Letter from the Chairman


Mr Gabr

The Shafik Gabr Foundations, both in Egypt and the US, are dedicated to providing opportunities for citizens to enhance their own futures, by providing them with the tools to maximize their potential.

Although technology has revolutionized the way we all are able to interact with one another, placing a wealth of information at our fingertips and connecting us to one another more rapidly than ever before, the notion that this increases our knowledge of each other could not be further from the truth. Mass media and social media all too often serve as a filter that inevitably shapes our perceptions, with the most sensational, polarizing and disruptive voices garnering the most headlines. The medium truly has become the message.

The ‘East-West: The Art of Dialogue’ Initiative sprung from the conviction that non-governmental institutions can affect real change and that each citizen must play a role in building bridges towards sustainable peace and cross-cultural understanding. The Initiative’s flagship program, the Gabr Fellowship, focuses on providing opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders to create a meaningful impact on the lives of others within our increasingly globalized community. We are not only creating space for young professionals to break through the digital shackles and engage directly with one another face to face, we are also creating a platform for them to identify issues, brainstorm ideas and come up with real-world solutions.

Gabr Fellows experience first-hand, and sometimes most challenging, aspects of both eastern and western cultures. They identify issues, brainstorm ideas, assess needs and potential, plus implement innovative, real-world solutions. These Fellows are accomplishing what national governments and international corporations have repeatedly failed to do—they are closing the divide between regions, creating workable, sustainable model programs, improving their societies and stemming the erosion of public understanding.

The Gabr Fellowship has engaged some of the most accomplished and creative minds of this generation. As politicians on both sides of the Atlantic struggle to deal with conflict, terror, new realities at home and on the global stage, these Fellows are able to explore options unrestrained by political protocols or partisan priorities. They are melding their skills and experience with new visions and pioneering solutions that utilize the most innovative technologies, as well as the most basic element of success - human interaction. Through their participation and their projects, these Fellows are sowing the seeds of community and cooperation that promise to change our worldview, our economies, social and political introduction toward a positive future.

M. Shafik Gabr
Founder, The Shafik Gabr Foundation