“The University of the Middle East shows what truly great things can be created. It has succeeded because it feeds the good in all of us.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu


  • A vision of education as a bridge among people and cultures.
  • An institution of higher learning striving for academic excellence in educational leadership.
  • An NGO working with educators at the grassroots level in the Middle East and North Africa.
  • An inclusive attitude open to individuals of any nationality, religion, ethnicity or gender who share the goal of a more open, socially equitable, democratic, and environmentally sustainable Middle East and North Africa.

The University of the Middle East Project (UME) builds bridges through education among societies and cultures in the Middle East, North Africa, North America and Europe: Inspiring people to engage collaboratively using critical and creative thinking. UME seeks to empower the most motivated and progressive secondary school teachers of the Middle East, North Africa (MENA), the US and Europe through teacher training, leadership and organizational skills.

Since 1997, UME has contributed to the creation of inclusive and egalitarian classrooms in secondary schools across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Europe and the US. UME’s institutes equip teachers with the skills and knowledge to broaden young peoples’ perspectives and horizons. Through preparing new generations for a global community and world economy, UME’s alumni are paving a sustainable path for growth and stability in the MENA region.

UME has implemented 49 academic programs in the US, Spain, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt and Japan with the support of prestigious institutions such as UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the US Department of State, and the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These programs have directly benefited over 2500 educators and community leaders in the Middle East, North Africa, America and Europe as well as hundreds of thousands of their students.

The unique quality of UMEP’s programming, which blends both affective and academic learning, has attracted national and international media exposure. UMEP has been featured in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, the Providence Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Washington File. International attention has also come from Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, Germany’s Die Zeit,the Netherlands’ NRC, Spain’s El Pais, Lebanon’s Daily Star, Jordan’s Al-Arai, Gaza’s Al-Hayat al Jadida, and Morocco’s Le Matin, L’Opinion and Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse.


UME was incorporated in 1997 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, by a group of Middle Eastern and North African graduate students and scholars. A second branch was incorporated in Madrid, Spain, in 2003.

The Main Office is currently housed at 45 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA, USA

The membership of UME’s Board of Directors and Board of Advisers has been comprised of luminaries of academia and the international affairs. UME plans to establish of regional offices in the Middle East and North Africa. It is also actively committed to supporting alumni associations and alumni projects in the the region.

In the United States, UME is an independent 501c3 not-for-profit organization. It receives support from a variety of foundations, development agencies, and individuals. In recent years, UME has received substantial funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Otterman FoundationFRIDE Foundation, and Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI. All UME operations are under the sole control of the UME Board of Directors.