Near Eastern Cultural and Educational Foundation (Canada)

The Near Eastern Cultural and Educational Foundation (NECEF) is an academically oriented Canadian non-governmental organization. With an extensive international network of individual and group supporters, NECEF seeks to promote a greater understanding in Canadian society of the history, culture and contemporary situation in the Middle East, focusing on the Arab World.

The NECEF was founded in 1984 by the late Dr. James Graff, professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Elia Zureik, now professor emeritus of sociology at Queen’s University. NECEF is a volunteer based charitable organization with two broad defining objectives:

-to promote a greater understanding in Canada of the history, culture and contemporary situation in the Middle East, focusing on the Arab World;

-to fund humanitarian, educational, development and health related projects both in the region and here at home. NECEF is the first NGO founded in Canada to concern itself with education and human rights in and about the Middle East.

The organization has a long history of international involvement. NECEF served on the United Nations North American Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (NACC) from 1985 to 1998 and has been a member of the International Coordinating Committee on Palestine since its inception.