Meknes - In recognition of the dedication of Ambassador Chris Stevens to serve North Africa and the Middle East, the State Department’s Stevens Initiative aspires to pay a tribute to his legacy by granting youth in the Arab world a life-changing cross-cultural experience.
Meknes – In recognition of the dedication of Ambassador Chris Stevens to serve North Africa and the Middle East, the State Department’s Stevens Initiative aspires to pay a tribute to his legacy by granting youth in the Arab world a life-changing cross-cultural experience.
Moroccans will be the first to inaugurate the preliminary program, which includes 125 Moroccan students from public and private schools across the kingdom. The program aims to effectively promote the tie between Moroccan and American students through collaboration on virtual projects.
Additionally, last week twenty Moroccan students and four teachers visited the US in order to meet American students in person and exchange ideas directly.
The Stevens Initiative honors the memory of Ambassador John Christopher Stevens, a popular diplomat and fluent Arabic speaker, who was the first US ambassador killed while on duty in three decades.
The American lawyer and diplomat was born on April 18, 1960, in Grass Valley, California. His connection to North Africa began when he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, serving as an English teacher from 1983 through 1985 in the rural areas of the High Atlas Mountains.
His fluent command of Arabic and French and his solid background in North Africa and the Middle East allowed Stevens to join the U.S Foreign Service in 1991. He was eventually promoted to powerful posts in several Arab countries. Amid the uproar of the Libyan Revolution, Stevens was appointed to serve as the 10th United States Ambassador to Libya in May 2012.
In a video posted on YouTube on May 21, 2012, by the US Embassy in Tripoli, Stevens described how honored and proud he felt to serve in Libya. He had a burning desire to create partnerships and to operate projects in conjunction with Libya in order to help Libyans achieve their goals and improve their community. Sadly, his tragic death in September 2012 prevented the achievement of his plans and projects.
On the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States, the Benghazi consulate came under attack while Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were inside. The deadly raid was allegedly made by extremist Muslims who were angered by a film that they felt was offensive to the Islamic religion. The hours-long assault on US facilities, which may have also been targeted as a CIA outpost, left Stevens and the three Americans dead.
Chris Stevens was a very approachable and popular character with everyone. He was renowned for his respectful and friendly communications with different races across the US, Middle East and North Africa. He devoted his life to consolidating the relations between the United States and Arab countries and to improving the status of the Middle East and North Africa.
Edited by Esther Bedik