Young Egyptians attend WorldChicago’s Cairo Initiative for democracy and governance during a time of historic significance for the Middle East

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(From WorldChicago)                                                                               



Chicago, IL – WorldChicago announced today that it is hosting a group of non-profit and media leaders, and activists with the United States Agency for International Development Office of Democracy and Governance. The Cairo initiative will expose young Egyptians to a range of practices used by U.S. civil society organizations working in democracy-related fields. 


There has never been a better time to discuss democracy and governance in the Middle East. Thousands of demonstrators in Egypt created a historical ripple effect for change in governance last month and President Mubarak stepped down.


“The WorldChicago program gives the emerging Egyptian leaders ideas that they can immediately apply at a critical time. Enrichment seminars to observe U.S. practices will provide tools that are directly applicable to their work and the continued change expected in Egypt. These leaders will also benefit from the intense cultural experience of the U.S. that is here in Chicago,” said Peggy Parfenoff, WorldChicago executive director. 


Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ruled Egypt since Mubarak’s ouster. It is laying the groundwork for a democratic Egypt by holding a referendum on constitutional reforms this week, parliamentary elections in June, and then a presidential election. Yousry El Komy, executive manager for the Association for the Advancement of Education in Egypt, is discussing democratic principles and the organizational capacity to leadduring the month-long program. Joining four others, El Komy is specifically working with the Chicago Public Schools and making presentations to hundreds of teachers about the revolution.


“After 30-years of one regime, it is such an exciting time for democracy in my country. World Chicago’s Cairo initiative will enhance my skills for strategic management, program management and information management. I will also focus on internal governance, finance and external relations during meetings with Chicago Public Schools, Facets Media and Street-Level Youth Media. WorldChicago offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As young Egyptians, we are seeing a future that we once thought very difficult to obtain,” said El Komy.


About WorldChicago


World Chicago, founded in 1952, is a 501©3 organization dedicated to citizen diplomacy and funded by U.S. Department of State, USAID, Library of Congress, private programs and individual donations. WorldChicago serves over 800 visiting delegates annually, who support global relationships that enhance Chicago’s and the United States’ image.  For more information or to be a professional host, visit



Formerly International Visitors Center of Chicago
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Chicago, Illinois 60602

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