Mideast Teens Get View of U.S.

ph20070615020931.jpg(Tara Bahrampour - Washington Post) Sixteen-year-old Ali Assiri's Mohawk haircut doesn't look strange in Las Vegas, where until last week he played guitar in a punk band called The Latest End.

But it's going to look bizarre in Kuwait, where he's about to return after almost a year away.

"They're going to see me as a weird person, but I don't care," he said. "It's, like, my thing."

If that sounds like classic American teenager, it may be because Ali is one of about 650 Middle Eastern high school students who this month are wrapping up a 10-month exchange program in the United States sponsored by the State Department.  The program aims to improve U.S. relations with a volatile part of the world, and the exchange students play the role of young ambassadors.

  • Read the rest of this article from the Washington Post here.