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Middle East and North Africa

Think regional, act local: a new approach for Maghreb countries

Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
 Pichugin Dmitry l

Every organization, no matter how large, needs to pause occasionally and take a good, hard look at itself. It is vital for measuring the gap between intention and achievement, and charting a new course. For the World Bank Group (WBG), this “hard look” took the form of a gathering for three days in Marrakech, Morocco where we listened to voices from the ground, debated and reached consensus on an action plan for a renewed path for the Maghreb Team.

Much ado about nothing? The economic impact of refugee ‘invasions’

Massimiliano Calì's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
Stranded Refugees and Migrants camp in Hungary - Spectral-Design l

To those European Union citizens who think that the ongoing “refugee invasion” into the EU is quickly becoming economically unsustainable: If the experience of Syria’s neighbors is anything to go by, you may need to think again.

Does legal aid reduce poverty?

Paul Prettitore's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
 Emad Abd El Hady l World Bank

Last week I attended a gathering of legal aid providers, a somewhat informal group mostly from rich countries but with a slowly growing number of developing country participants. Legal aid services—covering public information and awareness, group and individual counseling, and representation by a lawyer—are generally delivered free of charge to the poor and vulnerable, so they can better understand their rights and the procedures to enforce them, and improve their access to formal justice sector services (those provided by courts, other dispute resolution bodies, and lawyers). 

My young children give me hope

Ahmad Owda's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
 Majdi Al-Najjar l World Bank

With the start of the new school year, my children are eager to get back into their classrooms, like all students after a long summer vacation. Perhaps, they feel as they grow and advance to the next level that their dreams are getting closer.  

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

Dima Krayem's picture
Also available in: العربية
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
Also available in: العربية | Français

“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
Also available in: العربية | Français
 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
Also available in: Français | العربية
 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
Also available in: العربية | Français
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.