Several hundred adventurous and enterprising high school students from predominantly Muslim nations recently arrived in Washington D.C.. They are beginning a yearlong stay with American families across the nation.
The exchange program places young people at the heart of an effort to promote international dialogue, understanding, and ultimately peace. Some 300 students representing nations from Morocco to Bangladesh spent their first day in the United States at an orientation session outside Washington DC.
The Youth Exchange and Study program, called "YES", is operated by a consortium of non-profit organizations with the support of the U.S. State Department. It was launched in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The program has brought more than one-thousand mostly-Muslim students to the United States over the last four years.