2015 Action Project – HADARA – New Perspectives, A Shafik Gabr Foundation Publication


Ahmed Mohamed, Eze Redwood, Elisabeth Dent

The Challenge

In a strained interval between Egypt and the West, the respective societies are inclined to be in favor of information and analysis that support their present view. Unfortunately, these views piled up over decades of mistrust and skepticism. Further, they lack significant realities and input on how differently politics are run, decisions made, and societal givens are at one point of history. Hence, in today’s globalized world, these flawed perceptions must not take a front seat in shaping relations at a time when youth are in fact jumping to lead. Rather, societies around the globe are being afforded a remarkable chance of access to information to help shape more resilient understandings of how complicated realities are. In this context comes the project HADARA, which aims to help in part with building understanding among the rising youth of the 21st century.

Project Overview

The Egyptian population is projected to double over the next 30 years, while the millennial generation in  the US is scheduled to compose 75% of the workforce by 2025. This means that the future leaders and  decision-makers are growing up and being educated today. The problem is that even though information  is all around us, there are very few reliable, credible and truly objective news sources available. Even  more concerning, there are few-to-none that give a complete view of topics from all sides. As a result,  youth either a) believe whatever source and materials they happen to find—usually to the detriment of  their views of those outside their culture, or b) they become disenchanted with all of the sources and end  up being influenced by hearsay because they are not doing their own reading.

We seek to build trust in our brand by providing every significant perspective on the international issues  they care about through sourcing articles from various young and established thought leaders. We would  then take the articles from graduate students, professors and seasoned experts, and stitch the best of  those together in a way that allows a complete picture of an issue to be displayed.

Project Goals

The primary focus of HADARA is to provide 360 degree perspectives of global issues impacting the  MENA region, in an easy to consume engaging format. By establishing a non-biased perspective, and  presenting issues in a way that is comfortable and relatable for millennials+, we hope to better inform  the future influencers—and in doing so, improve the perceptions Americans and Egyptians have of one  another.

Population Served

Educated youth from 18 to 35 with access to technology and social media and reasonable level of  English proficiency.

Project Milestones

Phase 1: Relationship-building with college coalition

Internal planning completed

Phase 2: Have graphic design and layout specialist selected and on board

Have selected student editors

Finalize relationships with college coalition

Finalize relationships with think tanks and schools for articles

Have an agreed upon marketing strategy in place

Phase 3: Articles for 1st issue completed

2nd article rough draft completed

Identify 3rd issue authors

Launch college marketing & PR groups’ co-campaigns

Expected Outcome

Through this project we hope to create a more informed generation that understands the complexities  of the global issues around them. It is much harder to be biased against nations and people when you  know what and why they make the choices they make. In providing a trusted source of information,  we hope to increase positive feelings and decrease mistrust between cultures by targeting the rising  leaders. By informing the future influencers, we believe we can affect policies and the views of a massive  segment of both populations before they rise to power and begin taking action.

How the Project Contributes to the Foundation Mission

The Shafik Gabr Foundation aims at building bridges of understanding between the East and the West. In  this department, comes the project HADARA to transcend the Fellows’ shifted conceptions concerning  the level of information and biases being presented to the public. This level of information presented has  contributed in building huge misperceptions and misunderstandings within both societies. As a result,  the Fellows are willing to pass on their experience to their community, within the political context, to  ensure the full delivery of information on political decision-making processes and how influenced they  are by societal givens. In ensuring this, the project will be inclined to present mere information rather  than adopting standpoints to enhance its credibility and to allow a room for unbiased understandings.  Thus, the project contributes to building understanding based on information rather than opinions.