US-Middle East Exchange in the Early Twenty-First Century
An immediate effect of 9/11 was the loss of Middle Eastern enrollments. Recruitment initiatives to recover them were soon sponsored by the US government and also by private enterprises, often with the cooperation of organizations such as AMIDEAST and UNESCO. Efforts included the Bush administration’s Middle East Partnership Initiative, the Ford Foundation’s Discovery Program, the Exxon-Mobile Middle East and North Africa Scholars Program, the Middle East and North Africa Peace Scholarships, and the Lift-off Initiative, to name just a few. Other countries were also invested. Saudi Arabia began allotting generous funds to advance the availability of exchange scholarships with the United States. In a span of five years (2005–2010), Middle Eastern enrollments rose from 33,000 to 51,000, with Saudi Arabia the top sender.
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