Founded in 1983, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations is an American non-profit, non-governmental, educational organization dedicated to improving American knowledge and understanding of the Arab world. The Council has been granted public charity status in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
From its offices in Washington, D.C., and through the alumni of its educational programs spread all across the United States, the National Council works with sister organizations to share resources and maximize effectiveness. To this end, the Council has played a leading role in convening regular meetings of the heads of a dozen Arab-U.S. relations organizations devoted to sharing information, discussing strategies, avoiding duplication of effort, and identifying and pursuing opportunities for greater inter-organizational cooperation.
The National Council is not a membership organization. Its supporters are primarily philanthropists, individuals, and institutions in the United States and the Arab world that have hosted or participated in one or more of the Council's programs. Their involvement with the National Council often begins with a single event or activity and then, based on that experience, grows into a broader and lasting relationship based on a shared commitment to the Council's vision and mission. By following up with programmatic alumni, facilitators, hosts, sponsors, friends, and supporters, and continuously reaching out to others, the Council has steadily increased the number of people who are better informed and more actively involved in and supportive of the national dialogue on U.S.-Arab relations.
The National Council's vision is a relationship between the United States and its Arab partners, friends, and allies that rests on as solid and enduring a foundation as possible. Such a foundation, viewed from both ends of the spectrum, is one that would be characterized by strengthened and expanded strategic, economic, political, commercial, and defense cooperation ties; increased joint ventures; a mutuality of benefit; reciprocal respect for each other's heritage and values; and overall acceptance of each other's legitimate needs, concerns, interests, and objectives.
The National Council's mission is educational. It seeks to enhance American awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the Arab countries, the Mideast, and the Islamic world. Its means for doing so encompass but are not limited to programs for leadership development, people-to-people exchanges, lectures, publications, an annual Arab-U.S. policymakers conference, and the participation of American students and faculty in Arab world study experiences. As a public service, the Council also serves as an information clearinghouse and participant in national, state, and local grassroots outreach to media, think tanks, and select community, civic, educational, business, and professional associations. In these ways the Council helps strengthen and expand the overall Arab-U.S. relationship.