About the Institution: The regional network knowns as Arab Civitas was created in 2003 under USAID sponsorship. The conference “Civic Education the Arab World” (Jordan, 2003) brought together civic educators from Arab countries who pledged to support a regional network that would promote civic awareness among MENA citizens, especially the youth. The network included NGOs from Egypt, Jordan, and the West Bank and Gaza and soon expanded to include Morocco, Lebanon, Yemen, Tunisia, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and the UAE, with its regional office set in Amman, Jordan. The organization of the conferences as well as the training materials for the center had been largely shaped and influenced by the Center for Civic Education (CCE), the California based nonprofit active in international civic education since 1965. CCE’s two flagship programs, Project Citizen and Foundations for Democracy have been reproduced around the world, and form the pillars of the many centers and training programs across MENA.
Life Skills-Related: Project Citizen (PC) focuses on the middle-school-level extracurricular program in which student teams follow a five-step process to identify and research a school or community issue, evaluate solutions, and prepare and implement an action plan to resolve the issue. The Foundations for Democracy (FOD) program targets primary school students (K-12) with interactive reading and discussion activities based on four elements of democratic behavior- justice, responsibility, authority, and privacy. Thus, while the first seeks to help young people “monitor and influence public policy” the latter “promotes civic competence and responsibility” among youth (MEPI, 2005).