Pause for a moment and take a deep careful look around you, a look into people’s thoughts and minds, into their dreams and hopes… You cannot help but notice this strong will of doing good, of changing what needs to be changed, of having an innovative role in the rise of the society and taking a lead in solving social issues that has been lying there for years waiting for attention, while old traditional ways of tackling them are of no use anymore. No matter these people’s age, background or culture is.
Now we are witnessing a time where the Arab Awakening is confirming everyone’s ability to positively change our communities, to shift our actions and paradigms so that everyone has an impact in the society, to become Changemakers. Before and after that, Ashoka Arab World (AAW) has always believed in the idea of social innovation and creating a network of Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers who could foster positive change in their societies. We have been supporting outstanding local individuals who turn challenges into opportunities and positively transform the lives and communities around. We call them Ashoka Fellows. Furthermore, Ashoka has been empowering Everyone to be a Changemaker™. All these agents for change provide truly inspiring stories, demonstrating that all it takes is the belief that you can do it!
Throughout the time, we have seen how Ashoka Fellows prove every day that one of the most powerful forces for change in the world is a new idea in the hands of leading social entrepreneurs -creative, committed and inspiring individuals with innovative solutions and potential to change patterns across society and leave their own print. Additionally, we have observed how inspired by building a better world, anyone can unleash positive change in our workplaces, homes and communities.
For example, someone like Raghda El Ibrashi, an AAW Fellow, who started Alashanek Ya Balady (AYB) by inviting her fellow students to join her in creating real, long-lasting, and sustainable development of Egypt. Reaching one of the most successful and innovative youth Civil Society Organizations in Egypt with the potential to generate 15,000+ jobs in the next 5 years. Tamer Bahaa, an AAW Fellow as well, who challenged the existing correlation between deafness and low intelligence, which in turn manifests itself into damaging stereotypes and restricted opportunities for full citizenship. Tamer’s initiatives have been very successful that his Deaf Literacy curriculum has been recognized by the Egyptian state and is currently being replicated in three regions. Balsam and Lulwah Al Ayoub, AAW Fellows, who are changing the lives of Arab women specially in the Gulf, using sports as a key strategy and themselves as beacons of hope, demonstrating a woman’s power. They have achieved high rankings in regional and international competitions, and are continuing to fence professionally.
All what these Fellows and many other Changemakers have in common is a vision for a better world. They all recognize Ashoka’s vision of “Everyone is a Changemaker”™ as a reality.
Today, Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers are the key to the rise of our communities, they are the change agents for societies, they seize opportunities others miss, improve systems, invent new approaches, and create solutions to change society for the better and create peace, harmony and progress.
We, at AAW, thrive to achieve the fundamental changes to the way problems are approached by building an “Everyone a Changemaker”™ world, where everyone has the freedom, confidence, and skills to turn challenges into solutions. We believe that passion and innovation make everything.
For more information about our fellows, Changemakers and programs, visit our Facebook page:
To Nominate a Social Entrepreneur for Ashoka Fellowship, visit: