Biden administration should act fast to bolster people-to-people exchanges with the Middle EastDecember 04, 2020
In a blog post calling for increased funding for US-MENA exchanges, Ambassador Richard LeBaron and US diplomat Dan Sreebny stress the need for virtual initiatives both while in-person exchanges remain halted and after they resume, citing Soliya's programming as a model for online innovations for diplomacy: "[...] while ramping up for more in-person exchanges, we should also pull together the lessons learned from the increased use of online exchanges and continue to innovate in the virtual space so that the number of people reached in the region can grow. The Stevens Initiative—a virtual exchange organization founded in honor of Ambassador Chris Stevens—and Soliya are leaders in this field, and other exchange organizations have followed suit. In-person and virtual exchanges, as well as hybrids of the two, will have permanent roles and should be supported." The blog post, published on the website of the think-tank the Atlantic Council, can be read here.