MAXWELL HOSTS ITS SECOND GROUP OF LEADERS FOR DEMOCRACY FELLOWS


This year Syracuse University’s Maxwell School hosted its second group of young professionals from across the Middle East and North Africa. Funded through the State Department’s Middle East Part- nership Initiative (MEPI), the Leaders for Democracy Fellows 2008 Program included 20 individuals representing 10 different countries. The group spent 12 weeks in the United States, half of their time on Syracuse University campus attending lectures, seminars, and workshops and the other half in Washington D.C. participating in a professional affiliation program with institutions such as Human Rights Watch, the United States Institute for Peace, Freedom House, and the American Enterprise Institute. The principal objective of the program is to equip the young professionals with knowledge and skills to enhance their abilities to affect positive change in their home communities. In addition, the program provides a great opportunity for the fellows to learn more about American life and while in turn allowing other students to learn about the Middle East. During their stay in Syracuse, the fellows had numerous interactions with the university community, appearing in the campus newspaper, participating in countless public lectures, and engaging in discussions with the International Relations Student Association on controversial subjects such as the relationship be- tween Islam and democracy. Another excellent tradition of the program is its support for a reunion each year, somewhere in the region, to bring graduates of the program together.