Meridian Reads: Museum diplomacy, struggles for diplomats and FACEBOOK

Hey there, Meridian Readers! It’s been a minute, and we’re happy to see you. We all know that it’s a busy time here in Washington, so without further ado, let’s dive in to this week’s top stories. New Pompidou Center Opens in Shanghai Publication: The New York Times | By Amy Qin If you haven’t heard of the Pompidou Center, it’s a complex building in Paris that housed the first collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. And now it’s taking that to Asia. Museum diplomacy, anyone? We’re here for it. When the Pompidou Center first floated the...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Renewable Energy Studied in Iraq

IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflect on the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we feature one alumnus who participated in a multi-regional project examining energy security. The participant spent three weeks in the United States exploring the roles and work of energy suppliers, technology developers, and university researchers. The program also introduced visitors to multiple sides of the energy debate including advocates for increased use of fossil fuels, renewably sourced energy, or “all of the above.”
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Meridians’ Role in Bridging the Gap Between Gender Roles in Iraq and Facilitating Positive Change

The Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) recruits the brightest and most forward thinking minds in the country who come to the United States to expand and develop their leadership and cultural diversity skills. IYLEP, a State Department funded program, facilitated by Meridian International Center brought 100 participants, selected from over 2,000 applicants this year, to the U.S. to learn and experience student life at various universities around the country. The program also entails valuable workshops during the opening conference in New York City and during the closing conference in Washington, D.C. The IYLEP participants are consistently presented with...

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IYLEP Alumnus Promotes Peace through Debate

Yousuf Al-Rawi, a fifth year medical student at the University of Baghdad and an alumnus of the 2013 Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) , is already putting the skills he developed into practice by working with his colleagues to make a difference in his home country. In his early years of undergraduate study, Al-Rawi learned of IYLEP through his university and was drawn to apply by the chance to experience American culture firsthand while being exposed to new ideas that could be applied in Iraq. Upon becoming a finalist and participating in IYLEP 2013, he took full advantage of this opportunity. Al-Rawi...

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Community Development in Iraq through Volunteerism

By Ameer Sabri, Manager of Volunteers of Duhok University (VDU) Alumnus IYLEP 2015 Volunteers of Duhok University (VDU) is an initiative launched by a group of students from the University of Duhok – a fast-growing institution in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Established in March 2015, the idea of setting up a youth center was pitched by a student, Saeed Qasim, and his mates, Zeena, Pekhatin, Karzan, Matty, Khosh, Iman, Yoshia, Khalid, Shihab, Ahmed, and Iman Na’man to create and spread the culture of volunteerism among students. First of all, the VDU team developed a registration form for membership...

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