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Media Note
January 10, 2001

U.S. Department of State Launches Fulbright Conflict Resolution Pilot Program

The Department of State has selected participants for the Fulbright Conflict Resolution pilot program to begin this week. Four students, from the West Bank, Israel, Lebanon, and Egypt, will attend Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), a faith-based institution in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The pilot program will consist of six months of core instruction followed by a choice of several classes or an internship for the second six months. In addition, two professors from Israel and Morocco will receive grants at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Fairfax, Virginia.

"The State Department's conflict resolution grants build on the Fulbright Program's traditional strengths of academic excellence and leadership potential," said Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Dr. William B. Bader. "This initiative heralds a new model for Fulbright awards in the 21st century. It enables grantees from across the Middle East and North Africa to explore together their common future. Senator Fulbright once observed that 'the vital mortar to seal the bricks of world order is education across international boundaries, not with the expectation that knowledge would make us love each other, but in the hope that it would encourage empathy between nations, and foster the emergence of leaders whose sense of other nations and cultures would enable them to shape specific policies based on tolerance and rational restraint.' Today, in the Middle East in particular, there is no more pressing need."

All Fulbright Conflict Resolution grantees will take courses in EMU's Conflict Transformation Program during the Spring 2001 semester that begins in January 2001. From May 7 through June 29, 2001, they will participate in an intensive Summer Peacebuilding Institute. On successful completion of the course work, the grantees will receive a Conflict Transformation Graduate Certificate as well as a university transcript should they desire to use those credits toward an academic degree. Following their study at the Institute, the grantees will have the option of participating in either two-month or six-month internships.

The Fulbright Conflict Resolution grantees will reunite November 17-20 to participate in the Middle East Studies Association meeting in San Francisco. They will be invited to Washington to evaluate their program before returning home.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Catherine Stearns
Public Affairs Advisor
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Phone: (202) 619-5053 or E-mail: cstearns@pd.state.gov

The Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) fosters mutual understanding between the United States and other countries through international educational and training programs. The bureau does so by promoting personal, professional, and institutional ties between private citizens and organizations in the United States and abroad, as well as by presenting U.S. history, society, art and culture in all of its diversity to overseas audiences. For further information, see our website at http://exchanges.state.gov.

The flagship international educational program sponsored by the United States Government, widely known as the Fulbright Program, is designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries..." With this goal as a starting point, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 230,000 participants -- chosen for their leadership potential -- with the opportunity to observe each others' political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas, and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world's inhabitants. Be sure to visit the new Fulbright Online Art Gallery at http://fulbrightgallery.com.

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