Apply to LEAP’s Project SHINE and Teach English in the Palestinian Refugee camps of Lebanon this Summer

Deadline: February 17, 2017


Learning for the Empowerment and Advancement of Palestinians (LEAP) is an educational empowerment program for Palestinian refugee-youth in Lebanon dedicated to nurturing the intellectual growth and creative curiosity of our students. LEAP encourages youth to become agents of change by supporting them in their educational pursuits during their most formative years.

LEAP aims to illuminate the plight of Palestinian refugees, particularly in Lebanon, through volunteer-run educational programs and scholarship opportunities; simultaneously facilitating a rich cultural exchange, and deepening the understanding of Palestinian refugees. It provides a space in which ideas, goals and aspirations can be nurtured to their full potential. Learn more…

PROJECT SHINE – Summer Help IN English

The SHINE project is a summer intensive English program. LEAP recruits volunteers to provide English courses and recreational activities, while living and working in the refugee camps of Lebanon. In turn, our volunteers learn about the Palestinian refugee reality in general, but particularly in Lebanon where the situation for Palestinian refugees is particularly dire, especially in recent years due to the Syrian refugee crisis. Volunteers and students share a mutual learning experience. Upon return to their home communities, volunteers are encouraged to raise awareness about the plight of Palestinian refugees and amplify the voices of refugees through report-backs, information sessions, and other community events.

In addition to the remedial English classes, SHINE offers students weekly field trips and recreational activities to encourage physical and emotional growth at a pivotal stage in students’ lives. Some of these activities include yoga, debke (a Palestinian folkloric dance), theater, social media, film, photography, poetry, and creative writing.


Only one third of refugee-students enrolled in first grade at UNRWA schools go on to complete their high school education. One major factor contributing to high dropout rates is failure to pass the Lebanese Brevet high-school entrance examination. The exam is administered inEnglish and Palestinian refugee students exhibit high failure rates in marked contrast to their Lebanese counterparts simply because they are not proficient in English.

Project SHINE provides a summer session in remedial English in order to prepare students for the Brevet examination, strengthen their English proficiency, and provide a space for intellectual and recreational activities to change the routine of camp life during the summer and nurture children’s intellectual curiosity and growth.


LEAP seeks dynamic, compassionate, and motivated volunteers who enjoy working with young adults; value the right to quality education for all people; believe in refugee-rights; have a passion for social justice; maintain respect and diplomacy in their interactions with people of different backgrounds; and are capable of working under challenging circumstances.

Volunteers must be prepared to work in small classrooms with sporadic or scarce electricity, extreme heat, and limited resources. Volunteers must also be able to endure difficult living conditions such as cramped and uncomfortable apartments, as well as extreme heat and discomfort. Most importantly, LEAP volunteers must be culturally sensitive and consideration of local norms, as well as carry themselves in a mature, appropriate, and respectful manner at all times during the program since they are both representatives of LEAP and by extension, our partners.

Volunteers must demonstrate experience in one or more of the following: previous work or knowledge of the MENA region, particularly Lebanon; Arabic; an understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of the region; educational experience; previous work with youth in tutoring, afterschool programs, recreational activities, etc; advocacy; refugees/IDPs; management and coordination; working abroad; and/or psycho-social support.

We strongly encourage interested applicants to apply. This is a unique opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the Palestinian refugee reality in Lebanon. The Program has consistently been described as a meaningful, unforgettable experience, for youth and volunteers alike, and we hope that you will join our team.


To apply to Project SHINE, please complete the online application before the deadline on  17 February 2017Apply today!

To learn more, support our projects and/or partner with us, please visit the LEAP website.


The Middle East Institute Internship Program


The Leadership Development Internship Program at the Middle East Institute is designed to provide students or recent graduates considering a career in a Middle East related field with hands-on experience at a Washington, DC-based, nonprofit organization that focuses exclusively on the Middle East. Interns obtain guidance, experience, and exposure to the Washington policy and scholarly community while developing professional skills with interns from all over the world.


There are three internship terms each year, available to undergraduates who have completed at least one year of school, recent graduates, and graduate students. Positions are available on a full- or part-time basis with a minimum of 20 hours per week. Please use the links below to explore the different internship opportunities that we offer:




Development and Fundraising

The Oman Library at MEI

Languages and Regional Studies

Center for Turkish Studies

Research Assistantships

Read the application instructions below carefully, to ensure that your application is valid and be sure to check our FAQ Page for answers to many of your additional questions.


Interns represent more than half of MEI’s staff. As a result, you will be presented with exciting opportunities to do real work that has real outcomes. There is no filing or coffee-running in this job. Instead, you will immerse yourself in issues relating to the Middle East, and be expected to complete substantive assignments with personal guidance from your supervisor. All internships at the Middle East Institute are unpaid, though the Leadership Development Internship Program is packed with other benefits:

  1.  Free language courses at the Institute in an intimate classroom setting with native-speaking professors
  2. SmarTrip card which is reloaded with $100 per month for travel to and from MEI
  3. Opportunities to discuss career paths with experts in government, academia, and non-profit and private sectors through the Intern Development Series
  4. Workshops to build skills such as resume and cover letter writing, networking, HTML/CSS coding, how to write news articles and op-eds
  5. Encouragement to attend conferences at MEI and other think-tanks in the DC area to foster your understanding of current topics in the Middle East, and to expand your professional network
  6. One-year electronic subscription to the MEI’s flagship publication, The Middle East Journal, the oldest peer-reviewed journal dedicated to Middle East scholarship
  7. Access to a network of MEI intern alumni, who work in a wide variety of fields both in DC and around the world


The deadlines for applications are:

Fall (September – December): July 7
Spring (January– May): November 15
Summer (June – August): March 15

To apply for an internship, please send the items below in PDF format to Carly Puzniak at Format the email’s subject according to the following model: Last Name- Fall Internship Application. Please note that due to the large volume of applicants, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. One professional and two academic references (contact information only; no letters, please)
  4. Five-page (maximum), double-spaced writing sample on a topic relevant to current events in the Middle East
  5. College transcript (unofficial preferred).

NOTE: Interested applicants from all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. However, preference will be given to those applicants with superior writing, organization, word-processing, and Middle Eastern language skill.

If you have any questions about the application process or the Leadership Development Internship Program in general, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page, located below. If you have any questions that are not addressed there, please direct your queries toward Due to the large volume of applicants, we ask that you do not call to inquire about the status of your application.

Frequently Asked Questions Page

The Middle East Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from qualified individuals regardless of race, religion, natural origin, sexual orientation, disability, or ethnic background.


The American University in Cairo

Established in 1981, the Presidential Internship Program at The American University in Cairo (AUC) provides recent university graduates the opportunity to spend an academic year working at the highest levels of an international university, learn Arabic, and experience life in Egypt.

PIP 2016-2017 Brochure

Work and Available Offices:

Participants intern full-time in one of eight university offices, working in a range of fields including University administration, sustainability, finance, student development, advancement, communications, and more. A detailed list of these offices can be found on the website. This program provides recent graduates the unique opportunity to begin their professional careers while abroad.


Program benefits include a monthly living stipend, furnished faculty housing, private Arabic tutoring, access to AUC faculty and staff programs, community-based personal development, subsidized trips around Cairo and Egypt, and more.


We look for a diverse array of applicants from a wide range of American universities, including students with no background in Arabic or Middle Eastern Studies. Potential applicants should view the attached brochure and visit our website for more information on the program and how to apply. In addition, visit our Facebook page and blog to learn more about living and working in Egypt.

The application is due January 22, 2016.

Intern this Summer with America’s Unofficial Ambassadors!  

Receive up to 4 academic credits, gain professional experience, earn a Certificate in Citizen Diplomacy, and make a difference, while having a life-changing experience in Indonesia,Morocco, Tajikistan, or Zanzibar.

Spend your summer working with autistic children in downtown Dushanbe, teaching English in the Mid-Atlas Mountains of Morocco, or producing a documentary that raises awareness of HIV in the winding streets of Stone Town, Zanzibar. Over the last three years, 49 exceptional students and recent graduates from 22 different colleges and universities have served as unofficial ambassadors to the Muslim World through our Summer Service Internship program.  Each intern earns hands-on professional experience with a non-governmental organization or school in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East.  Our unofficial ambassadors work in diverse fields, while also studying the local language and culture and serving as citizen diplomats between the United States and the Muslim World.

RSVP here to attend an informational webinar on Thursday, October 29th at 12:30 PM.
Click here to download an application and to learn more information about program dates, application deadlines, and internship placements.