Al-Fanar Media

Progress comes from sharing good practice, from debate and the dissemination of ideas. The Alexandria Trust will seek strong projects which support educational excellence at Arab educational institutions through resources, information-sharing, and the encouragement of reform.

Our first project is a new Arab publication dedicated to news and analysis on higher education called Al-Fanar Media. Launched online in March of 2013, Al-Fanar Media provides a new platform for faculty, senior leadership and students across Arab universities and beyond to learn about each others’ challenges, opportunities, and best practices. It provides a forum for debate and exchange of experience, and serves as a balanced and accurate source of information and analysis.

The Alexandria Trust has founded Al-Fanar Media "الفنار للإعلام" (The Lighthouse), dedicated to covering higher education in the Arab region. Visit Al Fanar's website at

Al-Fanar Media provides balanced, accurate, and insightful coverage of academic life in the Arab world. It seeks to be a watchdog for academic freedom, monitors whether women, minority groups, and the poor have full access to education, and champions universities as beacons of arts, culture, and scholarship. Al-Fanar Media serves as a much-needed platform for public debate among higher education institutions within and beyond the Arab world. The publication is bilingual in Arabic and English. Al-Fanar Media will convene roundtables and discussion forums about critical issues in higher education and, in a subsequent phase, will seek out ways to support the training of young journalists interested in covering higher education through responsible and accurate reporting.

David L. Wheeler, formerly managing editor of the U.S.-based Chronicle of Higher Education, is Al-Fanar Media's founding editor. Its senior editor is Rasha Faek, a Syrian journalist based in Amman. The publication is housed inside the Alexandria Trust but is independent of it. Al-Fanar Media has received grants from the Ford Foundation, the U.N. Democracy Fund and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

The Cairo Workshop

In May 2012, the Trust held a workshop in Cairo with more than sixty academics from the region to discuss prospects for a publication like Al-Fanar Media. The project received a ringing endorsement. The links below offer a selection of interviews with workshop participants about the need for an independent publication dedicated to higher education in the Arab world.

Read the workshop report

Alexandria Trust Cairo workshop participants, in their own words, on why an independent publication dedicated to Arab higher education is needed.