1:30 pm EST - 3:00 pm EST

Past Event

American Education in the Middle East: Smart Power for a New Era

Friday, November 21, 2008

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm EST

The Brookings Institution
Stein Room

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC

On November 21, the Middle East Youth Initiative at the Wolfensohn Center for Development at Brookings hosted David Arnold, president of the American University in Cairo, for a discussion on the future of American-style higher education in the Middle East. As the American University in Cairo celebrates its ninetieth anniversary, Arnold highlighted the role of such institutions in promoting social and economic development in the region. Arnold was joined by Amy Hawthorne, executive director of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue. By looking at the growing ties between U.S. colleges and universities and their counterparts in the Middle East, Hawthorne discussed how American-style higher education can contribute to efforts at building mutual understanding and collaboration.

Wolfensohn Center Senior Fellow Homi Kharas provided introductory remarks and Saban Center Fellow Kristin Lord, author of A New Millennium of Knowledge? The Arab Human Development Report on Building a Knowledge Society, Five Years On, moderated the discussion.

Transcript excerpts:

David Arnold, President, American University of Cairo

“All of these new initiatives are being supported by forward thinking Arab leaders who recognize that higher education is really key to the future of their region. These leaders recognize that the real wealth of nations will ultimately be measured not in terms of natural resources or geographic location but in the capacity of succeeding generations to meet new economic and social challenges in a rapidly changing global environment.”

Amy Hawthorne, Exeutive Director, Hollings Center for International Dialogue

“[There is] a growing interest on American campuses in becoming more international and becoming more connected to the world, and specifically to linking more to the Middle East, which is being understood as a really important region for American students and faculty to understand better.”