Accessible Jordan, Radio Shams, Rubbish Artist of Zarzis and Universal Values


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!



Women in the Horn of Africa

Greetings and Happy New Year.  For our first post of 2019 we are dedicating some space to the ground-breaking work of SIHA (Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa).

The picture above is taken from an article written by Hala Al-Karib, Regional Director of SIHA, called “the Dangers of NGO-isation of Women’s Rights in Africa“, originally published by Al-Jazeera.

SIHA has for several years been producing a series of short, powerful and educational videos on Gender-related issues, the latest of which is called “Breaking the Silence – Sexual Harassment in Sudan.”  Other videos can also be accessed here.

SIHA also produces the annual journal “Women in Islam“, which explores Gender relations in Muslim communities in the Horn of Africa region and beyond.  The journal is produced in both Arabic and English, and is available both online and in hard copy here.  There is also a Facebook page for the journal.

Finally, SIHA also produces regular newsletters, which can be accessed here, as well as various other publications, including Gender briefings for the various countries in the region where they work, all of which can be accessed here


We would also like to request that you take a few minutes to complete our Readers’ Survey HERE to give us valuable feedback that will help us to improve Embrace Everyone in the future.  Many thanks! 

Thanks for your support in 2018

Asanteni… Murakoze … አመሰግናለሁ … Merci… Obrigado… E dupe… Takk skal du ha…. Na gode… Gracias… Enkosi… Daalu …. Thank you …. धन्यवाद …. شكرا جزيلا …. Danke.. Siyabonga … شکریہ …. Kea Leboga .. Dank ye

This year we have had almost 2,500 views of the blog, giving us an overall total of just over 5,000 since we started in 2015. We have had readers in over 100 countries on all continents and are very proud of the global nature of the blog, whilst our roots are very firmly in Africa. Thank you for being part of the Embrace Everyone family!

Readers Survey

We would like to request you to share some feedback about the blog, which will help us to improve it for the future. You can access the survey here

We love hearing from you! As always, if you have additional comments and/or contributions, please write to us through

Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Earlier this year, we featured Dr. Denis Mukwege from D.R. Congo as one of our Social Inclusion Champions – he was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Nadia Murad from Iraq, who have both worked tirelessly to expose the crimes of Sexual Violence as a weapon of war.

Please read more about both of them, including some embedded videos, in this Guardian piece here and see more in our earlier piece on Dr. Denis here

Finally, some great recommendations for holiday season reading from The Guardian’s Gary Younge in his piece: My Year of Reading African Women

Happy holidays! See you in 2019…..

16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence 2018

The annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence runs from November 25th (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until December 10th (Human Rights Day).

The 16 Days Campaign has been running every year since 1991 and you can read more about its history here.

This year’s theme is “End Gender Based Violence in the World of Work”.  An action and advocacy kit can be downloaded here.  It has been produced by the Prevent GBV Network, a network of over 500 organisations across the African continent.

During the 16 Days period, there are a wide range of events taking place globally.  A few examples can be found by clicking on the relevant country – Liberia, Singapore, Malta.

Please spend some time reviewing this excellent and comprehensive infographic on Violence Against Women from UN Women that is also available in French and Spanish, as well as English.

Why Diversity & Inclusion Matter

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Diversity and Inclusion is often perceived as a “nice extra” but not necessarily essential to the success of an organisation or company.  A growing body of research is, however, also developing a strong business case for Workplace Inclusion in addition to the moral and ethical imperative.

Catalyst (Workplaces that Work for Women) has compiled a detailed summary of this business case and this can be viewed here.   Evidence is presented here that workplace Inclusion has positive impacts on Teamwork, Leadership, Financial Performance and Innovation, among others.

Specific evidence from India on the business case for Inclusion is also detailed in a 2010 report entitled “How Companies in India are leveraging the Business Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion.”

MARC (Men Advocating for Real Change) is a learning community created by Catalyst for professionals committed to achieving equality in the workplace. MARC empowers community members, both men and women, to engage in candid conversations about gender and inequality, its impact in the workplace, and how to lead change through member-generated advice, insights, and best practices.  Please also check the Catalyst page on Men and Equality.

Finally, we would like to encourage everyone to take ACTION to promote Inclusion in their workplace (and other aspects of their lives).  You can get many practical ideas from this lovely piece called 50+ Ideas for Cultivating Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace.


International Week of The Deaf

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International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf)

is an initiative of the WFD and was first launched in 1958 in Rome, Italy. It is celebrated annually by the global Deaf Community on the last full week of September to commemorate the same month the first World Congress of the WFD was held. IWDeaf is celebrated through various activities by respective Deaf Communities worldwide. These activities call for participation and involvement of various stakeholders including families, peers, governmental bodies, professional sign language interpreters, and DPOs.

International Day of Sign Languages (IDSL)

has been adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and is celebrated annually on 23 September beginning in 2018. The objective of the IDSL is to raise awareness on sign languages and strengthen the status about sign languages. This event also will take place as part of the International Week of the Deaf (IWDeaf), which is celebrated on the last full week of September.

The World Federation of the Deaf is a global organisation working to ensure equal rights for 70 million deaf people around the globe.  To read about their work, please click here.

One of the many organisations working to support the rights of Deaf Children and Young Adults is Deaf Child Worldwide and you can also read about their work here.

An interesting account of the history of special education in the Philippines, starting with the establishment of a school for the Deaf and Blind can also be read here.

We would like to celebrate the life and achievement of Prof. Michael Ndurumo, a Professor of Psychology in Kenya, who is deaf.  Please read his inspiring story here.

Did you know that Ludwig van Beethoven, the famous German composer, was deaf? His last words were reported to be, “I shall hear in heaven”.  A long list of other notable Deaf people can be found here.

Finally, we would like to quote again from the World Federation of the Deaf:

70 million deaf people.

300+ sign languages.

Unlimited potential.

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