Call for applications

Gustav Bauernfeind - A Street Scene, Damascus

9 March 2017

The Shafik Gabr Foundation is announcing that the application for the 2017 Gabr Fellowship will open on Monday, March 13 2017.

The Foundation's mission is to promote greater mutual understanding by building bridges between the people of the Middle East, Europe, and America by fostering dialogue and the exchange of ideas between these cultures. The main objectives of the Foundation are to support epilepsy research, children with cerebral palsy, educational sponsorships and other special projects.

The East-West: Art of Dialogue initiative’s flagship program, which has come to be known as 'The Gabr Fellowship’, is a dynamic exchange program with a mission to empower talented emerging leaders in the Western and Arab Worlds.

Mr. Shafik Gabr, Foundation Chairman, encourages accomplished young emerging leaders between the ages of 24 and 35 with an interest in cross-cultural understanding to apply to the Fellowship. The Fellowship provides an opportunity for highly qualified individuals to engage in a life changing experience that will help them navigate the interconnected 21st century.

Each year, the Gabr Fellowship consists of 20-24 Fellows, of which 10 are Americans and 10 are Egyptian, with an equal distribution of men and women, in addition to Fellows from selected countries. In 2015 and 2016, Fellows from the UK and Lebanon participated. The program for 2017 is open to applicants from the United States, Egypt, the United Kingdom, France, Lebanon, and Jordan.

The Fellows are all selected for their achievement, passion to understand ‘the other’, and courage to challenge preconceived notions and stereotypes that have divided our regions in the 21st century.

As part of the program, Fellows create an action project, which may be a business enterprise, an institutional collaboration or a civic program that will enhance understanding between the two regions and create enduring impact. The Fellows are selected in part by the creativity and uniqueness of their action project. Once selected, the Fellows will engage on a migrating exchange that starts in Egypt and finishes in the United States. During the course of this intensive exchange, the Fellows engage with prominent figures in think tanks, media, law, the private sector, history, civil society, technology, and the arts as well as senior level officials in security and politics. Throughout the exchange, the Fellows continually meet and reflect with their peers, learning new ways to combine their individual visions into group collaborated action projects.

The Gabr Fellowship has received numerous awards for its ability to build bridges of understanding among the youth of the East and West. The Foundation is proud to have achieved an alumni force of eighty-two talented Fellows from across the globe. The Fellows continue to serve as ambassadors of cultural understanding, utilizing their experiences, and sharing it within their communities and occupations. Their relationships and role of diplomat extend forever past the Fellowship, introducing Egyptians and Americans to a people, a culture, and a future never before explored in this way.

In 2017 the exchange program will take place between Thursday, 21 September – Saturday, 30 September in Egypt and will then migrate to the U.S. from Saturday, 21 October – Saturday 28 October.

An application for the Fellowship consists of a personal statement of interest, a resume, an analytical question, action project outline, and two letters of recommendation. Applicants must be employed full-time. American applicants should have never traveled to Egypt, the Egyptian applicants should have never traveled to the US, and all other nationalities should have not traveled to the United States or Egypt. It should be understood that although travel fare, transportation, accommodation, and meals are covered by the Foundation, the Fellows are expected to cover all other expenses.

The deadline for receipt of the application is Wednesday, May 31st 2017. For more information on the application process, go to: or email


 “This experience has proven to me that promoting cross-cultural dialogue and understanding can have a positive impact on a global scale, and that we have the power to make a difference to our future.”

Kate Chiucchini, 2016 US Fellow, Legislative Assistant in the House of Representatives

“The Gabr fellowship is a true eye-opening experience, a continuing journey of sharing ideas, meeting incredible future leaders from Egypt and the States, and gaining massive knowledge about politics, economics, diplomacy and culture. If you think you have the potential for initiating beneficial changes in your community, do not hesitate to apply for this extraordinary program.”

Hala Abdel Gawad, 2016 Egypt Fellow, Teaching Assistant of Political Science

Link to more testimonials: