Bringing Peace back to the “City of Peace”

“Activism is action to bring about change in society. It can be trying to make a government change its laws, or trying to make people change what they do.”- Thamer Alyas Once upon a time, Baghdad was known as the City of Peace. After years of conflict throughout Iraq it is fair to say Baghdad is rarely looked at as a symbol of peace any more, but what people don’t understand is that peace is still very present in this city and all over Iraq. Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) is a highly competitive program sponsored by the...

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Be confident about being a leader

“Be confident about being a leader”. This is how Sunny, a Chinese high school student visiting the U.S. through a visitor program, described her biggest learning from the leadership training implemented by Meridian International Center in February 2015.   Such a comment tells me that this young woman is already a leader and I won’t be surprised to see her becoming a global leader in the next decade and a great pride for her country and parents. In fact, as facilitator of this training, Sunny, Harry and other students were a tremendous inspiration for me.   Training high school...

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A Unique International Collaboration: The Afghan Diplomats Training Program

The Afghan Diplomats’ Training Program is an important example of the U.S.-China cooperation and represents a shared interest in the development and stabilization of Afghanistan. Newly appointed diplomats from the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs are welcomed on a two-part training program, spending two weeks each in the United States and the People’s Republic of China. In its fourth year, the program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Meridian International Center, in partnership with the Public Diplomacy Council, implements the U.S. portion of the program in Washington, DC and a long weekend in New York City.

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Creating Global Leaders for Emerging Challenges

Not everyone manages to do things they want to do either because of lack of opportunities or giving up in the struggle to achieve greater things in life. At the same time, there are people who turn hurdles and challenges into opportunities by exercising consistence and become more than what they have envisioned. Historically, all great people struggle at the beginning may it be Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein or Galileo Galilei; however, the times have changed and now it has become easier to identify and support people who are making a positive impact in their societies. International exchange programs...

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Meridian Social Innovation Fellows – Where are they now?

In May, Meridian launched the  Social Innovation Fellowship.  This year-long engagement of social entrepreneurs from across Europe will yield community improvement projects in 5 countries (Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, and Spain), however the implications will be significant throughout the region as each project addresses overlapping issues. Over the summer we shared some of the individual stories from the fellows’ experience – particularly their impressions and observations from their time in the U.S. (May, 2015).  Now that they are back in their own communities, they are working to put into action best practices they learned while here.  While each...

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