Founded in 2006 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with its headquarters established in Beirut, Lebanon, the Foundation is led by its own Board of Trustees, chaired by Prince Turki Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, and consists of a wide range of high profile personalities from the region, the League of Arab States, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mentor International, representatives from the Foundation’s Youth and Scientific committees along with leading specialists from various fields.
Our work spreads across 22 Arab countries, defined as members of the Arab League, with an estimated population of 320 million, 50 percent of which are under the age of 15. These countries are: Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Yemen, Djibouti, Somalia and Comoros Islands.
Why were we founded?
Mentor Arabia was established in response to the recommendations of an Arab and international scientific forum which took place in Dubai in 2004. The forum hosted a significant number of government and civil institutions, international and regional financial institutions, representatives from the United Nations, along with other representatives of youth, parents, educators, media and academics, all of whom called for the establishment of an Arab institution which would contribute to supporting and strengthening efforts aimed at repelling the spread of the drug phenomenon, which is affecting the well-being of Arab youth.
Limited studies issued by the UN, indicate that there are more than 500,000 drug addicts in the Arab world. Other studies showed that drug use among people aged between 15 and 24 is growing in 13 Arab countries. What was even more alarming were the findings that indicated an evident spread of the drug phenomenon among children aged 11 to 14, and among young girls in a number of Arab countries.
Poverty, unemployment, school drop-out, migration, war, disintegration, domestic violence, poor prospects for youth participation in decision-making, among other issues, were all essential justifications behind the establishment of an Arab foundation focusing mainly on issues of drug prevention and awareness among children and youth.