Bridges of Understanding Announces Merger with Soliya

Share Article

Not-for-Profits Join Forces for Cross-Cultural Education

"In today’s heavily interconnected world, the need to empower our next generation of civic leaders with the empathy that stems from communication is greater than ever."

Bridges of Understanding (BOU), a not-for-profit, nonpolitical organization dedicated to bridging the cultural divide between Americans and people of the Arab world, announced that the organization has entered into an agreement to merge with Soliya (, pending the approval of the New York Attorney General. With over 10,000 alumni from around the world, Soliya is a pioneering Virtual Exchange organization that provides sustained, technology-enabled cross-cultural programs for the higher education space.

BOU has spent a decade focused on innovative primary and secondary school education that illuminates shared human experiences between cultures. “For 10 years, Bridges of Understanding’s programs have helped youths shift perception and overcome cultural divides,” says Faisal Al-Juburi on behalf of BOU. “The merger with Soliya promises to deepen the organization’s impact on the field of cross-cultural relations, expanding into the post-secondary market and embracing a holistic worldview, inclusive but not limited to US-Arab relations.”

Over the past two years, BOU has grown its portfolio of primary and secondary school activities in partnership with the online learning platform NextLesson, making programs available to an audience of over 60,000 educators and two million students. In the same period, Soliya’s university level Connect Program, anchored by its newly launched proprietary exchange portal, has seen exponential growth, from 700 students in the 2015-2016 academic year to nearly 4,000 students anticipated this year from the organization’s network of 160 institutions in 30 countries. Through the guidance of trained facilitators and a UN Habitat partnership that certifies them, undergraduate and graduate students with concentrations in history, political science, international affairs, business, and beyond come together to engage in face-to-face virtual dialogues around relevant, conflict-prone topics.

By merging into one organization, BOU and Soliya are ensuring that thoughtful reflection and exchange amongst cultures and communities continues on a noteworthy scale, reinforcing across age levels the Four Cs of 21st Century learning: Collaboration; Communication; Critical Thinking; and Creativity.

“In today’s heavily interconnected world, the need to empower our next generation of civic leaders with the empathy that stems from communication is greater than ever,” says Soliya Chief Executive Officer Waidehi Gokhale. “Through this merger, Soliya will benefit greatly from Bridges of Understanding’s experience and leadership in using the arts and humanities to engage students and societies in powerful dialogues, and, together, I know that we will eliminate the fear of ‘the other.’”

For more information, visit: For all press related inquiries, contact: Ashley Lutzker via 646-827-9594 or ashley(at)amp3pr(dot)com.

Bridges of Understanding (BOU) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, nonpolitical organization established in 2007 to enhance positive relations between the United States and Arab World, as defined by the League of Arab States, through one-to-one connections between thought leaders and the creation of original youth-focused programs.

Founded in 2002, Soliya is an international 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization preparing the next generation with the skills, attitudes, and commitment to engage with difference constructively. Operating at the intersection of technology, peacebuilding, and global education, the organization empowers young people to establish more effective, cooperative, and compassionate relations within and between their societies by providing high quality global education that combines the power of dialogue with the reach of new media technologies.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Ashley Lutzker
Visit website