AEI is a Christian-Palestinian organization that promotes education, peace building and dialogue in the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem, Ramallah and Hebron. After the Institute’s creation in 1986 its locality in central Bethlehem was used for providing classes to Palestinian youth in a broad variety of subjects, including computer programs, business administration and languages. While being forced to intermittently close and open during the first Intifada, AEI provided complementary and remedial coaching programs for youth while schools were closed.
In 1997, AEI opened channels of communication and cooperation with the Dutch Euro-Arab Dialogue From Below initiative. In 2000 it became an affiliated branch of Pax Christi International, a Catholic peace movement formerly headed by His Beatitude Mgr. Patriarch Michel Sabbah. Afterwards, AEI developed and hosted youth and women groups which convened on weekly base. In 2007 it launched a Sumud Story House near the checkpoint/Wall in north-Bethlehem. A main project over the years has been Citizenship and Diversity: Christian-Moslem Living Together in which 30 schools from the Bethlehem and Ramallah regions cooperate to promote inter-religious education. AEI is also active in women’s and youth advocacy work in the Hebron and Bethlehem areas.
AEI’s advisory and supervising board is composed of distinguished community members. AEI works closely together with Palestinian NGOs at both a local and national level, especially in the fields of education and non-violent actions.
AEI appeals to international volunteers to share in its peace work.