- High School/Grades 9-12
- Young Adult
Amideast’s Qisasna (“Our Stories”) program facilitates cross-cultural exchange between American and Yemeni students by providing participants with the skills needed to produce podcasts that focus on discussions of global issues, perceptions of both cultures, career opportunities for young people, and community service.
Over one academic year, Qisasna seeks to train 32 virtual teams consisting of ten participants evenly divided between Americans and Yemenis. Qisasna instills global citizenship values and understanding of others among participants. Qisasna also provides participants with storytelling skills to help them develop more nuanced and empathetic views of others and with the pathways for sharing their efforts with the broader public.
As part of a cross-cultural effort designed to enhance bilateral understanding and cooperation, the 320 Yemeni and American participants join an orientation of facilitated online dialogues and complete a series of asynchronous podcast training modules. Afterward, the participants form bi-national podcast teams and then continue to engage in online dialogues, along with asynchronous work, to create a pilot podcast episode. The activities are complemented by synchronous mentoring to support their podcast efforts.
- Number of Participants: 320
- Participant Age Group: High School/Grades 9-12; Undergraduate; Young Adult (Gap year students in particular)
- Partners in the United States: District of Columbia – International Center for Religion and Diplomacy; Utah – Utah State University; Michigan – Michigan State University; Virginia – George Mason University; New Jersey – Drew University; Washington– Kerning Cultures
- Partners in the Middle East and North Africa: Yemen – Yemen Family Care Association
- Project Duration: April 2021– June 2023
Upon completion of the facilitated dialogues and the podcast draft, Qisasna students are awarded Amideast digital certificates. Listen to Qisasna students’ episodes on shared challenges and opportunities here: Qisasna Program Podcasts.
Qisasna is implemented by Amideast and is supported by the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative (JCSVEI). JCSVEI is a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program administered by the Aspen Institute.