friday, July 25, 2014

    “Thank God we’re alive, but we are dying an intellectual death.”

    Wearing a colorful headscarf and a seemingly permanent look of sorrow, an intense and charismatic professor I’ll call Noora shared with me her tragic story of fleeing Syria and becoming a refugee. I was in Reyhanlı, a dusty border town in Turkey’s southernmost province, to meet with Syrians whose university education and academic work had been interrupted indefinitely due to the conflict in their homeland. Among the more than three million Syrian refugees, including an estimated one million in Turkey, there are tens of thousands of university students and professors.

  • The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Higher Education: A View From Lebanon

    By: James King on Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Doing our best to ignore the rumbling of military tanks outside a Beirut classroom, we listened as a group of Syrian university students shared with us how they had fled their homes and studies in Syria and were struggling to continue their education in Lebanon.

  • Letter En Route to Erbil

    By: Dr. Allan E. Goodman on Monday, July 22, 2013

    The occupants of seats 15A and B are an Iranian boxing champion and his photographer. Between the three of us (I am in 15C) we have just about that number of words in common. "Doctor" is one of them after the photographer fainted.

  • A Glimpse into Rebuilding Higher Education in Iraq

    By: Jim Miller III on Tuesday, February 12, 2013

    IIE-SRF's most recent Iraq Scholar Rescue Project conference in Erbil, Iraq was, with 200 Iraqi scholars in attendance, our biggest academic conference to date. This is the ninth conference we've held in the region and the fourth on Iraqi soil.

  • International Higher Education Protection Organizations Condemn Attack on Syrian University

    By: Jim Miller III on Thursday, January 17, 2013

    The crisis in Syria has created an academic emergency, with the break-down of higher education within the country and major obstacles facing Syrians who are studying or teaching outside of Syria. This week’s violent attacks on the University of Aleppo have underscored the need for urgent action to save the students and scholars who will be needed to rebuild their country. IIE’s Scholar Rescue Fund has been helping scholars from Syria to enable them to continue their work at safe haven universities around the world. Today, we joined with the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) and the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR) to issue a joint statement condeming the attacks on the University of Aleppo.

  • An Education Crisis in Syria: How You Can Help

    By: Daniela Kaisth on Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    On Friday night here in NYC, I attended the first Gala dinner of a group called Jusoor. Arabic for “bridges,” Jusoor aims to build a more peaceful and prosperous Syria by connecting the 20 million people in Syria with the 20 million people in the Syrian diaspora throughout the world. Like IIE, their focus is education.

  • Building the New Libya through International Education

    By: Mark Lazar on Monday, August 27, 2012

    I’m well aware that beyond international education circles, the Institute of International Education is not exactly a household name. So you can imagine my surprise when, on my first trip to Libya in 2006 to explore restarting scholarship programs with the country, I met numerous people who were intimately familiar with IIE. I will never forget my first meeting at Libya’s National Oil Company, when a gentleman greeted me in near-flawless English. It turns out that he had studied in the United States in the 1970s on an IIE-administered scholarship program. Not only did he have fond memories of his studies and the university that hosted him, but he regaled us with stories of his arrival to the United States and the warm welcome he received from his IIE program officer, whose name he remembers to this day.

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About Opening Minds

For more than nine decades, the Institute of International Education has been at the forefront of international education. The Opening Minds blog is IIE’s take on how this field continues to change. Here the Institute’s leaders will explore international educational exchange, global student mobility, institutional partnerships, international development, and other topics and trends that are shaping higher education around the world.


IIE Opening Minds Blog
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