MEET – Middle East Education Through Technology

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MEET – Middle East Education Through Technology is a non-profit organization offering a model for intergroup interaction and conflict mitigation through education. MEET takes place in Jerusalem and is run by an international team of staff and volunteers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Middle East.

Structure[edit]

MEET runs an intensive summer camp in which Israeli and Palestinian high school students learn computer science and business from a team of MIT instructors. The students enter the program in the summer after 9th grade and attend three summers of MEET, each year building on the skills and knowledge from the previous summers. The curriculum is heavily project-based, with students working together on lab assignments from day one culminating in large software engineering projects that teams of students complete in the later summers. During the two intervening school years, students meet roughly once a week in small groups for lectures and smaller projects.

The summer instructors are current or former MIT students chosen through a rigorous application process. Each year, the instructor team consists of a mix of new and former instructors. The instructors maintain a student group at MIT during the school year which develops curriculum, recruits the next summer's team of instructors, and promotes MEET on MIT campus. The yearlong instructors live in Jerusalem or surrounding area. Most are university students or working in high tech.

The students come from high schools in Jerusalem, Mevaseret, Bethlehem, Beit Shemesh, and Ramallah. Those that live outside of Jerusalem are housed in Jerusalem from Sunday through Thursday of each week of the summer camp.

The entire program is conducted in English. Neither students nor instructors pay to participate.

History[edit]

MEET was founded in 2004 by a group of young Israeli and Palestinian students and professionals. At start, it was three friends: Anat Binur, a graduate student in political science at MIT, her brother, Yaron Binur, and Assaf Harlap, who came up with the idea. Soon after, two Palestinian friends Abeer Hazboun and Sandra Ashhab joined the team and are all currently on the MEET executive board.

Purpose[edit]

The program is designed to empower Israeli and Palestinian youth through education, and technology. By connecting students through joint interests and to opportunities to learn about each other, the program offers more than just a platform for action beyond dialogue.[1]

MEET is grounded on the vision of developing common ground between Israeli and Palestinian youth, providing a safe forum for them to meet and discover one another's cultures, and explore similarities and differences. Despite being only a few miles apart, Israelis and Palestinians' views of each other are largely based on media, propaganda and politics, but rarely through personal interaction where the seeds of humanity could be sown. MEET facilitates a shared common ground through an innovative educational environment for Israeli and Palestinian high school students to learn to look at one another not simply as fellow individuals, but as potential partners and collaborators in a joint common future.[2]

MEET is affiliated with MIT.[3]

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