2017 Action Project – East-West Chitchat Providing a media platform to amplify the East-West Dialogue


Abdelrahman Amr and Michael Matthiesen

The Challenge

Through East-West: The Art of Dialogue, the 2017 Fellows have become part of an amazing conversation that strengthens the U.S.-Egyptian relationship. However, not every American and Egyptian will be privy to such an opportunity. Through East-West ChitChat, we hope to pull more

Americans and Egyptians into the conversation, by discussing many of the experiences the Fellows had in Cairo, New York, and Washington D.C. using media outlets in the U.S. and Egypt.

Project Overview

This project aims to spark more conversations between Americans and Egyptians by actively continuing dialogue through media outlets in both the U.S. and Egypt. We will seek to publicly discuss the subjects that were introduced to the Fellows on blogs, newspapers, radio, and other forms of communication. The topics in full are as follows:

  • Lessons from Tahrir Square
  • Recalling the events that occurred seven years later
  • What the West can learn from the success and failures of the 2011 Revolution
  • Comparing and contrasting news coverage in the U.S. and Egypt
  • Museums as a place of dialogue
  • Graffiti as a form of public dialogue
  • Climate change
  • Refugees

Each published piece will be advertised on each team member’s respective Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, and other social media platforms.

The Goal

The East West Chitchat goals are:

- To build upon the topics discussed during the Fellowship’s speaker sessions and the conversations Egyptian and American Fellows had

- Reveal views that Egyptians and Americans have regarding certain topics in culture, politics, and society to initiate dialogue

- Compare and contrast areas of improvement and opportunity that can strengthen the U.S.-

Egyptian relationship

- Educate Americans and Egyptians on the importance of the relationship and why each country depends on the other to better each country’s national interests

Population Served

The project is mainly targeting millennials and young adults in both the United States and Egypt who are interested in culture, politics and social change.

Project Milestones

Phase 1: Identifying and reaching out to different media outlets including websites, blogs, and newspapers, radio shows with op-ed pages or space for contributors.

Phase 2: Drafting a minimum of seven articles/media publications to be published on websites and blogs.

Phase 3: Assessing content published in regards to readership and traffic and developing an expansion plan based upon outcomes achieved.

Expected Outcome

Through this project, both our Egyptian and American audiences will have the chance to discover the views of the participants from both countries in relation to a number of topics, realize the similarities between two different parts of the world, and come to a new understanding of the cultures presented.

Furthering the Foundation’s Mission

East West ChitChat develops one of the Foundation’s core missions, which is the exchange of ideas between cultures to encourage conversation. The project also magnifies the impact made by the Foundation on its Fellows as it amplifies discussions debated during the Fellowship.