The American-Egyptian Teachers Fellowship (AETF) is a week-long fellowship program for ten middle school/high school teachers in Egypt and the United States respectively to learn new ways of applying critical thinking methods in their classrooms, particularly when teaching history and current affairs.

Our mission is to increase understanding of Egyptian/Middle Eastern cultures and American culture by training teachers, who shape the minds of young Egyptians and Americans, on utilizing strategies of critical thinking when discussing history and culture in the classrooms.

Over the course of the training, teachers will learn various critical thinking tools and activities that focus on developing three aspects of critical thinking: self-assessment, self-examination, and self-improvement. Teachers will learn of innovative activities that train and strengthen these abilities, engaging with fellow teachers on best practices to develop and fortify critical thinking.

In addition to exploring critical thinking tools, the fellowship also aims to give the teacher fellows their own opportunity to explore, assess, and challenge their perspectives on the question of culture. For the fellowship held in the United States, the fellowship will be led by an Egyptian facilitator, who will guide teachers through site visits, cultural activities, and open discussions on Egyptian/Middle Eastern cultures. A similar type of program will be offered to teachers in Egypt, but led by an American facilitator.


The Fellowship will aim to increase cultural awareness and sensitization through the following:

Critical Thinking Training:

Availing and practicing critical thinking tools and techniques that can be used in the classrooms.


Cultural Sensitization Awareness:

Integrating cultural components in critical thinking training to increase American and Egyptian teachers’ awareness and understanding of various cultural aspects.


Capacity Building:

Producing critical thinking focusing on cultural sensitization training materials, including activities and concepts discussed during the training, that can be shared and distributed digitally with more teachers in Egypt and the United States.


Transferring Knowledge through Capstone Projects:

Teachers will be asked to develop and share three activities/one lesson plan that utilizes the new critical thinking tools in their teaching.


● Empower school teachers to effectively use critical thinking tools and increase their cultural sensitivity.
● Create a better understanding of Egyptian and American cultures.

● Promote the spirit of volunteerism to serve communities.
● Avail critical thinking and cultural sensitization training materials and resources with designated institutions and other teachers in Egypt and the United States.


One of our strongest supporters is the Shafik Gabr Foundation. The Shafik Gabr Foundation was founded in 2012 by Mr. Shafik Gabr, who believed more “people to people” dialogue was necessary to push back against the erosion of understanding between the Arab world and the West.


As a result, the flagship program of the Gabr Foundation is the East-West: The Art of Dialogue fellowship, which brings ten emerging and entrepreneurial leaders from Egypt and the United States respectively together to participate in an intensive four-week program. During this time, Fellows meet with esteemed leaders across the society and have the opportunity to ask questions and create discussion on a wide range of topics from political affairs to business and technology. Through these shared experiences, the Gabr Fellows also work jointly together to launch action projects that further exchange ideas, build cultural bridges, and promote mutual understanding between the Arab World and the West.


The Shafik Gabr Foundation


There are four steps to apply to The American-Egyptian Teachers Fellowship (AETF)

Eligibility criteria

Any person who is a certified and practicing teacher of secondary level education (middle school/high school levels) in the United States or Egypt is eligible for the fellowship. Preference may be given to those who teach courses in history/government/politics.

Selection process

Once an application is received, a panel will review it based on competitive application. AETF is looking for teachers who are open-minded and excited to engage in cultural dialogue in addition to being passionate of sharing what they learn with fellow teachers and students.
The AETF does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, political party, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or financial ability. Please submit only one application.


May - July: Applications period is open.
Late July: Teachers will be invited to be Fellows for the 2018 American- Egyptian Teachers Fellowship.
August: Fellowship will begin.

Application form

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This program was founded by Jean Kwon and Neveen Saied, two former Fellows of the “The East-West: The Art of Dialogue” fellowship organized by the Shafik Gabr Foundation. Through this dynamic exchange, Neveen and Jean formed a strong friendship by listening to each other and moving past their own perceptions of the West and Arab world, dispelling and clarifying some of the misunderstandings and prejudices between the cultures. They resolved that in order for greater mutual understanding, education was essential in teaching future generations to think critically. As a result of the friendship between Jean and Neveen and the bonds formed within their 2017 Gabr Fellows, they were inspired them to “pay the dialogue forward” by providing teachers an opportunity to explore their own dialogues.

  • Jean Kwon

  • Neveen Saied