Soliya

Soliya is a nonprofit organization that uses internet technology to improve inter-cultural understanding between the "West" and the "Muslim World". Their core program is the Connect Program - a cross-cultural education program that directly connects university students in the US, Europe, Middle East and North Africa. As part of an accredited course at participating universities, the students engage in dialogue through a web-based videoconferencing application and collaboratively analyze and produce their own media products. They are a relatively young organization, but they have already established strong partnerships with a wide range of premiere academic institutions including Georgetown University, Tufts University, University of North Carolina, and Ohio State University in the US, and the American University of Beirut, Dar Al Hekma College in Saudi Arabia, Qatar University, Al Akhawayn University in Morocco and Birzeit University in the Palestinian Territories amongst others. Participating students from these institutions “meet” weekly on-line throughout the course of a semester in small multi-national groups with 2 facilitators via a web-based video-conferencing application. Students engage in intensive discussion about the relationship between the West and Arab & Muslim World, and develop a deeper understanding of alternate perspectives and build knowledge about relevant issues.

Since its launch in 2003, 1300 students from 48 universities have participated in the Connect Program. The organization's headquarters are located in Brooklyn, New York.

Connect Program Alumni continue their involvement by participating in collaborative action projects, facilitation training, and student weblogs.