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Greetings from AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs in the Arab World! Thank you for being a part of AMIDEAST’s larger mission to help develop mutual understanding between Americans and the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa! This issue of the Alumni newsletter includes the following sections:

• Education Abroad Updates • A  lumni Resources: Featured Internships • Featured Recipe • Featured Book • Spring 2014 Photo Contest Announcement and Fall 2013 Photo Contest Winners • Mosaic: A Collaborative Student Blog

Spring 2014 students in Muscat, Oman

We hope the information provided here helps you stay connected to AMIDEAST and opportunities involving the MENA region.



As AMIDEAST Education Abroad continues to grow and change, we want to keep you updated with the most recent developments in our programs. REVISED MISSION STATEMENT During the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Summit (a week-long all-staff meeting in Cairo last January), staff members from around the Middle East and North Africa region reviewed the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Mission and Core Principles Statements, resulting in a revision of those important documents. The revised statements are now posted on the AMDIEAST Abroad website and can be viewed here: http://amideast. org/abroad/about-us/mission/mission MEASURING STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT Beginning this spring semester, we are administering pre- and post-program Oral Proficiency Interviews (OPIs) to all students in AMIDEAST programs. The OPI was developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and is the most widely recognized for assessing functional speaking ability in foreign languages. There are 10 OPI proficiency levels ranging from Novice Low to Superior. For more information about the OPI, please click HERE. Our intent is to continue to use the OPI every semester as one means of measuring student achievement and program effectiveness. INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION TRAINING FOR PROGRAM STAFF: To deepen our program staffs’ understanding of intercultural communication and intercultural learning, two staff members from each AMIDEAST Education Abroad site participated in a six –day workshop on intercultural communication at the Intercultural Development Research Institute’s IDR Academy this past November. This was a valuable opportunity to explore means to strengthen the intercultural learning aspects of our programs.

Education Abroad Staff at IDR Academy


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NEW OMAN PROGRAM LAUNCHED - SPRING 2014 We are pleased to announce the inaugural term of a new Area & Arabic Language Studies semester program in Muscat, Oman. Our spring students have finished their on-site orientation and are diving in to their Arabic and Area Studies courses. Oman is a unique setting, with a fascinating and distinct historical role in the larger Arab world, the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Ocean, and East Africa. Further, it is a land replete with natural beauty and endless opportunities for outdoor activities, whether among the many mountains, deserts, or beaches that make up the Sultanate. In this multi-cultural environment, students explore a range of issues related to the Middle East, Oman, Spring 2014 Education Abroad Students in Oman and the Gulf region with their professors, their fellow AMIDEAST students, and their local Omani friends. Participants have the opportunity not only to improve their Modern Standard Arabic, but to also learn Omani Arabic through small classes and a structured Language Partner program. In addition to formal classroom learning, students engage in cultural dialogues with Omani students, live in the bustling Souq Al-Khoud student neighborhood, and participate in program-organized excursions around Oman. Visits to major attractions and historical sites may include the following:

• Jabal Shams & Nizwa • Wahiba Sands • Dhow Cruise along Bandar Khairan

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE PROGRAMS This past summer was AMIDEAST’s second year implementing 6-week intensive Arabic programs through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) in Morocco and Oman. With a handful of exceptions, the students from high schools around the U.S. had no background in Arabic. Virtually all of the NSLI-Y students achieved at least Novice High on their Oral Proficiency Interviews at the conclusion of the program. The OPI score of Novice High is the third of ten proficiency levels. In addition, this year AMIDEAST has welcomed our first group of NSLI-Y Academic Year students in Oman. These students are participating in an eight-month intensive Arabic program. AMIDEAST is also administering the academic year Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program in Morocco and Oman. This is our fourth year working to bring these high school students to the Middle East and North Africa for a year of study in local schools. In addition, we are actively preparing for the 2014 cohort of Critical Language Scholarship Programs (CLS) students. This past summer, AMIDEAST operated CLS sites in three locations – Amman, Jordan; Nizwa, Oman; and Rabat, Morocco. The NSLI-Y, YES Abroad, and CLS Programs are funded by the U.S. Department of State and AMIDEAST is a subcontractor for all three to American Councils for International Education.

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ALUMNIFEATURED RESOURCES INTERNSHIPS The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) is pleased to announce its 2014 Summer Students Program, which will run for five weeks between Monday, May 19, and Tuesday, June 24, 2014. The program is designed for graduate students and exceptional senior undergraduates, majoring in the humanities or social science disciplines. Applicants should have a particular interest in developing their knowledge and research skills in the core areas of Islamic studies such as methods in the study of Islam, the Qur’an, the Sunnah, Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), Islamic History and Civilization, and Contemporary Islamic Thought. The program also provides in-depth analysis and discussions – in seminar format. Some of the subjects related to contemporary Islamic reform movements, Islamic banking and finance, faith-based entrepreneurship, Islam and science, and Islam in America. Summer Students Program is a residential program, taught by world-class faculty, drawn from top institutions in the US and around the world. The deadline to submit an online application, CV, and official transcript is April 15, 2014. Check out the IIIT website and apply here.

The Education Abroad department of AMIDEAST‘s Washington D.C. office has an internship opportunity available in summer 2014. AMIDEAST’s Education Abroad department is responsible for the design and implementation of study abroad programs in the Middle East and North Africa. Our programs include summer, semester, and academic year programs in Jordan, Morocco, and Oman. Intern Requirements: The ideal Education Abroad Intern is a creative, motivated, organized individual who is able to work on diverse assignments and complete tasks within an articulated deadline. The Intern should possess the following: • Solid oral and written skills, preferably including website or social media development experience • Keen attention to detail • Demonstrated interest in the Middle East and North Africa, Islamic studies, international affairs, social sciences and/or public diplomacy • Strong Microsoft Office skills; graphic design, marketing and web design skills are desirable • Self-starter with the ability to work independently as well as with other staff members Special consideration is given to those who have previously studied abroad in the Middle East and North Africa. Intern Responsibilities: Interns report to the Education Abroad Program Assistants and Director of Education Abroad. In collaboration with the department


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The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Washington, D.C. Summer Internship Program offers undergraduate and graduate students a ten-week professional, academic, and career opportunity internship in the nation’s capital. The program features a demanding mix of professional involvement, intellectual challenge, career exploration, and cultural encounters designed to provide interns with a rich and varied experience during their time in Washington. As complements to the program, interns will also be exposed to D.C. in a less visits, off-the-record conversations with former diplomats, group dinners, and suggestions for exploring the sights and sounds of Washington, D.C. This allows students not only to experience living and working in the city but also encourages them to appreciate the cultural diversity of the urban environment and the exciting cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities available in the nation’s capital. The priority deadline is February 10, 2014. Complete applications received by this date will be reviewed by NCUSAR and host organizations sooner than the general pool of candidates. The final deadline is February 28th. All materials must be postmarked by Friday, February 28, 2014. Visit for additional internship and application details. staff, interns will engage in the following tasks: • Assist with implementing and supporting Education Abroad Program marketing and outreach activities (which may include distributing materials, drafting text and web research) • Assist with Education Abroad Programs website development and maintenance • Provide administrative support for application and student document management • Assist with management of the AMIDEAST alumni network, website, and newsletters • Manage and update contact databases • Assist staff in their organization of promotional visits and institutional relations • Provide support for additional projects as necessary Internship Dates and Schedule: This unpaid internship will begin in May 2014 and end in August 2014 (start and end dates are flexible). Additionally, there is a possibility of renewal of the internship for the fall of 2014. Interns generally work 15-20 hours per week, but preference will be given to those with full-time availability. Business hours are Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Please submit a cover letter explaining your availability and interests in the Middle East and North Africa. Please also include a resume outlining study and work experience to by March 25, 2014. Top candidates will be interviewed by telephone during the early part of April.



SUBMITTED BY JULIE FISHER, SPRING 2013 MOROCCO ALUM AND FALL 2013 ED ABROAD INTERN Harira is an iconic Moroccan soup made using tomatoes, chickpeas, lentils, herbs and spices, and (sometimes) meat. This soup is often served during Ramadan to break the fast. Other foods such as hardboiled eggs sprinkled with salt and cumin, dates, and honey-laden pastries like shebakia are traditionally served alongside the soup. When I studied abroad in Morocco last spring, my host mom would make harira for dinner at least once a week. Although my host siblings could sometimes be picky with other foods, everyone loved this family staple and dug right in as soon as it landed on the table. One afternoon, my host mom called me and my roommate into the kitchen to help her make it. We followed along and pitched in as best we could as she effortlessly worked the ingredients into a hearty soup. After ladling the finished product into everyone’s bowls, my host dad squeezed a slice of fresh lemon into each serving. Warm, filling, and flavorful, harira quickly became one of my favorites. Here’s how to recreate it for yourself! (Makes approximately 8 servings) Ingredients: - 2 cups presoaked chickpeas - 3 tablespoons of dry lentils - 6 large tomatoes - 3 tablespoons tomato paste - ½ pound raw meat (lamb, beef, or chicken) - 3 tablespoons vegetable oil - ¼ cup cilantro - ¼ cup parsley - 2 celery stalks - 1 large onion - 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon - 1 teaspoon ground ginger - 1.5 teaspoons pepper - 1 tablespoon kosher salt - ½ teaspoon turmeric - 1 tablespoon smen (salted preserved butter- optional) - 3 cups, then 2 quarts, then 2 cups of water - 3 tablespoons uncooked rice or vermicelli noodles - 1 cup flour - Fresh lemon or lemon juice to taste Procedure: - Skin 2 cups of presoaked chickpeas. - Rinse 3 tablespoons of dry lentils. - Peel and seed 6 large tomatoes and puree them in a blender or food

Julie Fisher cooking harira during the Spring 2013 semester in Rabat

processor with 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. - Put ½ pound of raw meat and 3 tablespoons of oil into a large pressure cooker*. Cook the meat over medium heat, stirring until browned on all sides. - Add to the pressure cooker*: - ¼ cup of finely chopped cilantro - ¼ cup of finely chopped parsley - 2 finely chopped celery stalks - 1 finely chopped large onion - the chickpeas - spices: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, 1.5 teaspoons pepper, 1 tablespoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon smen (optional) - stir in 3 cups of water - Cover and cook over high heat until the pot pressurizes. Then reduce to medium heat and cook for 20-30 more minutes. Remove from the heat and release the pressure. - Add the 3 tablespoons of lentils, tomato puree, and 2 quarts of water to the pot. - Cover the pot and cook over high heat until the pot pressurizes. Then reduce to medium heat. - Adding rice or vermicelli noodles can be a great way to give the soup some

more texture. If adding rice, cook the soup under pressure for 30 minutes, add 3 tablespoons of uncooked rice, and cook under pressure for 15 minutes more. If adding vermicelli, cook the soup under pressure for 45 minutes, add 3 tablespoons of vermicelli noodles, and cook uncovered for five to ten minutes more until the noodles are cooked. - When the soup is cooking, separately combine 1 cup of flour with 2 cups of water, stirring occasionally. - Once the rice or vermicelli has cooked, taste the soup add salt or pepper as desired. - Bring the soup to a simmer and very slowly pour in the flour mixture, stirring constantly so that the flour does not stick to the bottom. The soup should start to thicken. - Simmer the thickened soup for five to ten minutes more, stirring occasionally. - Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice to your taste. *If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can use a large, partially-covered stockpot, but cook for double the suggested pressure cooking times. Add more water if necessary.

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WHY NATIONS FAIL: THE ORIGINS OF POWER, PROSPERITY, AND POVERTY by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson Recommended by Mack Harris: Special Assistant, AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs As any who have studied history know, European dominance of the global system after the sixteenth century was far from inevitable. During the Islamic Golden Age (until 1258), the peoples of the Islamic world made invaluable contributions to all fields of knowledge at a same time Europe was largely fragmented and technologically backwards. Given this, I have always wondered: what allowed the peoples of western Europe to rule and exploit most of the rest of the world for several centuries, while the peoples of the Islamic World saw their power and influence decline? I picked up Why Nations Fail hoping that it might provide an answer that question, and it did not disappoint. Acemoglu and Robinson begin their inquiry by addressing flawed prior attempts to explain why some nations are wealthy and prosperous while others are destitute. The authors first examine three hypotheses frequently used to explain why nations succeed or fail: culture, geography, and ignorance. Culture and geography are both easily ruled out as the critical factors in a nation’s success or failure, and the authors illustrate this by highlighting the economic disparities that can exist between culturally and geographically similar locations, such as North and South Korea. They also rule out ignorance – that is, the hypothesis that politicians simply don’t know what economic policies are ideal – as a factor. Instead, the authors suggest that economic policies that may seem irrational to an observer are not crafted that way because of ignorance, but rather, because the undemocratic authors of such policies use them to perpetuate their regimes. So with these factors eliminated, what remains? The authors’ suggestion (and the key contention of their work) is that to understand why some nations succeed and others fail, we need to look at political and economic institutions. Acemoglu and Robinson contend that, broadly speaking, we can speak of institutions as being inclusive or extractive. Inclusive institutions permit more people to participate in markets, reap the rewards of their work, and hold political power. In contrast, extractive institutions pull political power or wealth from the masses and concentrate it in the hands of a few. Additionally, inclusive economic


AMIDEAST Alumni Newsletter

systems allow for a process known as “creative destruction,” the process by which the old order is destroyed to make way for the new. A recent example of “creative destruction” can be seen in the progression of musical media: cassette tapes replaced the 8-track, CDs replaced cassette tapes, and now CDs are themselves being replaced by MP3s. In the end, Acemoglu and Robinson deliver both good and bad news. The bad news is that because institutions themselves come from lengthy and contingent historical processes, there is no simple solution that leads to prosperity. Even long-standing inclusive political and economic institutions are susceptible to the vicissitudes of history, as the cautionary tales of Rome and Venice teach us. The good news, however, is that this book allows us to discover which approaches are generally ineffective. The authors suggest, for example, that foreign aid typically does little to create sustained economic growth. This is because foreign aid largely fails to address the problem of extractive institutions, instead trying to improve the lives of people directly. In many cases, foreign aid masks the destructive impact of extractive institutions. US aid to Egypt can be seen in this light. It is not surprising that Acemoglu and Robinson suggest that inclusive political and economic institutions lead to prosperity. While some might say that such thinking is common sense, I find that the value of this hypothesis cannot be overstated. Considering the potential of inclusivity is increasingly important, especially in an era where some policy analysts and leaders find themselves wondering whether economic growth can be kick-started more easily within authoritarian political systems. Why Nations Fail is a must-read for anyone interested in studying or working in the field of international development, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa because of the prevalence of undemocratic regimes and extractive institutions throughout the region.



Our Photo Contest for the Spring 2014 semester is now under way! We’re accepting submissions until March 28, 2014, so be sure to check the Guidelines and Submission Details and start sending photos to The first and second place photos will be awarded a Visa gift card, be framed in our Washington D.C. office, and used in the AMIDEAST Education Abroad promotional materials for 2015 and our Facebook page. After semi-finalists are selected in late March, we encourage you to visit our Facebook page Study Abroad in the Arab World to vote on your favorites.




First P la Moro ce Photo: S cco pa ubmitte r Berbe r boy ticipant. “Za d by Sarah walkin B g hom wiyat Ahan ertin, Fall 2 s e afte r a lon al, Morocc 013 Rabat, o. g scho ol day A young .” Secon d Moro Place Photo cco pa : Subm rti into a kinder cipant. “W itted by Da ly g h well a s one arten class ile explorin a Arussy, S umme of the g the where str r2 young I studen tried to spe eets of Fes, 013 Raba t, ts ther I ak wit e.” h the te stepped acher as

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We are always excited to receive student and alumni submissions for Mosaic, our ongoing collaborative student blog. Feel free to submit a past or new article, blog entry, photos, or creative writing about your program abroad to Below is an excerpt from a post submitted by a Fall 2013 Morocco participant, Madinatou Diallo. We hope you will visit Mosaic to read through the rest of her entry! “When I think about the four months I spent in Rabat, happy memories flood through my head– lunch with friends in Agdal, spending too many hours in the Medina, breakfast with my roommate and host dad, kissing my host mom whenever I returned home, drinking tea with my family while the TV went on unnoticed– which makes me want to do it all over again. But in the back of my mind, I know that it is impossible to recreate the wonderful moments I had in Morocco. For one, it is highly unlikely that the friends I made from all over the United States will all be there again for four months. Study abroad is supposed to be a time where students not only explore a different place and cultural but a time where they also learn about themselves and grow into global citizens with sophisticated views of the world. Before I traveled to Morocco, so many people felt that it was necessary to tell me to reconsider my decision. “The Arab world is scary and dangerous right now” they said. Well, after four amazing months in Morocco, I know that Morocco is neither scary nor dangerous and quite frankly it isn’t a country of only Arabs, contrary to the common belief of many Americans. Almost all of the Moroccan people are descendants of the Amazigh people, something I did not know prior to my trip. It is often said that “to travel is to awaken”. In Morocco, I found the key to a box of memories I had thrown away 10 years ago. During a weekend trip to a Moroccan village, Zawiyat Ahansal, I was able to revisit my childhood memories and gain a profound understanding of who I was and what led to me being the person I am today and see a clear picture of who I want to be in the future. Throughout my time in Morocco, whether it was riding a camel through the Sahara or bargaining in the Medina, every day was spent learning and experiencing something wonderfully unique…”

Happy 2014 from AMIDEAST Education Abroad! We always enjoy hearing where life has taken AMIDEAST alumni, and we encourage you to contact us if you have any suggestions for the Alumni Association, or just to update us on your current successes. Best regards, Jerry Bookin-Weiner, Cara Lane-Toomey, Shino Yoshen, Lauren Kardos, Kyle Axberg, Mack Harris, and Richard Murphy The AMIDEAST Education Abroad Team

CONTACT US AMIDEAST Education Abroad 1730 M St., NW Suite 1100 Washington, DC 20036


AMIDEAST Education Abroad Alumni Newsletter #7