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Duke Hosts U.S. Business Internship Program for Young Middle Eastern Women

August 10, 2004

DURHAM, N.C. -- In the first exchange program of its kind, Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is hosting 22 young Middle Eastern business women for an intensive month-long executive education program.

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Emory University’s Goizueta Business School have developed this unique program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State’s Middle Eastern Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX).

A total of 42 young Middle Eastern businesswomen are attending one month of classes at either Duke or Emory before advancing to three-month internships in Fortune 500 companies throughout the United States.

The participants, who represent Algeria, Egypt, Gaza, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen, arrived at Fuqua Wednesday, August 4. Working with the Fuqua faculty, they will study Western business culture and practice, leadership development, women in business, finance, accounting, marketing, managerial effectiveness and information technology.

“We feel very fortunate that Duke was chosen for this program,” said John Cady, associate dean for executive programs at The Fuqua School of Business. “This is an excellent opportunity to gain a better appreciation of each other’s cultures and business operations and provides a stronger base for us to move forward in the world economy.”

In order to qualify for the exchange the women must be between 22 and 30 years of age, have completed an undergraduate degree in business or law, or an undergraduate degree in any field and at least three years of work experience, and have proficient English language skills.

“I think this program is a great opportunity not only to improve one’s skills but also to establish a good relationship between cultures,” said Sana Abdeljalil, 26, who is pursuing a post-graduate degree in common law at the Faculty of Legal, Political and Social Sciences in Tunis, Tunisia. “It is always interesting to know more about others’ culture and business.” Abdeljalil will complete internships at two Washington D.C. law firms upon completion of the Duke training program.

During their time at Duke, the group will meet with Richard Brodhead, president of Duke University, Douglas T. Breeden, dean of The Fuqua School of Business and Bruce Jentleson, director of the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. They will also have the opportunity to visit local corporations and attractions including, the State Capitol and State Legislative building, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Ackland Art Museum and a Durham Bulls baseball game.

The Middle East Partnership Initiative is a Presidential initiative to support economic, political and educational reform efforts in the Middle East and champion opportunity for all people of the region, especially women and youth. The initiative strives to link Middle Eastern, U.S. and global private sector businesses, non-governmental organizations and governments together to develop innovative policies and programs to achieve this mission.