Can Arab Students Abroad Redefine the Future of the MENA Region?

Panel Chair: Dr. Essam Heggy

Lecture and a Panel with Open Discussion and final recommendations

Can science and education reform the Arab world deep from its roots up to its falling leaves? Can it succeed in establishing peace and sustainability where current political processes have failed? These might look as redundant questions, but the truth  is that they are urging today more than anytime through the modern history of this area. In this decade US and European universities are witnessing a surprising surge of applicants and enrollments in Arab students. One can easily notice that most of those who will freshly graduate will never come back but surprisingly at a more advanced part of the professional curriculum some of them do return to serve in governmental or entrepreneurial roles. It is no surprise that a significant population of government officials and leaders in the MENA area are graduates of international universities a remarkable observation among this population that mostly all would have served at one step in student unions abroad. The session will address several questions: What role is there for Arab students abroad today? Can Arab student abroad be a motor for change and tolerance in the area? How Arab alumni from US and European universities succeeded in changing their countries of origin? What does it take? Why some fails and other succeeded? Why are the key parameters that define their success? How can Arab students abroad establish be the seed for the needed socio-economic changes in the Arab world?