Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Please consider supporting AMENDS

As is probably quite obvious from several of my other blog posts, the American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford that I attended last April has become an incredibly important part of my life. I was amazingly inspired by the work of 35 young people from across the Middle East, North Africa, and US: People like Nihal, who runs street volunteer patrols to protect women from sexual harassment in Cairo; Fadi, whose alternative sustainable energy start-up has just received a contract from the Palestinian government to supply 10% of the West Bank's energy needs through wind power; and Nargis, empowering women and youth in Afghanistan through cultural celebration and community development.

Since April 2013, I have been elected the Secretary of the AMENDS Fellows Network and helped plan a follow-up conference in Turkey, where I met a group of the 2012 AMENDS Fellows. Again, I was moved beyond words.

Moving forward with my research, my friends through AMENDS are going to be a critical part of my PhD fieldwork: I'll be able to couchsurf my way through the Middle East, interviewing environmental activists that the AMENDS Fellows have offered to introduce me to.
In three weeks, Stanford hopes to welcome another 35 delegates. However, funding is incredibly tight. As time moves away from the "Arab Spring" of 2011, funding for youth capacity-building in the Middle East is waning. But, of course, the need for and the power of young people's activism in the region is not. I am currently leading an initiative to build an endowment for AMENDS so that this kind of fundraising will not determine whether annual Summits are possible in the future. But, as you know, that kind of development takes time. In order to run the 2014 Summit, the AMENDS Fellows Network is trying to raise $10000 in the next three weeks. Thanks to an anonymous donor, this is going to be matched - every $50 I am able to raise becomes $100.
I am asking each of you to consider donating anything you can to this Platform. This work is unspeakably important to me, and it is a way to make a very positive and long-term impact on a fantastic group of people who, because of the amazing model of AMENDS, will become very close friends when I meet them next year in Turkey.

Please do consider donating. All funds go through Stanford University, so you can donate securely online and will receive a receipt for tax purposes. Remember that everything you contribute in the next three weeks doubles!

I greatly appreciate your support...in whatever form it takes. :)


  1. I did attempt to make a donation. After I gave them all of the info, I was told that my card would be charged; then I got a message saying "bad data" before the site closed down. So, I don't know if they got it or not. :(
    I also didn't realize it was on your blog and forwarded it to folks who read the blog! Sorry - didn't mean to be pushy.

  2. No need to apologise - my thanks for spreading the word!
    I do hope they received but didn't charge twice or anything. You should get an email from Stanford confirming and with receipt! :)
    Love you lots. xxx