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Meet 3 Fellows You'll Be Hearing A Lot About In 2016

World leading platform for social entrepreneurship, Ashoka Arab World, has just announced their new fellows.

World leading platform for social entrepreneurship, Ashoka Arab World, has just announced their new fellows: three social entrepreneurs entering a global community of change-makers whose work is boosted through the organisation’s support, and will likely invade the social landscape throughout 2016.

Bringing the travel experience to Egypt’s most deprived communities, Raphaelle Ayach is humanising intercultural relationships for children and helping shape an empathetic generation. Her initiative, Safarni, offers virtual travelling workshops, where children get in touch with different cultures, seeing their landscapes, listening to their music, tasting their cuisine, and playing their games. By doing so, Ayach breaks the cycle of elitism that is associated with opportunities for geographical mobility, exposure, and intercultural experiences.

The second fellow, Usama Ghazali, is the man behind Kenouz Yadaweya, a social business implementing a context-specific, need-based, three-pronged movement of empowering local craftsmen in Egyptian communities, based on preserving cultural identities. Since 2002, Ghazali travelled across Egypt, co-existing with the diverse local Egyptian communities, tribes, and ethnicities, in his attempt to understand their problems. Through this online platform, Ghazali is building social capital and full economic citizenship among local communities by preserving local indigenous craftsmanship skills that revive the sense of pride in the local Egyptian heritage and identity, while connecting local people to the Egyptian market.

Focusing on the Levant region of the Arab World, Saed Karzoun is shifting mindsets and empowering youth, focusing on both short-term survival issues and long-term solutions for the general community's prosperity. Through workshops and trainings, Karzoun is creating a movement where citizens can have a more active role in public life. His online platform, You Know, connects these empowered citizens to news outlets, decision-makers, and private institutions, both providing access to information for citizens and increasing accountability for politicians.

Just like Ayach, Ghazali, and Karzoun, a community of over 3,000 social entrepreneurs all over the world work under the guidance of Ashoka. Dr. Iman Bibars, Vice President of Ashoka Global and Regional Director of Ashoka Arab World, explains that fellows are chosen based on five main criteria, "innovative ideas, demonstrated creativity, entrepreneurial qualities, clear social impact, and ethical fibre."

For insights on Ashoka Arab World, check out their website.