Washington, DC: On February 6, Meridian International Center announced a partnership with the Shafik Gabr Foundation (U.S.) to implement a U.S.-Egypt bilateral exchange. Launching in Fall 2015, the Gabr Fellowship @ Meridian - a part of the Foundation’s initiative East-West: The Art of Dialogue - will bring 22 young professionals from the United States, Egypt, Bahrain, Ireland, and the UK to travel around the United States and Egypt. In its third year of existence, the Fellowship seeks to foster greater understanding and cooperation among emerging leaders in the fields of art, science, media, law, and entrepreneurship.
The Gabr Fellows will spend approximately two weeks in each host country to become fully immersed in the country’s culture and expand their professional networks through meetings with high-ranking public, private, and diplomatic leaders. While traveling, the Fellows will explore socio-economic and cultural issues, including literature and fine arts, religion, history, poverty reduction, and income distribution. A foundational component of the Fellowship is the development of an action project for collaboratively tackling shared challenges. This component is designed to ensure that the Fellowship will have a lasting impact on the Fellows’ peers and home communities. Meridian International Center will host the Gabr Fellows while in the United States and showcase their action plans at a conference in Washington, D.C.
Action plans from past Gabr Fellows include a Center for Global Citizenship, an East-West digital publication, and Culture Box – a unique cultural initiative geared to engage youth in another culture through the five senses. Fellows have come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, including international aid workers, academics, and digital artists, and represented geographic diversity within the United States and Egypt. For the 2015 Gabr Fellowship, Bahrain, Ireland, and the UK have been included as eligible host countries for the Fellows.
According to Meridian’s President & CEO, Ambassador Stuart Holliday, “We are proud to play a role in facilitating this U.S.-Egypt bilateral exchange, and feel confident that the Gabr Fellowship @ Meridian will have a long-lasting impact not just in Egypt and the U.S., but also in countries around the world.”
The Gabr Fellowship builds on the vision of Shafik Gabr, Chairman and Managing Director of the ARTOC Group for Investment & Development and Meridian Global Leadership Award recipient, for greater East-West cooperation. “As gaps in understanding between East and West open up at many levels, there is a need for significant bridge-building and new platforms for people-to-people communication perhaps more than at any other time in modern history,” said Mr. Gabr when he started the Fellowship in 2012.
To Apply: Applicants must be between the ages of 24 and 35 from the United States, Egypt, Bahrain, Ireland, or the United Kingdom. In order to ensure the experience is once-in-a-lifetime, participants must not have previously traveled to Egypt or the United States - if not their home country. Interested participants should submit their applications before the March 31st deadline.
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About the Shafik Gabr Foundation (U.S.) The Shafik Gabr Foundation in the United States is a non-governmental philanthropic organization that supports the East-West: The Art of Dialogue initiative. The foundation sprung from Shafik Gabr's conviction that non-governmental institutions can affect real change and that each citizen must play a role in building bridges towards peace and the improvement of people's lives. Mr. Gabr drew his inspiration for the Gabr Fellowship from his experience as an Egyptian whose worldview was transformed by travel and the friendships and lessons that resulted. Moreover, he was inspired by collecting and studying the art and lives of 19th century American and European Orientalist traveler painters whom he calls "early globalists."
About Meridian International Center Meridian international Center is a premier global leadership organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Building on over 50 years of experience, Meridian provides the programs, approach, and environment for leaders to understand global issues and cultures, exchange ideas, collaborate on solutions, and build valuable relationships. For more information, visit meridian.org, or blog.meridian.org. Follow us on twitter @MeridianIntl.