Young Middle East and North African Entrepreneurs Gather in Dubai

Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides meets with young entrepreneurs from the State Department-sponsored Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) initiative on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 12, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Andy Rabens is the Special Advisor for Youth Engagement in the Bureau of Near East Affairs, Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

What is the common thread between a young man that launched an online hotel booking portal for tourists to the West Bank; a young woman who founded a Muscat-based Belgian-style chocolate company selling sweets made with local Omani sourced ingredients; and a young man who established a Lebanese “culture pass” that provides discounts to destinations at countless popular venues around the country? 

The answer: They are incredibly impressive and successful new additions to the burgeoning ranks of the Middle East region’s young entrepreneurs. In addition, they are three members of an equally accomplished delegation of 17 young entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa — including the countries of Iraq, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Yemen, Libya, Oman, and Jordan — who… more »

U.S. Department of State Launches Global Connections 2.0 Program Engaging Classrooms in the Middle East, North Africa, and the United States

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 26, 2012

U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced today the launch of the 2012 – 2013 Global Connections 2.0 Program, a virtual exchange program for teachers and students from the United States and 19 countries from the Middle East and North Africa.

Through Global Connections 2.0, teachers and students in the Middle East and North Africa will expand their computer literacy skills, gain a deeper understanding of other countries’ cultures, and develop their leadership skills, giving them tools to make a difference in their home communities. In partnership with the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN), this program empowers youth to use technology and online collaboration to address global challenges and engage in dialogue with the international community.

Global Connections 2.0 builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 21st century statecraft policy, leveraging technology to create connections among Americans and their counterparts in the Middle East and North Africa.

Since 2000, the State Department’s Global Connections and Exchange (GCE) Program has supported collaboration and online linkages among students, educators, and community youth leaders from U.S. and overseas secondary schools and youth organizations. Virtual exchange offers meaningful cross-cultural exchange opportunities to students otherwise unable to participate in physical study abroad programs.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks at luncheon honoring TechWomen participants in Washington, D.C., July 6, 2011.

Join Secretary Clinton as She Honors “TechWomen” on July 6

Live: Secretary Clinton honors

Join Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as she honors 37 women from the Middle East and North Africa and their American mentors who participated in TechWomen, an initiative that harnesses the power of technology and international exchanges as a means to empower women and girls worldwide. The event will be streamed live on and DipNote on July 6, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. (EDT).

TechWomen, which Secretary Clinton first announced during the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in the spring of 2010, brought 37 women from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and the Palestinian Territories to the… more »

DipNote: The Week in Review

At a coffee shop in Cairo, Egypt, men watch televised address by President Obama, May 19, 2011. [AP]

About the Author: Luke Forgerson serves as DipNote’s Managing Editor.

President Barack Obama delivered a speech on U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa at the Department of State on May 19, 2011. Recognizing the changes that have taken place in the Middle East and North Africa in recent months, President Obama announced a new approach to promoting democratic reform and economic development, as well as peace and security across the region.

The President said, “…We face an historic opportunity. We have embraced the chance to show that America values the dignity of the street vendor in Tunisia more than the raw power of the dictator. There must be no doubt that the United States of America welcomes change that advances self-determination and opportunity.… more »

President Obama Delivers Remarks on Events in the Middle East and North Africa
President Obama delivers remarks at the State Department in Washington, May 19, 2011. [AP Photo]

President Barack Obama delivered a speech on U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa at the Department of State on May 19, 2011. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton provided the introductory remarks for President Obama.

Secretary Clinton said, “Mr. President, from your first days in office you have charged us with implementing a bold new approach for America’s foreign policy — a new blueprint for how we advance our values, project our leadership, and strengthen our partnerships. We have seen that in a changing world, America’s leadership is more essential than ever, but that we often must lead in new and innovative ways.

“And so, Mr. President, these Foreign Service Officers and these Civil Servants, the men and women of the State Department and USAID, work every day to translate your vision into real results — results on the… more »

President Obama To Deliver Remarks on Events in the Middle East and North Africa
President Obama speaks at Penn State University, Feb. 3, 2011. [AP File Photo]

President Barack Obama will deliver a speech on events in the Middle East and North Africa and U.S. policy in the region on Thursday, May 19 at 11:40 a.m. (EDT). The speech will be live-streamed from the State Department and available on Immediately afterwards, the live-stream will switch to a follow-up Twitter chat with Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, during which you can pose questions and reactions via Twitter. Please use the hashtag #MESpeech. You can learn more here. more »