IBB Bulletin: Founder Accepts Prestigious Beacon Award
Faisal accepts Beacon Award, IBB goes to The Antigua Forum, the team heads to LibertyCon, exciting program updates, and more.
Greetings, benevolent warriors against the forces of extremism and aficionados of foiling bad guys' censorious plans!
While the Middle East is busy having its "most dangerous" moment since '73, the team at IBB is relentlessly stubborn in our pursuit of progress. If you've ever wondered how a bunch of well-intentioned folks like us (from NYC to London to Erbil) can tackle the world of counter-extremism with a splash of levity, then hold onto your de-radicalization hats, because you're about to find out.
This year, IBB has hit the ground running at full speed, and we’re doing things a little differently. As a stakeholder and supporter of IBB, you all deserve no-holds-barred communication. Moving forward, I’ll be speaking directly to you about all things IBB once a month. We oppose censorship worldwide, so we’ll be damned if we crowd your inbox with corporate speak and unnecessary fluff. Don’t worry; I’ll keep this brief.
Most recently, Faisal accepted the Ellis Island Honors Society’s Beacon Award atop the One World Observatory. New fear of heights unlocked.
The Beacon Award is presented to immigrants to the United States who are not only successful and influential in business, politics, and culture but also deeply engaged in philanthropy. The Award has been established to recognize and celebrate the next generation of professionals, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, artists, and visionary leaders. Congratulations, Faisal! Maybe now your parents will be proud of you. Might be wishful thinking, though.
Faisal also packed his bags this month and headed to Guatemala to participate in Universidad Francisco Marroquín’s annual Antigua Forum. It was a very fruitful endeavor and a much-needed break from the brutal New York City winter. The staff wasn’t jealous at all.
The Antigua Forum (TAF) is an invitation-only gathering of individuals from around the world who believe in the power of human ingenuity and free enterprise to dramatically improve the well-being of people everywhere. TAF uses a unique conference format—a process that applies the principles of markets and self-organization—to discover better ways to advance liberty, increase individual choice, and liberate people from government coercion. Using the mindset of an entrepreneur, the Antigua Forum’s innovative process quickly harnesses people’s knowledge to accelerate on-the-ground projects, coming up with action plans that can start tomorrow. (More exciting news from Faisal’s Antigua Forum discoveries coming soon—you won’t want to miss it. We are expanding our horizons, big time. We’ve always been about walking the walk, and we’re about to get a brand new pair of shoes to do it in.)
Finally, IBB is headed to Students For Liberty’s LibertyCon in Washington, DC, this coming weekend. Suffice it to say, Faisal doesn’t get much sleep. If you see him, be a gem and grab him his 7th cup of coffee.
The work we do here at IBB to make the inaccessible accessible, develop and implement international programs, and empower individuals with knowledge often suppressed by authoritarian dictatorships is a marathon, not a sprint. We’re making major strides toward our ultimate goal of ceasing to exist by 2030, and we’re so thankful for your continued support.
With hope, exhaustion, and a dash of falafel seasoning,
Lead Editor, Ideas Beyond Borders
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House of Wisdom 2.0 is the largest multimedia content platform of its kind in the region, producing thousands of original videos and a treasure trove of translated articles and books each year. 2023 was a year full of achievements for our House of Wisdom 2.0. We plan to keep up the momentum in 2024.
12 issues of our magazine were downloaded >24,000 times.
Our 2,000 + articles on Arabic Wikipedia were read >122 million times.
Our 11 translated and published books were downloaded >60,000 times.
Our 84 videos were viewed >104 million times.
A way forward for women in Afghanistan
By Olivia Cuthbert
The Taliban has been swift to roll back women’s rights in Afghanistan, condemning a new generation to suffer the same oppression as their mothers under the first brutal regime. Within months of seizing power in August 2021, a series of new rulings had dismantled the gains of recent decades, which saw a rise in female education and employment. The difference, now, is that more Afghan women are educated and refuse to be condemned to a life behind closed doors.
Women like Zara, who has resumed her university studies online and joined Empower Her Craft to learn new skills and launch her own enterprise. While not the future she envisaged, it is a path to independence and a chance to fill her days with productive employment. “I’m still hopeless and frustrated, but now at least we can work from home. I plan to work on my skills, be independent, and run my own business,” she says.
The Innovation Hub idea makes it simpler for people who share our ideals to get funding and positively change their own societies. We provide small grants to people with good ideas. Without the bureaucracy, without the corruption and the red tape. 2023 was a year full of achievements for our Innovation Hub. We plan to keep up the momentum in 2024.
Received >3,000 applications.
Provided > $300,000 worth of funding to small businesses across MENA.
Approved >120 grantees.
Created >400 jobs for men and women.
Take a look at some of the projects we funded:
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