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International Space Stations (ISS) circling the planet by NASA

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Algerian Desert, photograph by Amine M'Siouri on Pexels

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Scientists collaborating on plant research by Shutterstock

Peace. Prosperity. Sustainable Futures.

Building International Cooperation & Science Diplomacy

Our Mission

We build international understanding, peace, and cooperation through engaging dialogue, media, research and analysis, and leadership development focused on key problems and innovative solutions essential to our collective future.

We fight hate. We build peace.

People-to-People.

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Science diplomacy is the use of scientific collaborations among nations to address common problems and to build constructive international partnerships. 

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, seventh King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with U.S. President Joseph Biden.

Hassan Ammar/AP

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One of the first women to be awarded the International Women of Courage Award, Dr. Samia al-Amoudi was congratulated by Joseph and Jill Biden in 2007. 

Dr. al-Amoudi is a gynecologist, advocate and CEO of Sheikh Mohammed Hussien Al-Amoudi Center of Excellence in Breast Cancer in Saudi Arabia. Ranked in the 100 Most Powerful Arabs by Gulf Business Magazine.

ISS from space by NASA

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Bringing a Global Outlook & Science Diplomacy to

U.S. - MENA Relations

Quasar International Institute is an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to building understanding & building bridges. Quasar develops cooperation, collaborations, and strategic partnerships. We enhance U.S. awareness, knowledge and understanding of Arab countries, the Middle East, and the Islamic world, and we enhance MENA (Middle East and North Africa) awareness, knowledge and understanding of the U.S.

It's not our differences that divide us. It's our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences. 

Audre Lorde

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A President & A King

On February 14, 1945, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud aboard the USS Quincy. This was the beginning of the long-term historic relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. 

FDR, a Democrat, and Ibn Saud could not have been more different men, but they quickly developed a strong rapport. The King mentioned his legs were getting weaker, and FDR immediately gave him one of his two wheelchairs. The King called it his "most precious possession." The king was also treated to delicious dishes, including apple pie a la mode, which quickly became one of his favorite foods. Then FDR had the U.S. Navy cook train the King's staff how to bake a pie. FDR also refrained from smoking and drinking out of respect for Ibn Saud's religious and cultural practices, unlike Britain's leader, Winston Churchill.

 

These gestures of generosity, hospitality and cultural respect led Ibn Saud to declare "I have never met the equal of the President in character, wisdom, and gentility."  Ever since, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship that has led to stability and economic growth for decades.

What We Focus On
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Our Focus

3 Goals

  1. Peace

  2. Prosperity

  3. Sustainable Futures

3 Strategies

  1. Media & Storytelling

  2. Research & Training

  3. Strategic Partnerships

3 Sectors

  1. Health

  2. Sustainability

  3. Advanced Technologies

3 Challenges

  1. Global Health

  2. Climate Change

  3. Water & Food Security

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Culture, religion, and history are critical to building understanding and partnerships in space, sustainability and health. Appreciating each other's heritage helps people from different backgrounds and nationalities find common ground.

Diverse Disciplines But Common Vision

Quasar has expertise in:

  • Video & TV Production

  • Journalism, News Media, & Social Media

  • Outreach, Storytelling, & Marketing

  • Public Diplomacy & Soft Power

  • Peace Research & Conflict Resolution

  • Geopolitical Risk Analysis

  • Leadership Development

  • Health Technology & Innovation

  • Reforestation, Biodiversity, & Water Management

  • Regenerative Agriculture

  • Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG) Sustainability 

  • Societal Impacts & Humanitarian Issues

  • Cultural Heritage Preservation & Cross-Cultural Learning

Geopolitical factors and societal issues such as refugees, migrant and foreign workers, human trafficking, gender inclusion, and other societal and humanitarian challenges are critical to pursuing these 3 key sectors and addressing these 3 core challenges. 

The Kaaba in the center of the mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is Islam's most sacred site.

What We Do

What We Do
Media & Storytelling

Media & Storytelling

Video, TV, Media & Public Engagement

Ouasar team members bring years of experience in video and TV production, international news media, and public advocacy and marketing campaigns, as well as in event planning, social media, visual design, and storytelling. Team members have launched a public TV series called "Diplomacy-at-Risk!" featuring U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and other top U.S. diplomats, been a news commentator and analyst for France 24, created a Twitter account with over 30,000 followers, oversaw development of an innovative partnership with CNN focused on modern day slavery, planned events for Fortune 500 firms at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and hosted a press conference at the National Press Club to spotlight veterans' mental health. Our team has created impactful TV shows, compelling content, and unique stories and points of view to engage everyone from national leaders to communities and youth.

 Research & Training 

Peace, Conflict Resolution & Geopolitical Risk Research

Ouasar's team is engaged in research on peace, conflict resolution, and geopolitical risk. Dr. Zeyad Alshammari is an internationally ranked geopolitical analyst who has researched issues ranging from U.S. elections to migrant workers in MENA and the impact of COVID-19 on politics in Latin America. He has held multiple research positions, and as a college professor he teaches international relations. His book "Political Uprisings and the Arab Monarchies: The Survival of the Saudi Arabian Monarchy" is available on Amazon. Dr. Kasun Millawithanachchi is creating the first "Peace Index" for each of the 50 U.S. states, and has researched religious and sectarian violence in Sri Lanka. He partnered with Carol Loftur-Thun to present a paper on "Civil Society, NGOs, and Peace Techniques--A Comparison of U.S. and MENA Non-State Actors, Resources, and Promising Strategies" at Qatar University in Doha. Carol is writing her dissertation on "Science Diplomacy, Leadership, and Trust in Government: COVID-19 and Its Implications for Health Diplomacy, Health Security, and Conflict Resolution."

Youth Development

Drawing on our team's experiences, we provide opportunities for U.S. and MENA students and early career professionals to engage in international learning, including projects and research, as well as learn leadership skills. Quasar can assist students in learning more about U.S. Congressional internships and applying to NASA's DEVELOP program and the U.S. Department of Education's CubeSat Program. Students and young adults can learn and be prepared to help solve core challenges in water, food security, health, and climate change, as well as promote peace, prosperity, and sustainable futures, as outlined in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) .

Research & Training

Students can build tiny pico satellites with sensors, use computing software and AI, analyze geospatial imaging and other data, and participate in NASA, CubeSat & ThinSat projects.

Students also get a chance to learn about each other's heritage and culture, and gain professional experience and leadership development skills. Quasar publishes students' articles, artwork, and reports on Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, and the Middle East in its digital magazine, reports, and social media.