Equipping clients to successfully operate in Arab and Islamic contexts worldwide.


Custom-designed, client-specific teaching, training, and advising of unparalleled quality for those working with clients and associates from Arab and Islamic backgrounds worldwide. We don't do "one size fits all." We create what you need and deliver it on-site, wherever you are around the globe.

Cross-cultural Training

Empowering global employees with the practical skills and culturally-specific knowledge necessary to facilitate respectful and effective social and business interactions across cultures.

Relocation Coaching

Equipping expatriating transferees and their families with adjustment strategies for living and working internationally, as well as successfully managing their careers in the new work environment.

Site & Market Expansion

Consulting and advising for entities of all types wishing to expand their operations into new markets across the Middle East and North Africa region.

Strategic Communications

Consulting on the creation and deployment of counter-narratives and alternative views of Islam for countering violent extremism from their initial development through their real-world implementation.

Seminars & Courses

Teaching on Islam, the Middle East, and global humanitarian aid responses and issues to civic groups, government agencies, faith-based and nongovernmental organizations, and high school and college students.

Philanthropic Advising

Conduct research and due diligence on prospective grantees in the Middle East and North Africa region for U.S.-based philanthropists and grant-making foundations.

Real-world experience, to inspire and guide.

Our expertise does not come from behind a desk or in a classroom, but through decades of real-world experience operating in urban slums and refugee camps, political hotspots, and conflict zones worldwide. We understand deeply and viscerally the challenges faced in these contexts and are 100% confident in our ability to help others overcome and thrive.


J.D. Pitts

J.D. Pitts

Founder & Principal Advisor

J.D. Pitts is Founder and Principal Advisor for Ahlan International, a firm specializing in equipping clients to successfully operate in Arab and Islamic contexts worldwide. Prior to founding Ahlan International, J.D. lived for 15 years in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Sudan, Yemen, and Mauritania. While there, his professional experience included both the education and business sectors, as well as over a decade of deep involvement in humanitarian work ranging from small, grassroots operations to large-scale, UN-managed operations.

J.D. acquired additional expertise into the interconnectedness of poverty and violent extremism, and gained street-level knowledge into Islamic jihadist ideology, from living for years in Hamas-controlled Palestinian refugee camps, Muslim Brotherhood-dominated slums, and other Salafi-inspired communities — areas that are breeding grounds and safe-havens for terrorist organizations. His visceral understanding has made him a strong advocate that U.S. Government counterterrorism strategy should focus heavily on poverty alleviation and economic development initiatives combined with robust counter-narratives that provide alternative views to violent jihadist ideology, and equipped him to provide real-world, practical solutions to individuals and teams whose missions take them into areas where terrorist organizations operate.

He has academic degrees in Arab and Islamic studies, is proficient in multiple dialects of Arabic, and has successfully been advising and training expatriates relocating to and working in the Middle East and North Africa region since the early 2000's. J.D.'s diversified work experience across multiple sectors, intimate knowledge and deep understanding of Arab and Islamic culture, and proven track record of overcoming the challenges of living in a new country and culture in order to thrive professionally and personally uniquely qualify him to advise and train in ways very few others can.

Originally from Northeast Tennessee, J.D. is equally happy and at home in large Middle Eastern capitals, small town Appalachia, and on the North Carolina coast where he and his family currently reside.


Arabic Speakers Worldwide


Muslims Worldwide


Muslim-majority Countries Worldwide

Get In Touch

Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

+1 910.742.0163