NASEF’s MENAcraft™ gathers young people from the United States and the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) in a safe, neutral, and inspiring online community, blending play and learning for a cultural and language exchange.

By creating scholastic esports clubs, learning from STEM professionals, playing team games, and building in Minecraft, participants develop key skills with an understanding of how those translate into workforce opportunities. They interact with peers around the world, building empathy and cross-cultural understanding as they cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship experience.

The following regions will be participating in MENAcraft™:

US States:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio

MENA Countries:

  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Palestinian Territories
  • United Arab Emirates

Join MENAcraft and NASEF here!

(Must have been invited by a US State or MENA Country lead) 

Join MENAcraft

If you are interested in joining MENAcraft, please email Include your name, the name of your school or organization, and the US city and state or MENA city/province and country. We will attempt to match you with an approved Adult Facilitator and Country Lead. 

Meet our country/state leads!

Aidar Abdullin

Kuwait Lead

Angelique Gianas

California Lead

Ashley Price

Ohio Lead/US Lead

Ido Brosh

Israel Lead

Jeanna Dawson

Georgia Lead


Jim McKowen

New Jersey Lead

Tammy Neil

Florida Lead

Timeline of Events (Cohort 1)

  • June 2nd & 8th: Training for Country & State Leads
  • June 2nd: Registration Period
  • June 20th: Local Program Orientations
  • Local Schedule: Local Community Game Sessions
  • June 24th: Facilitation Workshop Livestream
  • June 28th: Minecraft Monument & Flag Challenge
  • June 30th: Speaker Series #1 Livestream:
    * Sari Kitelyn: Director of Esports + Project Development for Full Sail University
    * Cory Vincent: NRG - Vice President Integrated Solutions and San Francisco Shock - Vice President
    * Paul Michael Santoro (Pauly Hype): Host, Commentator, Emcee | Pro Gamer, Rabies '04-'15 | Collegiate Halo Player '22 | Streamer
  • July 12th: Community Game Session
  • July 14th: Speaker Series #2 Livestream
  • July 19th: Minecraft Storytelling Challenge
  • July 21st: Community Game Session
  • July 26th: Share Minecraft Flipgrids & BTG Submissions on Livestream
  • July 28th: Townhall Live Chat in Discord
  • Due August 2nd: Post Assessment

Submit Challenge #1: "The Story of You" below

On June 21, 2022, the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative (Stevens Initiative) announced that the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) is one of the Initiative’s newest grantees to receive funding for virtual exchanges between young people in the United States and the Middle East and North Africa. Read the press release here.

NASEF MENAcraft is supported by the Stevens Initiative, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government, and is administered by the Aspen Institute. The Stevens Initiative is also supported by the Bezos Family Foundation and the governments of Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.