WalaHaja #10: Pursuing answers, belonging to a new vision

WalaHaja #10: Pursuing answers, belonging to a new vision

“Nowhere and everywhere.”

This is how my psyche responded to the question of belonging. The chaos, corruption and mobbing of where I came from and the mismatch of energies everywhere else brought me back to basics and Dahab was the place to be.

“Paris broke him” that’s what they said about Ragner Lothbrok. Though, for me it was “Berlin”.

The Samurai Warrior being framed into “The enemy of the community and the state” required a different type of journey, a journey of surrender and healing that started with a trip to Al-Sorat Farm:

Life could be unfair sometimes and that’s okay, our duty as humans is to accept and make peace with that and with the intensely broken parts of our being as a result of interfacing with the experience of being part of that world.

Though, sometimes our social duties and what is promoted to us as the “collective good” requires for us to bring light to the dark situation that has been imposed upon us and situations we had been put through because of actual experience, its dark reflection on our psyche and threats of what would happen if you speak up.

This is what I have experienced in silence throughout my life, I had to “shut up” and “sit down” and “suck it up”, what happens to you if you are young, lonesome and naive is that you internalize bits and pieces of what these people being a lot more in numbers, much older or more powerful and your continuous struggle of being overloaded with secrets and contradictions, they must know better and there must be something wrong with you, until you stop, zoom in and figure out it is really not.

I shut up about these lies for years and saw other people going through the same, till it became a certain evidence to me that “the greater good” definitely could never be within the system of people, behaviors and standards of conduct currently present, neither is it about staying silent about it.

“The world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it”. – Albert Einstein

I have meditated for years, months, days and hours through the literal definition of darkness trying to find answers, gathering pieces of knowledge and wisdom from different and often seemingly contradicting philosophies, backgrounds and human connections to form a solid identity, before committing to a structure or a certain way of living.

The bible also says:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-11

So, no matter how intense wounds of the heart would trigger feelings of hurt, resentment and vengeance and does overloads your system at times, nature is way stronger than what people think, and that also includes your human nature once you look so deeply into it, so it all eventually dissipates and is replaced with a beautiful vision.

I don’t know how to express this internal transition except with this piece of poetry:

غمست سنك في السواد يا قلم

عشان ما تكتب شعر يقطر ألم

مالك جرالك إيه يا مجنون … و ليه

رسمت ورده وبيت و قلب و علم

وعجبي

– صلاح جاهين

“I have soaked your tip in the darkness of this ink, oh my pen

Intending for poetry that drips with pain and sadness

oh, old friend, what happened to you, and oh, tell me why

you just draw a flower, a home, a heart and a flag

For that I do keep wondering and pondering” – Abdo’s translation of Salah Jahin’s Poetry.

And this internal transition is what allows for a new vision to emerge, there on the top of the mountains, the Stoic rough edges were softened by art and affection and became the foundation for a new beginning, a new belonging and a new community for those who vibe on the same frequency.

#WalaHaja

#oneteam

#TheParadiseProject

———-

Chapter #11: Mohammed’s authentic model for “Community Management.”; Freeing my religion from hijackers

Pursuing a research project on “Community Management”, starting with a question: How did successful communities around the world go about “running their lives”?

The Muslim community – believers and followers of Prophet Mohammed PBUH as the last messenger from God – now accounts for almost a quarter of living humans, 1.9 Billion.

Growing up, you are taught to treat matters of religion as “take it as it is”, don’t argue, don’t think. Furthermore, religion is often used and referenced as a reason for all kind of “unfair” situations forced upon you, a reference to a misplaced religious quote here and there and your god-given human nature and possibly human-rights are violated, clogged and your wellbeing is trashed behind those who hijack religious teachings for their advantage.

On his deathbed, Prophet Mohammed PBUH, handed over his last pieces of advice to his followers. Humans value the last advice on a deathbed and it becomes a duty and responsibility towards the following generations of devoted followers to pass this advice and wisdom along, with the same clarity by which it was received.

Not to screw it for personal or political gains or hide it to enforce a different reality over a huge population of people.

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ (107) الأنبياء

“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (107) Al-Anbiyaa

The Holy Qur’an specifies that the last prophet was sent as a “mercy” for all the worlds. But the majority of the Muslim population is living in a different reality.

So, what if we explore what were the real teachings of Mohammed PBUH and what they instilled in action before words and what is the closest modern equivalent of these teachings that would pass an authenticity test.

*First: Stakeholder capitalism with a heart*

Mohammed was a trader, all his life he traveled for trade and his trade was successful prior to his message as he was called “الصادق الأمين” “Alsaadiq, Al’amin”, translated to “Truthful” and “Custodian”, it’s the greatest measure of success in business, honesty and transparency and competence and responsibility.

With that Mohammed and his messages did not come to call people for being lazy or unproductive, though, it called for consistent pursuit of self improvement until you reach the ultimate capacity of “truthfulness” and “competence” in handling your affairs, the exact same model embodied by many cultures and philosophies around the world.

With that also Mohammed has shown that “trade and investment” is not an affair to shy away from participating in, though, it’s a critical matter to the individual and the state that is the best for your to participate and engage while adhering to your principles.

So, it’s free trade and investment, with a social responsibility towards your people through Zakah.

“Zakah or Zakat is an Islamic finance term referring to the obligation that an individual has to donate a certain proportion of wealth each year to charitable causes. Zakat is mandatory for all Muslims in most countries and is considered to be a form of worship.”

So, what is the modern equivalent of that?

Socialism? Obviously not. You might argue that “Stakeholder Capitalism” or “Capitalism with a Heart” is the closest modern concept to what Mohammed has instilled through his actions.

*Second: It’s a Republic (not a hereditary monarchy) الإدارة وليس الملك*

Mohammed PBUH, did not have heirs, nor did he appoint someone to a position of leadership, he only made recommendations of who he thinks is most qualified based on the qualities instilled of “truthfulness” and “competence”.

At the beginning of growth of the “Muslim Community”, the Khalifah, was not chosen as a king, rather, was someone who the majority of people with credible opinion deem to be most “truthful” and “competent” to take leadership.

And the leadership was one of “Responsible Management of Assets and Resources” for a given period of time, not a model of “Ownership” and “Kinghood”. This very basic leadership model has changed with the rapid evolution of “Empires” and the “power hunger” that erupted from competition over land and glory that followed.

The fundamentals of Muslim is to be governed in a “Responsible Republic” that takes into account the needs and competences of all its populations.

*Third: It’s a democracy الشوري*

How does a living community choses what’s best for themselves? They consult their best opinions and choose what is thought to be best for them. Just like “Crowdsourcing” being solutions that comply with their “Principles” and voting on decisions of critical importance to community members.

﴿ وَالَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُوا لِرَبِّهِمْ وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَمْرُهُمْ شُورَىٰ بَيْنَهُمْ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ﴾

[ الشورى: 38]

“And those who answer the Call of their Lord [i.e. to believe that He is the only One Lord (Allah), and to worship none but Him Alone], and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation, and who spend of what We have bestowed on them;” 38 Al-Shurra, Holy Qur’an

They conduct their affairs by mutual consultation, not by forced top-down decisions and by “power hungry” manipulators and wars, no, by “mutual consultation”, this is the equivalent of “Think Tanks”, “Compassionate Inquiry” and “The Art of Gathering.”

Thus, these three principles; free trade and investment with consideration to the environment and the people though financial contributions, hiring the most truthful and most competent to positions of power throughout the structure, including and especially the Caliphate and keeping it civil through compassionate dialogue among community members to find out the absolute best solution for their problems that does not violate their principles.

This conclusion brings you back to the fact that over hundreds of years, these authentic teachings of what the message of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH has been hijacked and in its essence, this core message not only agrees, but takes the position of leadership over modern theories and models for how to run a community of people.

P.S. And here is a photo of a beautiful keychain made by Bedouin ladies in Nuwibaa, spontaneously chosen to hold the keys for a community project that I’m working on.

#WalaHaja

#oneteam

#TheParadiseProject

WalaHaja #9: In situations of complex ambiguity; always choose to cooperate first

WalaHaja #9: In situations of complex ambiguity; always choose to cooperate first

The human psyche is absolutely complicated, you could almost never know why someone did something at a past point in time. Though, usually the pains and hurts evolving from these experiences could totally blind you into acting out of poorly informed revenge.

Then, what is the solution? A commitment to constant “Burning of old wood”, a cleaning of old wounds by expressing them boldly and directly and sometimes, not waiting for an acknowledgement or any response from the other party.

I had to do that sometime in my tender age of 17, when I was “tracked down” for 11 months for what seemed like an investigation into my intentions for launching a basic website to share lecture notes with my university, what I thought to be a simple adventure of launching a tech startup, turned to open up the gates of hell on me.

I was not sure whether I would survive that honestly, but I somehow did and not only did I survive but through the experience of suffering I learnt a lot of new things about me and the world, discovered my passion for languages and technology and recognized this spark in launching new things and going by the far edge of “finding solutions to complicated problem by try and error”.

Eleven months of pressure for a 17 year old is a lot, and there are a lot of wounds and pains and isolation is to be experienced, but also there is a lot of hugs, connection and looking beyond the mind to find what’s in the heart.

I’m happy to celebrate that even past these 11 months of hell, I graduated as a stronger and more capable person and able to face life more readily and take more responsibility. I also have learnt to keep secrets until it’s time for them to be known and sometimes keeping them forever and feeling totally okay with it.

The release of these experiences on a certain level – which could vary between different individuals – is necessary for us to live life in harmony.

It’s an upgrade from the economic theory of “Milton Friedman” which promotes “corruption” as a way for the government to interfere in “perfectly competitive markets” to dominate, into a new world of harmony and cooperation, reflected in this hilarious scene from “Beautiful Mind”.

Nash’s Equilibrium in Game Theory:

“Nash equilibrium states that nothing is gained if any of the players change their strategy while all of the other players maintain their strategy. Dominant strategy asserts that a player will choose a strategy that will lead to the best outcome regardless of the strategies that the other players have chosen.”

So, not going for the blond was Nash’s aha moment of discovery of a new potential for the world to live in harmony and cooperation, is not really to seek for “perception” or “ego”, but rather pursue ego death and replace it with humility, listening and understanding.

Burning your old papers is the first individual step in being ready to collect dry wood to make fire that brings people together in discussion, cooperation and healing.

My grandfather executed projects for the British during the time they had control over Egypt and I had a very difficult time processing that, given the pride of the valor of those who have chosen to carry their guns, defend themselves and push back for their independence.

I was told stories about how my grandfather hosted the hub for employment, empowerment and prosperity during extremely difficult times for Egypt and Egyptians and while I was confused with the idea of “working for those occupying their land”, I thought about the alternative, carrying guns and killing people, versus, bringing them together into a discussion to reach the realization of the true and false to be chosen from.

Maybe my grandfather realized and internalized this idea of choosing cooperation within certain limits as the primary choice, going through the pain of “burning your own wood”, until nothing remains but an open heart that allows connection even with those who still think of you as their “enemy” or deploy certain unfair strategies to control and dominate your resources.

In 1944/45, when it was time for the British to say their goodbye to Egypt, it was difficult for those who contracted my grandfather with building a Church in Maadi to take their lovely dog back with them, it seems that my grandfather has done a fairly good job as well, so, as a departing gift from the British, he was given a dog, named “Sila” as a gift of goodwill.

Soon after, “Sila” delivered 11 puppies and my grandfather had a family of 10 already. I had a powerful grandmother with Turkish roots, she determined that feeding the puppies and the kids was way over capacity and given that we are not getting rid of the kids, then it’s time for the doggies to go, so they were sent to another branch of the family in Heliopolis.

During the time of conflict and in the heat of the moment, if our first choice is to go and feel our guns, the world becomes bloody, a better strategy is to each burn their own old dead wood on their own and bring the rest with them into a communion, where people open up, apologize, tell stories and express themselves beyond the limitations of their hurtful past.

Regardless of how many time I was offered the option to settle, I discovered that I’m a gypsy at heart, I just keep moving, seeking knowledge and solutions to complicated problems, though, you don’t really want the pain and the shame of being labelled “an idiot” by some, this pushes you to hide some secret algorithms for protection, until you realize that, these secret algorithms are unnecessary.

And even if I was never offered an explanation or an apology, I choose to move on lightly by burning my own works of the mind and to allow myself to express myself spontaneously from the heart, regardless of how I might be labelled by others.

This messy “intelligent spontaneity” with the ability to go back and correct mistakes, never shying away from how it would look to other people, is the greatest personal work in allowing the chance for the universe to respond to you with the same.

And as it’s said in the bible:

“12 And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Amen.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” – Matthew 6:12-14

P.S. Below is a photo of me burning my strategy book developed over the experience of a few years and deciding to pursue the path of my grandfather, living in intelligent spontaneity, opening up to mistakes and correcting them when necessary.

#WalaHaja

#oneteam

#TheParadiseProject

WalaHaja #8: The Joker; the power of integrating your shadow/dark side

WalaHaja #8: The Joker; the power of integrating your shadow/dark side

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.” – Carl Jung

I planted chicks at the tender age of 3 ~ 4, supervised by my grandfather who designed the whole “learning experience” and left me a sweet memory and a lesson to be remembered for a lifetime. Now, when I think about it. What is a quicker way to learn about “planting” than to start doing something wrong in a safe learning environment?

It’s not just quick, it’s also dirty, but, so what? Isn’t that what cleaning is for?

If your mistakes are “received well” on the other hand and the lesson is delivered in an equally hilarious and compassionate way, imagine the impact and speed by which learning can take place. It’s funny that this “try and error” is the exact way “machine learning” algorithms process information to “generate new ideas”.

It’s a “Quick and dirty” way of getting from point A to point B, but it’s messy, confusing and often also hurtful. But the messy can be cleaned, the confusion can be clarified and the hurt can eventually heal but the lessons stay for a lifetime and it offers a ruthless competitive edge, wisdom at the speed of thought.

“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.” – Carl Jung

The real war that humans have is inward, it’s the war of the unhealed parts of our psyche that are still in the state of “processing” events from the past. And still reaching the optimal understanding of “how things should be” and “how life should be lived”.

There is something very unique about the potential of cracking this code, it’s actually finding out “how we should be responding to life’s events” while being fully free and fully alive embodying the global qualities of courage, justice, patience and ultimately wisdom.

A beautiful thing about the human mind and conscious is that “the wars that happen inside it” is not only necessary to reach the optimal objective of healing, balance and restoration to its most authentic and original state but also once the proper environment for it is built, the danger coming out from it could be reduced to absolutely “nothing”, it could sound funny, laughable, scary, but hey, it’s just that ones and zeros in a human mind.

In his masterpiece, “Ending your Inner Civil War”, pioneer psychiatrist, Carl Jung shares an outstanding understanding of the potential of humans and the healthy expression of their authentic selves.

Listen to “Ending your Inner Civil War” narrated by Alan Watts:

And here I’m shamelessly quoting the one of my favorite pieces on “Authenticity”:

—– begin copied text —–

The recognition of the fact that behind the social role that you assume; behind all your pretensions to being either a good citizen or a fine scholar or a great scientist or a leading politician or a physician or whatever you happen to be – that behind this façade – there is a certain element of the unreconstructed bum.

Not as something to be condemned and wailed over, but as something to be recognized as contributive to one’s greatness and to one’s positive aspect; in the same way that manure is contributive to the perfume of the rose.” ~ Alan Watts Tribute to Carl Jung

—– end copied text ——

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what has the capacity of connecting generations together, the potential, creativity and freedom of the young with the structures, rules and boundaries of their traditions represented by their history and ancestors.

And the challenge there is not really denying what happened or the fact that it did happen, but learning that “it’s okay”, “it’s funny” and “it’s forgiven” and that in reality given that it was a “learning experiment” guaranteed not to hurt anyone, by then we can boldly state it:

“Task failed successfully.”

And that would be worthy of a celebration and a new lesson to be shared and added to the collective human consciousness, while also allowing the space for “firm, grounded and responsible freedom” within the protective shoulders of human and godly embrace.

And here is a photo of the outcome of “The Joker” learning experiment. It was messy, but absolutely hilarious. I can’t wait to check all the memes 😉

#WalaHaja

#oneteam

#TheParadiseProject

WalaHaja #7: Divine Restoration; The Eye of Horus

WalaHaja #7: Divine Restoration; The Eye of Horus

The Eye of Horus is signed and sealed on top of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids because we can’t move forward without a shared vision, the story of Horus: the young son, Osiris: the willfully blind father and their battle with Seth still fascinates and inspires me from a new angle each time I visit it.

Egypt is said to suffer from highly pronounced signs of generational struggle, where young people resent the control of the older generation, while older people resent the rebellious naivety of the young. As a young man in my twenties, I have personally witnessed signs of the struggle in business, culture, society.

As I completed my 35th year of age and I’m no longer the naively rebellious young man, and interestingly, I’m not either the controlling old yet, hopefully never. Though, I’m fascinated by the solution presented by Ancient Egyptians for how to govern and lead to prosperity.

Horus, the young, naive and idealistic son, loses an eye in the fight against Seth representing chaos and disorder and it’s only when Horus connects back with the wisdom and inspiration of his father, Osiris, he is able to conquer Seth and pave the way to a stable and prosperous Egypt.

I feel that it’s time for that resentment to be processed and for this connection to be re-established where the young are inspired and fascinated with the wisdom and experience of the old and the old are equally inspired and fascinated with the courage, creativity, and innovations of the young.

Let’s work together as one team and make something beautiful. Angels are all over the place protecting us and cheering for us and some of them have given their lives as sacrifices for a better future.

We owe them honesty and truthfulness in our pursuit. We shall all connect together as brothers and sisters.

#WalaHaja

#oneteam

#TheParadiseProject

WalaHaja #6: The APEX Predator, embody all and transcend all

WalaHaja #6: The APEX Predator, embody all and transcend all

In social psychology, the supreme error is what is described below:

“The fundamental attribution error refers to an individual’s tendency to attribute another’s actions to their character or personality, while attributing their behavior to external situational factors outside of their control.”

So, if they did it, it’s because they are corrupt, but If I do it, I was under extreme circumstances you know nothing about.

That’s why in conflict resolution, it’s best for people to “sit together” and speak their heart out of how they felt and thought during a certain incident, everyone gets out of this “setting” with a clean heart and upgraded mindset.

That’s why I’m a big fan of the Bedouin tradition of “قعدة عرب” “Informal Setting attributed to Arabs”.

As humans, we are dancing between two “snakes” in our head and perception:

“Hostile Attribution Bias” and “Rejection Sensitivity Bias”

Hostile Attribution Bias is the tendency to ascribe negative, hostile intent to others’ ambiguous behavior.

Rejection Sensitivity Bias is the tendency to anxiously anticipate, easily perceive, and overreact to rejection.

If you want to commit to the justice of a true warrior, you have to be cornering these two snakes while considering them both till you reach the fine line of justice.

I had to study all the above and practice it while I try to figure out the psychological beside the physical side of being a Samurai, it’s the same with Arab Warriors and probably the same with every human group who had been seeking “Justice” as a governing principle.

If you start every interaction with a positive intend and the positive intend does not go through, your heart and mind try to settle for a reason and one of these snakes is going to become more dominant, you’ll either assume that the other’s behavior has been hostile and aggressive while in fact they were just having a bad day or were triggered by something you said or have done. The same thing you can take some cues from the environment as a sign of rejection and you being not welcome and it might not be intended for that.

A true practice of “Justice” is gathering information and having direct heart-to-heart and mind-to-mind interactions to define things as they truly are and the person who had the one of these snakes in their head “crossing the boundary of justice” then is made to recognize what happened, apologize, correct the situation and benefit the collective from that deep and truthful human experience.

The accumulation of events, experiences and stories of how these snakes has been kept under control in human society is what emerges a “fair and just” society and

Little Abdo, bullied, harassed and smeared had to wear their “Samurai” hat and go into processing mode to define what happened for him and for others and call for a conversation to settle our situation to move forward in openness, love and connection. When the response to this request is “yet another ambush” there is something totally wrong with this social setup, which means that based on the above knowledge, it will “never yield good results”.

This is what I realized after I took a series of “what seemed like obvious betrayals” to call for this kind of “قعدة عرب”, the sequence of actions in which I felt that “injustice” was done to me, was getting close to 10 and nobody wants to talk to you about it. You meet a man, strike and agreement, draft a contract and is fully ready to sign and commit and they look at you as “you are way below me to sign a contract with you”, so your agreement remains “verbal” and “in Emails” and you go in based on your “perceived understanding” to be shocked that they have premeditated an “ambush” during even the activity you organized as “a meeting for us to open our hearts and reach a mutual understanding of justice”.

I love technology and being at the further edge of “playing with new toys and building something awesome with it”, but then, algorithms can’t exist in a vacuum, so I hoped to influence building a “fair and just environment” through which we can create these lovely toys and manage it based on the understanding of “limiting the effects of these snakes in our head”.

My name has the Merciful in it, and I have struggled to practice mercy against offense, but I arrived there and I was still in one piece, the community brand that I worked on built a great following on Twitter and via an Email list, though, the vision needed a “business model” to settle into and while almost close to “3-4” models have been copied and falsified. I thought it’s fair for me to settle for a small part, just 100 square meters and I will get “community members” each to cover the cost of 1 square-meter/month, thus, this 100 square meters will get the first 100 members and then we offer a “list of services” with a profit margin that can even be declared, so, the community project does exist based on membership, we will be able to pay the rent indeed and then we can expand based on our intelligence and efforts.

I shared all these details with the “landlord” and was given a basic contract for when we are ready. I was told that this is still a work  in progress and there is “nothing” going on for now and I’m welcome there, so I will be informed upon availability, so I waited and focused on preparations for when this is available.

But then it was announced that there will be another event at the same place, so, I thought it’s natural for me to visit and check out when the place will be available. I had an income payout that covers the cost for the 2 months required to get started and anticipated to cover the rest from membership sales. A fair chance at building the vision and oh boy, I usually have more hidden than shown and I wake up at 5:20 AM to develop new ideas for the current challenges, so my sense of “free will”, saw this as a fair chance to finally settle this community project, have a fair environment and then I can hand it over to someone and move on with my passion for designing cool uses for technology.

Hosting this event and the fact that it was not as locked as I was led to believe triggered my curiosity to go and asked the CEO about what’s going on, given that “the landlord” was too busy to talk to someone like me. The CEO just told me that a number of 4 or so companies are planning to do the exact same project that I proposed and that they really do not like “conflict of interest” and ended their statement with: They did not call you yet?

The memories of the “ambiguous” 4-5 incidents in which projects that I have spent years and months designing and spending my own hard earned money to finance its development all came to mind, I went home and announced the project without even having a space, what came next was searching and securing a space for it and making the conversation from these curious minds into paying customers and evolving this “potential project” into a solid and sustainable business model that can reach tens and hundreds of thousands of people (as per the information I was able to extract from my meetings including with IFC, World Bank .etc) and out of those the more we offer more value through out membership the more members we will have.

Having openly and transparent communicated that including exact amounts of incoming “payouts” that will be used to cover the costs, It was “unfair” for that project to be handed out to others to do it and I was rushed into an announcement followed by the mission of setting up an operation to “make it work”.

And guess what? I invited the exact same people who were involved in that to join me, outside their campus, yes, but still I did really want to “belong”. Even if their own snakes refuse that for any reason.

The same story above was repeated with someone else, who came traumatized to complain to me that he put the last of the money has has into installations for a specific piece of real estate, to be told that “someone else was brought to do that job” and what he invested his time, passion and money onto is now can only be thrown.

This is when a call for “قعدة عرب” was made, this was an honest invitation to talk “generally” about building a “code of conduct” for our shared community and network, it seems also that this invitation and organization was done properly that “The Provost of the American University of Cairo” showed up and was given an opportunity to speak.

The landlord claimed that he will be traveling, so I responded to that by telling them, that in case of changes in their schedule or plans, a place is reserved for them, also, they have a product to sell, a barter deal to get the space for the event in exchange for them speaking and pitching their offering were made, I even drafted a contract for it to share it but they refused to sign it”.

The day of the event, they were downstairs, they did not show up, they did not send someone and after the event, they claimed that “given that there were not notified”, then such and such is to be owed, they were handed over all proceeds from the basic ticket charged to attendees as per their request. And that got me wondering, if someone responds to the invitation for “making peace with the past in order to move forward with the future” this way, do you see them engaging in any “peaceful” way with anyone else?

Shortly after, plugging the full capacity of my exhausted heart and mind into making it work, pushed away from the original space where this model was designed for and rushed into trusting the wrong people and not managing them properly due to overload and exhaustion, the result is left for you to guess.

This was unfair and I know for sure the same has been repeated with others and I know for sure the “snakes” both in our heads and in our physical environment would “kill” and “poison” for these stories to never be known.

Practicing the justice inside our mind by being fully open to information from our environment and being sharp to judge its accuracy will help us keep these 2 snakes of biases at bay and develop a clear vision for what is just and what is fair.

Once we have this inner clarity, we can go back to people and SPEAK UP, not only for ourselves but for others who suffered the same actions on their hands.

But if the principal is corrupt and connected to everyone above them, do you really expect any “justice” to be served?

That’s when a true Samurai does what they were trained to do.

I studied leadership among packs of wolves and herds of horses, and they possess almost the same intelligence in only allowing the most fair to represent their interests and take charge.

Someone who can clearly declare it:

“I embody all and transcend all”.

I battle my own snakes and keep them at bay most of the time, sometimes I need to be corrected when my impurities and wounds, could also be coming from the same “bites” of these snakes, take over, I understand that others go through the same in their own hearts and minds”, I treat them like I would treat myself and I go beyond the desire to “take what is not mine”.

This is what I came to believe to be the true essence of leadership. What remains is whether there and then we would have the strength and capacities to “apply this fairness” in real life but the presence of strong men who are ready to understand, process and execute what is determined to be most fair.

That’s how animals pick their leadership and by then, “The APEX Predator” is not determined by any specific feature, but rather by their ability to “embody all and transcend all”.

And here is a photo of “The APEX Predator” of “The Paradise Project”, they’re on the top of the dominance hierarchy of the snakes kingdom, it can see, process and digest and only applies its sharp teeth when it’s clear that “justice” has been violated and as you can see, it’s as cute as hell, but as the Arab poet says:

إِنَّ الأَفاعي وَإِن لانَت مَلامِسُها عِندَ التَقَلُّبِ في أَنيابِها العَطَبُ.

Despite their soft and smooth skin, when they decide it’s time to attack, in their sharp teeth there you’ll find the end.

#WalaHaja

#oneteam

#TheParadiseProject

#ادي_يا_جدي

WalaHaja #5: the power of your words

WalaHaja #5: the power of your words

“A Ukrainian dog have bitten a Russian man”

What? Let’s revise that:

“A dog who lives with an Ukrainian family have attacked a Russian man and they felt they needed to go to the hospital”

Enjoying a thoughtful and in-depth conversation with a very profound and gentle German man who teaches self awareness through swimming, chatting about “a prototype of building a community project”, we were interrupted by a Russian friend of mine. I still applied the “Open Doors” policy to people with whom I had a positive exchange, it’s a human need to know that we have “Open Doors” to go to if we face a challenge beyond our heart/mind to solve.

Trauma and fear is no small thing. And I had my share of those, so now I’m able to identify it in others. The Russian man was in a state of fear and confusion, he felt “attacked” and “targeted” or at least had to assume that based on what he heard in the news. So, as the Ukrainian family, they felt threatened by a seemingly angry Russian man telling them that they need to keep their dog on leash if they know they have the capacity to bite. Maybe it’s genetically modified and has some kind of a “remote control chip” planted in his ear or something – you never know where these Autistic AI people are taking us. (Let’s call them our little brothers, invite them to send us their sponsorship proposals and forward their business plans to each other and call it ours? – don’t worry if they get angry after the 3rd time we repeat that, we will “frame” them “blacklist” them and unleash a smear campaign against them, and no one can stand that).

Obviously, the “X” of connection between the German and the Russian man was not possible at that time, so I had to “devilishly” interfere and interrupt to translate between the two. Funny thing is, they both had the same name, though, they had polar opposite cognitive capabilities. One was very raw, wild and cuddly as a bear and the other was as sensitive, reflective and meditative as a gently floating sea creature who refuses to be labelled.

Never underestimate long hours of observation of human exchanges. I was there in the middle smelling their energies and verbally and energetically wrestling with the possibility for a base level of understanding. For now it was a hopeless case and sometimes you need to give people some time for their dust to settle and be ready to be talked to.

Robert Greene is my favorite author, and “The Laws of Human Nature” is a masterpiece. The core advice from the book is “Become a lifetime student of human nature”, as you can see, being “student” is a lifetime game, so I’m often despised at the confidence of “experts” and “mentors” who feel called for throwing “cookie cutter” advice at you right and left with no investment in understanding who you are or what is the context of the problems you are solving.

I like being a “student” and I’m a pretty damn good one. And while I don’t like a lot of problems all at once, I like the opportunity to search for solutions to complicated problems.

And that felt more like a problem outside of the curriculum. I love cracking those.

Feels more like “Good Will Hunting”, the “Wicked Smart” who gets the hot girl’s number slid to them while other contestants claim it was the “kitten eyes” that sealed the deal. I don’t mind positive distractions to my shallow “minded” and shallow “hearted” competition 😉

I love drama for a reason and this scene is one of them:

Anyway, after a night of deep processing a program has erupted , a meditative art healing exercise. By then, “The Paradise” program was almost complete, the Quranic expression of the paradise includes three sentences:

دعواهم فيها سبحانك اللهم

وتحيتهم فيها سلام

وآخر دعواهم أن الحمد لله رب العالمين

My type of intelligence is linguistic and it has a tendency to overload average brains. Our creative director possesses a unique visual intelligence, so it was negotiated into 1 verbal, 1 visual and 1 white space. Fair enough.

I picked the one in the middle since It offered visitors a “good vibe” it reads in Arabic وتحيتهم فيها سلام translated as “their greeting therein is “peace””, I’m a big fan of clear and screaming “codes of conduct” and given that I’m in the driver seat, I get to specify the rules. So, that declaration was shared in Arabic, but the English was not yet.

So, I knew that the Russian bear had Artistic tendencies and I know how to elicit support and positive engagement, so, the Russian bear, bitten by a Ukrainian dog was offered to contribute the calligraphy of “Peace” in English in exchange for hosting a Bedouin-style BBQ for the family and the deal was sealed, he would have done it anyway, but it’s good to find something to “shake hands” on.

Must say the Calligraphy was amazingly done, and in the following scenarios in which angry bears, lions or wolves have entered the Paradise they are pointed to the wall, the Alpha of the place tells you the roles here is as such, if you don’t like it you’ll have to leave, of course, after he makes you look like an “empty tomato jar” in front of everyone else. And offer you to choose between the “Ancient Egyptian Scarab” or “The Sharp teeth of an angry lion”.

So, as with peace, you can employ your shadow side to keep it, but once a possibility of violation is present. Take no step back, fix the Scarab and let the lion’s teeth be shown.

This is the secret algorithm for Peace in the Paradise.

#WalaHaja

#oneteam

#TheParadiseProject

#ادي_ياجدي

P.S. Video of the celebration in the 1st comment.

WalaHaja #4: The Bestower

WalaHaja #4: The Bestower

Just like you, I’m blessed with many gifts. And I think as humans we either attribute these blessings to our little egotistical selves or attribute everything to blessings from a “source” outside of us.

Attributing all beauty and gifts to the “source” removes from our shoulders the burden of having to work hard on “keeping” or “sustaining” them. Since, everything that I can use “my ” to refer to is bestowed upon me with the grace of the “source”, call it God, Allah, or whatever verbal expression you want to use to refer to the one governing source.

This also allow us to experience life from the space of #WalaHaja – the space of nothingness, lack of any desire to control any outcome, living with the flow, just like water.

“Attached to nothing … connected to everything”.

I can’t claim that I have reached that level, though, I have stumbled upon a few interesting people and a few interesting readings, stimulating my intellectual curiosity the most was author David R. Hawkins M.D., Ph.D. and honestly, I forgot to cancel my Audible subscription, so every month for almost 3 years I’m “surprised” with a $15 charge notification to my card and an Audible credit.

And nah, as we say in Arabic “رحم الله امرئ عرف قدر نفسه” which means that God’s mercy shall be granted to those who fairly know themselves. In a random population of 100 people, I would be the 17th person in caring about and prioritizing administrative/repetitive tasks, meaning that 83 people are better than me at it at doing that.

Though, on the same scale, among a population of 100 random people, I would score 1st in “openness to experience”, a scale of ingenuity and innovation, hence, I have internalized my destiny as an entrepreneur to be misunderstood and kind of lived with it with all its coping mechanisms.

So, anyways, with my new “gifted by fate” Audible credit, I pick a monthly audio book from my favorite author. A good company for long walks and vital content for “hacking” and/or “designing” the #WalaHaja algorithm.

The “Paradise” project was one of the early prototypes for the #WalaHaja Enterprises. A “placeholder” for a future “thing” that you are not yet able to “label” and the “thing” itself, does not like labels, which means #WalaHaja is a perfect name for it.

Nature-inspired Technology is the domain. Like extracting algorithms from the natural ecosystem including human interaction. My “openness to experience” allows for the largest possible dataset of “human experiences” to build the basic model.

Anyway, algorithms can’t function in a vacuum and with the lack of credible, aligned “enterprises” in hospitality, I had to build my own #WalaHaja aligned concept. Hence, turn your living space into a “Paradise” project.

In Islam, the 99 names of God are designated to be the most powerful verbal and energetic expressions in the Arabic language. Beyond expression, the words convey certain “suggestive behaviors” for individuals to embody.

The power of the word is that it’s an energetic invitation, an open invitation to certain forces to be invited. For starters there were only places for 4, each represented on a side of a wall and meaningfully translated for non-Arabic speakers to understand what’s going on.

Beside Arr-ah-man, invites the energy of Mercy and Compassion, Al-Wadood, invites affection and “love in action” or “acting lovingly”, Al-Fattah, invites opening of closed door and the fourth Al-Wahhab, opening up a stream into the unknown and the unearned and undeserved, the “outsourcing” of the “act of giving” into a higher entity that chooses to give with its own measure and also takes with its own.

Scoring only 17th in my admin tasks, I’m quite insecure about my handwriting and art skills in general, but translating this one to English was quite intense especially with someone who’s 1st in “openness to experience” and the Arabic language being such a powerful animal with massive number of options.

Following the model of “collapsing possibilities”, the most accurate expression of the meaning on the receiving end of this energy is saying: “It was “bestowed” upon me”, hence the choice of the word was made.

There are two ways to look at the world, one is that you are everything there is to be had and that you have earned it all yourself and another is that you don’t mind putting yourself in the position of being #WalaHaja and relax in confidence of having all  your needs and wants “bestowed upon you”.

Even if on the earthly level, you have to work 12 hours a day for it or enter into ruthless, cut-throat conflicts with small minded people who refuse to see the big picture, according to the Sufi mystics, these are the acts of the hands, which shall be ideally separate from the acts of the hearts.

And so it goes. As much as beauty lies in the hearts, so as our diverse concepts of a “Paradise”, it also lies in our hearts. So, as the potential for people to build their own diverse concepts of what a “Paradise” would feel to them and be willing to write, share and invite people to enjoy their own version of it.

Ain’t that such a pretty decent tourism concept for Sinai?

#WalaHaja

#oneteam

#TheParadiseProject

WalaHaja #3: The Opener

WalaHaja #3: The Opener

There is something beautiful and graceful about the idea and gesture of “opening doors”. When you open the door for someone you communicate that they are welcome without effort. That I’m not only inviting you, but I will also take the effort and open the door for you, so, you only usher yourself inside.

You could also stay on the other side of the door and hand them over the keys, gesturing that now, it’s all yours. Having experience with hosting people, I can tell you people eventually pick up on these gestures even if they don’t exactly understand the meaning right away, they pick up the vibe.

We grew up with the idea that certain doors are meant to be closed. Or to be particular, it’s closed for certain “types” of people. It’s passed down to us as a rule and as a fact. Though, if we creatively and curiously question the potential of opening certain “closed doors” and how it might bring good, we at least feel that we deserve a conversation with whoever has the power to keep that door closed.

The Opener, is one of the 99 names of god, the name brings the power of opening whatever door that certain “powers” mean for it to be closed.

I grew up with an obsession for systems and structures, and structures require the exploration of all doors and their potential and the answer to the question of why? Why are we keeping these doors closed?

The patriarchy and/or the matriarchy or whoever gives themselves the power to open and close, set rules, probably tens, hundreds or thousands of years ago, that certain doors are open and certain doors are closed.

But what if the time has come to question the validity of keeping a certain door closed? Can we even have a conversation about it?

If God is the opener of everything beautiful, then who would like to give themselves the privilege of closing a door that brings goodness to people? And what is their decision based on? 

And if we are gifted with the inspiration to allow certain doors to be open and if we are willing to pay the price of the adventure of demonstrating the potential beauty that certain doors could lead to, are we even given the chance to express our inspiration?

Hold the door

Hold the door

Hold the door

There are certain doors that are meant to be shut and we all appreciate the sacrifice exerted on keeping the doors of evil shut and secured. Honor and tribute are to be paid in full to the beautiful souls that keep these doors shut.

But what if certain doors are only shut because of fear? or lack of vision? or lack of understanding?

What if the world changes so fast and it’s time for certain doors to be open? Who shall give themselves the privilege to keep a door shut that holds treasures of goodness for the people?

And if we catch the vision of a beautiful open door, isn’t it our duty and responsibility to, not violently open the door but to question, demonstrate and gather a discussion of what it might hold?

What is our greatest mission on earth?

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ (30)

(30) And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”

And isn’t that inspiration in the heart and in the vision a duty and responsibility humankind is meant to deliver?

{ إنا عرضنا الأمانة على السماوات والأرض والجبال فأبين أن يحملنها وأشفقن منها وحملها الإنسان إنه كان ظلوما جهولا } ( الأحزاب : 72 )

(72) Indeed, we offered the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, and they declined to bear it and feared it; but man [undertook to] bear it. Indeed, he was unjust and ignorant.

Some messages bear a cost for it to be delivered. And the best we can do in life is to offer the world the cost it demands us to deliver our inspiration. And question not whether our fellow men and women shall deliver theirs, but leave it up to them to do as they wish with theirs.

So as none of us is capable of opening a door god did not mean for it to be open yet. And also, none of us shall be able to keep a door closed that god has determined for it to be open.

Then no matter what it takes, the tender smiles of a passionate advocate, or the red eyes of a berserker rage, come hell or high water, the keys shall be delivered…

#WalaHaja

#OneTeam

#TheParadiseProject

WalaHaja #1: The Merciful

WalaHaja #1: The Merciful

I survived a certain death in 2022, and for that, I feel grateful.

It taught me that sometimes all that it takes for you to win is just not to die.

Four times it feels as if someone is pulling you down from unknown sides of you, four times with escalating intensity and a new response every time. It was an event of physical exertion beyond the emotional and spiritual ones. An electric shock, the 220-volt main supply to a new house.

The 1st wave was sudden, a shock. a quick realization that this is serious, the physical feeling of being pulled down very strongly, and the down not only feeling in the physical but seemingly in the spiritual world as your vision goes into a sneak peek into a dark realm, underneath, that felt somehow strangely familiar. The Snap realization that something has started, something that can have a stay in ending you. The 1st spontaneous physical response is poorly coordinated, with a lack of realization of how this works, what is it, and what does it want, exactly?

Since you haven’t yet digested what is going on.

And between peak waves/pulls, there is a fraction of time, prepping a defense for a possible repetition, a powerful wrestling jump, that quickly proves to be useless against such an unfamiliar force.

Another peek into darkness.

Oh, Repeat again, 10x force.

And there and then you realize on a subway style, that it is really a “that’s it?” moment. And just like that, it comes down to that? Now you can have a brief moment with god. Last prayer? “I have responsibilities” was probably mine. Something along the lines of an unfinished mission and people to protect and care for.

And somehow after giving up on your own power, a fourth jump knocks you out of the electric loop, after realizing what you just went through, with first human contact the way you hold yourself makes it difficult to imagine that it was a matter of life or death or to explain the event with its specifics.

Immediately after that, It was a long night of some spiritual exploration (warfare) and some befriending curious souls and having conversations with them until they feel no need to claim the territory, of course after giving them reasons why not to feel the need for that.

They say things about the house when you are the first person to stay in it. There is a certain prayer and ritual, respecting the spirits who had been living in that space and do not expect humans. They will have to go.

Since you did not die, they’ll have to leave. And you make them do it by being firm, commanding, and respectful.

And I thought if we believe this experience in the spirit world, why wouldn’t I continue doing the same, commanding things to leave In a firm respectful language, across all dimensions, from a position of power like surviving an electric shock or even paying my dues.

And yes, I had to stand by the door and declare victory.

I was the only surviving male of 7 pregnancies. So, I’m expected to survive.

Maybe most of the time, these stories remain a secret for some reason.

It feels like a layer of ancient protection, at the very last moment of realization that this goes beyond my limited power, an ancient face slowly gesturing to you that the music still goes on… the spirit of all the mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles and all the grandmothers and grandfathers … celebrating also that our bloodline still comes with a pretty strong heart…

At least that’s how it felt to me.

It was a come-back year for conferences. It’s kind of funny but getting back to business seemed all familiar, with speaking gibberish, around a networking table with a very insightful and particular conversation, it all came down to how come this Egyptian guy has blue eyes? And the hand gestures used by the person answering to explain the diversity of the gene pool here, and the “repeated occupations”, hehe! I didn’t understand why not discuss that in my presence, not noticing that I just moved to the next table, I would have loved to be engaged with the conversation.

You feel kind of disappointed that the memorable thing about our long conversation was this guy’s eye color and genetic heritage. I said some important things on this table. You know!

Enough eavesdropping!

People in the entrepreneurship space seem to be having some intensity with the shifting economy and collapsing alliances. I ran a brand in that space since 2008, peaking in 2011-2014, oh hell, I represented CSOs/private sector in Egypt at the world bank annual meetings in 2013 in Washington DC. I also tasted a few of these “early shocks” and wrote about them long before it came to the surface. Now, I ceased to be able to ignite any interest beyond an eye roll.

Sometimes it’s better to reset and start from scratch.

My two cents to people in that space would be exactly what my experience teaches: Sometimes all that you need to win is just not to die. 

Maybe you can recall your very own ancient faces…and tell us about them as you survive more and more challenges. When you get close to what you’re facing it ceases to scare you, it becomes something you live with.

There is a certain grace in old faces, no matter what race or gene pool they are from.

Bring your own story to the venture and move forth with a powerful connection to your roots. Make it the human experience it is. Recalling beautiful faces and prayers of embrace and protection not from external gods of technology and capital but the deeply rooted connection to family, friends, and tribe.

The “tribe” was the dream of the brand I founded. That warm human connection and respectful dialogue we were able to keep for a while. Life teaches a lot through action and example.

If I talk about an ecosystem of survival for 2023, I would choose to bring Zaynab, my grandmother. Her comfortable face, her grace, and her generosity.

Life could be simple. Just ask yourself who would you choose to bring to your ecosystem? The rest wouldn’t matter, to you at least…

#WalaHaja

#oneteam

#TheParadiseProject

What is #WalaHaja?

What is #WalaHaja?

tl;dr: Ending with “We are not in war with nature, we are nature!” after restlessly waking up at 2 AM for no obvious reason (except sleeping at 7 PM, hehe), Abdo decides to grab a coffee and reflects on a YouTube video arriving at an articulation of #WalaHaja as part of the new book (and another personal memoir) he’s writing.


I’m deeply touched by this video both intellectually and emotionally. Stoically and taoistically (I just made up a word, googled it and it turned out to exist), video in the first comment or search youtube: “Who We Really Are… When Everything Goes Wrong”

There are two ways to view the world, either that we are separate from everything and everyone and thus our best strategy for survival ought to be controlling everyone and everything around us, or that we are holistically connected to everyone and everything beyond our little intellect can conceive and thus our best strategy is to surrender, let go, and open up about the nature of what’s happening around us.

Opening up without structure can be dangerous as structures are necessary for survival and travel (having enough water and food during a mountain hike, calculating directions, energy level, covering your head from the burning sun, having good/reliable company, watching your steps, recovering bad mistakes), and closing off will result in our own demise and destruction and that of others, as we go back into inflicting our wounds onto others – even if and when they deserve it -.

Factually, our best strategy is to have as much control as nature permits us to have and to use that control to mimic the way nature works by a deep understanding of the laws of nature not only from the limited perspective of the laws of physics, math, psychology but from the direct exposure to the sun, the mountains, the seas, the animals, the dogshit, the garbage, the relentless drive of our natural ego, the excitement of our passions and the moaning of our lovers.

Take that balance and harmony and spread it over a timeline of daily actions, perceptions, and decisions and you get a life well-lived, not necessarily an easy, conflict-free life. But it could it a harder path as we grind deeply against two groups of people, those who are living under the illusion of absolute control and those who are living in the illusion of absolute freedom.

There are much rejection, alienation, and smearings to be had, but as we embody the practice of our balanced ideals, the same natural lifestyle allows us the strength, tenacity, and patience to build, support, and empathize even under the said circumstances and our belonging by then does not become as that of a belonging to a “group of people” versus another one, but a belonging into a ideal and a collective consciousness that transcends limited borders, manipulated intellect and distorted visions.

By then embodying and empowering our powerful and natural ego, becomes an act of pride other than shame as we express what mother nature has desired, nurtured, and invited to its embrace even by the time it thought it was being denied, rejected and expelled. And our drive towards bold, precise, and powerful action, even when and especially when encountered with resistance, blame, or hostility is responded to with, mostly, openness, flexibility, and patience, at least, most of the time. As we all know, nature can be nasty sometimes, and so we are capable of being when called for!

After years of emersion into Stoicism, by the end of last year, I fall in love with Taoism, December 31st, 2019, I recorded this video (https://www.instagram.com/p/B6vc1rNnEeA/) stating my intention of dropping all my big plans and paperwork and get in “the state of flow” or “intelligent spontaneity” as promoted by Taoism, I’m grateful to my journey and all those who contributed to it, (positively or negatively – though negatively seems favorable these days, hehe), that brought me here to experience that first hand and I look forward to all the powerful, beautiful and precise actions I intend for 2021.

This is the closest explanation of the #WalaHaja hashtag I had been using (before I even encode its meaning) as I have yet plenty to be discovered and possibly share.

Thank you Maryanne Stroud Gabbani and Al Sorat Farm family, humans, dogs, horses (here goes a long list of creatures) .etc for the warm, healing embrace and major inspiration at a time that I have needed the most. Thank you, J. E. Rash and Legacy International family for putting my inner warfare into models and systems and sometimes articulating (and others helping me / letting me articulate what needs to be articulated), I’m forever grateful as I draw my own path and conclusions.

Bye bye 2020. ya welcome, ya welcome 2021. We are not in war with nature, we are nature!

P.S. And for Facebook algorithms sake, here is an unrelated (really?) photo of Abdo confidently crossing the shady, previously terrifying fields of seagrass borders, leaving shallow reef, coastal water behind, and entering into the open, deep water. Guided, accompanied, and photographed into this new, unfamiliar and unknown world to him by his friend and mentor Tony Bo in this lovely piece of earth, called Dahab, that he now calls home. 

Chakras, a holistic 7-steps approach to balance and wellbeing

Chakras, a holistic 7-steps approach to balance and wellbeing

I had been fascinated with the topic of healing and becoming the best version of ourselves…

I found Charkra’s approach to be the most holistic and probably the simplest approach to pursue healing…

You connect what you thought as intellectual into your own body to certain “centers of energy” called Chakras…

This is possibly the best resource in the topic of Chakras:

My notes book simplified the video and the 7-steps healing journey to the below:

  1. Spine -> Earth -> Survival (Blocked by Fear): Let your fears flow down the creeks
  2. Genitals -> Water -> Pleasure (Blocked by Guilt): Release all blame and guilt within you
  3. Stomach -> Fire -> Will Power (Blocked by Shame): Release all letdowns and disappointments
  4. Heart -> Love -> Love (Blocked by Grief): Release all sadness and loss
  5. Throat -> Sound -> Truth (Blocked by lies): Release denials and lies
  6. Forehead -> Light -> Insight (Blocked by Illusion): Release illusions and separation
  7. Crown -> Thought -> Cosmic Energy (Blocked by attachment): Release all early attachments (attachment to all that you love)

 

The continuous pursuit of healing all these parts of us is the only guarantee that we keep living from our higher self…

The continuous pursuit of surrender…

Surviving Workplace Mobbing

Surviving Workplace Mobbing

“You should be grateful that I didn’t bring you the police to arrest you, right here, right now”

This was the CEO’s opening statement to my semi-requested termination meeting during an innovation program in Berlin. Less than 48 hours before, the most senior executive, who also won Europe’s top CMO of the year award a year before, has approached me with a warm personal congratulation for what he described as an “outstanding performance”.

As entrepreneurial leaders, CEOs and business executives we often operate in highly competitive environments and face highly intense and complicated conflicts that could cause severe consequences to someone’s career or wellbeing.

Not all leaders play fair and deciding on a course of action while being in the middle of such situations could be overwhelming. Often those who naturally have certain characteristics and experiences in facing conflicts are able to maintain a balanced outlook

Harassment, dominance and leverage control, workplace mobbing and incitement of mobbing is a phenomenon that faces emerging leaders more frequently than others.

Emotional and Psychological abuse is said to be more damaging than Physical Abuse. Physical abuse always leaves visible marks and can be situational traced back to incidents, though emotional and psychological abuse in most cases is extremely hard to trace, which makes it a popular practice for weak leaders and entities.

Also, those who experience emotional and psychological abuse over a period of time experience changes in their behavior and attitude that makes them vulnerable to have their behavior used against them.

As 31 years old entrepreneur, I have survived several incidents of incitement of mobbing and I have provided support and still providing support to entrepreneurs and executives while going through mobbing experiences.

People and organizations are often very afraid of change and this makes a certain type of leaders exercise incitement of mobbing as a tool for dominance and leverage control. I’m not surprised anymore to hear the names of individuals who were involved in mobbing experience.

You are an emerging leader who intimidates those above you

You are spending your time getting things done and not building relationships

You are not aware of group dynamics and positional power and leverage control

You are not protected by strong leaders / institutions above you

Your behavior allows others to take advantage of you

  1. Understand group dynamics
  2. Avoid coming off as intimidating or threatening
  3. Directly refute any intentional negative framing
  4. Build alliances with powerful people
  5. Gradual Escalation
  6. Avoid the Emails loop
  7. The 24 hour / 48 hours rule
  8. Be mindful of use of language
  9. Submit a police report: Emotional and psychological abuse is classified as a criminal act, even the most experienced abusers leave marks that could be traced back by authorities, if you are put in between committing actions that can be used against you. Immediately submit a police report detailing the specific incidents that caused you emotional distress.
  10. Legal support
  11. The 2 months rule
  12. The best revenge

 

My top 27 things to do before I die.

As a part of an exercise at Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence class on @Coursera. Prof Richard Boyatzis Asked to write down the top 27 things to do before we die.

On a second thought, I decided not to share my 27 list, though, the general theme in my 27 list had been about “sacrifice” and “fulfilling commitments” other than enjoying or having my own thing, which actually made me rethink a lot of things.

I highly recommend for you to write down your top 27 things to do before you die, it’ll help you very much discover more about the real you.

Cheers for now!

Your soul is in your keeping alone…

Come. Sit. Do you play? The whole world is in chess. Any move can be the death of you. Do anything except remain where you started and you can’t be sure of your end.

When I was sixteen I won a great victory. I felt in that moment that I should live to be one hundred, now I know I shall not see thirty.

None of us know our end really, or what hand will guide us there.

A King may move a man, a father may claim a son.

That man can also move himself. And only then does that man truly begin his own game.

Remember that howsoever you are played, or by whom, your soul is in your keeping alone.

Even though those who presume to play you be kings or men of power. When you stand before God, you cannot say “but I was told by others to do thus” or that “virtue was not convenient at the time.”

This will not suffice.

Remember that.

Tales of Corruption from USAID-funded Bamyan Media, with #ElMashrou3 Part I

After the striking wave of criticism the launch of ElMashrou3 was received with from entrepreneurs and despite all possible PR and Advertising tricks the money can buy; the opinion of professionals and obvious impact assessment have shown a great failure to a potentially massive project to Unleash Entrepreneurship in Egypt, for which the United Sates Development Agency seeded Bamyan Media with a $4.1 Million Cheque.

My blogs in this regard started as an observation to the feedback shared by entrepreneurs and knowing only little of behind the scenes from what I experienced with Bamyan Media, this topic evolved into an actual investigation as each communication I received led to another and ended up with mega stories of what is really going on there. The scope of corruption and deceit with which Bamyan Media dealt with their surrounding is extremely unbelievable.

Not to repeat myself, please refer to my other post Who is really behind El Mashrou3, to tack down the evidence of the entity controlling the project and its background.

There goes a lot of in-depth look of the work of Bamyan Media and it’s first ever project, El Mashrou3 in Egypt:

  • Strategy
  • Track record
  • The Funding
  • Production Industry
  • Media Agency
  • Entrepreneurship / Egypreneur
  • Contestants
  • Waste of energy and resources

Strategy

The business strategy of Bamyan Media is quite clearly stated in the LinkedIn profile of David Elliot, the one actually running Bamyan Media, I understand it might be quite sensitive to state that as David Elliot is obviously doing everything possible to make his daughter, Anna Elliot, feel like in charge, but her lack of any basic CEO skills  make this extremely obvious.

david_linkedin

Bamyans Approach is to access resources directed towards social entrepreneurs around the world and supposedly channel these resources, through some kind of “media platform” into social entrepreneurs. If we search for definition of Corruption and Mismanagement well find that most cases of corruption in development around the world is about entities that access large pools of resources and misdirect, mismanage or use these resources for private gains.

If we briefly survey entrepreneurs in Egypt whether they have sensed the $4.1 Million USD or whether it directly or indirectly contributed to Unleashing Entrepreneurship in Egypt, the response will be very obvious, if we add to it the fact that the non profit corporation Bamyan Media and its founders own a Limited Liability Company in Egypt that was created based on the assets of their project in Egypt, we will know who is really profiting from this.

Corruption is positioning yourself as a receiver of “donor” funding that you are not only unable to manage, but you abuse the whole surrounding in the process of trying to make use of it, the business strategy of Bamyan Media as stated by David Elliot is a perfect example of positioning for corruption.

Track record

Bamyan Media was awarded a $4.1 Million USD grant to “Unleash Entrepreneurship in Egypt”, Bamyan Media established in 2010 as per their website, had absolutely no track record in performing any of these activities, though, the only argument is that Anna Elliot, the daughter of Mr. David Elliot and presumably CEO of Bamyan Media was the “executive producer” of a similar TV Show in Afghanistan executed by USAID.

This part is covered in my post: Who is really behind El Mashrou3, makes it obvious that the show in Afghanistan was executed by USAID itself with funds from ASMED project which was managed by David Elliot, furthermore, by this time Anna Elliot was a student at Hampshire university and part time bar-tender she didnt qualify even as a junior producer to be credited as a the executive producer of a TV Show.

Meaning that the only supporting reason behind bringing Bamyan Media to Egypt was the fact that David Elliot managed a $54 Million USD funds for USAID in Afghanistan, part of which was used in funding a pilot season TV Show there, then with his daughter they set up Bamyan Media to continue running the same model at different environments where there are any “grant” money directed towards entrepreneurship according to the strategy above.

This is very striking in USAID’s approach  in contracting entities for impact, which obviously known to be former consultants with no experience or linkage to the economy who can cover up all their shortcomings through clever PR machines and creating a network of beneficiaries who would be interested in covering up on these cases of corruption and mismanagement for pieces of the pie.

The Funding

In this official document from USAID Egypt Entrepreneurship Fact Sheet, its confirmed that Bamyan Media, with no track record was able to secure $4.1 Million USD for their operation in Egypt. It is not an easy job for anyone around the world, but it sounded like a piece of cake for the Elliot’s. When I first met David Elliot on a one-on-one basis which resolving a strategic conflict he did everything possible to claim that he just joined his daughter after she started Bamyan Media which recently while looking at the background of the organization proved to be completely false. Why so keen on hiding this background?

USAID-Bamyan

U.S. State Department try to reflect pride in big numbers for supporting youth and entrepreneurs in Egypt and region, while USAID comes along as a PR initiative that doesnt mind, intentionally or unintentionally wasting potential for the sake of a few good mouths and a few articles in western news sites that doesnt take the effort to investigate real impact on the ground.

The funding which was granted for a non-profit was then used in setting up a Limited Liability Company, EL Mashrou3 LLC, registration number #63834 that its founders and cashing out from right now, even more, as they had no understanding of what they should be doing with the funds, Bamyan Media abused an unbelievable number of professionals, local entrepreneurs and even one of the largest media agencies in the world on their way to graduating El Msahrou3.

Below are some of these cases:

Production Industry

I interviewed exactly 7 producers who repeated the same story of the manipulative, amateurish, unethical approach of Bamyan Media. Beside David Elliot and Anna Elliot, Bamyan Media was joined by Asim Haneef, he was credited as the Executive Producer for the show, but practically speaking he was as far from production as it can be, following the same pattern of crediting Anna Elliot as Executive Producer of the TV Show in Afghanistan, Asim Haneef is obviously trying to use his journalistic background in building the image of Bamyan Media and expand their business in different countries.

My first accidental interview was with Mohammad A., the producer of the popular Khawater TV Series, he mentioned to me that when they arrived to Egypt, they tried to reflect their preference to work with him, while they shied away from presenting the TV Show produced in Afghanistan, as of being amateurish, Mohamed worked on formatting the concept for production, while is almost equivalent to starting from the scratch, meaning, they came with nothing, he also managed to  introduce them to a TV Network which accepted the project.

As the reformatting was done and introduction to the channel made, Bamyan Media turned their back on Mohammad A. and proceeded with their project then when they wanted to access the TV Network, they were turned down by the network which didnt knew them rather they approved the project for him, they were forced to get back to him and as he states it as a result of their manipulative, unethical approach he unreasonably increased the production budget to turn them away and he preferred to keep a cool personal relationship away from work.

What happened with the producer of Khawater was repeated dozens of times with the rest of the production industry in Egypt to the extent that Mr. Hisham Mahmoud former Vice President of ONTV mentioned that Egypt always had a mature, decent media industry, such abusive, unethical behavior was never witnessed in his years of experience.

Hisham Mahmoud former Vice President of ONTV also had more serious experience, he was brought aboard as a Senior Producer with the mission to aid the work on raising corporate funding for the production of the TV Show, Bamyan Media intended to use the $4.1 Million granted from USAID for its own operation and rather as its easier once you have the setup raise the production cost from corporate sponsors, initially a budget of 10-12 Million EGP was estimated, then reduced into $1 Million dollar.

Mr. Hisham states that they had colorful promises that attracted a lot of people as the media industry is challenged since Jan 2011, yet, they used some bureaucratic limitations imposed from USAID not to commit beyond three months with their sub-contractors, which as per his saying, was only a trick to get the juice and skip the payment.

The experience of Mr. Hisham Mahmoud included using him to initiate communication with potential sponsors and skipping his commission once deals are secured against the agreement made, using the three months limitation period as a legal cover. He also goes further to mention a weird situation when he arranged a meeting with a Senior Director at a leading Egyptian Bank that was interested in sponsorship, yet, David Elliot heard about a study conducted by the bank and got unreasonably clingy in accessing information, he says, the bank turned down the offer because of Elliots suspicious behavior relating to accessing the important economic study.

I always wanted to do something about this but never had the time and focus to, Mr. Hisham Mahmoud mentioned to me by the end of our meeting, this should really be known, it should be known that we have a decent and mature media industry in Egypt, I have never in my past professional experience ran by such manipulative, unethical example, who repeated the story with plenty of others.

Tamer E., Director of the popular Ray7een 3ala Feen Reality TV Show is also one of the Directors/Producers who was brought aboard, Tamer sensed the amateurish approach early on, after being squeezed for basic information and as he described it feeling violated like never before. Tamer excused himself from further involved with an SMS communication stating that The Dynamics are Awkward.

Another production house in Maadi witnessed a repeated story, after Bamyan Media approached them to lead the production for the show and they got the word, Asim Haneef requested a one-on-one meeting with one of three partners of the firm and offered her to join on her own individual capacity, which obviously is betraying the interest and trust of her partners, Haneef didnt find any issues with repeating the same pattern with several organizations, the situation fired back as she responded in an aggressive email communication CCing her partners that this was very stupid and unethical to propose.

It seems that Asim Haneef has repeated the same approach with several other organizations, the attitude of snitching, stealing and manipulating is not an attitude of someone who want to stay, we are a small industry and everyone knows everyone, no one would work with Bamyan Media anymore after being known for deceit and manipulation, main partner of the Production House stated, while requested Asim Haneef to be brought into the office, youll find half the production industry so keen on kicking his butt as he described it.

I was given plenty of other names and contacts for producers and production houses who were brought aboard, but this was enough for me to understand how they approached the production industry.

Furthermore, I was told another awkward story from the production house they finally worked with, I never had the chance to verify it and prefer not to publish it until its verified from its source.

Media Agency

Bamyan Media strike a strategic partnership with a leading Media Agency in the states before coming to Egypt where they started working with their local office on their branding and media strategy, I followed up with a lead that founder of Bamyan Media claimed before being over charged by the agency, as I went through a print out of Bamyan Medias account with the agency in a meeting with their CEO, It was clear who is lying, plus, the fact that, probably for emotional reasons, Bamyan Media didnt pay 70% of its pending installments to the agency and they might go for a legal action from their US office.

Moreover, the Media Agency CEO mentioned that Bamyan Media repeated the same pattern of behavior with professionals and production houses with the media agency, the agency brought an expensive format editor to write the format for the show, the agency endured the cost which was supposed to be covered from sponsors, upon securing the sponsorship deals Bamyan Media cut their relationship with the agency and denied payment, the CEO said that they used a void in the contract to avoid that, given that it was their fault they didnt request payment except for direct services.

At some point Bamyan Media announced being sponsored by a Major telecom, it seems like David Elliots attitude was repeated in a meeting with the CMO of the same teleco that resulted on turning down their offer, he was crazy, shouting at the CMO of a major teleco while securing a sponsorship deal? commented the CEO of the media agency.

To be continued

On the promise of TV Stardom, USAID-funded Bamyan Media abuses El Mashrou3 Contestants!

I had my blood boiling when I was told the story..

Publicly some of them seemed not to appreciate the experience for some reasons, but I thought it’s just the bitterness of losing a competition.

Contestent1_Feedback Contestent2_Feedback

Then, I was told..

Grabbing by the hand and threatening with a contract, the least can be labelled a “slavery contract” and using it to shut everyone up and stop them from demanding their rights?

Is this how a “social enterprise” functions?

Using people’s longing to TV Stardom to pass on terms, that I would pass to my friends at “Human Rights” institutions to check out for “Human Rights Violation”, before passing it to lawyers!

“You signed a contract, and by the way, it’s a very very aggressive contract”

That’s how David Elliot, threatened one of the contestants when they stood up against bullying

Of course, you can easily reflect the loyalty of a few, with the usual of some cheap PR tricks to the side

But this contracts speaks louder for what’s really going on and why would you want take this away from people?

And then threaten them and grab them if they don’t comply, and oh, as the contract states it, they can’t talk about it publicly,

They are required to take your abuse and shut the heck up in fear for what might happen if they don’t comply, slavery much?

And please, next time, when you are lured with TV Stardom or everything, make someone else read the contract for you, they might see what you can’t see.

What was really intriguing is that by the end of my interviews with some of the contestants they said the same thing, without even knowing it…

We just want to show this David Elliot that whoever told them that you abuse Egyptians all you want…

And then lure them with the promise of money and prizes if they don’t like it…

And they will take your money and prizes and shut up…

Was wrong

Was very very wrong!

This is not Afghanistan where things can be buried forever!

* This is only one story of dozens and dozens of stories I founds out in the past few weeks while “investigating” Bamyan Media’s work in Egypt, will be out on a good time!

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How do people react upon resentment?

Multiple times I’m being advised on taking care of my “personal brand” and tackle only generic generally accepted topic, I see everyone around me do it, but as I get to explore myself, I see I don’t need to lie about my personal brand on the internet(s), I’m searching for what’s true, for what’s real and I believe that doing great things in the world can only come when we are being real and true, not worried about our brand or plastic public image.

Who of you never felt the bitterness of being deserted by the people you fought and sacrificed for the most?

Who of you never experienced the salty sweat of a sword while being repetitively stabbed in your back, in the darkness, where no one can see?

Chances are you never did, unless you are in the habit of challenging your surrounding with new ideas and taking the lead in bringing change and disrupting the status quo, you’ll never experience that, and these words and clips below will remain to you as experiences of the less fortunateز

It is only when it’s just you out there challenging the word, planting more beautiful gardens, fighting for fairness, alone, that’s when you are vulnerable to all sort of betrayals and wounds that would naturally result in resentment, the ugly feeling of being let down by the people you trusted the most, you cared for the most, you sacrificed for the most, quietly and silentlyز

As I’m interested in sociology I tried to track down a few cases of how people reacted to that, I’m in love with stories and moving pictures so I’ll bring you a few known examples from movies most of us have watched.

1. Brave heart – Vengeance

William Wallace, the warrior with a broken heart storms the club of politica with his countrymen gathering asking them for only one thing, unity, he doesn’t care about governing or owning rather about freedom and all the beautiful principles worth fighting for and he gets it and they shake hands on it, though, when it’s time to interfere in the battlefield, the countrymen sell their souls to the English kind and leave him and the men followed naked in the battle field.

Minute 1:00 as countrymen get the sign to attack and desert their warriors

With the heart of a warrior William Wallace tracks down the English king to be stopped by a knight, that he discovers is the same countryman who has shaken hands with before the battle, now look at his eyes, it’s a window to a broken heart, sinking in a stream of pain and resentment

But what is a socially acceptable reaction to that? We all watched Braveheart and maybe it was our favorite part when he appears in the nightmares of his countrymen to take away their filthy traitor souls, by then, all of what considered vengeance  was very acceptable to us.

2. The Rock – Twisting Arms

We can't hold out much longer, sir!

General Hummel, you've gotta
get us outta here now!

I won't let you down.
I won't let you down, son.

Goddamn it, sir! How long do we have
to wait? I've lost *many* men already!

Sir, they're lightin' us up
like a firestorm!

This is General Hummel.
You gotta get my men outta there!

We don't have clearance
to go behind enemy lines, sir.

They're not coming for us,
are they, sir?

We all watched the crazy general, General Hummel, stealing destructive weapons to attack the same land he swore to defend and made heroic sacrifices fighting for, now, he is not being listened to, after his men was deserted  in battle, he is being neglected by the congressmen, pentagon and everyone. He visits his wife’s grave for some last words asking her: “whatever happens, please, don’t think less of me”.

Now the angry general has chosen to Twist arms, he requests a $100 Million fund or he will launch the gas against his own people, well, he never actually considered launching the gas or anything but it was a worthy game to twist their arm.

3. The Recruit – Betrayal

In another mode, Walter chooses to betray for being neglected after 27 years, neck deep in shit as he describes it. He allows this sense of resentment to turn him into a traitor against the same institution he helped develop

4. Warrior: confrontation and forgiveness

Thought, there is a completely different mode, in the combination of this fabulous scene from Warrior and The National’s about today, it doesn’t need lots of explanation as it’s quite self explanatory:

Today you were far away
and I didn’t ask you why
What could I say
I was far away
You just walked away
and I just watched you
What could I say
How close am I to losing you
Tonight you just close your eyes
and I just watch you
slip away
How close am I to losing you
Hey, are you awake
Yeah I’m right here
Well can I ask you about today
How close am I to losing you
How close am I to losing you

Highlights from the World Bank Annual Meeting

Highlights from the World Bank Annual Meeting


I was invited to attend The World Bank/IMF Annual Meeting in Washington DC during October last year and participate in The Civil Society Policy Forum, you know me, I wouldn’t pass such an opportunity without leaving my mark so Egypreneur organized a panel discussion there entitled: Engaging Local Entrepreneurs on Solving Development Challenges, featuring, in order of the photo below, beside myself, Lana Newishy, Chris Schroeder, Hasina Kharbhih and Magdi Amin, will write more about it on Egypreneur Stories.

مين اللي فعلاً ورا برنامج المشروع؟

طويب, من ساعة ما كتبت أول مقالة عن ردود فعل رواد الأعمال عن برنامج المشروع, ناس كانت قريبة من البرنامج تواصلت معايا وشاركت معلومات مهمة هتفيدنا وإحنا بندور علي فعلاً هل البرنامج كان ليه تأثير ولا لأ, وبما إن فيه أكتر من أربع حلقات من البرنامج اتذاعت خلاص, أكيد ده بيدي مادة كفاية تفيد في التحليل

طبعاً في الفترة اللي فاتت نفس ردود أفعال رواد الأعمال هيه هيه, إعتبار البرنامج معمول “سبوبة” من غير ما يعرض فعلاً حال رواد الأعمال في مصر, وعرض التحديات والبيئة المصرية بشكل مش مناسب, زيادة علي كده نسبة المشاهدة علي يوتيوب كمان بتقل مع الوقت بالرغم من إن الشركة بتدفع فلوس أكتر في الإعلانات علي اليوتيوب بجانب الإعلان علي فيس بوك, و طبعاً تكونت دايرة من مئات بتتواصل مع البرنامج بشكل سطحي جداً غالباً لأنهم مرتبطين بالفريق اللي ورا البرنامج

حتي الفريق في الشركة المنتجة مبقاش عنده مانع انه يدخل في خناقات علي رأي الناس في اللي بيعملوه, بعد مانشروا أغنية شعبية والناس بدأت تشتم فيها عاصم حنيف, المنتج المنفذ للبرنامج داخل يقولهم ديه أحسن أغنية في الدنيا, ممكن تشوف التعليقات من هنا

ومن الواضح ان بما إن الإستثمار الضخم اللي عملوه في الإعلانات في السنة اللي فاتت مجابش مشاهدات فعلية, قرروا انهم يعملوا تسويق ميداني, بيروحوا قهاوي وسط البلد ويقلبوا التلفزيون علي قناة النهار في معاد البرنامج ويشجعوا الناس انها تتفرج, الحاجة المضحكة ان الصور اللي شاركوها من الحملات ديه بتبين الفريق بتاعهم قاعد عامل نفسه بيتفرج والناس حواليهم ولاااا أي اهتمام, لدرجة انهم حتي حطوا علي صفحتهم بيطلبوا ناس اكتر ينضموا للحملات ديه معاهم

علي الرغم من كل ده, زي ماكتبت المرة اللي فاتت لو عايزين فعلاً نقيم التأثير بتاعت أي حاجة بتتنفذ, المفروض بجانب ردود الأفعال اننا ندور فعلاً علي أكثر العوامل تأثيراً وبعدين نفحصها بشكل عميق. طبعاً هيكون أول عامل هو مين اللي عامل الحاجة ديه, مين اللي ليه السلطة انه يتخذ قرارات وبيوجه دفة الحاجة اللي بتتنفذ.

في البلوج ده هندور علي مين فعلاً فعلاً اللي ورا البرنامج وبعد كده هنبص أكتر علي طريقة التجهيز والتعامل مع اللي حواليه ونفيمها.

طيب من الاخر يعني دلوقتي مين اللي ورا برنامج “المشروع”؟

who_is_behind

طبعاً لو دخلنا علي الويب سايب بتاعهم هنلاقيهم بيقولوا ان البرنامج هو عمل مشترك بين قناة النهار وشركة الإنتاج وحاجة كده اسمها “باميان ميديا” ومؤسسات دعم وتطوير الأعمال زي كذا وكذا وكذا وحاطين قايمة طويلة باللوجوز بتاعت طوب الأرض, ده حتي يأخي لسه ماشالوش اسم “إيجي برونور” من بعض القنوات عندهم مع إننا قلنالهم يشيلوه من أكتر من سنه, فياريت وانتوا بتقروا ده زي الشطار تشيلوه, احسن ما يتبعت لكم تذكير مش هيعجبكمElMashrou3_Egypreneur2

بالإضافة لده في رسالة بعتوها علي الإيميل ونشروها علي صفحتهم هنا بيعملوا أي حاجة ويقولوا أي حاجة علشان يغطوا علي حقيقة مين الشركة اللي بتنفذ البرنامج ومين اللي بيمولها, كاتبين في الرسالة ان اللي بيشتغل علي البرنامج ده مجموعة من الشباب المصريين علي كام خواجة من الي عملوا البرنامج ده في “بلاد بره” قبل كده. أيوه بقي وهنا نييجي لحتة بلاد بره ديه, لأن بلاد بره هنا بتعود علي فين؟ علي أفعانستان

egyptian_youth

ده يخلينا نسأل نفسنا ايه اللي مخليهم مش وضحين كده وبيخبوا علي حقيقة من المالك للبرنامج وايه طبيعة علاقتهم مع “الشركاء” دول

لو رجعت كده للإيميل بتاعي هلاقي في إبريل 2012 لما كانت مؤسسة باميان ميديا الأمريكية بتبتدي شغلها في مصر وشغلت كام مصري معاها كده بعتولي إيميل بيطلبوا فيه يحطوا اللوجو بتاع إيجي برونور في كتيب هيطبعوه في أحد الفعاليات, ساعتها أنا ما كنتش أعرف حاجات كتير والموضوع كان معروض بشكل احترافي محترم يعني فعديتها ومقولتلهومش لأ, بس ياسيدي, هما خدوا موافقة علي ديه, وداروا يحطوا اللوجو في كل حتة في كل مناسبة من غير استئذان واللي هو لعب عيال يعني.

early_partnerships

طبعاً المؤسسة الأمريكية باميان ميديا كانت بتستفيد جداً من وا انها تحط اللوجوز مع بعضها, لما تييجي تدخل سوق طبعاً بتحب تصاحب الناس كلها لحد مايبقي ليك رجل, وطبعاً لو قلت للمؤسسات ديه أنا هطلعكم في التلفزيون مش هيبقي عندهم مانع. بعد كده هتستخدم ان الناس ديه قايلة انها معاك انك تروح للممولين والرعاة تقولهم بصوا كل الناس ديه شغالة علي الحاجة ديه واحنا عايزين دعمكم فيها وطبعاً وجود كل المؤسسات ديه هيقوي موقفك كتير, بعد كده ابقي زحلقهم, اضحك عليهم, اي حاجة. لو لحظتوا في ردود الأفعال المرة اللي فاتت جزء كبير جداً كان جاي من المؤسسين لشركات وانشطة معروضة كأنها شريك للبرنامج, معني كده ان ملهومش إيد في اللي بيحصل

بعد ماجابوا أول كام مؤسسة اللي حصل بعدها هبل, باقوا بيدوروا علي أي لوجو ممكن يلاقوه يحطوه معاهم كشريك, يعني انت لو عامل نشاط طلابي في أي كلية ممكن تروح وتحط اللوجو بتاعك معاهم, عمر عيشة كاتب سابق في موقع ومضة, بيقول انهم عملوا كده علشان يخبوا علي مين؟ علي حقيقة ان المعونة الأمريكية هي الممول الرئيسي للشركة اللي ورا البرنامج واللي هي المالكة والمتحكة في المشروع, علشان لو حد عايز ينتقدهم, ينتقد كل المؤسسات ديه, زي “يتفرق دمه بين القبائيييل” كده.

omar_bamyan

الفكرة بأه ان كل اللوجوز والأسامي اللي انتم شايفينها ديه ماكانش ليها دخل في القرارات المتعلقة بالبرنامج بتاتاً, هم بس هيعزموهم علي فعاليات وعلي جلسات استماع علشان يسمعوا منهم وبعدين يعملوا اللي هما عايزين حتي لو كان ضد مصلحتهم, وطبعاً المؤسسة الأمريكية ديه شغلت معاها فريق من المصرين, ناس محترمين اه بس مهمتهم انهم يلمعوا صورة البرنامج في المجتمع ويبانوا هما في الواجهة كأنهم الشباب المصري الكيوت اللي بيعمل البرنامج وهو المؤسسة الأمريكية مسيطرة علي كل كبيرة وصغيرة, وطبعاً هيكون فيه ناس مستفيدين مش هيهمهم مين جاي يعمل أيه فهيعاملوا معاه ويدعموه طالما انهم هيستفادوا.

الحقيقة بأه أن شبكة التلفزيون هي مجرد قناة لإذاعة البرنامج والترويج له بنفس الشكل اللي بتعمله مع كل البرامج, شركة الإنتاج هي زي أي شركة انتاج في الدنيا بيروح ليها عميل ويقولها عايزين ننتج البرنامج الفلاني ويدفعل لها, وكل اللوجو اللي محطوطه هي لشركاء كل التعامل معاهم بالشكل اللي اتكلمت عليه فوق مجرد لوجوز جمب بعض وفعاليات واحتفاليات وعشا وده اخره, وهم مستفيدين انهم يعرضوا نفسهم كأن كل الناس واقفة معاهم, معادا مؤسستين اللي دخلين في الموضوع بجد وهما “المعونة الأمريكية” وهي الممول الرئيس لبامينان ميديا ومؤسسة قطرية اسمها “صلتك”..

علشان فعلاً نبقي بنحلل صح, بندور علي مين, بندور علي المالك, مين صاحب البرنامج ده واللي يقدر يتخد كل القرارات

وده هيرجعنا للمكان اللي بدأ فيه البرنامج من الأول

Anna_Afghanistan2أنا إليوت, المؤسسة والمديرة التنفيذية لباميان ميديا في أفغانستان

في سنة 2007 واحد اسمه ديفيد إليوت كان شغال كبير مستشارين التنمية في هيئة المعونة الأمريكية في أفغانستان, في الوقت ده بنته اسمها أنا إليوت, كان عندها 23 سنة في الوقت ده وكانت بتدرس في جامعة هامبشير وشغالا في بار بعد الدراسة, وديه حاجة عادي عندهم, راحت تزوار أبوها في أفغانستان, ساعتها كان شغال برامج مسابقات واقعية زي “أفغان ستار” اللي هو شبه البرامج الأمريكية بالظبط. طبعاً أنا اتكلمت مع ابوها في انها عايزة تعمل حاجة زي كده, وبما إن أبوها شغال في “التنمية” أكيد هيختاروا حاجة ليه علاقة بالتنمية, فإختاروا الرواد المجتمعيين, الناس اللي بتعمل بزنس وتفيد المجتمع في افغانستان وكده

david_linkedin

في الوقت ده كان ديفيد إليوت مسئول عن ادارة 54 مليون دولار أمريكي من أموال المعونة الأمريكية في مشروع تطوير الشركات الصغيرة والمتوسطة في أفغانستان بيسموه, ASMED طبعاً عارفين بعد الحرب الأمريكية علي أفغانستان الحكومة الأمريكية قررت انها توجه كمية كبيرة جداً من الأموال لما سموه إعادة إعمار أفغانستان وكده, وطبعاً الأخ ديفيد ملقاش الموضوع صعب أنه يجيب لبنته 500 ألف دولار علشان تحقق حلمها وتنتج البرنامج في أفغانستان, طبعاً فرصة ذهبية في سوق ميعرفش الكلام ده, ومفيهوش أي منافسة, ولا شفافية محدش هيسأل ولا يعرف الفلوس جاية منين ولا رايجة فين.

الغريب برضه في الموضوع ان الفيديوهات الرسمية الوحيدة الموجودة عن البرنامج اللي اتعمل في أفغانستان موجودة علي قناة علي يوتيوب بنفس اسم المشروع أبو 54 مليون دولار اللي ديفيد إليوت بيديره, معني كده أنا وجه الفلوس علشان ينفذ المشروع ممكن تتأكد من كلامي عن طريق اسم القناة علي يوتيوب من هنا  https://www.youtube.com/user/ASMEDInfo/videos

طبعاً أنا إليوت لقيتها فرصة ذهبية فأجلت دراستها وانشغلت بإنها تشرف علي انتاج المرحلة الأولية من البرنامج في أفغانسان واللي بيسموه Pilot يعني مرحلة تجريبية كده, وطبعاً المعونة الأمريكة استخدمت نفوذها انها تعرض البرنامج علي أشهر قناة أفغانية TOLO TV بيتفرج عليها أكتر من نص مشاهدي التلفزيون في أفغانستان, الشركة صاحبة القناة نفسها بتقول 59% و مقالة في NBCNews بتقول ان القناة بيتفرج عليها 17 مليون أفغاني.

طبعاً المعونة الأمريكية بتفتخر ان الموسم التجريبي من البرنامج اتفرج عليه 7 مليون أفغاني, وطبعاً ديه شكلها جامد جداً في الإعلام, بس لو حللت الموضوع هتلاقي لو قناة بيتفرج عليها 17 مليون أفغاني والبرنامج اللي علي القناة اتفرج عليه 7 مليون, معني كده ان 10 مليون كانوا لإيلا بيقفلوا التلفزيون لما يشوفوا البرنامج أو يجيبوا قناة تانية, لو عندهم يعني قنوات تانية في افغانستان. 

بس علي أي حال, اطلقوا حملة إعلامية كبيرة في الإعلام الغربي وبدئت الجرايد والمواقع الكبيرة تكتب عن ازاي “أنا إليوت” و “المعونة الأمريكية” أطلقت برنامج جامد علشان إعادة إعمار أفغانستان والذي منه. 

حاجة مهمة نلاحظها هنا انه في المرحلة ديه, شركات الميديا الأمريكية كانت بتسيطر تماماً علي الإعلام في أفغانستان, المقال ده بيتكلم عن أزاي المشاهد الأمريكي هيقدر يتعرف بسهولة علي المناظرات الرئاسية في أفغانستان علشان شركات الإنتاج هي هيه, فــ في الوقت ده الشركات الأمريكية كانت مكتسحة الملعب في الإعلام الأفغاني وكل اللي عايز يعمل حاجة في الإعلام يروح أفغانستان. 

طبعاً موقع المعونة الأمريكية USAID حاطط البرنامج ده في أفغانستان علي انه قصة نجاح عظيمة وبيقول انهم خلاص هيشتغلوا علي الموسم التاني, ولازم طبعاً الكلمتين الجمدين عن ازاي المعونة الأمريكية بتعرف تعمل إصلاح وتنمية حول العالم والكلام ده ممكن تشوف المقال من هنا http://www.usaid.gov/results-data/success-stories/afghan-entrepreneurs-%E2%80%9Cdream-and-achieve%E2%80%9D

بس من الناحية التانية بقي أشهر موقع أخبار في أفغانستان KabulPress.org حاطط البرنامج ده في تقرير عاملة أسمه “الفساد الأمريكي وسوء الإدارة يهدد مستقبل أفغانستان” كاتب عن البرنامج ده تحت بند “مشاريع مشبوهة من المعونة الأمريكية” وقايل انه في حين ان المعونة الأمريكية بتدعي ان البرنامج عمل تأثير ضخم الناس في أفغانستان محستش بأي حاجة خالص, ممكن تقري المقال من هنا برضه  http://kabulpress.org/my/spip.php?article4037

والسؤال البديهي اللي بيطرح نفسه هنا, لو البرنامج كان ناجح أوي كده في أفغانستان, مكملوش ليه بموسم تاني هناك؟

DreamAchieve

دلوقتي بقي, إزاي باميان ميديا, بتحتفل بنفسها علي انها اللي عملت البرنامج في أفغانستان لما البرنامج اتزاع في 2008 وعلي الموقع الرسمي لبامينان ميديا كاتبين انهم تأسسوا في 2010, علي أساس ان بنت ديفيد إليوت, اللي كان مسئول عن الــ 54 مليون دولار هي اللي كانت محطوطة كمنتج منفذ للبرنامج حتي الصفحة ديه من موقع Devev بتعرض بشكل واضح ان البرنامج كان مملوك وبيتنفذ لــ هيئة المعونة الأمريكية  معني كده ان كلام باميان ميديا ان عندها سابقة أعمال في الموضوع ده أي كلام. و بيني وبينك علي أيه يعني حتي!

أنا قعدت أتطقس أون لاين علي أي حاجة ليها علاقة بالبرنامج اللي اتعمل في أفغانستان وملقتش حاجة ليها لازمة خالص, حتي لو دورت علي يوتيوب هتلاقي مقاطع عبيطة. لما إتكلمت مع أول منتج باميان ميديا كانت عايز تنتج من خلالة قالي انهم ماوروهوش أي حاجة من البرنامج اللي اتعمل في أفغانستان وقالوله انهم كانت مجرد تجربة مش احترافية ودلوقتي عايزين يعملوا الإحترافي معاه. بالإضافة لده علي لسان أنا إليوت نفسها قالت ان البرنامج اللي انتجناه في أفغانستان كان ممل جداً, وبعدين استدرجت “بس 7 مليون اتفرجوا عليه” راح واحد من الفريق قام يغطي علي الموضوع ويقول معلش أصل أنا مش بتعرف تبيع نفسها كويس!!

علي أي حال في 2010 بناءاً علي الموقع الرسمي, ديفيد إليوت و بنته أنا إليوت عملوا باميان ميديا Bamyan Media علشان ياخدوا السمعة اللي اتعملت من البرنامج الفكسان في أفغانستان ويقتحموا دول العالم التالت علشان ينشروا ريادة الأعمال والذي منه زي ما بيقولوا, باميان ميديا مسجلة نفسها كمؤسسة لا تهدف للبرج في امريكا Non Profit Corporation وده طبعاً علشان يعرفوا ياخدوا فلوس من المتبرعين والمؤسسات العالمية بس لما ييجوا بلد بيسجلوا شركة تهدف للربح زي ماعملوا في مصر لما سجلوا شركة El Mashrou3 LLC الغريبة ان حتي الداعمين لبامينان ميديا في التغطية الإعلامية اللي عملوها في المقال اللي هتلاقيه في الاخر كاتبين “من الوهلة الأولي تبدوا استراتيجية باميان ميديا كما لو كانت استراتيجية مغول الميديا لإقتحام أسواق العالم الثالث”.  

بس يا تري هل باميان ميديا تخلت عن مظلة المعونة الأمريكية اللي كانت بدأت من خلالها؟

طبعاً بعد الموسم في أفغانستان أنا كانت بتتعرض في الميديا الغربية كالبطل المغوار اللي راحت افغانستان علشان تساعد الناس, حتي كانت مستضيفينها في البيت الأبيض ذات نفسه علشان تتكلم عن أمجادها مع أمجاد المعونة الأمريكية المزعومة. الصورة اللي تحت من الصفحة الرسمية لباميان ميديا.

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يا تري ايه تاني هدف بعد أفغانستان ممكن باميان ميديا تسعي اليه؟ مصر طبعاً بعد الثورة. باميان ميديا عرضت علي المعونة الأمريكية انها تروح مصر علشان تعمل برنامج شبيه باللي اتعمل في أفغانستان وطبعاً المعونة الأمريكية ادتلهم شيك مفتوح لمدة تلات سنين علشان ييجوا مصر يعملوا اللي هما عايزينه, طالما أنه بيخدم أهداف المعونة الأمريكية , اللي أصلاً باميان ميديا اتبنت عليها.

في الحته ديه بقي بالذات أنا مش محتاج أدور أون لاين, علشان في الوقت ده بالظبط أنا كنت متفق مع قناة تلفيزيونية ومع راعي رئيسي علي اننا هنعمل برنامج شبيه جداً, ده كان قبل الثورة, بعد الثورة القناة للأسف اتباعت وكان لازم أبدأ من الأول تاني, ده إيميل باعته لواحد من أهم المنتجين في مصر بأطلب منه تقيم مالي لإنتاج البرنامج, يعني البرنامج كان خلصان مش محتاج غير فلوس علشان ينتج ويتذاع. 

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خلال الفترة ديه قابلي بعض موظفي المعونة الأمريكية في مصر, وطبعاً أنا مكنتش عارف حاجة غير اللي قالوهولي انهم معاهم فلوس ومهمتهم انهم يساعدوا الناس اللي زيي بيعملوا حاجات تفيد المجتمع والشباب المصري بعد الثورة وهكذا, المهم اتقابلت معاهم وشاركتهم في تفاصيل اللي بيحصل وحتي كان فيه خبير في الإعلام موجود في مصر ساعتها قعدت معاه وعجبه جداً الكلام اللي بقولة, بس واستنين يجيني الرد منهم, ففي وسط الطلام بعتولي إيميل مبعوت من أنا إليوت بتقولهم شكراً علي الدعم وحطة معلومات عن الكلام اللي اتعمل في أفغانستان, طبعاً كان بعيد عني فمركزتش فيه

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بس يا سيدي, وإذ فجأة, أعرف إن المعونة الأمريكية مولت باميان ميديا علشان تنتج برنامج شبيه في مصر, طبعاً كان ساعتها إحنا ما استنناش الفوس وفتحنا في الشغل جامد ومبقتش فاضي للبرنامج ده بالذات, فسبتني منه وقولت أهوه أتعلم من الخبرة ديه واتجاهل الموضوع تماماً, بس للأسف الموضوع مكانش راضي يسيبني في حالي

يعني بامينان ميديا اللي لسه معمومة من مشروع بدأ في المعونة الأمريكية قدرت تحصل علي تمويل مفتوح من المعونة الأمريكية لمدة تلات سنين تبرطع فيه في مصر زي ما تحب علشان تعمل برنامج شبية, التمويل بدأ من سبتمبر 2011 والشركة قعدت سنتين لحد ماعرفت تطلع برنامج المشروع دلوقتي. عمر عيشة أحد المحررين السابقين في موقع ومضة بيقول أنه عارف ان باميان ماديا واخدة 5 مليون دولار من المعونة الأمريكية علشان تسيطر علي المؤسسات اللي بتساعد الشباب في مصر عن طريق المشروع, وحتي بيقول للناس علي فيس بوك انهم ميخلوش الغريب اللي بيمثل الحكومة الأمريكية يسيطر علي حاجة مهمة زي دعم الشباب انهم يبدأوا مشاريعهم.

OmarAysha

علي أي حال باميان ميديا اللي هي بتاخد الفلوس من المعونة وغيرها علي انها لا تهدف للربح عملت شركة تهدف للربح في مصر علشان تمشي شغلها عن طريقها, هما قالولي ان باميان ميديا بتمتلك 99% من شركة المشروع بس ده كلام مش مؤكد, يعني من الاخر مفيش مشاكل انهم يكسبوا من وراها من تحت لتحت

ElMashrou3_Header

يبقي كدا بيتأكد لنا إن المتحكم بكل حاجة بيقوم بيها المشروع مش هما الشباب اللطاف اللي بيحاولوا يساعدوا الناس بحسن نية, ولا المتطوعين الي بيحاولوا يقضوا وقتهم في حاجة مفيدة, المتحكم الفعلي هي مؤسسة أمريكية إسمها باميان ميديا وبيدريها ديفيد إليوت وبنته أنا إليوت, طبعاً هما دلوقتي قاعدين شغالين في الإعلام علي أساس إن المشروع ديه شركة مصرية بتساعد الناس وجابوا واحدة مصرية أمريكية سموها المدير التنفيذي للشركة علشان يخبوا كل حاجة من تحت لتحت. ودلوقتي قاعدين يحاربوا علشان يقدروا ياخدوا البرنامج ده انه يكون علي مستوي العالم العربي

طبعاً من غير أي تأثير يذكر ونسبة مشاهدة مكسفة, ضيف ليها حالات كتيرة من الفساد في تعامل باميان ميديا باللي حواليها, اللي خلت أحد أهم الأشخاص في إنتاج البرنامج تبعت لي رسالة وتقلي انهم أكتر ناس مش نضيفة معندهاش أي احترافية وحرامية هي اشتغلت معاهم في حياتها, الرسالة أيها كمان

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من الواضح إن باميان ميديا مصابة بغرور عجيب نتيجة للدعم الامتناهي والغير مسئول من فلوس الحكومة الأمريكية خليتهم مش بس يستريحوا في فشلهم لمدة سنتين قبل مايطلعوا البرنامج بس كمان يضحكوا علي الناس اللي بيتعاملوا معاهم وينصبوا عليهم وهم بيحاولوا يسيطروا علي موضوع ريادة الأعمال في الشرق الأوسط بالنيابة عن الحكومة الأمريكية اللي مدياهم كل التمويل والتسهيلات. طبعاً سرقة الملكية الفكرية من رواد الأعمال الحقيقيين و النصب وخيانة الناس اللي بيشتغلوا معاهم ده جزء بسيط من اللي عملوه لحد دلوقي.

بص حتي ديفيد إليوت بيتكلم إزاي علي أنه راح اليمن علشان يبيع البرنامج هناك, رحنا هنا وخادونا للقوضا اللي فوق فووووق فوووووووق, وجابولنا كل الناس المهمين, ده كلام حد رايح علشان يساعد الناس ولا علشان “يركبهم” ويسيطر عليهم؟

David_Yemen

المهم, لما نتعرف علي الناس اللي ورا المشروع فعلاً هنسأل نفسنا, هل فعلاً الناس ده مؤهلة أنها تعمل حاجة زي كده؟ هل هم حتي كانوا مهتمين بإنهم يفيدوا الناس, وهيهموا يفيدوا الناس ليه؟ هل الطريقة اللي حصلوا بيها علي التمويل بتعبر فعلاً عن مؤسسة بتحاول تساعد الناس وتنشر روح إيجابية مبينهم؟

يستكمل قريباً…

للوهلة الأولي يبدوا برنامج أنا إليوت كما لوكان استراتيجية المغول لإقتحام الأسواق الناشئة, من مجلة ميلتون الغربية

Anna_Elliot_1

Courtesy of Bamyan Media on Facebook

تنبيه: المعلومات اللي موجوده هنا كلها موجودة ومنشورة بشكل علني في أماكن مختلفة تمت الإشارة ليها في كل موضع, المقصود من الكتابة هو توضيح تأثير البرنامج علي الشباب المصري وغير مقصود أي أهانة لأي شخص مذكور, ومحصلش أي تعدي علي خصوصية أي حد علشان نعمل البحث ده.

Professionalism, losing the essence for a high conviction rate?

Law-Abiding-Citizen-Poster

Law Abiding Citizen is becoming one of my favorite movies, as someone with interest in sociology, I try to comprehend how communities form and societies function.

One of the deepest conversations in the movie is when Sarah discusses with her boss how she sees her career path at the age of 35, sharing that she wishes she hasn’t sacrificed all the things that she could be and do as a result of her commitment to the profession, just to get high convection rate on a performance report while climbing the career ladder!

Conversation starting Minute 7:10 in this video.

- Hey, Nick, can I ask you something?
- Hmm?

Would you do it
the same way now?

Would you still cut
a deal for Darby?

This is the job, Sarah.
We have to make choices.

- But did you make the right choice?
- We made the right choice, right?

I don't know.

I'm 35, Nick.

And there are things-
there are possibilities

that I'm not gonna have now.

And it's okay.
I know it's part of the deal.

And don't get me wrong.
I love working for you.

But I just want to make sure
I gave up those things

for more than just
a high conviction rate.

The experience of my father winning a 10 years long legal battle had been heart-wrenching, that put me in the mood for much exploration, lots of people hide under the mantra of professionalism and performance to do things against the essence of what they are meant to do.

Before careers and professionalism, there are humans, values and principles. Unfortunately, the human society has for the most part failed to celebrate the few good men and women who stick with the essence and build and sustain beauty other than celebrate a plastic sense of professionalism!

To hell with what you’d consider “professionalism” if it makes me lose my essence.

If this is professionalism, then I prefer to be labelled an amateur who cares about the essence of what he do!