This week, we turn our attention to some wonderful initiatives and leaders in North Africa and the Middle East.
- Ms Aya Aghabi (pictured above) founded the website page “Accessible Jordan” in 2017 and now has over 33,000 places listed in terms of their accessibility to People with Disabilities. In her own words, “my hope is that this website encourages the Jordanian government and all business owners to work on the accessibility of spaces to make Jordan inclusive for all people. I also hope that this website will make it easier for people with disabilities from all around the world to come and visit Jordan.” You can read more about Aya’s initiative in a piece from Arab Weekly here.
- Shams Rad is a radio station in Tunisia known as the Arab world’s only LGBT radio station and broadcasts across 15 countries in the region. Read more about the station in a BBC article here and follow their Facebook page here.
- Still in Tunisia, Al-Jazeera has a great feature called “The Rubbish Artist of Zarzis” about the remarkable story of Mr Mohsen Lihidheb, a former Post Office worker who has dedicated his life to preserving the Environment and promoting human rights for Refugees, Women and other disadvantaged groups.
- We also honour and celebrate the life of Mr Raed Fares, former radio host/ Manager (Radio Fresh FM) and activist from Syria who was gunned down on 23 November 2018 in Idlib Province. Read about him here.
”Take his response to another of the powerful jihadist group, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham/JFS’s demands, to get rid of women news readers – who are also haram, they say. Has he, I ask him, agreed to swap the women for men? “No, I have another solution for that issue. We simply put their voices through a computer software program which makes them sound like men.”
- Finally, from Yemen. Please take a few minutes to listen to a beautiful Tedx talk by Ms Zuha Al-Hammadi on Universal Values here … The video is in Arabic – for subtitles in English, please click the cc icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the you tube screen after you have pressed play. Enjoy!