Young Arab Leaders (YAL), in Partnership with Business for Diplomatic Action
Young Arab Leaders (YAL), in Partnership with Business for Diplomatic Action, Launches the Second Arab American Business Fellowship Program
Leading GCC and American Corporations Support the Initiative
Young Arab Leaders (YAL), the region’s foremost development platform for business, public sector and civil society leaders, has partnered with Business for Diplomatic Action, America’s leading private-sector led public diplomacy initiative to organise the second Arab American Business Fellowship (AABF) program. The initiative is sponsored by Dow Chemical India, Middle East & Africa (IMEA) GmbH through its charitable arm, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation.
AABF is a partnership between the Young Arab Leaders (YAL), Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA), the US Centre for Citizen Diplomacy (USCCD), and the National US Arab Chamber of Commerce (NUSACC).
The AABF program is designed to foster mutual understanding and respect between Arab and American societies. The program aims to provide insights regarding the diverse regions of the world, which will ultimately help shape the future of the national economies of the United States and countries in the Arab world.
This year’s program is offering over 20 young Arab and American professionals the opportunity to gain exposure to the business practices, culture and way of life in the United States and Middle East respectively. The program will see young leaders visit various organizations, such as leading companies, schools, universities, non-profit organizations and the local media in both regions. Comprehensive programs have been created by each organization to allow for interaction and opportunities to share insights and experiences from a business and personal perspective.
The Fellowship was launched on October 4th, 2008, with 13 young Arab professionals travelling to the US for a 23-day orientation-visit to leading US-based corporations such as The Dow Chemical Company, Boeing, Microsoft, MidAmerican Energy, Siegel & Gale, McManus Foundation, Rudin Management and Bloomberg, among others.
Speaking at the start of AABF, Assem O. Kabesh, Chief Executive Officer, YAL, said, “AABF is a major program that YAL has initiated. The Fellowship provides young Arab and American leaders with a unique opportunity to learn more about diverse corporate practices and gain invaluable insight from companies in different business and cultural environments. I am confident that our partnership with Dow will substantially help us in making this initiative a concrete and sustainable program.”
John Dearborn, president, Dow Chemical IMEA GmbH, said “At Dow, our mission is to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. As the Middle East continues to emerge as a dynamic region, we are committed to working closely with organisations such as YAL to further support the development of the individuals and communities in which we operate. We are delighted to sponsor the AABF program, which will allow young Arabs and Americans to gain insights into the rich, diverse and evolving business environment and culture of the United States and the Arab world.”
“The world of business provides an ideal setting for building strong bridges of understanding between countries and cultures,” said Keith Reinhard, President of Business for Diplomatic Action. “Business for Diplomatic Action is proud of its role in establishing the Arab & American Business Fellowship Program which allows Americans and Arabs to interact around best business practices, thus creating new bonds of friendship and cooperation.”
Through the AABF program, 9 young American professionals will also have a similar opportunity to experience the Arab business and cultural environment. The American Fellows started the program on October 9th, 2008 with a visit to Dow Chemical IMEA GmbH. TATWEER and Global Investment House in Kuwait will also host the American fellows while they are in the Middle East.
The Fellowship is part of YAL’s Leadership Development Program that aims at exposing Arab and American fellows to each other’s culture and business environment to foster mutual understanding and ongoing dialogue.
The Fellows for the program were identified by YAL through a careful screening process based on specific criteria. AABF is not an internship program for students or entry-level employees; instead, it is structured for high-potential executives from participating Arab and U.S. companies. The ideal candidate is an Arab living and working in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region or an American residing in the USA, between the age of 25 to 35 years, with at least 5 years working experience in an established career with a track record of excellence and achievements. Fellows chosen to participate in the Initiative should also show their commitment to returning home and contributing to the socio-economic development of their respective countries by leveraging the skills and knowledge acquired from the program.
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