Previous Fellows (MENA)

Inspiring People Coming to USA

Legacy International in partnership with AMIDEAST conducted an open merit-based competition in Egypt, Tunisa and Libya to select the next session delegates. Legacy International has administered the Legislative Fellows Program since 2009 and nearly 60 delegates have visited  the U.S. to participate in the program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in Partnership with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress.

Fall 2013 Delegation as follows:

Mohammad_RakhaMuhammad Rakha (Egypt)

Education: Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt

Current Title and Workplace: Head of Tarek El Sayed’s training division, Tarek El Sayed

Work Responsibilities: Responsible for recruitment of new trainers, running training sessions, revising the methodologies used, evaluating trainers, and following up on program success.

Memberships and Volunteering: Volunteer in “Step up youth initiative” [2010-Present] Informal Education Program, Volunteer in “Adwar Initiative” [2009 – 2011], Volunteer in “Dialogue forum” [2009-Present] Logistics committee and UNEP volunteer [2009-2011]

Motivation and Program Goals: He expects to learn more about the American political system, governance and the role of civil community in public life and the extent the public can influence the decision making bodies.  He is especially interested in elections, the system of checks and balances, and the role of lobbying in the political process.  He also expects to get acquainted with fellows and hopes to discuss active citizenship and collaborate with them on future projects.

Follow-on Initiative Ideas:  He intends to focus on career analysis and research for social change at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.  He will carry out a two year project that targets the political engagement of women. It will include a wide range of varied and diverse activities. Therefore, while in the US, he hopes to get a better understanding of how women participate in the political system.

Vision: In 10 years, he sees Egypt as a world and Middle East leader with equal rights for all its citizens. He also envisions a country that is admired for its successful economy, commitment and respect for human rights, promotion of freedom of expression and the engagement of its citizens in decision-making progress. He sees himself in the Egyptian Parliament and intends to run in the next election cycle to be a local councilman.

 Somaia_ElSayed_MetwalliSomaia El Sayed Metwalli (Egypt)

Education: M.A. in Political Science, Specialization of Professional Development School of Humanities and Social Science – The American University in Cairo; Public Policy – School of Global Affairs and Public Policy – AUC; B.Sc. Political Science – Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University

Current Title and Workplace: Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, School of Humanities and Social Science, Cairo University

Work Responsibilities: Assists senior professors in classroom instruction, leads small tutoring groups, and assists professors in the preparation of educational materials.

Memberships and Volunteering: Partners in Development – a leading Academic Think-tank and NGO in Cairo

Motivation and Program Goals: Wishes to be exposed to a different political environment to learn about day-to-day politics and the democratic tradition in the United States. She hopes this program will help her develop her Ph.D. proposal concerning social activism and formal/informal politics, and to learn more about the perceptions of U.S. congressmen, officials, and academics.

Follow-on Initiative Ideas: She hopes to organize online conferences, workshops, and follow-up meetings to see how changing political circumstances might affect future development. She also wishes to host an alumni-conference for those who participated in the same program and connect with them on the Facebook group for future collaboration.

Vision: According to Somaia, there are two conflicting forces working against each other: the Muslim Brotherhood and the societal liberal forces. Neither of the two forces has been able to dominate the scene so far and neither will be able to, at least in the foreseeable future. She is concerned that the most important and often forgotten/ignored possible scenario is that the Islamic Forces will be secularized simultaneously while trying to “Islamize” Egypt.

Rabab_AhmedRabab Ahmed (Egypt)

Education: Education: Master’s degree 2011, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University Hospital, Neuropsychiatry Department;  Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine 2005, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University Hospital; Studying for Doctorate  Degree, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University Hospital, Neuropsychiatry Department; studying for a Post-Graduate Diploma in Total Quality Management for Healthcare Reform, American University in Cairo

Current Title and Workplace:  Psychiatric Child Specialist and Senior Manager at Banha Child Centre Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic, Benha Mental Hospital, (Ministry of health and population, Mental Health Secretariat)

Work responsibilities: Manages the entire clinic and treatment of children from age two through twelve. Clinic offers comprehensive medical and social care for underserved children, supports children in unstable families, provides job opportunities for at-risk families, and conducts workshops in schools aiming to raise awareness about children developmental needs.

Memberships and Volunteering: Egyptian Medical Syndicate, Ministry of Health and Population, Secretariat for Mental Health, The Egyptian Psychiatric Association Volunteering member in NGO’s (Operation Smile, El-Resala, Masr El-Kheir and Kawafel El-Kheir)

Motivation and Program Goals: Hopes to strengthen skills of collecting and analyzing social data to be better prepared to prioritize community needs and set workable development plans. She also hopes to improve his understanding of democracy and citizenship in the United States to be better able to engage his own community in Egypt and act as a catalyst for positive social change.

Follow-on Initiative Ideas: Wants to expand child psychiatric clinic in her town, Benha, to better address the community needs and challenges of unemployment, poverty, infrastructure, marginalization of women, and superficiality of attempts for democratic reforms. She recognizes that people have lost their sense of loyalty and their feeling of belonging to their homeland and this psychological vacuum is being filled by a religious radicalism as a way to escape reality. The clinic would offer a space where the community could have more control over its own development.

Vision: “My vision for Egypt is based on the values of genuine change that Egyptian people gave to themselves and to the world. This vision of genuine, positive change will be demonstrated in the next ten years in the political sector through an increase in civil society organizations’ promotion of citizenship, democracy, and participation.”

Moustafa_MahmoudMoustafa Mahmoud (Egypt)

Education: LLB, English department, Faculty of law, Alexandria University

Current Title and Workplace: Junior Judge, State Council

Work Responsibilities: Works to prevent litigations through conciliation, make decisions regarding motions about the waiving of judicial fees, prepares cases to be settled, investigates the merit of cases, questions and interviews parties of cases, issuing reports stating the legal rules applicable to cases, and works on appealing judgments.

Motivation and Program Goals: Through firsthand experience, he hopes to learn more about the United States’ legislative process, government transparency, and the role of advocacy groups and lobbies to be better prepared to return to Egypt and work to better his own country’s system. He also hopes to widen his social network of activists and community leaders through shared experiences throughout the program. He also hopes to gain a better international perspective by working in a political office aboard. He hopes to gain a unique perspective of American culture, and legal traditions and implementation from a firsthand experience.

Follow-on Initiative Ideas: Plans to address the threat of civil war, disregard of basic legal rights, and the economic crisis by promoting dialogue and communication and thus mutual understanding and respect. He also believes it is critical Egyptians not only know their rights, but also the ways they can ensure their rights are respected. As a judge, he sees it as his duty to be a community leader who informs citizens of their legal rights and about the process of the courts. He also hopes to address the economic process by micro-financing small projects to fight unemployment.

Vision: Currently, Egypt suffers from internal disturbances that may lead to a civil war, economic instability threatening the bank industry and economic institutions. However, he hopes that Egypt can restore its old role as a leader of the Africa, Middle East and Arab world through a flourishing and fair economic system. He aspires to one day be a minister or a prominent member of parliament.

 Shaima_SalehShaima Saleh (Egypt)

Education: BA in English Literature, Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University

Current Title and Workplace: Senior Secretary, Library of Alexandria, Egypt (Library is an international NGO)

Work Responsibilities: Provides administrative assistance to manager and co-workers facilitating facilitate communication and interaction in and between employer’s offices and all other relevant offices.

Memberships and Volunteering: Egyptian Association for University Women, Montazah Rotary Club, Future Generation Foundation, Member of the Nubian Club and the Alexandria Library Staff Association

Motivations and Program Goals: Expectations of the program: Hopes to closely observe how different professional peers from a world leader country do the same tasks, and gain firsthand experience. She hopes to create a strong network of professional peers. She hopes to play a part in establishing a channel of communication between different Egyptian parties where the main focus would be Egypt’s future because the inability of decision makers to build communication bridges is one of the greatest challenges facing Egypt. She hopes to create a forum that teaches people to focus on mutual interests instead of the differences that pull people apart: a place where people could learn how to work together despite their differences.

Follow-on Initiative Ideas: A dialogue forum in which people with opposite views could sit down, in a civilized manner, and talk. This would be a forum that teaches people to focus on the mutual interests instead of the differences that pull people apart, a place where people could learn how to work together in spite of their differences. Experience at an NGO that promotes dialogue between people would be beneficial. Also experience at an office where I could learn how to professionally manage such a forum and the skills required for such management task.

Vision: In 10 years she sees Egypt on track with countries like Turkey and Malaysia. She sees a few strong political parties who are able to stand up to any government that misuses its power. She sees an education system that teaches critical thinking. She hopes to be working as a professor teaching something related to her current professional career.

Ammad_AlmusratiAmmad Almusrati (Libya)

Education: Libyan Academy for Postgraduate Studies, Misurata, Libya, Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering Project Management.

Current Title and Workplace: Program Manager for the “Leadership in Civil Society Program at the New Libya Foundation; Human Resources Development & Training Manager, Misrata International Airport

Work Responsibilities: Develops participants’ capacity for achievement and empowers local communities in persuit of collective goals. Develops human resources by training and qualifying the staff and defining job requirement to achieve the high work performance.

Memberships and Volunteering: Works with New Libya Foundation as Leadership in Civil Society Program Manager, also, cooperating with Civil Initiatives Libya (CIL), Member of AlShahed for Elections monitoring (Misurata), Member of Misrata Association for Sciences and Technology, Member of Libyan Association for Management and Development of Human Resources.

Motivation and Program Goals: Interested in learning about transitions to democracy and advocacy. Hopes to increase his awareness and knowledge of how organizations are organized and supervised, in order to conduct social enterprise. He is also interested in learning project management skills, including decision-making, negotiations, teamwork and communications.

Vision: In ten years, Libya will be democratic state with a strong economy and high level of civilization. It will play an important role in the region and will be an investment center. Ammad looks forward to being in a leadership position and helping to shape a new, modern Libya.

Amna Alsallak (Libya)

Education: Post graduate academic student Benghazi Libya, Albariek Centre, University of Garyounis B.A Major of English Language, Benghazi Libya

Current Title and Workplace: Program Officer, National Democratic Institute (NDI)

Major Work responsibilities: Supports the Program Manager in the planning, designing and implementation of programs. Coordinates meetings and training activities for NDI’s activities with Libyan civil society partners. Serves as an NDI liaison with political and civil society groups throughout Libya. Coordinates training sessions, and acts as Arabic-English translator. Supports the effective financial management of program activities.

Memberships and Volunteering: Yalla Youth Organization, Participated in Election Monitoring Conference by NDI

Motivation and Program Goals: She hopes to learn about how a functioning democracy ensures all its citizens are treated equality and protects them under the law, especially when it comes to women’s rights. She would like to be able to return to Libya with the tools and understanding of how a functioning democracy works to help her country realize its own capabilities and empower them to be the change they wish to see to make it a better place to live.

Follow-On Initiative Ideas: She is planning for a project to raise social awareness and promote participation of women and youth in urban areas.

Vision: She sees security as the most important challenge facing Libya. She hopes in the future, a more productive Libyan community will be created after immediate safety needs are addressed. With a more empowered Libyan community, especially its women, Libya could become a more stable, safe, democratic country to live, and she aspires to be part of this change through this fellowship and the enhancement of her professional and personal relationships.

Abulsalem_MocassbiAbulsalem Mocassbi (Libya)

Education: Garyounis University, Benghazi, Libya Bachelor of Science

Current Title and Workplace: Senior Language Assistant, United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)

Work Responsibilities: Translates and interprets for the electoral unit as well as the UNSMIL team based in Eastern part of Libya covering four districts: Benghazi, Albyada, Ajdabya, and Tubrok. Works closely with the electoral team throughout the planning and implementation of the electoral system from voter registration, polling and counting to intake procedures. Assists the Electoral Support Team in establishing fluid communication with stakeholders, including national electoral authorities, international partners, civil society organizations and NGOs. Works with electoral teams during their field trips to the eastern part of the country. Translates written political and technical works pertaining to UNSMIL work and interests.

Memberships and Volunteering: United Nations Support Mission, Mercy Corps, Scouts

Motivation and Program Goals: Hopes to learn from American leaders to broaden his mind and help him return to Libya better prepared to help develop Libya’s democracy by sharing what he has learned.

Follow-on Initiative Ideas: He feels that it will be useful to learn more about the electoral system in the USA and other countries and try to implement whatever suits our country and have a better registration and electoral systems for the next elections.

Vision:  Even though it is hard to predict, he thinks that in 10 years Libya has the potential to be “the best place to live” because of its strategic location, good weather, oil wealth, and access to resources. As an engineer he aspires to be a chairman of one of the humanitarian organizations or one promoting democracy in the Arab world because after working with many people from a range of backgrounds, specializations, and countries, he can tell he has the ability to be a good leader and work manager.

Nada_AridhiNada Aridhi (Tunisia)

Education: National School of Administration, Tunis, Tunisia. Diploma of End of Studies at the Advanced Cycle, December; High Business Studies Institute, Tunis, Tunisia; Bachelor Degree in High Business Studies option Marketing

Current Title and Workplace: Public Service Counselor, Ministry of Social Affairs

Work responsibilities: Works in the Department of International Cooperation and Foreign Relations in the Ministry of Social Affairs in Tunisia, and is mainly in charge of multilateral cooperation. Works closely with the International Labour Organization, especially during the preparation of the participation of the Ministry in the annual International Labour Conference in Geneva. Heads the Ministry’s collaboration with the European Union’s Social Affairs office.

Motivations and Program Goals: She is determined to get more familiarized with the American congress and way of creating, implementing and enforcing laws. She is very concerned about the democratic transition in Tunisia following the revolution. She believes that the modest experience Tunisians have with democracy could be an obstacle to the implementation of a state of law that protects and defends its citizens. Nada is expecting to learn about what it means to be a responsible, active, civil servant in a functioning democracy.  Hopes to incorporate what she learns in the US about democracy into her career and the development of a quality democracy in Tunisia. “I think that the American experience in this field (especially the use of the newest technologies of information and communication to create databases and social networks allowing cyber interaction and exchanges) and the experience of the US government and civil society in framing and communicating with the American diaspora, could largely provide me with the information and skills needed to achieve this project.”

Follow-On Initiative Ideas: She wants to create a place online to connect all Tunisians around the world. Tunisians living abroad have much to contribute to the development of the country.

Vision: In ten years, it is her dream that Tunisia will have finally completed its democratic transition and have well-established and respected laws, rights, and freedoms and that the restoration of security and stability will have allowed Tunisia to regain its place as one of the most attractive touristic destinations on the Mediterranean Sea. She also sees a country with low-unemployment levels and enough jobs with livable wages. In ten years, she sees herself working for an international organization in its headquarters or in its local office in Tunisia.

Anis_RouissiAnis Rouissi (Tunisia)

Education: Graduated as Administrator from the National School of Administration, Tunisia, majoring in Finance and Procurements, Received his Professional Master’s inInternational Trade

Current Title and Workplace: Head of Service, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
Work responsibilities: He is in charge of the cooperation with the American and Asian Countries at the International Cooperation Directorate General of The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Participates in and supervises cooperation with North America, Latin America, and Asia. These cooperative activities include, but are not limited to: negotiating Bilateral Agreements and/or MoU’s, preparing the visits of students, lecturers, professors, researchers, taking care of the enrollment of the students from these countries and other administrative work in relation with the fields and the countries mentioned above.

Memberships and Volunteering: The Tunisian Labor Union (UGTT)
Motivations and Program Goals: Expects to expand his understanding of the world by traveling abroad for the first time. Expects to learn from the success stories of people who make differences in their own countries, to open his mind to different social, professional, and political ways of life, all lessons which would in turn enrich his life and career.
Follow-On Initiative Ideas:  To promote tourism and Tunisian health, his follow-on project will involve educating people on the dangers of improper waste disposal and proper recycling techniques.

Vision: He sees his country taking a path like South Korea and investing in the younger generations as a development strategy. He sees a secure and ethical country that protects the rights of all its citizens. He hopes to be a “good citizen serving his country in an advanced position and helping it to achieve.”

Saida_Chiraz_KarouiSaida Chiraz Karoui (Tunisia)

Education: PhD in Public International Law, University of Burgundy; Master’s Degree in Common Law, Faculté des sciences juridiques, politiques et sociales de Tunis, Diploma in international law and comparative human rights law from the International Institute of Human rights, Strasbourg, France.

Current Title and Workplace: Consultant Lawyer and PhD Researcher in International law within the Research Center on Investment and International Trade Law (CREDIMI) Dijon, France and the Research Center on International Relations, Market and Negotiations (DRIMAN) Tunis, Tunisia/Former Junior Diplomat, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Vienna.
Work responsibilities: She is a consultant lawyer specialized in international law, Investment Disputes, Public international law and Human rights; She is writing a PhD dissertation aboutCompensation in international investment law”.  She worked previously at the OSCE secretariat in Vienna in the Action Against Terrorism Unit within the Transnational Threats Department (TNTD/ATU). Tasks include: contributing to the organization of expert workshops, research and analysis of potential policies and programs, and attending diplomatic and expert meetings and drafting memos.

Memberships and Volunteering: PhD researcher at the CREDIMI, Centre de Recherche sur le Droit des Marchés et des Investissements Internationaux, PhD researcher at the « DRIMAN », Laboratoire de Droit des Relations Internationales, des Marches et des Négociations; she is Member of the French Association for graduated women (AFFDU).

Motivations and Program Goals: Through the program, she hopes to broaden her professional experience and perspective. While she has traveled in Europe, she has never been to the United States. She is looking forward to having practical experience and a deeper understanding of the American political system and American society.

Follow-On Initiative Ideas:  She has a strong interest in gender equality believes that female empowerment is fundamental for the realization of human rights and economic development. Thus, she would like to launch and to lead a project that defends, protects and enhances women’s rights. The project would aim to promote and enhance gender equality and to defend woman’s rights.

Vision: In ten years, she believes that Tunisia will be a secular, modern and a democratic country. She aspires to be a leader who makes a tangible contribution to the security of people and who ensures programs address gender gaps and promote gender equality.

Ines_AmriInes Amri (Tunisia)

Education: Currently writing her English Literature Master’s thesis on Arab-American Literature after 9/11 for the Faculty of Letters and Arts of La Manouba, Tunisia; BA in English Literature from the Higher Institute of languages of Gabes, Tunisia

Current Title and Workplace: English Teacher, Tunisian Ministry of Education

Work responsibilities: Has taught English as a Second Language for five years at secondary schools and universities. Took part in correcting national exams like the Baccalaureate. Participates in different seminars and training workshops aimed to implement educational reforms in Tunisia.

Memberships and Volunteering: Cofounder and president of a local NGO in Tunisia called “Organisation Volonté et Citoyenneté” (Will and Citizenship Organization), a youth-led NGO which was founded in May 2012 with the objectives of defending Human Rights, training and empowering youth leaders and promoting cultural, social and artistic projects.

Goals and Motivations of the program: Hopes the program will be an opportunity to learn new skills and strategies, to develop her network and positively represent her country Tunisia. She is greatly looking forward to exchanging views on civil society’s roles, elections, democracy, civic engagement, democracy mechanisms and global exchanges. Through this program, she hopes to acquire efficient strategies to face all forms of extremism be it religious, political or ideological.

Follow-On Initiative Ideas:  She is interested in doing a joint project with other fellows focusing on youth engagement and active participation in civil society. She believes it is vital to help youth through the process of understanding the mechanisms of change, i.e. how to anticipate it, how to accept, and how to work on improving it. The project will also stress the importance of cultural exchange and dialogue to promote cross-cultural understanding and cooperation.

Vision: During the next 10 years, she hopes to see a greater respect for human rights and every Tunisian has a right to live as they wish. As a human rights activist, she has learned how to partake in the citizenship process and engage others in the process.  She believes that Tunisia will only prosper through youth empowerment. Therefore, she believes the youth should be engaged as much as possible throughout the formation of a democracy. In 10 years, she sees herself being a prominent human rights advocate in Tunisia.


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