Events since September 11, 2001, have dramatically illustrated the misunderstanding that existsbetween citizens of Islamic countries and citizens of the United States. Recognizing this problem as athreat to peace and security, several U.S. legislators have called for additional funding for exchangesbetween the U.S. and Islamic countries. Proposed legislation has a strong likelihood of approval insome form according to Christina West, Assistant Director for International Affairs, NASULGC.Diverse exchanges have demonstrated the effectiveness of private citizens in representing theircountries and promoting understanding. Case studies and evaluations of the International Farm (now4-H) Youth Exchange, ACDI/VOCA’s farmer to farmer program, American Field Service and Rotaryhigh school exchanges, university study abroad and Peace Corps, all provide evidence of positiveimpact. How the exchanges are organized and implemented, however, appears to fundamentallyaffect their degree of success in promoting understanding.

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