2010 Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Project Blog

Press Release

Straight from the Source: 2010 Ibrahim Student Blog

Follow along as students experience the richness of Dubai, Jordan, and Israel and engage with a variety of leaders and organizations – including those who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to promoting tolerance and mutual understanding, as well as those who represent more thought-provoking viewpoints.

Student Blog Entries

June 2010—"Straight from the Source" is a new forum bringing you the thoughts and experiences of students participating on the 2010 Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Project in the Middle East as it happens.

Our goal is to provide you with an apolitical, non-partisan forum displaying the raw impact of this program, demonstrated through live feedback from the students – straight from the source.

The Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Project in the Middle East is sponsored by the Ibrahim Family Foundation and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Ibrahim Project Orientation in Washington, DCOrientation

WASHINGTON DC, June 6, 2010—The first part of the Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Project in the Middle East has been a whirlwind. In a matter of two days, we attended an orientation in Washington D.C. designed to introduce us to the goals of the program, as well as Middle Eastern politics, economics, and cultures.

Our orientation began with hearty congratulations from the program’s sponsor, The Ibrahim Family Foundation. With short addresses from S.A. and Winston Ibrahim, the tone for the program was set...

Read more of Mark Brennan's entry 

Listen to S.A. Ibrahim discuss the immigrant experience in coming to America, the value of free association in U.S. society and the importance of engagement between the American people and the rest of the world, especially the Middle East.

S.A. Ibrahim

Listen to Winston Ibrahim discuss the U.S.’s interconnectedness with the rest of the world, prosperity in the U.S. and giving back to those less fortunate.

Winston Ibrahim 

Dubai group photoDubai

DUBAI, June 12, 2010—From touring ancient villages to visiting provocative art galleries, our group has discovered that Dubai has a lot more to offer than sizeable skyscrapers and Hermès headscarves. Yes, we found it thrilling to view Dubai from the world’s tallest building. And yes, we had a good time shopping in the world’s largest mall. However, our most significant experiences were the ones in which our group dug beneath Dubai’s stylish exterior and explored the Emirate’s most sensitive issues...

Read more of Glennis Markison's entry 

Dubai Media City

Our first day in Dubai was packed with meetings and activities that gave us a broad and deep understanding of the past, present, and future of Dubai. To start, we traveled to one of the original three towns within Dubai, Bastakiya Village. We arrived at the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding, where were we greeted by two Emirati men who took us on a guided tour of Bastakiya...

Read more of Ben Wasserman's entry



JORDAN—Standing on the banks of the Jordan River in Bethany as the guide explained that our location had been unanimously confirmed as the spot of Jesus' baptism by Christian churches was one of those moments when struggling to maintain my composure was simply out of the question...

Read more of Sarah Erwin's entry

Zach Bell at the Separation Wall in IsraelIsrael

ISRAEL, June 11, 2010—On the morning of June 11, our group left Jordan for the Allenby Bridge crossing into Israel. While this was supposed to be a minor portion of the day, it turned into a rather significant event. Despite a Jordanian tour guide who helped move us up to the front of the queue in Jordan, it took well over an hour to get to leave Jordan...

Read more of Zachary Bell's entry

Israel group photoOur first trip for the day, was a strategic tour of the city with Dr. Mordechai Kedar and David Weinberg, both affiliated with the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University. The trip began atop Nebi Samuel, a fortress on the highest point in the area on the Northern edge of the Jerusalem, and worked our way along to several strategically important locations around the city...

Read more of Mohammed Hussain's entry