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USA and Mexico: Education and understanding



Last week, U.S. and Mexican officials renewed their commitment to combat cross-border smuggling of medicine, weapons and money. U.S. officials considered U.S. demand for drugs to be “magnet” that fuels drug trafficking, and Mexico has pledged to jointly address elements of the cartels’ business model.

While illegal immigration and drugs dominate public discourse on U.S.-Mexico relations, the partnership between these countries is essential and dynamic in lots of other ways.

The two neighbors they trade over $1 million a minute, employ many thousands and thousands of individuals in good jobs on either side of the border, make over one million legal border crossings a day, and have over 35 million residents of a typical heritage.

We have devoted years of our skilled lives (in government, academia and social work) to developing and implementing strategies to enhance relations between our countries. We were due to this fact surprised by the United States’ sharply critical rhetoric toward Mexico in recent months and the anti-American sentiment that quickly flared up in Mexico.

But our latest work shows that educational and research exchanges can bridge the widening gap while making a workforce that will help each nations thrive within the technological revolutions to return.

Participants at a rally on the Anaheim Convention Center in 2016 show support for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Mike Ledray/

Academic exchanges as long-term bridges

We saw firsthand the impact of the programs on young Mexicans who returned from the US with pride, enthusiasm and improved English skills. We also witnessed American students interacting with their peers in Mexico and increasing mutual appreciation and respect for one another’s countries.

Already, student exchange numbers will not be encouraging. Mexico ranks tenth within the variety of full-time students studying within the U.S., rating well behind China and India, and behind Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Vietnam and northern neighbor Canada. The story is worse second direction: In 2014–2015, only 4,712 U.S. students studied in Mexico, which ranks twelfth amongst majors for U.S. students.

There are many reasons for the low numbers, but here’s a summary: Two such interconnected neighbors should do higher.

In 2013, we were a part of an initiative to resolve this problem. The Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation and Research (known by its Spanish acronym FOBESII) brings together teachers, individuals, corporations, and university and government officials. Their goal is to expand long-term investments in education and research partnerships between the U.S. and Mexico.

In last 4 yearsFOBESII has contributed to greater than 115 recent agreements between Mexican and American universities.

Between 2014 and 2016, the Mexican federal government allocated an unprecedented $42.9 million to those programs. More than 100,000 Mexican students – many from low-income families – have come to the United States as full-time graduate students, as single-semester researchers, or through summer programs designed to enhance their English language skills. These experiences modified the best way students (and their families) were perceived. their future potential and, importantly now, their opinion of the United States has improved significantly.

Unfortunately, U.S. public funds to support these exchanges have been more limited than the investments made by Mexico. However, private sector sponsors have collaborated with the U.S. government for development 32 academic projects with Mexican universitiesstarting from engineering, physics, geology and health to environmental science.

In 2015, US Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne visited students of The Technological University Retoño who were participating within the Fulbright-Garcia Robles program within the US.
Consulate General of the United States Guadalajara

Building things together

Targeting such exchanges creates opportunities for young scientists and promotes cultural understanding, but may additionally lead to a better-educated workforce.

Mexico and the United States literally and figuratively construct things together, whose pieces cross the border again and again before the finished product appears. American parts and products account for a median of approx 40 percent of the worth finished product from Mexico. This is significantly greater than the U.S. contribution to other countries’ production and positively impacts U.S. jobs and profits.

fourth industrial revolution” is evolving: digital technologies are resulting in faster and more complex progress in virtually all features of life. Both countries will need a better-equipped workforce to take care of this highly integrated production network and compete with other countries on the planet.

Several ongoing initiatives inside FOBESIA will support the goal of a greater equipped workforce. The University of California raised roughly $15 million in support programs linking their universities with Mexican institutions. Universities in Texas AND Arizona have developed similar programs specializing in research in energy, environment and other common topics in science and technology. United States National Science Foundation and Mexico National Council of Science and Technology created 12 more joint projects.

Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University, described the rationale his school’s partnerships this road:

“We share a border and many common interests with Mexico. It is natural that we seek stronger bonds through education, research and innovation so that we can help each other prepare for the challenges and changing nature of the advanced 21st century workforce.”

Each yr, many more students and universities apply to take part in this system than current funding allows.

In 2016, the University of Texas and Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology launched ConTex as a part of a joint effort to support scientific training and research between the United States and Mexico.

An investment in the longer term of North America

Historically, other global neighbors have made similar strategic decisions about investing in educational partnerships. The European Erasmus for instance, this system has received billions of dollars in support since its inception in 1987 three million students you might have studied in other countries at over 4,000 post-secondary schools. In addition to the educational value of this system, it contributed to the craft a more solid European vision amongst young people.

As with European cooperation, the relatively modest U.S.-Mexico efforts don’t involve charity and even education itself. They concern the strategic interests of neighbors within the face of world competition, technological revolutions and persistent prejudices straining relations between neighbors.

Mexico and the United States will remain neighbors. Their shared challenges is not going to disappear, but their shared opportunities could also be lost. We should put more effort into overcoming misunderstandings and solving specific problems together. Learning and researching together will definitely help.

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The chilling consequences of attempts to report on the Israel-Gaza war




Enter Azaiza, Hind Khoudary AND Even Owda these are all Palestinian journalists who reported on the war in Gaza. And although Azaiza had to leave and now reports from afar, Owda and Khoudary still remain in Gaza. They, together with several others, provide vital details about the devastation Palestinians face day by day.

This is something that many Canadian journalists haven’t been able to do, largely because international journalists should not allowed into Gaza except on controlled trips organized by the Israel Defense Forces. Therefore, Palestinian journalists are a critical source of information.

This collage features (from left to right) Hind Khoudary, Motaz Azaiza and Bisan Owda, three Palestinian journalists who’ve been reporting on the war in Gaza since October 7, giving the world a window into the devastation. Azaiza has left Gaza and is now reporting from afar, while Owda and Khoudary remain in Gaza.
@hindkhoudary, @motaz_azaiza, @wizard_bisan1/Instagram

However, the stories they tell should not picked up by most Western news outlets.

Many Western journalists have spoken out against what they imagine is the suppression of Palestinian voices and views of their newsrooms. According to a report published in February, many CNN employees believed the media giant had a pro-Israel bias. . According to CNN reporters, Palestinian sources were often met with skepticism, while Israeli sources were often accepted at face value. Others accused the network of censoring journalists who wanted to include more Palestinian sources.

Were similar accusations from inside and other major news outlets.

Christiane Amanpour will appear on the April 8 episode of “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart to discuss the U.S.’ sensitive treatment of Israel, including journalists, and the need for strong political leadership in the Middle East.

These allegations raise many questions.

What is the role of the news media in reporting on wars and conflicts in other countries?

Who is a reliable source? What is independent and objective journalism – and does it exist in any respect?

These are the questions from Sonya Fatah and Asmaa Malik, our guests on this episode , I spent lots of time pondering and writing about. They are each professors of journalism at Toronto Metropolitan University, and their research focuses on newsroom culture, global reporting practices and equality in journalism. They are co-authors of the latest article in detailing press freedom concerns they imagine extend far beyond Gaza.

“The profound injustice that is happening is that the work (of Palestinian journalists on the ground) is not being strengthened,” Malik says. “News organizations can amplify these voices, but also amplify them, add to them and bring a human perspective to this cold, clinical concept of ‘objectivity’ and reporting as we understand it.”

Adds Fatah: “Instead of hugging them, instead of standing up and saying that this is a huge crisis and that we support it, there was silence.”


Even Owda, Hind Khoudary, Enter Azaiza & Plestia Alaqad on Instagram

“Attacks on press freedom have chilling effects far beyond Gaza.” (, January 30, 2024, by Asmaa Malik and Sonya Fatah)

“New York Times to Journalists: What Can’t Be Said About the Gaza War” (April 15, 2024, Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Grim)

“The fight for honest reporting from Palestine” (April 10, 2024 by Zahraa Al-Akhrass)

What Christiane Amanpour – and the rest of us – can learn from Palestinian journalists in Gaza” (April 16, 2024, Steven W. Thrasher)

(Edward Said, 1979)

“New York Times Covers Hamas Attack Stories” (NPR, March 6, 2024)

The head of the New York Times is trying to stop leaks about reporting from the Gaza Strip” (April 18, 2024)

Listen and follow

You can listen or follow ON Apple Podcasts (transcripts available), Spotify, Youtube or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.

We’d love to hear from you, including any ideas for future episodes.

Join the conversation on Instagram, X, LinkedIn and use #DontCallMeResilient.


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Amid rising tensions in the Middle East, Oman is a key feedback channel between Iran and the United States




Before activation of the firewall drones and missiles on Israel on April 13, 2024, based on reports from Iran I got a message for Washington that its response to the earlier attack on the embassy compound in Syria could be aimed toward avoiding a serious escalation. The message was transmitted via Oman, a Persian Gulf state.

The current crisis in the Middle East is one which officials in Oman have been attempting to avoid for years. It is positioned across the Strait of Hormuz from Iran and close defense and security ties with the US and the UK Oman is aware that tit-for-tat attacks increase the risk of a wider war engulfing countries and armed non-state groups across the region.

A full-scale war may very well be triggered by further escalation actions through Tehran or Jerusalem. But this may occur too as a results of miscalculation or misunderstandingespecially given the lack of official bilateral channels for dialogue and de-escalation.

This is where Oman comes in. The Gulf state has been doing this for years he quietly built a record of achievements easing regional tensions through diplomacy. It has played this role since the October 7 Hamas attack. In the months since the attack and Israel’s response in Gaza, which have ignited a regional crisis, Oman has maintained its leadership position. high-level dialogue with Iran, hosted by British Foreign Minister David Cameron to talks on security in the Red Sea and called ceasefire in Gaza.

He could now play a key role in keeping the channel of communication open between the U.S. and Iran as the sides seek to ease tensions.

Standing out from regional competition

Together with neighbors Qatar and Kuwait – in addition to Switzerland, which it represents US interests in Iran in the absence of an American embassy – Oman played a key role in back-channel diplomacy.

However, Oman’s approach differs from that of other nations. Instead of participating in direct conversations, he creates a space for dialogue and service as a facilitator not a mediator.

Oman’s decision to act as moderator is as a result of many reasons. Unlike several other Gulf states similar to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Oman lacks a history of tense relations with Iran.

Omanis somewhat recall that Iran was under the rule of the Shah provided support to Oman in the Seventies, when the then young latest sultan of the Persian Gulf state, Qaboos bin Said, was fighting against ten-year rebellion in the southern province of Dhofar.

Even after the Shah was overthrown in the 1979 Iranian Revolution and replaced by a clerical regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini, Oman stood out from others in the region and refused to interact in the regional rivalries and competition for geopolitical influence that soured Iran’s ties with other Persian Gulf countries states.

Secret back channels

Representing a small country in an unstable region, Omani officials have created a diplomatic space that permits them to handle regional issues on their very own terms and in a way that plays to their strengths. As Sayyid Badr Albusaidi, a profession diplomat who became Oman’s minister of foreign affairs in 2020, said: we noted already in 2003“We are trying to use our intermediate position between larger powers to reduce the potential for conflict in our immediate neighborhood.”

Unlike Qatar, which has attracted worldwide attention on his role as a mediator in the Hamas-Israel negotiations, Oman is engaging less in mediation and more in making it easier.

This is a vital distinction that Omanis maintain in their interactions with U.S. and Iranian officials, but additionally Saudi and Houthi representatives during Yemen’s decade-long civil war.

Facilities in Oman take many forms. It may involve transmitting messages and maintaining indirect channels of communication between adversaries, or organizing feedback channels and organizing discreet meetings.

There is little publicity for Qatar’s mediation initiatives, similar to conversations with the Taliban, who prepared the 2020 report Doha Agreement regarding the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.

But Oman’s approach should yield results. IN his memories“The Back Channel,” written after his retirement from the State Department and before his nomination as CIA director under President Joe Biden, William Burns detailed Oman’s role in facilitating communications between U.S. and Iranian officials in 2013 that changed into negotiations , which bore fruit Nuclear agreement with Iran from 2015.

This news channel began after Iranian officials passed a message to the U.S. through Oman in 2012, proposing a meeting in Muscat, the capital of the Gulf state.

Burns recalled that the Omani intelligence chief “greeted both delegations as we entered the conference room,” “said a few quick words of greeting, and then left.”

The news feed remained secret through eight rounds of generally constructive dialogue, which represented the longest and most sustained cooperation between Iranian and U.S. officials since 1979.

Host opponents

During the thaw between the US and Iran it didn’t lastan Omani news channel highlighted several aspects crucial to the success of any try and ease tensions between seemingly irreconcilable adversaries.

The trust that either side had in Omani officials was extremely essential, and the positive consequence of the meetings built confidence in either side’s use of Omani communication channels.

Oman’s role as a facilitator of indirect U.S.-Iran engagement has gained additional importance with Donald Trump’s presidency decision to withdraw The US left the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and failure the Biden administration to re-enter the agreement.

Seemingly the only time Oman was not willing to play this role was when tensions rose over the US the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani in January 2020 – was brought on by the critical illness of Sultan Qaboos. In the absence of Oman the Swiss ran the back channel.

Easing tensions

Amid heightened tensions since the Oct. 7 attack in Israel, Oman relayed messages between Iranian and U.S. officials. In January 2024, Omani officials hosted delegations of senior negotiators from each countries, transferring between representatives in separate rooms.

Even as a broader regional conflict emerged in the Middle East after Israel apparently bombed the Iranian embassy compound in Damascus on April 1, Oman was readily available to attempt to ease tensions.

April 7, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian visited Oman – providing Omani officials with a possibility to clarify to US and other Western officials about Iran’s pondering as Tehran she planned her response to attack in Damascus.

And while the current crisis in the Middle East is on a scale that Oman cannot deal with by itself, the ability of trusted intermediaries like Oman – together with Qatar and Switzerland – to maintain channels of communication open is crucial to minimizing the possibility of accidental escalation on the Iranian side and to enhance the American and European dialogue with Israeli leaders in pursuit of a peaceful solution to the conflict.

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Will there be another devastating regional war after Iran’s attack on Israel?




After almost two weeks of waiting, Tehran took revenge on Israel April 1, bomb attack on the consulate in Damascusin Syria, firing multiple waves of drones and cruise missiles towards Israel.

More than 300 weapons were reportedly fired from Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Iran alone, marking the primary time the Islamic Republic directly hit the territory of Israel.

Shortly after the attack began The Iranian government said it was overhowever the world is waiting to see how Israel and the United States will respond.

The current crisis

For greater than six months, Iran has tried to avoid direct involvement within the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. It has expressed support for Hamas while Hezbollah, Tehran’s fundamental ally within the region, has engaged in limited battles with Israel along Lebanon’s southern border.

The bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus resulted within the death of several high-ranking members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), including Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi — there was a major escalation of violence.

The bombing was characterised as a direct attack on territory of Iran by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, who promised severe revenge.

Since then, Israel, the United States and other Western countries have remained on high alert, preparing their armed forces to attack and, in some cases, evacuation of personnel from the region.

Emergency services work in a damaged constructing hit by an airstrike in Damascus, Syria, on April 1, 2024. An Israeli airstrike destroyed the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing or injuring everyone inside.
(AP Photo/Omar Sanadiki)

History of Tehran

Most observers before the April 13 attack he believed that Tehran’s response would be limitedperhaps even simply symbolic. They argued that Iran would likely not attack directly but would delegate the duty to certainly one of its regional allies, comparable to Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen or Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq.

This pondering was based on Iran’s past behavior. Tehran told each Hamas and Washington about this isn’t desirous about regional war. The last time Israel assassinated an IRGC officer, the response was limited to a rocket attack in Iraq that resulted within the death of: Kurdish businessman with alleged connections Down Israeli Mossad.

A more limited strike also appeared to make sense from a balance of power perspective. The Islamic Republic has a strong army, with huge supplies of drones and rockets able to hitting targets throughout Israel. The arsenal becomes much more impressive once you add the capabilities of Hezbollah and other Iranian allies.

However, the Islamic Republic he can be defenselessespecially against American or Israeli airstrikes.

The Iranian Air Force is in dire need of modernization and its surface-to-air missile defense is suspect. Perhaps more importantly, the regime continues to face significant opposition at home following the Mahsa Amini hijab protests. Its involvement within the Arab-Israeli conflict is questioned by a big a part of society.

Instead of getting a rally across the flag effect, a painful war on behalf of Hamas could spark further internal unrest.

Planes fly over large explosions
This photo, published in July on the official website of the Iranian army, shows the Iranian Air Force exercising within the central a part of the country.
(Iranian army via AP)

Iran escalation

So why did Iran break with precedent and expose itself to such risks?

The answer is twofold.

First, Tehran has to fret about its popularity. The regime’s latest response to the assassination of a senior IRGC official apparently did nothing to discourage Israel from killing another. Showing weakness within the face of enemy aggression undermines Iran’s position because the leader of the “Axis of Resistance,” a bunch of state and non-state actors centered in Iran that opposes Israel and the American presence within the region.

This is not only a matter of bragging. Tehran depends on this network for its defense, which suggests goals to spread chaos throughout the region to discourage an American or Israeli attack. The weapons and training it provides to its allies are at the center of this alliance, but when Tehran is afraid of confrontation with the Israelis, how can it ask its allies to accomplish that?

The second reason for Iran’s actions is internal. While supporting the Palestinians may not be popular with all residents, it will be significant to the inspiration of the regime. The ideology that justifies the Islamic Republic’s involvement within the Palestinian cause is the glue that holds the present regime together.

Iran’s ideology is characterised by great flexibility allowed Tehran to stay pragmatic faced with external challenges prior to now.

At some point, nevertheless, Tehran must live as much as its espoused virtues. If it doesn’t do that, it risks losing support amongst the general public and fueling internal fights among the many elites. Khamenei, who’s 84 years old and already attempting to manage delicacy succession processI am unable to afford it either.

Having it each ways

Tehran appears to be still attempting to avoid escalation and a bigger regional war.

A tweet sent by Iran after the attack seemed geared toward containing the crisis, claiming that “the matter can be considered he stated

As he speaks, a bearded man in a blue jacket and white collarless shirt gestures.
Coming to America? There were rumors that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, seen here on the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Switzerland in January 2024, was scheduled to reach within the United States ahead of the attack on Israel.
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Even before the attack, there were rumors that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was planning to travel to America through Iran’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations to assist manage the crisis.

However, it’s unclear how Tehran can maintain its ideological credentials at home and abroad without getting drawn into the war in Gaza. Some of the Iranian fire missed Israeli defenses, even though it caused little damage or fatalities.

From the standpoint of US President Joe Biden, this implies getting out of the best way. Despite swearing “shod in iron“support for Israel against Iran, According to reports, the Biden administration urged Israel to retaliate immediately and he stated The US doesn’t need a regional war.

However, Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israeli government probably sees things otherwise. Regardless of the damage or lack thereof, Israel will do it I would like to take revenge. There can be widespread speculation that Israel decided this summer to launch an invasion of southern Lebanon by force. UN Resolution 1701 this calls on Hezbollah to withdraw 20 miles from the Lebanese-Israeli border.

The Lebanese powder keg

Even if this doesn’t occur, the situation on the border is getting dangerously worse.

Over 300 Lebanese civilians were killed in the world and roughly 90,000 were displaced. Five Israeli civilians killed and over 100,000 displaced.

The intensity of violence in the world has been increasing since January and appears to be gaining momentum whatever the fighting in Gaza.

If this happens, it should likely drag Israel, Hezbollah, and ultimately Iran back into another escalation spiral.

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