Middle East and North Africa

< Regional Highlights | Awards for Middle East and North Africa





With over 40 opportunities available for the 2016-17 academic year, the U.S. Fulbright Scholar program to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) offers a wide variety of opportunities in a  region that is rich with a myriad of cultures and traditions. The MENA Fulbright award offerings are diverse in discipline and activity, which allow scholars from virtually all focus areas to teach and conduct research at a plethora of prestigious universities, research institutes, and professional organizations. Among these awards are opportunities in the performing arts, business, engineering, education, political science, and library sciences, as well as several All Disciplines awards calling for applicants in any appropriate field. Fulbright Scholars to this region are given the invaluable opportunity to immerse themselves in one of the most dynamic political, social and cultural landscapes in the world. 



Quotes from Scholars


Egypt (Teaching/Research, 2010-2011)
“This Fulbright represents a return, or perhaps a turning point, in my academic career. I had left the Arabic language and Middle East studies nearly twenty years ago, for music composition, classical music theory, and jazz. These two interests do not normally overlap in my academic life in the US. My grant allowed me to combine these seemingly unrelated interests in a unique way. I had last lived in Cairo in 1989; now I was given the opportunity to teach jazz, that uniquely American musical art, in Egyptian Arabic. My students were delighted by this oddity - an American jazz pianist who also speaks their language and knows their music. I was delighted by their (self-taught) passion for jazz and blues. Together we discovered metaphors for jazz forms and feelings in Arabic culture.”

Israel (Research, 2011-2012)
“Coming to Israel for my postdoc I feel has been a significant opportunity, and I am grateful the Fulbright organization has supported this. In addition to science and academics, I developed many useful skills, including understanding and working with people from other cultures, communicating across language barriers, as well as dealing with practical limitations and bureaucracy. These issues I think are particularly relevant in a world that is becoming increasingly international. My scientific field is made up of an international community. This is reflected in our conferences, publications, regulations and collaborations. Developing an understanding of the subtleties of working across borders and cultures is an asset.”

Jordan (Lecturing, 2012-2013)
“This experience has transformed my view of the Middle East. This is a far more diverse region than I ever knew with very diverse people and perspectives. The experience has also opened my eyes to the opportunities for cinematic storytelling around the world. Previously, I had no knowledge or interest in cinema from the Middle East. This experience has reawakened my passion for the power of the camera to show us they way other people live, see, love, struggle, and change. I'd like to do what I can to promote Middle Eastern films in the US, in my city, and on my campus. There is so much to learn, and this experience just showed me the tip of the iceberg. I hope to be able to explore more over the years to come.”

  • Complete information on past Fulbright recipients in Middle East and North Africa can be found in the Scholar Directory.


Examples of Successful Projects


Dance Technology in an Ancient Land: Equipping the Future Artists of Israel to Participate in the Global Discussion
ISRAEL, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Jersualem

Comparing Food Security Strategies in the Arabian Gulf: A View From Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, Al Ain

Wireless Sensor Networks for Distributed Solar Energy in Smart Grid Technology
MOROCCO, Al-Akhawayn University, Ifran

  • Complete information on past Fulbright recipients in Middle East and North Africa can be found in the Scholar Directory.




CIES offers a series of resources providing detailed information on many aspects of the Fulbright Scholar Program opportunities. Depending on your interests, you can find a wealth of answers to your specific questions in our upcoming and archived webinars.

  • Presentation and Workshop Schedule - CIES program staff continue to visit university and college campuses countrywide, as well as participate in a range of conferences in the sciences. Please check the schedule to find out when program staff will be at an event near you. If you are interested in having CIES staff visit your campus and speak with department faculty about opportunities in your field, contact us at outreach@iie.org.


Helpful Links


The Fulbright Specialist Program also offers short-term grants ranging from two to six weeks that focus on addressing the needs of host institutions in various countries across the region. 



Contact Us


Maria Gahan, Officer, mgahan@iie.org, 202-686-6244


Regional staff listed in the Catalog of Awards