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Esra’a Al Shafei Is Saturday Keynote: Social Network Brings Social Change To The Middle East. » Social South™
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  • Esra’a Al Shafei Is Saturday Keynote: Social Network Brings Social Change To The Middle East.

    By admin on August 8th, 2009

    Esra’a Al Shafei is the founder and Executive Director of MideastYouth.com, an independent interfaith network whose mission is to inspire and provide young people with the freedom and opportunity of expression. Her advocacy on the internet bridges seemingly impenetrable barriers of faith and geography to unite young people committed to fostering constructive discourse in the Middle East.

    She is also the director of a series of international campaigns for rights for ethnic, religious, and intellectual minorities, and for freedom of expression. Among those she runs is the influential global campaign to FreeKareem.org. She is a recipient of a Berkman Award from Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society for “outstanding contributions to the internet and its impact on society,” and a recent recipient of a TED Fellowship and an Echoing Green Fellowship. She is based in Bahrain.

    MideastYouth.com features members from 22 countries in the region, representing at least 8 religions, making it the most diverse platform for intellectual dialogue in the Middle East.Sworn enemies, nurtured to hate and distrust “the other”; fervent adherents to religions or ideologies, taught to believe that theirs is the only true path; aggrieved victims of violence who lost sight of the humanity in others. No other independent network in the Middle East has successfully integrated and celebrated the diversity of heritage and opinions. Everyday, Palestinians and Israelis question their governments’ policies and societal prejudices. Muslims condemn the persecution wrought against Jews, Baha’is, Yezidis and other religious minorities. Kurds speak of centuries of injustices to Arab, Iranian, and Turkish audiences that have for long been unsympathetic. This freedom of expressing is being used to create social change and to prove that the collaboration necessary for stability is possible.

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    2 Responses to “Esra’a Al Shafei Is Saturday Keynote: Social Network Brings Social Change To The Middle East.”

    1. I’m especially looking forward to this speaker!

    2. [...] Esra’a had planned to be in Birmingham last month during the successful inaugural Social South conference but was unable to appear in person. Instead her moving presentation via Skype has been considered by many people to be the highlight of that event. [...]

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