The Alexandria Trust was launched in 2011 to contribute to restoringworld-class standards of education across the Arab region. Founded andcore funded by Egyptian philanthropist Salah Khalil and a group of Arabbusiness leaders, the Trust was registered as a charitable company in theUK in February 2012 and is based in London. It works across the Arabeducation sector by identifying and incubating strong projects capable ofreaching sustainability within five years and of having a lasting impacton education reform and development in the region.
The Trust operates in three sectors:
1. Public Voice, supporting excellence in Arab educational institutions through the creation of reliable, unbiased platforms for sharing knowledge and ideas, facilitating debate, and encouraging reform. Al Fanar (The Lighthouse), a new, on line publication intended to create a forum for exchange of news and opinion on Arab higher education, was launched in March 2013 as the Trust's first project. For recent coverage in the New York Times see http:www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/world/middleeast/25iht-educside25.html?_r=0.
2. Policy Fast-Track, convening global expertise to support Arab-led education sector reform that seeks to improve quality and expand opportunity. In a pilot project led by trustee Rt Hon Charles Clarke, the Trust has agreed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Lebanon, where it is bringing education experts to advise on policy reforms in K-12, higher and vocational and technical education designated as priorities by the ministry. The Trust also has a MoU with the Ministry of Education, Tunisia and plans to launch similar projects in Jordan, Palestine, Morocco and elsewhere in the region.
3. Access to learning to improve life chances for young people and futuregenerations across the Arab world. The Trust is laying foundations for thedevelopment of an initiative to translate into Arabic up to 5,000 seminaltexts in the humanities and social sciences. This bold project will seekto attract large-scale support both from Arabic linguists/translators and,in donations, from Arabs in the diaspora in North America, Europe andelsewhere.
Governance and leadership
The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees whose members (see http://alexandriatrust.org/about-us/our-trustees) are:
- Emma Playfair, chair, former Middle East representative, Ford Foundation
- Salah Khalil, founder trustee, chairman and founder, Macat International Ltd
- Hassan Abdou, Egyptian financier and businessman
- Rt Hon Charles Clarke, former UK Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Education
- Heba Raouf Ezzat, assistant professor of political science, Cairo University
- Frances Guy, Representative for UN Women, Iraq, former HM Ambassador to Beirut