IIE Blog Opening Minds
IIE: Celebrating 95 years of opening minds to the world

Blog Category:

The Middle East and North Africa


  • 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.

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