2014 Summit - Stanford University
2014 AMEND Fellows
Abdallah Absi is a young serial and social entrepreneur that aims at raising new generations of Arab entrepreneurs. Abdallah currently is the CEO at Zoomaal, the leading crowdfunding platform of the Arab world. Within two months of launching, Zoomaal.com raised more than $100k to four success stories and was featured on CNN, International Herald Tribune, Forbes, Booz, Wamda and others. Abdallah hopes Zoomaal.com becomes a regional supporter of creativity hubs. Abdallah also heads the board of eClub, a club that supports young and student entrepreneurs in Lebanon. He has won more than 10 awards in entrepreneurship and computer science, and was recently selected as one of Lebanon's Top 20 entrepreneurs for 2013.
An interdisciplinary musical and theatrical artist focusing on the performing arts as peace building and social change practices, Asif Majid is a graduate student in Georgetown University's Conflict Resolution program. He received his self-designed BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from UMBC, graduating valedictorian while concentrating on Global Peace Building and Conflict Management. While at UMBC, Asif was awarded a Boren Scholarship for research and study in Morocco. This resulted in a self-published book, This Moroccan Life, which interrogated local issues of social justice such as sexual harassment and torture memory through the writing of an original Brechtian play; Asif later starred in and directed productions of This Moroccan Life. Currently, he is working on a play that uses transitions to weave together Islam, immigration, alcoholism, and the hijab. Beyond Georgetown, Asif aims to use the arts in the interconnected contexts of narrative, storytelling, conflict transformation, peacebuilding, and broader social change.
Ayd is a Palestinian refugee from Gaza who grew up in Amman, Jordan. He was born on August 25, 1988, in Cairo, Egypt. There were few well-known role models around while Ayd was growing up, but he did not let that stop him from dreaming big, aiming high, and working hard toward achieving his goals. From his earliest childhood, he showed cleverness and a lot of social intelligence. He used to wonder and question how things were designed, work, and interact with each other and damaged multiple home appliances exploring the answers to his questions. Luckily, his parents encouraged those interests to let him grow responsibly. Ayd feels responsible to his country and its youth. He has become a hyperactive community volunteer and activist; spreading innovation, seeding good, and dreaming of a better world. He now works primarily on Trip to Innovation (TTI). TTI is an idea accelerator that aims to create a platform to support "innovation" and “entrepreneurship” among Jordanian youth. TTI works by providing the youth community with needed tools (knowledge, mentorship, communications and guidance) to improve their creative thinking ability and accelerate their business performance and more even their business skills.
Corey graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Huntsman Program in 2012 with degrees in Business and International Studies. After spending a summer studying in Jordan, he co-founded Dorm Room Diplomacy to connect American and Middle Eastern college students via online videoconferencing. Helping them to see beyond reductionist stereotypes, Dorm Room Diplomacy hosts virtual dialogue groups in which students discuss topics including personal narratives, minority rights, American foreign policy, the Israeli-Palestinian confl ict, and the role of news media, among others.
Corey currently studies Law and Finance at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar and recently finished reading for a Masters in International Development at the London School of Economics. Corey is also a Truman Scholar and has past work experience at Goldman Sachs and the White House. When not in class, Corey can be found flying on the trapeze in Regent's Park, planning his next scuba diving adventure, or searching for the best burger in London.
Dana Khaled Almedallah
Dana is a second year medical student at the University of Dammam who is highly interested in the intersection between Neuro-science and Computer Science. She has won several awards and scholarships from her participation in several research activities and programs both locally and internationally such as SRSI (Saudi Research Science Institute) and Google Science Fair. She has has also been named a Global Teen Leader by the We Are Family Foundation, for starting her initiative that aims to empower Saudi girls to become contributors to their society and a member of a global community through volunteer work. Lately, Dana has successfully reached beyond Saudi by fundraising to build wells in Africa to provide poor people with access to clean water and by helping to build a school in rural Zambia to create a platform for gender equality into the education system for both girls and boys. She has also successfully organized two TEDxKFUPMGirlsSchool in her school and is currently working to organize TEDxDammamUniversity in her University.
One Hand One Heart is a non-profit organization led by young girls from different countries to empower Saudi girls to become contributors to their society and a member of a global community through volunteer work. It cooperates with the schools and universities in both Saudi Arabia and the USA to give free-courses about essential skills such as leadership skills, entrepreneurship and creative thinking and share them via live-broadcasts to reach hundreds of girls around the world. One Hand One Heart also organizes campaigns and events about world-wide issue to search for the talented girls and fund their projects to help them grow and find their place in the world. One Hand One Heart has successfully organized several lectures to be given by Saudi girls to classes in the USA, allowing them to speak about their achievements and culture to suppress the misleading stereotypical image that was created by the media about Saudi girls. One Hand One Heart wants to become the premier source for inspiring the youth around the world by advocating for peace and gender-equality.
Eyal Feder is the Director of Artistic Activities in "The Garden Library" - a unique cultural-community center in South Tel Aviv which services the wide variety of migrant communities living in the area - providing educational, cultural and social needs. Eyal is also a student in “The Adi Lautman Program for Outstanding Students” at Tel Aviv University, majoring in Computer Science and Urban Planning with a special interest in the field of "Smart cities". His experience with social activism started at the age of 18, when he postponed his military service to go on "Shnat Sheirut" - a year of volunteering in Israel's periphery. Following, Eyal served 5 years as an officer in the Israeli intelligence force, receiving personal letter of merit from head of Israeli intelligence. In his spear time, Eyal is also a local music journalist, blogger, and fan, and has produced many independent music events, including "Central Station Festival" an independent local music festival in Tel Aviv's run-down main bus depot.
For the last two years he has been a leading part in a unique project called “The Garden Library”. The Garden Library is a community cultural and educational center in the south Tel Aviv neighborhood of Neve Shaanan, which services hundreds of residents of this under-privileged and multi-cultural borough – famous for being a hub for communities of African refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers. It is operated by some 100 volunteers and, in addition to an active library, includes a children's after-school program, an active academic center, artist encouragement programs and a variety of cultural events and courses open to the public.
Karim Kamel is an Egyptian-American. He is a Middle East Next Generation Arms Control Specialists Network Fellow. His current work with the Network is focused on launching online arms control and nonproliferation courses for the Middle East and promoting them throughout the region. Karim attended the American University in Cairo, then received his B.A. from San Jose State with a major in political science and a minor in biology. He later received his M.A. from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies. Karim has worked for prominent international organizations and think tanks in the arms control world, including the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization, the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs and James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. He currently resides in Cairo, where he is working on promoting the Middle East Arms Control Courses in Egypt and throughout the whole region.
As a member of the Middle East Next Generation Arms Control and Nonproliferation Specialists Network, Karim is currently taking part in promoting arms control education in the Middle East. This group of young arms control specialists from the Middle East aspires to promote a culture of cooperative security through arms control education. This project aims to develop online training material in Arabic, Turkish, Farsi and Hebrew and also introduce arms control and nonproliferation courses to universities. Karim believes that promoting arms control norms on a grassroots level can positively affect building a robust nonproliferation regime in the Middle East, and pave the way towards establishing a Middle East Zone Free of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Lamia Bazir is a 24-year-old Moroccan graduate student at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She is a fellow of the American Association of University Women and the Resolution Project. Lamia was also a graduate student at Sciences Po Paris, where she studied International Development and specialized in the Middle East. During her undergraduate studies, she was student Valedictorian at Al Akhawayn University (Morocco), where she earned a Bachelor's degree in International Studies - obtained with Summa Cum Laude. Elected representative of her class, she delivered the graduation speech “We are all potential heroes” in 2012. Lamia speaks four languages: English, Arabic, French, and Spanish, she is also learning Tamazight. Lamia is interested in participative development, politics, and international relations. She participated in international conferences at the UN, the UNESCO, the ISA and other forums in Dubai, London, Tunisia, Paris, Singapore and the USA. Last but not least, she is also the founder of the social resolution “Empowering Women in the the Atlas”, that aims to help the population of a small village of the Middle Atlas to improve their conditions of life, by empowering women- who she regards as “key poverty fighters”.
In 2011, she founded “Empowering Women in The Atlas” (EWA) in a village of the Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco. This multidimensional project addresses political, gender, and development related issues in the MENA. It also connects marginalized people from rural Morocco to partners in the US; thereby embodying a beautiful and genuine partnership, one that transcends political agendas. This social venture is particularly relevant to the spirit of the AMENDS as it deeply challenges the victimization narratives that are often imposed on the women of her region.
Lior Lapid is a social-entrepreneur, focusing on Education, Technology, Human-rights and Leadership Development. When he was 16 years old he founded "Ore to Excellence", a non-profit organization aimed to promote striving for excellence and volunteerism in Israel's periphery. Today, 10 years later, he works as Ore's Executive Director. He is also a member of "Seeds of Peace" and attended the international program both as a camper (when he was 14 and 16 years old) and as an educator (when he was 25 years old). Lior holds a Law Degree (LL.B.) from Tel Aviv University, and attended an international educators course in Harvard University.
Mahmoud Bader is a lawyer and legal reform activist in Libya. Bader is currently doing his masters degree in International law from Cairo University. He finished his Bachelor in Law focusing on international law from Tripoli University in Libya. Bader main emphasis is on rule of law, human rights, and access to justice issues. He is working in Libya with local and international organizations to build a more tolerant society incorporating the ideas and political participation of the country’s youth while building concrete foundations of rule of law in Libya. Bader is currently working as the American Bar Association Rule of Law project manager. Bader is a co-founder of the Libyan civil society organization H2O that was established in 2011 during the Libyan revaluation to help raise public awareness and participation in the political and democratic transitional phase. In his early work with H20, Mahmoud created a project called "eye on the congress" which started with the launch of the GNC in 2012. the objective of this project is to observe the functionality of the GNC .
Dana Amr is a 26-year-old Palestinian lawyer, women’s advocate and peace activist. Dana graduated from Al Quds University in Palestine with a bachelors degree in law. She has worked on women’s empowerment and youth development projects funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Palestine. Dana has engaged in many international youth seminars in Europe and Middle East, and is also participating in many Palestinian-Israeli forums aimed at promoting justice and peace in the region. She has a deep belief in the potential of Arab women and is committed to advocating the rights, empowerment, and equality of women in Palestine and in all countries worldwide.
Mohammad Abu Musa
Mohammad Abu Musa is a brother of nine sisters who all suffered from not getting proper professional education due to traditions, distance and costs of such education. Before starting Qayrwan he created a software outsourcing company with friends of his, and joined Daimler Financial Services in Berlin, Germany as an intern. Qayrwan.com is a platform that provides free professional online courses for women by women in the topics management, engineering, languages, and IT. Qayrwan.com won the first place in MENA 100 business plan competition after five months of Mohammad’s graduation from university to become the youngest winner of the competition. On a personal level, he loves oriental music, playing cards, and running.
Mostafa is an engineering graduate. He transferred his career to entrepreneurship once he received a scholarship from the US Department of State to study Social Entrepreneurship at Connecticut University, USA. He studied entrepreneurship with IIE (International Institute Education), and Mostafa was an intern at the Ashoka Arab World Venture office. His interest in entrepreneurship has led him to participate in, “Green and sustainable Entrepreneurship” at Austrian Cultural Forum, and Green Entrepreneurship &Eco-Design part of Egypt Green Days “Empowering Change makers” at AUC, “Entrepreneurial Development” at DAAD.
Mostafa’s project GOL’s vision is changing the idea of “the traditional training” by helping the participants to expand their horizons, share experiences, socialize, and gain networks to be qualified candidate for job market. GOL has trained 2500 students in various career development tracks from business and fundraising to social media and public relations.
Mustafa Khayat is a passionate freelance photographer from Iraq who blends his creativity into every aspect of his life. He is currently an architecture student preparing for his final year at the University of Cihan in Iraq. Mustafa is the owner of an Interior design store in Erbil. He has also been one of the first volunteers on Tedx Erbil as a media team leader while working on many aspects of graphic design and photography. In 2011 he worked on a workshop with UNESCO. In the workshop he worked as the assistant editor and the English, Kurdish and Arabic translator, while being involved in the teaching of the photojournalists how to capture stories from the Iraqi culture. For his work and dedication he was presented with an appreciation award by the first lady of Iraq. In 2011, he participated in the Iraqi Young Leadership Exchange Program in the United States. There, he improved his leadership skills by working on projects and community work. He believes that the most important part about community is the young generation and we need to give back to the community by any way we can, which in his case, by organizing classes and teaching photography.
Through his extensive photography work, Mustafa would like to showcase locally made goods and local craftsmen have to complete on a global scale to sell their traditional products.
Rachel Sider, a senior at Middlebury College, is actively committed to addressing issues of migration in the Middle East and beyond. For the past year she has been deeply involved in research related to the societal and political implications of the Syrian refugee crisis in Syria’s neighbors, and founded her own project, Empowering Voices, to address the demographic and social challenges facing Syrians as they seek refuge in Jordan. Through the work of Empowering Voices, she has worked to foster a network of artistic activists who raise awareness and promote dialogue about the Syrian civil war within Jordanian society using public art exhibitions and programs. In addition, Rachel has extended her passion for this work to the domestic level, advocating in the United States for increased humanitarian aid and global response to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, which has affected much of the region politically, economically, and socially. Her experience promoting social justice in whatever community she inhabits prepares her well for a career in international development and refugee assistance.
Sayed Suleiman Amanzad
Suleiman Amanzad was born in Bamiyan, Afghanistan in 1994. While in high school he was granted a scholarship to study one-year of high school in Texas, United States as an exchange student. After graduating high school he was granted a one-year long training to study citizen journalism and documentary making at Afghan Voices in Kabul.
Currently Suleiman Amanzad is a student at American university of Afghanistan, working as creative director for Rumi consultancy, a founding member of Afghanistan New Generation Organization and a volunteer managing director for Sarak-e-Awal (helping street kids of Kabul).
Suleiman is a founding member of the Afghanistan New Generation Organization, a youth led organization visioning to create a wide network of youth activists across Afghanistan. The idea behind ANGO is to bring youth under one umbrella through social activism, volunteerism, social media and citizen journalism.
Zack is currently a junior at the University of Pennsylvania pursuing a BA in Political Science. He spent a summer studying Arabic at ALIF in Fez, Morocco and is an avid soccer and tennis player.
Zack met Corey Metzman, another AMENDS delegate and Dorm Room Diplomacy co-founder, almost three years ago. Since then, Zack has held a number of positions within the organization and became President of Dorm Room Diplomacy’s International Board over a year ago.
Zack Levine is the President of Dorm Room Diplomacy, a nonprofit that uses virtual exchange and other online technologies to connect college students from the West and Middle East. Providing students with unique perspective and an unparalleled twenty-first century educational experience, Dorm Room Diplomacy utilizes facilitated face-to-face dialogue to foster mutual understanding and respect.
Abdelkrim Boublouh, is a fifth year student in Business Management. He spends his time volunteering, working on entrepreneurial projects, and training in karate. He has recently founded a campus organization called Students Ambassadors for Peace - Agadir Chapter (SAP – Agadir), an international organization based in 13 countries. This chapter is a model which provides students with a network to exchange ideas about contributing to community development; it is a platform for young motivated students allowing them to share their skills.
His future project will be a medical caravan. He will collaborate with a medical organization and ask doctors and nurses to help in order to give a hand to people from remote villages. The area the event will be organized is an old primary school that contains four classrooms we will use as rooms for medical treatments. One will be used for children circumcision surgery, the second one for general medical treatments, the third as a pharmacy where medicines will be given for free, and the last room will be used to gather illiterate women from the villages, and sensitize them to the protection from sexually transmi\ed diseases.
Aya Chebbi is a young Tunisian blogger, women's advocate and peace activist. She worked on youth development projects at the Danish Program Office in Tunisia and elections monitoring for 2012 Presidential Elections at the Carter Center in Egypt. She has also been a Global Changmaker, AIESECer, Red Crescent volunteer, WISE Learner of Qatar Foundation, Soliya Facilitator on conflict resolution and Peer Educator on HIV/AIDS.
Following Tunisia’s revolution, she has been widely speaking about social movements worldwide for conferences and rallies in the United States, Canada, Poland, Turkey, Kenya and South Africa among other countries. In 2011, following her graduation in English and International relations, she was awarded the MENA Democracy Fellows Scholarship from the World Affairs Institute where she interned at US congressional offices and Hudson Institute Think Tank. In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship at Georgia Southern University, where she intertwined her experience as an Arabic teacher and student focusing on the promotion of cultural understanding through language teaching.
In 2013, Aya was named as one of Africa's 28 most Outstanding Women Leaders by the Moremi Institute. Currently, she is Africa and Middle East Youth Coordinator at World Peace Foundation, an international organization that promotes peace worldwide, co-founder of the Voice of Women Initiative and Co-chair of the Youth Advisory Group of CIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen Participation. For her current project, Aya is working on a documentary showcasing Tunisian and American youth, artists and activists.
Banu Ibrahim Ali is an IT (Information Technology) graduate from the American University of Iraq - Slemani. She is currently working at (Hiwa Foundation) a Non-Profit Organization in the city of Slemani. Banu is also one of the organizers of Startup Weekend Slemani (SWS), which is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful venture. Banu is an alumni of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP) in the United States in summer 2009, International Youth Forum Seliger 2010 in Russia, and National Model United Nations (NMUN) in New York in March 2013, as well as a member of the Awat Newspaper, the only English Independent Newspaper in Iraq. She believes in “Do what you love and the rest will come.” To achieve this, she is currently working on her startup with a co-founder to fulfill a very big gap in the community of Kurdistan/ Iraq, which is e-commerce. Apart from this, she is also working to attract women to the world of business and encourage them to do what they love by building their own businesses.
Her project, ifrosh.com is a B2C e-commerce website that is a technology based idea. The main purpose is to create a platform where buyers and sellers can communicate while they purchase or sell a good.
Daniel Tavana is a Research Associate at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). Before joining POMED, Daniel worked in Cairo, Egypt, as a consultant for members of the Egyptian Constituent Assembly. He has worked on security and governance issues for a variety of government agencies, including the Departments of State, Defense, and Treasury. Daniel has master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he worked at the Belfer Center and co-founded the Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy. Daniel’s research focuses on the relationship between foreign assistance and democratization in the Middle East. He speaks Farsi, and his articles on the Middle East have been published by Global Public Square at CNN, the Atlantic Council, and the Carnegie Endowment.
Eric Reidy is a freelance journalist based in Ramallah. He has written for Al-Jazeera English, Wamda and the Culture Trip. Last year, he lived in Beirut and worked for the Samir Kassir Center for Media and Cultural Freedom (SKeyes).
While with SKeyes, Eric conducted research on Beirut’s cultural scene and its role in public life. His work resulted in the publication of a mini-book titled “A Fractured Mirror: Beirut’s Cultural Scene and the Search for Identity”. He is currently conducting similar research in Palestine .
In his AMENDS Talk, Eric will talk about the importance of cultural activity in reflecting and challenging social, economic, and political realities in the Middle East as well as dreaming of alternative possibilities for the future. The talk will be drawn from his work in Beirut and the project he is currently undertaking in Palestine.
Eric graduated in 2012 from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Philosophy in American History and International and Area Studies with a concentration in the Middle East.
A graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Grace Benton is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Arab Studies at Georgetown University. She is a research assistant at the Institute for the Study of International Migration, where she holds the position of Secretariat of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration Grace was awarded a Fulbright English Language Teaching Assistantship to Jordan in 2011-12, during which she taught 9th grade English and help to found a night school program for marginalized urban refugee populations in Amman. In the spring of 2010, Grace was a Clinton Scholar at the American University of Dubai. Grace’s research interests include forced displacement and migration in the Arab world, international education, and development.
Grace’s project focuses on changing the portrayals of refugees in the media as numbers or helpless victims Drawing from her multi-stage project in Jordan in May 2013, she is creating teaching units for American students structured around stories taped and told by refugees themselves. She hopes to expand the project to different settings (camp or other urban areas) or perhaps alterations to the project in order to more effectively to provide refugees with a medium for expression and American students with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of global displacement issues beyond the popular discourse.
Kevin Pham is currently a Ph.D student at the University of California, Riverside where he studies political theory and conflict. He received his B.A. in political science from UC Irvine in 2010. Having had friends with very different perspectives on the Israel-Palestine conflict, he wanted to learn more about it, so at UCI he helped develop the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI).
OTI is a university-based program that provides students, faculty and community participants with the education, training and experiences needed to better understand, negotiate and resolve conflicts. Every summer since 2008, OTI has sent a delegation of a diverse group of students from US universities to conflict regions for a '360 degree multi-biased experiential education.' For three weeks, they cross mental and physical borders daily, engaging with political leaders, as as well as civil society community leaders, activists, academics, bereaved parents, and more on the many sides of the issues. Upon their return, they continue their leadership, sharing what they learned through critical engagement with their peers. He is currently OTI's alumni director, and coordinates a growing network of over 200 youth leaders from 8 universities who have gone on its educational trips to the Middle East (Israel, Palestine and Jordan) or the South Caucusus (Turkey and Armenia).
In 2011, he lived in the Netherlands for one year, completing a M.Sc in Conflict Resolution and Governance at the University of Amsterdam through a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. While in Amsterdam, he conducted research for his master's thesis on how Dutch teachers respond to issues of school segregation between Dutch natives and Moroccan and Turkish immigrants. He hopes to be a professor and to expand the model of education used by the Olive Tree Initiative.
Lena Bruce is a sophomore at Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is studying for her Bachelor of Law and is expecting to graduate in 2016. She considers Turkey to be her home but in having a Turkish mother and Swedish father, she has always had one foot in Sweden. This has allowed her to develop both an interest in and critical eye towards Turkish politics and social issues. In university, this interest expanded to the more general MENA region, and she has been actively participating in various student-led initiatives geared towards change, specifically in the Middle Eastern region. Most recently, she has been working on a Turkish-Armenian peace initiative as part of the Koç University Social Impact Forum (KUSIF).
Through participating in various projects focused on this same region, she has come to realize that while the content of these projects varies, the passion and determination of the participants are resoundingly exceptional and consistent. That is why when a new project came along that offered to create a platform where youth change makers from all over the world came together to share this passion and knowledge, she readily ventured to lead it. This project was in fact the Koç University branch of AMENDS. Through leading this initiative Lena has now made it her goal to contribute to the formation of a sustainable and interactive network of youth leaders, which she believes is one of the key factors in ensuring development and change in the Middle East.
Maha Laziri is from Morocco. She currently lives in Philadelphia where she is reading for a masters in International Educational Development at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to that she went to Al Akhawayn University in Morocco where she graduated with a Bachelors in International studies. Her area of concentration was International Development and cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa.
She founded, along with family and friends, Teach4Morocco. A Moroccan non-governmental that serves the cause of education notably in the most remote areas of Morocco. So far, the organization focused on the development of the infrastructure of remote schools in the High Atlas. Currently, Teach4Morocco is aiming at developing programs in early childhood education. Teach4Morocco's experience allowed Maha to deepen her understanding of issues related to marginalization, equality and equity in education. Therefore, she conducted research on marginalization in education, conditional cash transfers and human development in Morocco as well as massive open online courses ( MOOCs) and the right to education. She is currently undergoing a research on multilingualism, disglossia and education in Morocco.
Maya is a social and civil activist with a particular interest in corporate social responsibility. Having always been perplexed by the paradox of so many people going hungry when there’s so much wasted food, she became a food activist and co-founded in 2012 ‘foodblessed’, a local hunger-relief initiative which works with businesses and civil society to reduce the number of people going hungry in Lebanon by asking them to be more mindful of the food they let go to waste and offering them with practical solutions.
Maya Terro is a candidate for the upcoming Lebanese parliamentary elections after having won a new political reality TV show in Lebanon called ‘The Leader.’ Chosen from around 1200 applicants she joined 14 other young, aspiring politicians for a two and a half month period, which saw them navigate through a series of political and leadership challenges and trainings for the winning prize; a fully funded election campaign to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections, and is now running as an independent candidate in Beirut.
Mamoun is a Syrian Student in the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. He is pursuing a degree in Political studies and hopes to continue in international law after he graduates. Mamoun was part of his University's Delegation to various MUN forums around the world.
Mamoun helped found an organization to support Syrian Refugees in Lebanon. In November 2012 the initiative was started with support only being given to 7 families. By July of 2013, the hand in hand project for displaced Syrians was supporting 350 families in Beirut. Food, blankets, diapers and powdered milk would be distributed. Additionally Hand in Hand provides tutors to schools to help Syrian children integrate into the Lebanese curriculum. Hand in Hand exists thanks to its devoted volunteers, simple fundraisers in universities and schools, and a small network of global donors.
Oday has worked on food matters over the past six years. He has collaborated with UN agencies, government bodies, academia and restaurants to resolve some of the more pressing issues underlying food security around the globe. Oday is a Global Shaper at the World Economic forum and a Chevening scholar in Middle Eastern studies at Oxford University.
He is currently working with the Egyptian government to improve country’s bread subsidy scheme. The current project in collaboration with the British Council aims to tackle this issue from within. Previous studies have majorly focused on the macro and technical side of the Egyptian bread subsidy scheme with breakthroughs in crop research, genetically modified seeds and improved supply chains recorded by organizations such as the World Bank, IMF and World Food Programme.
However, problems pertaining to corruption and conflicts of interests still persist. With this project, we are attempting to conduct a more micro approach to the issue by unpacking the “black box”. That is, we are trying to identify the middle men and non-conventional actors in the bread subsidy scheme to better tackle the amount of waste(~30%), rent loss and nepotism in the Egyptian bread subsidy scheme. Oday and another researcher in this project have already spent three months in Egypt collecting data and structuring the supply chain.
Over the coming two years, we aim to create a working group that includes representatives of these non-conventional stakeholder categories in major Egyptian provinces to encourage a roundtable discussion. This will be hosted in a setting that is and would be working towards helping Egypt better address its food security problems and bread waste.
Radidja Nemar is a French born Algerian who grew up between both countries. She holds two undergraduate degrees in Law, Philosophy and Arabic and a Masters in International and European Law. Currently, she is enrolled in a PhD in Public International Law at the University Paul Cézanne Aix-Marseille III. During the course of her PhD, she has undertaken two visiting research stints at University of Oxford and also received the Fulbright Scholarship enabling her to pursue a year at Yale Law School.
The primary focus areas of Radidja’s research are Human Rights Law, Law of War and transitional justice in Algeria, Iraq and Afghanistan. She has both authored a number of publications on these subjects and presented at conferences and seminars. She speaks French, Arabic, English, Spanish and a basic level of Persian, Hebrew and Urdu.
The idea for her current project which is in its initial stages was sparked off since she began working a few years ago with shelters for women victims of violence in Algiers, especially those who were victims of the Civil War violence. Her project aims to build centers that offer a holistic approach to helping female victims of violence. It is part of a larger project to propose a civilian and civil society centred approach of post-conflict reconstruction.
Youcef is a Moroccan Web entrepreneur. He is the CEO & Co-Founder of Evento, which organizes the GeekFtour. GeekFtour aims to gather web communities, to share the iftar during Ramadan, network and watch Ignite talks. Over 1500 persons have attended to the GeekFtour over the p ast years in Morocco and Algeria. The goal is to launch the GeekFtour in new countries each year and become the largest web conference and event over the arab countries. Youcef is also the CTO of WeLoveBuzz which features breaking buzz and funny stories on the internet.
Ahmed Saleh is a native Palestinian refugee lives in Gaza. He graduated from the IUG as the top student for 2013/Accounting class. When he was an undergraduate student he gained several excellence scholarships. One was a fully- funded scholarship sponsored by the US Department of State, to spend his junior year at SUNY Cobleskill as an exchange student, where he was entitled the cultural ambassador for his country Palestine; he presented his people culture in various ways; presentations, speeches, and even cooking.
Ahmed firmly believes in the quote “You Believe, You Achieve”. Therefore in his sophomore year in 2010, he cofounded the Accountants & Managers Facebook page for the business students at IUG to socially interact as well as exchange knowledge, experiences and networks. Furthermore, he participated in several conferences addressing topic such as Leadership, Politics, and Human Right. He is also a founding member of the Global Ambassador Network at SUNY Cobleskill.
Currently, Ahmed is working in the Finance Department at PALTEL Inc.- a top corporation in Palestine. Additionally, he is working as a teaching assistant at IUG. He believes that we are leaders of today rather the leaders of tomorrow.
His initiative “One Drop Saving…For Life Lasting” is about conducting an awareness campaign about water leakage inside houses in Gaza. the initiative aims to explain how easily water can leak and how easier we can stop the leakage in the house’s water pumps. The initiative will achieve the three goals of environmental protection, Women and Youth Empowerment in parallel; through raising the public awareness about water leakage inside houses, Empowering women by teaching them how to deal with water leakage, and building the capacity of the youth to conduct workshops and field visits to houses.