PHILADELPHIA — The Middle East Forum, a Philadelphia-based research institute, is pleased to announce the MEF Education Fund, a program established to support researchers and institutions focused on the Middle East and radical Islam.

The Education Fund is made possible through anonymous grants, which the Middle East Forum then directs to researchers, organizations, and investigative projects. The selection process is entirely internal; no applications for grants are accepted.

The Education Fund attempts to maximize the impact of its limited resources, usually by focusing on individual researchers and small organizations.

The Middle East Forum has previously made such donations prior to the formal establishment of the Education Fund. In 2007, for example, it disbursed grants in excess of $300,000.

One project of note was Arlene Kushner's study, titled "Fatah as ‘Moderate': A Hard Look Post-Annapolis," which details Fatah's involvement in terrorism. The findings in this document proved so objectionable to the government of Israel that on January 9, 2008, Jerusalem police arrested three Israelis for distributing the report to foreign journalists.

Projects presently supported by the Education Fund deal with such topics as reform in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East at the United Nations, Israeli Arab media, lawful Islamist incursions, honor killings, and the Mohamed al-Dura video.

Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, notes that the addition of the MEF Education Fund "demonstrates the Forum's interest in helping to build resources to promote an understanding of the Middle East and Islam. We are privileged to be in a position to support the work of individuals and organizations at the cutting edge."

The Middle East Forum works to promote American interests in the Middle East. Its projects include the Middle East Quarterly, the organization's flagship publication; Campus Watch, a project to critique Middle East studies on American campuses with a view to their improvement; Islamist Watch, an effort to combat the encroachment of nonviolent radical Islam in the West; and the Legal Project, which protects researchers and activists who focus on terrorism, terrorist funding, and radical Islam. The Forum's three websites (www.MEForum.org, www.DanielPipes.org, www.Campus-Watch.org) attract over 350,000 unique visits each month.

For immediate release

For more information, call Amy Shargel at 215-546-5406, ex. 22