Expands Educational Opportunity for Jordanians
AMIDEAST’s mission is to expand opportunity through education and training. Founded in 1951, the American non-profit organization achieves that goal through a network of more than 20 offices in 11 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. While working to create new opportunities, it also seeks to strengthen mutual understanding and cooperation between Americans and the peoples of the MENA region.
“For nearly six decades, AMIDEAST has offered a range of educational and training services in Jordan,” says AMIDEAST’s Country Director for Jordan, Dana Shuqom. “Today, we operate from a spacious, modern facility in the Wadi Abdoun area of Amman, where we moved in 2012 in order to better serve the Jordanian population.”
Empowering Youth and Women
Youth represent the future, and women are often an untapped resource. Education and training can transform them into engines of growth, capable of contributing to the region’s socioeconomic development. Working with international and regional partners, AMIDEAST is implementing youth- and women-focused initiatives that build professional and language skills, enhance employability, and foster entrepreneurship.
The Arab Women’s Entrepreneurship Project, offered in partnership with Citi Foundation, combined basic business skills training and coaching in order to empower 60 women in the Kingdom, and nearly 300 region-wide, through entrepreneurship.
In 2015, 90 unemployed Jordanian women — all recent graduates of secondary school — were beneficiaries of a new partnership with the ETVET Fund and the Union for the Mediterranean in support of the UfM’s goal to empower women socioeconomically in the Mediterranean area. By combining skills training with careful attention to personal development and the social realities facing women, the Skills for Success®—Employability Skills for Women program has realized impressive job placement rates.
The English Access Microscholarship (Access) Program provides youth with English skills needed for success in a knowledge economy. The U.S. Department of State’s initiative also broadens student horizons through enrichment activities that promote teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking, and expand knowledge of cultural diversity within and beyond Jordan. To date, AMIDEAST has managed Access microscholarships for 1,500 Jordanian students in 11 governorates.
Another high-impact initiative implemented by AMIDEAST on behalf of the U.S. State department is the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program. YES has enabled nearly 330 Jordanian teenagers to spend a year at a U.S. high school, live with a host family, and experience life in an American community. Because YES students are required to undertake a community service project during their stay in the United States, many have returned with skills and enthusiasm to make an impact in Jordan through voluntary work.
Training for Global Success
AMIDEAST’s training and testing programs are helping individuals and companies succeed globally. By offering English language courses and test preparation programs, its Jordan office enables individuals to meet language requirements for admission to colleges and universities in the United States as well as at a growing number of global institutions that offer instruction in English. Its extensive testing services offer exams required for admission to U.S. universities such as the TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT.
General English courses for all levels and ages are regularly scheduled and available to the public, as are courses that advance professional and managerial skills. In addition, AMIDEAST trainers work with organizations and companies to improve the language, professional, and managerial skills of their employees and provide tools that assess workforce English capabilities. Over the past five years, nearly 7,000 Jordanians have enrolled in courses to advance their language and professional skills and prepare for standardized tests.
For students and professionals in the Middle East who seek to study in the United States, AMIDEAST is the organization to turn to for scholarships.
For 30 years, AMIDEAST supported a Scholarship Program offered by a prestigious national entity, managing the scholarships of nearly 300 Jordanian students in undergraduate programs in the United States. Another program, offered in collaboration with Open Society Foundations, provided scholarships for master’s and Ph.D. studies in the area of rule of law, social work and media. The U.S. Department of State Tomorrow’s Leaders Program, administered by AMIDEAST in the region, provides scholarships for undergraduate study at American-style universities in the region to young men and women who exhibit leadership potential and possess a desire to give back to their communities. To date, 23 Jordanians have received Tomorrow’s Leaders scholarships.
Two AMIDEAST programs are specifically designed to assist academically outstanding students in several Arab countries, including Jordan, to compete successfully for undergraduate scholarships from U.S. colleges and universities. Since 2000, its Diana Kamal Scholarship Search Fund and Hope Fund programs have enabled more than 200 young men and women, including five from Jordan, to matriculate at leading U.S. institutions of higher learning.
AMIDEAST continues to expand its training and educational offerings to serve adult and young learners in the Kingdom. It recently introduced PCELT, the Professional Certificate in English Language Teaching, which is available to teachers of English wishing to expand their skills and gain valuable certification. It also runs a vibrant Education Abroad for Americans program, which enables American college students to take Arabic and area studies courses in Jordan. Recently, AMIDEAST Jordan partnered with the U.S. Embassy in Amman to offer the American Language Center’s English classes and accompanying cultural activities.