The Exchange Foundation is a New York State registered 501(c)3 charitable organization. Donations support our Scholarship Fund for participants from around the world who will deepen the social, political and geographic diversity of the Exchange and who can demonstrate both financial need and a deep interest in the country where the Exchange takes place. All donations are tax deductible for US taxpayers.

Donate to the Foundation for Global Political Exchange, Inc.

In June 2008, only a few weeks after sustained violence across Lebanon led to a settlement known as the Doha Accords, we launched our first Beirut Exchange research conference. It was our belief at the time that Lebanon was in dire need of more direct and diversified understanding, especially for those who are studying the country, influencing public opinion and discourse, or shaping their own country's foreign policies. Given the current situation that finds Lebanon slipping from international focus even as its citizenry is immiserated further by the day, this is - regrettably - more true than ever.


In the years following the first Exchange, we steadily expanded our efforts, hosting more than 50 different Exchanges, including in Tunisia, Iraq, Syria and Turkey as well as on Libya and Yemen. Going into our 14th year, over 1,200 people from 51 different countries have now attended an Exchange, with many alumni returning in later years to join sessions once (or several times) again. [View the lineup of Speakers at the recently concluded 20th Beirut Exchange.]


In 2020, in order to transparently organize and further professionalize our work, we were finally able to establish The Exchange as a US-registered not-for-profit, under the aegis of The Foundation for Global Political Exchange, with the mission of promoting professional and academic enrichment through a variety of small group, direct engagement conferences in Western Asia and North Africa.


Crucially - and since our beginning - all funding for the Exchange comes from only two sources: First, the participants who pay the participation fee and, second, scholarship recipients who benefit from individual, charitable contributions designed to broaden the social, political and geographic diversity of each Exchange table. As such, there is no government, commercial or non-profit support, an aspect that we believe provides a relatively independent platform for dialogue and understanding.

Since 2020 42 students - from China, Peru, Brazil, Pakistan, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Lebanon (to name only a few countries) - have benefitted from our Exchange scholarships, allowing them to listen to, learn from and question leading intellectuals, activists and politicians representing an array of different points of view in a specific country. Our scholarship recipients have also expanded our own understanding of how states in the region are perceived beyond North America and Europe, leading to changes in the themes we explore and the speakers we seek out.


Our History and Purpose

Illuminating and life changing experience. I will recall the Exchange as one of the most authentic educational experiences of my life.

Sahar Rizvi

Masters Candidate

Nathan Wexler

Phd. Candidate

There could not exist a more thorough and intensive immersion into Lebanese history and politics than The Exchange.

Time-tested technique and tactful diplomacy enables The Exchange to achieve an environment conducive to attention, dialogue and reflection.

Dr. Jalel Harchaoui

Research Fellow of the Conflict Research Unit of the Clingendael Institute

Expanding the number of scholarships, especially for students who are from the countries where an Exchange takes place;


Adding new countries in Western Asia and North Africa where we are able to organize an Exchange;


Finally holding an Exchange in the United States in order to expose participants from around the world to a deeper and more direct understanding of the challenges, internal conflicts and possibilities that Americans (and, inevitably, the rest of the globe) are increasingly facing.

As the end of the year approaches, your US Tax-deductible donation to The Exchange Foundation will help us to accomplish several critical objectives in 2022, including:

Join us in building The Exchange over the coming months and years as we bring our unique learning approach to more people around the world!

Upcoming Exchanges

An intensive online version of the Yemen Exchange organized by the Sana’a Center and The Exchange Foundation. The course is designed to provide unique access to information, perspectives, updates and analysis on Yemen for both those seeking to develop a working background on the country as well as those already thoroughly versed in its dynamics.

February 28 - March 11, 2022

To be held virtually over eight Thursday and Saturday mornings (EST time), in partnership with Georgetown University's Democracy and Governance Center.

May 27-June 19, 2021

(Deadline for application: February 6th, 2022)

(Applications now closed)

Co-founder, Nicholas Noe: +961.81.797.943 (Beirut/WhatsApp)

© 2021, All rights reserved to The Foundation for Global Political Exchange non-profit 501(c)3

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Upcoming Exchanges

The Exchange Foundation is an effort by the non-profit, 501 (C)3 Foundation for Global Political Exchange to promote professional and academic enrichment through a variety of small group, direct engagement conferences in Western Asia and North Africa.


During their stay, typically lasting five days to one week, participants from around the world listen to and question leading intellectuals, activists and politicians representing an array of different points of view in a specific country.


The first Exchange was launched in June 2008 in Beirut, Lebanon. Now, thirteen years on, more than 850 people from 51 different countries have attended 40 different Exchanges in the region.


Crucially, all funding for the Exchange comes from only two sources: The participants themselves who pay the participation fee or scholarship recipients who benefit from individual, charitable contributions designed specifically to broaden the social, political and geographic diversity of each Exchange table. As such, there is no government, commercial or non-profit support, an aspect that we believe provides a relatively neutral platform for dialogue and understanding.

Listen to and question leading intellectuals, activists and politicians from the Arab world

Broad social, political and geographic diversity of speakers

Creating a neutral platform for dialogue and understanding

More than 850 participants, 51 countries, 40 different Exchanges

The best immersion course on a country in transition I’ve seen.

Dr. Alfred Stepan

Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University

Time-tested technique and tactful diplomacy enables The Exchange to achieve an environment conducive to attention, dialogue and reflection.

Dr. Jalel Harchaoui

Research Fellow of the Conflict Research Unit of the Clingendael Institute

There could not exist a more thorough and intensive immersion into Lebanese history and politics than The Exchange.

Nathan Wexler

Phd. candidate at UC Berkley

A well-oiled program that brings you an impressive number and selection of speakers from across the spectrum. Worth every penny!

I learned more in my 10 days at the Beirut Exchange than in any university course! This was a wonderful experience filled with fascinating speakers.

Oliva Holt-Ivry

Nicole Sganga

Senior Programs Advisor on Women, Peace, and Security, U.S. Department of State

CBS News reporter

Illuminating and life changing experience. I will recall the Exchange as one of the most authentic educational experiences of my life.

Sahar Rizvi

Student

Who should register?

NGO Practitioners

& Officers

Foreign Diplomats
& Analysts

Academics
& Faculty

Journalists & Media Professionals

Past Exchanges

Intensive & Immersive Courses on Western Asia & North Africa

Unique access to information, perspectives, updates and analysis.

Access to information

Gain direct insight and rare first-hand knowledge about the country from a wide range of perspectives.

First-hand knowledge

Engage with speakers during the sessions and connect with them after the Exchange.

Connect with speakers

Participants will have the opportunity to meet, listen and engage leading social, political and economic actors from across the spectrum in Western Asia and North Africa

Dialogue with Leaders

Upcoming Exchanges

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