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Middle East and North Africa

The road not shared: Turning to the arts to help increase pedestrian safety

Patrick Kabanda's picture

The Creative Wealth of Nations is a series of blogs related to Patrick Kabanda's forthcoming book on the performing arts in development.

It was a scene I still can’t forget.
A few years ago on a busy Kampala intersection, cars zoomed by while pedestrians braced themselves to cross a road. They lurched back and forth, like a fence being blown hither and tither by heavy winds. In frustration, a voice of a woman with a baby tucked on her back cried out: senga no wabawo atusasira. “I wish someone would be kind to us.”

Energizing our green future

Mafalda Duarte's picture
The CIF is a leader in driving global investments in CSP

​As world leaders come together at the UN General Assembly to adopt new sustainable development goals, climate change activists gear up for Climate Week in New York City and the Pope brings his message to the United Nations, a shared vision of our future is coming into clear focus. 

If we are to eradicate poverty, we need to tackle climate change.  And since 2008, the $8.1 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) has been showing it is possible for countries to pursue sustainable development in a way that does just that.

Why Fatima had to lose her house

Wael Zakout's picture
 Sarah Al Bayya l World Bank

I’ve just returned from a mission to Palestine. During the visit, I met Fatima. She was happily married until last summer, when suddenly she lost everything. 

Piles of garbage, blackouts, water shortages welcome students back to school

Dima Krayem's picture
John Donelly / World Bank

A dismal garbage disposal crisis, long, unregulated power cuts and water shortages, coupled with deepening financial hardship, have exposed a ruling political class as being too busy squabbling in their own, narrow self-interest to worry about the pressing needs of Lebanon’s other citizens. In despair, citizens have taken to the streets in protests to demand their basic rights—a myriad of social, political and financial suffering, topped by mounds of garbage. The protests have all but overshadowed another imminent crisis as the end of September’s “back to school” season looms, and the impact of about 1.5 million refugees—a third of them children and adolescents—poses yet another challenge.

Education in Egypt needs permanent solutions, not “band-aids”

Amira Kazem's picture

“Is this meant to be a band-aid?” one participant intervened. This intriguing comment, made during consultations held in Cairo on an education initiative by the World Bank Group and Islamic Development Bank, describes what many people think about past interventions in Egypt’s education system.

What is a university degree worth in the Arab world?

Christine Petré's picture
 Ramzi Maalouf

Graduation—a long-awaited day in most students' lives. Yet, according to Amir Fakih, himself a recent graduate from Lebanon’s Notre Dame University, a graduation ceremony also comes with grievances. To illustrate his perception of the future for Lebanon’s young university graduates, he decided to dress himself in his graduation gown doing low-income jobs. 

Early childhood education is not a luxury

Kamel Braham's picture
 Arne Hoel l World Bank

Observers of the educational landscape in the Maghreb countries are often left with the impression that early childhood education is more a luxury than a necessity. While child-care centers, kindergartens, and other preschool institutions are thriving in the big cities, backed by a private sector that is filling the void left by the public education system, the public preschool system continues to be neglected. In order to understand the importance of early childhood education, the status of universal education in the region needs to be examined a little more closely.

Do global rankings tell the whole truth about universities in the Arab world?

Simon Thacker's picture
Zurijeta l

Choosing a college or university is one of life’s pivotal decisions—it can influence your career and future opportunities. For students in the Middle East and North Africa, as elsewhere, that decision depends on many factors, large and small. But in today’s world that choice is increasingly influenced by rankings, that is, how an institution lines up against other universities when it’s rated. 

It is time to restore public education in Jordan

Dr. Musa Shteiwi's picture
Rawan Ds’as

The results of the public secondary school examination for 2015 show that in 338 schools throughout the country not a single student passed, which an increase of 13 schools compared to last year’s results. This was a big shock for those who are interested in education in Jordan, not only because of the number of schools involved, but more importantly because it reveals a major problem in the educational system.