The MEPI Alumni Network
MEPI alumni, numbering over 11,000, are contributing to the historic changes taking place in the Middle East and North Africa and regularly connect with each other to advance civil society and the cause of reform. MEPI alumni include thousands of dedicated reform advocates, such as 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakul Karman (Yemen), Egypt’s Dr. Azza Kamel, winner of the National Democratic Institute’s 2011 Democracy Award, Egyptian activist “Facebook Girl” Esraa Abdel Fattah, and a number of elected officials dedicated to positive change.
In support of their efforts, MEPI has recently expanded the MEPI Alumni Network to develop an active cadre of linked civil society and private sector advocates. The Network is developing local chapters in Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Yemen, and the West Bank and Gaza, to provide alumni with opportunities to hone their advocacy skills, link up with other regional alumni, and find ways to become involved in their communities as volunteers, leaders, and reformers. MEPI plans to launch more local chapters in the future.
MEPI recently concluded its March training workshop for newly hired Local Chapter Alumni Coordinators, who will guide the local chapters and MEPI alumni in their countries. The workshop was designed to provide Alumni Coordinators with training and guidance on launching and running active Alumni Chapters that respond to the needs of MEPI Alumni. Additionally, MEPI recently launched a website and networking platform to bring alumni from the entire region together in an interactive virtual space http://mepialumni.org.
NETWORKING & ACTIVITIES
Networking is a central element of the alumni network, allowing alumni from various projects to meet and connect so they can inspire each other and work together on advancing reform in the region through a variety of activities including trainings and workshops, panel discussions, and community projects. Alumni Network activities are chosen by alumni to address topics of interest such as leadership development and civic engagement.
The MEPI Alumni Network has a presence online at mepialumni.org, an interactive site where alumni can find out about activities in their communities, U.S. policies and programs, and success stories of alumni and Network chapters. Alumni can also register on the site to receive news and opportunity updates.
ALUMNI PARTICIPATION IN FUTURE ACTIVITIES
As new projects and exchange programs are introduced, the Network looks to its members for recommendations of other people who may benefit from MEPI opportunities. By introducing others to MEPI, alumni support the growth and development of others throughout the MENA region that have an interest in topics ranging from entrepreneurship to democracy to education.