• University of the Middle East Project University of the Middle East Project


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Mission Statement

The University of the Middle East Project (UME) is an independent, non-profit organization promoting educational leadership for critical and creative thinking, civic engagement, and collaboration across cultures. Our intellectually and personally enriching, professional development programs share new skills and knowledge with and among educators dedicated to advancing a more open, equitable and sustainable Middle East and North Africa.


UME is:

  • A vision of education as a bridge among people and cultures.
  • An institution of higher learning striving for academic excellence in educational leadership.
  • An NGO working with educators at the grassroots level in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • An inclusive attitude open to individuals of any nationality, religion, ethnicity or gender who share the goal of a more open, socially equitable, democratic, and environmentally sustainable Middle East and North Africa.

UME's curriculum begins with its flagship introductory program, the Teacher Education Institute (TEI), which has convened more than 200 secondary school teachers since 1999 and affects the lives of approximately 4,500 new students annually. The TEI's unique interactive method shares the best of teaching theory and practices with MENA educators, empowering them with the skills to incorporate critical and creative thinking, constructive dialogue, and cross-cultural perspectives into their lesson plans. It is through these inspired and inspiring teachers that UME's mission spreads.

Building on the solid foundation it has created through the TEI, UME has recently launched a host of follow-on programs that utilize the UME Alumni Network to train more teachers, provide former participants with new learning and meeting opportunities, while supporting the implementation of acquired skills. In recent years, these have included:

  • Civic Engagement Workshops (CEW) in Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.
  • Seminars on Identity and Education (IDEA) in Spain in October 2006 and March 2008.
  • Train the Trainer Workshops (TTW) in Morocco and Jordan

UME was incorporated in 1997 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, by a group of Middle Eastern and North African graduate students and scholars. A second branch was incorporated in Madrid, Spain, in 2003.

The "Boston Office" is currently housed in The Arts at the Armory Center at 191 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA 02144. The Armory provides office and performance space for a number of educational and artistic organizations, and it works to advance the arts in the Somerville Community.

The membership of UME's Board of Directors and Board of Advisors has been comprised of luminaries of academia and the international affairs. UME plans to establish of regional offices in the Middle East and North Africa. It is also actively committed to supporting alumni associations and alumni projects in the the region.

In the United States, UME is an independent 501c3 not-for-profit organization. It receives support from a variety of foundations, development agencies, and individuals. In recent years, UME has received substantial funding from the FRIDE Foundation, the U.S. Department of State's Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs, and Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI. All UME operations are under the sole control of the UME Board of Directors.



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