AEF Palestine


Meetings Workshops

Our Vision

About Us

Education in the Arab World
Education in the Arab World
The Importance
Characters Channeled to
Inspiring Initiatives in
Fifth meeting
Annual Meetings
Special theme meetings
Regional meeting on
secand meeting

Annual Meetings

Send this page to a friend

Annual Meetings

Education in the Arab World.
First meeting: Beit Mery, Lebanon, 20-23 May, 1999.

About 20 people from 10 Arab countries gathered at Al-Bustan Hotel in Bait Merri, Lebanon to discuss “Education in the Arab World”. This educational conference was exceptional in many aspects. The meeting gathered a group of individuals with different backgrounds, cultures and ages. Similarities between them were working instead of complaining, demanding or giving their opinion about solutions, and relating what they say to what they think, and what they do to the context they’re living. They were also alike in realizing what is positive and available, then building on it instead of putting a list of needs, problems and shortages. Each is truly trying to accomplish what he thinks must be done despite the context he is living in, his experience and his vision of reality and where he stands from it.

Participants and summary of proposals:

Jihad Touma: A professor in physics and astronomy at the American University in Beirut, who is specialized in the study of the moon, spoke about his experience on how the teaching of sciences which ignores people’s perception and knowledge is distorted and irrelevant process. It builds an unhealthy relationship between teachers and students, and wipes out the basis for meaningful learning.

Abdallah Ad-Dannan: A researcher and teacher in the field of teaching Arabic in Damascus, Syria spoke about his experience, theory, convictions and work of teaching classical Arabic to children under the age of six. Teaching classical Arabic at that young age treats it as a native language.

Sihm Suwayyegh: Teaches at King Saud University in Riyad, Saudi Arabia spoke about her experience in working with teachers in preschools in Saudi Arabia. She described the approach they use creating environments that encourage self learning.

Sarah Alturki: Who with her husband Sheikh Khalid Alturki, established and run the Dhahran Ahliyyah Schools in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, spoke about the school’s history, and the philosophy that informs their practice. She spoke about the system of professional development for faculty and staff, the strategy of Cooperative learning and the publishing project.

Hasan Ibrahim: Ex-minister of education in Kuwait and ex-president of Kuwait University spoke about the Kuwait Society for the Advancement of Arab Children, which he founded in 1980 and serves as the chairman of its board. It was established in response to the great need of creating means and conducting studies that help the growth and learning of Arab children. In addition to describing the various activities and projects of the society, he spoke about aspects of his experience as an official in Arab education.

Adnan El-Amine: President of the Lebanese Association for Educational Studies in Lebanon, spoke bout the beginnings of the Association, how it was formed after the civil war at the initiative of several educators who felt the need for creating a space where academicians from various educational institutions meet, discuss, and conduct and publish studies concerning the state and role of education in Lebanon and its future.

Mayssoun Sukarieh: A master student in education at the American University of Beirut spoke about her voluntary work for the past 3 years with 20 young orphan boys and girls (12 to15 years old) in Shatila refugee camp in Beirut. She described how she had to drop what she learned at the university and engage in a collaborative inquiry with her students in order to build a learning environment that was relevant and which encouraged creativity.

Mu’taz Dajani: Founder and director of the Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts, Al-Jana, described the work of the center with children using photography and film-making to picture their lives. He described how these forms of expression can change children’s perception of themselves and the world.

May Masri: Filmmaker and director; showed her documentary film “Children of Shatila” which tells the story of a group of children who attempt to come to terms with the overwhelming realities of growing up in a refugee camp. Through these stories, the film explores the imaginary world of children where play, dream and fantasy help them cope with the difficulties of everyday life.

Khuder Dabbous:
General principle of Al-Mabbarrat Schools in Lebanon, spoke about the principles guiding their work and the environment they have created for 1360 orphan children.

Mona Zayyani: Founder and director of Al-Hikma School in Bahrain, spoke about how her experience and frustration with the existing educational institutions led her to establish Al-Hikma School whose motto is high motivation, high self-esteem, and low anxiety.

Suleiman Rihani: Dean of the Faculty of Educational Science at the University of Jordan spoke about his experience in working with university students in order to be able to deal better with what he referred to as “Irrational Perception” which many students carry in their heads about life and themselves, which usually leads to unhappiness, frustration and failure.

Leila Iskandar: Director of the Community and Institutional Development Organization in Cairo; spoke about her work with the garbage collectors in Al-Muqqatam quarter in Cairo. She spoke about how when she started, she tried to apply what she studied in the U.S. and described how irrelevant that was to the new situation she found her self in. Slowly, she discovered the wealth of information and knowledge these people own, and helped in giving dignity to their work and knowledge as well as helping them in establishing productive projects.

Emad Tharwat: Cofounder and co director of Salamah Mousa Institute in Egypt; spoke about his experience with children who don’t go to school in El-Minia region in southern Egypt. In particular, he spoke about how teachers, artists and children have been engaged in developing a “curriculum” which stem from the children’s lives.

Jalila Shuja’a Ed-Din: Principle of Zeid Al-Mushki School in Tiz, Yemen, spoke about the “power in saying the truth.” She mentioned how she has been managing a school of 5,000 girls, where she decided to provide as many means as possible for girls in her school to develop their abilities in various forms of expression.

May Haddad: Spoke about how she moved from being an “ordinary” physician to being involved in community-health as a practitioner, trainer and author.

Munir Fasheh: Director of AEF; spoke about how 3 experiences in his life radically changed his perceptions and practices in education: first was the 1967 Arab Israeli war, second was the “discovery” of his illiterate mother’s math, and third was the intifada. He spoke how they led to the establishment of Tamer Institute for Community Education, and later the Arab Education Forum, and Qalb El-Umur.

For more information about this meeting and full scripts of interjections and addresses of participants, please visit the following web page in our website:, or refer back to the book that documents the first meeting under the name of “Qeematu Kulli Imri’en Ma Yuhsen: Proceedings of The First Annual Meeting, Beit Mery, Lebanon”, issued by the Lebanese Association for Educational Studies and edited by Dr. Munir Fasheh.


About Us | Our Vision|  Meetings Workshops | Publications | Photo Album | Reflections

 Contact Us

Copyright © 2009 Arab Education Forum , All Rights Reserved