About the League of Arab States | Arab Expatriates

Since the early stages of its work, the League of Arab States attached special importance to the issue of Arab immigrants, but attention was limited to occasional contacts with Arab Immigrants' organisations including participation in conferences and providing limited financial assistance in addition to receiving some delegations. In 1979 the Tenth Arab Summit adopted a resolution entrusting the General Secretariat of the Arab League with the task of strengthening cooperation with Arab communities and making use of their potential in host countries to support Arab rights and strengthen links between Arab immigrants and their homeland. In 2002 increased interest in Arab immigrants issues was reflected in the establishment of a new independent organ to be in charge of this sector, the Arab Expatriates Department (AED), within the framework of the General Secretariat.


1. To maximise the role of Arab immigrants in the host country in the political, economic and social fields.

2. To acquire information on Arab immigrant issues and to strengthen relations with their prominent figures and organisations.

3. To establish links between second-generation immigrants and their
homeland and to instill in them values and heritage inherent to their Arab identity, roots and culture.

4. To end the isolation of some immigrant communities and help them to be better integrated.

5. To help Arab immigrants to organise themselves, enhance their capabilities and defend their interests.

6. To promote Arab interests in western media and political sectors with the support of immigrants.

7. To mobilise qualified Arab immigrants to support Arab development efforts in science and technology transfer.


1. Establishing contacts with Arab communities and organisations to become acquainted with their activities.

2. Ensuring coordination and follow-up with Arab embassies, Councils of Arab ambasadors and Arab League missions abroad.

3. Launching an AED electronic site for contact with Arab immigrants worldwide.

4. Establishing direct contact with Arab communities through visits to different countries by the Secretary General and officials of the Secretariat General, organised by the Arab League missions and Arab embassies, and briefing them on the League’s vision of the situation and role of Arab immigrants.

5. Organising cultural trips for Arab immigrants to Arab countries to strengthen their identity and bonds with their culture and civilisation of origin.

6. Organising seminars with academic institutions to discuss issues related to Arab immigrants, motives for emigration, difficulties encountered and how to contribute to the development of their countries of origin.

7. Participating in intellectual, political and information conferences and meetings organised by Arab communities.

8. Organising general and sectoral meetings to include Arab immigrants and citizens and relevant bodies from Arab countries to benefit from their experience, especially in science and technology transfer.

9. Cooperating with ALECSO in spreading the use of Arabic and teaching it to second-generation immigrants to strengthen their ties with their countries of origin

10. Considering the issue of Palestine as one of the main issues to be dealt with and discussed with Arab immigrants in their different activities and events and coordinating with the Department of Palestine and the Information Department on this.


Arab Expatriate’s Day
The General Secretariat celebrates the Arab Expatriate’s Day on 22 November each year which coincides with the date of the adoption of the first resolution by the Tenth Arab Summit on Cooperation with Immigrants. This is considered an acknowledgement of the Arab League Council of the important role played by Arab immigrants in support of their scientific and practical efforts and achievements. It also shows the keenness on establishing channels of communication with them. The General Secretariat issues an annual Declaration on this occasion and the AED organises celebrations in coordination with Arab League missions abroad with the participation of representatives of Arab communities in these countries. In recent years celebrations have been held in Berlin, Bonn, Brasilia, Madrid and New Delhi.

Visits to Arab communities abroad
The Director of the AED, with H.E. Ambassador Al-Shazli Al-Nafati, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Arab League Office in Tunis, visited host countries to establish communication channels with Arab immigrants. Since 2007, the delegation has visited Paris, Rome, Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Granada and Brussels, meeting prominent Arab figures and representatives of organisations as well as meeting officials and ministers for briefings on host countries’ policies on Arab immigrants.

Cultural exploratory trips for second generation of Arab expatriates
Between 2003 and 2009 the AED organised seven cultural exploratory trips for the second generation of Arab immigrants in cooperation with Arab member states. Egypt hosted the trip in 2003, Lebanon in 2004, Saudi Arabia in 2005, Algeria in 2006, Qatar in 2007, Jordan in 2008 and Morocco in 2009.

First Conference of Arab Expatriates: A Bridge for Communication
In the framework of implementing the recommendations of the First Meeting of Arab Ministers of Migration and Expatriates Affairs the General Secretariat held the First Conference of Arab Expatriates in its headquarters 4–6 December 2010. It was organised by the AED and attended by Ministers in charge of Migration and Expatriates Affairs, representatives of expatriates of each Arab country, Arab civil society organisations abroad and Arab expatriate prominent figures and youth. The conference discussed the role of the civil society organisations in the advancement of the Arab communities, the role of Arab expatriates in the development and strengthening of the dialogue of civilisations, cultures and religions, towards establishing an organisational and information framework for Arab Expatriates.

Arab communities abroad issued the Declaration of the First Conference of Arab Expatriates in Arabic, English and French.

German-Egyptian women’s development experience project
In the Framework of the EC-UN Migration for Development initiative, the AED is implementing a project titled "Entrepreneurial ‘knowledge’: Towards Arab German-Egyptian Women Development Experience" in partnership with the Deutsch-Arab Friendship Association (DAFG) in Berlin and in cooperation with Hawaa Almostaqbal Association in Egypt. The project aims to enhance the level of Egyptian women’s participation in the economy through acquiring knowledge, skills and work style on small-scale projects from female Arab migrant entrepreneurs in Germany. The Arab expatriate women in Germany transfer their experience through training 120 trainers on topics related to small-scale projects.The trainers then transfer the learned experience to around 500 Egyptian women who own and manage small businesses. The General Secretariat will disseminate the outcomes of the project, which include publications, lessons learned and tangible and concrete results.

The AED, in coordination with the Afro- Egyptian Studies Program of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University, held three seminars at the General Secretariat on “Arab expatriates in African Countries” in 2005, “Arab expatriates from North Africa in Europe” in 2007 and on “Arab-African migration abroad: Problems and solutions” in 2008.

Arab-US Economic Forum
The General Secretariat organises, with prominent Arab figures in the USA and the US Middle East Economic Affairs Committee, “The Arab-US. Economic Forum”, which has held three sessions to date. The first session was held in Detroit in 2003, the second in Houston in 2006 and the third in Washington in 2008. This Forum emphasises the importance of promoting Arab-US interests through mutual cooperation. It stresses the importance of the role of civil society with a view to launching joint programmes and organising intellectual fora for Arab-US Chambers of Commerce.

Arab- American National Museum
The Secretary-General of the League of Arab States inaugurated the Arab Immigrants’ Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, USA, on 5 May 2005. The cost of the museum was US$ 18million, paid by the Arab community in the USA. The museum presents the history of Arab immigration to the USA and their most prominent achievements, as well as the most salient features of Arab culture.

Contact and Website

Tahrir Square
11642 Cairo
Phone: (+202) 25750511, 25759500 ext. 3915 - 3965
Fax: (+202) 27735559
Email: aemigrant.dept@las.int
Website: www.lasportal.org/ar/sectors/dep/Pages/default.aspx?RID=25&SID=6