Some of that change presents cause to be hopeful and some of it poses new and formidable challenges. A new administration has come into power in the U.S. promising a more respectful and engaged diplomacy with the Muslim World. At the same time, violence in the Middle East has reached new heights, leading to unprecedented levels of animosity and pain. Now more than ever, we are reminded of the importance of our work to bridge deep divides.
We are proud to announce that Soliya successfully completed our 10th Connect Program last month - our most exciting semester yet!
More than 300 students from 22 universities - throughout North Africa, the Middle East and the broader Muslim World, the United States and Europe - participated in the program. This is a 43% increase in the number of participants over last semester - the largest increase Soliya has ever made in one semester.
As always, students engaged in intensive online dialogue throughout the semester - across cultures and across borders - and worked together to produce vibrant media projects that covered topics ranging from daily life in different countries and cultures to critically examining media coverage of the U.S. presidential elections and their effect on foreign policy in the Middle East.
Below are a few student quotes from the Fall 2008 evaluations, which highlight the success of the program in promoting student learning and dialogue:
Soliya recently received a very generous grant from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We wish to extend our thanks to the Ministry for their continued support and commitment to our work. This grant will help Soliya to further enhance and expand the reach and impact of the Connect Program.