I come from the Coptic Christian community in Egypt, a community that have often been regarded as a minority and was often marginalized. As a result, I grew up finding myself in a community that is closed on itself and isolated from the bigger community. Until recently, I knew very little about my identity as an Egyptian citizen, about other Egyptians coming from different religious backgrounds- except from the negative picture that was depicted to us about the violence of Islam. All of this changed when I started working in a community development project that brought me in contact with the wider community, helped me break a lot of stereotypes about “other” Egyptians, and made me understand what does it mean to be an Egyptian citizen. Since then, I became very interested and focused on transferring the same experience to my friends and acquaintances in the church and other Christian communities, and offer them opportunities to get more active and engaged in the wider community. One of the ideas that I’m currently working on with one of my Muslim Egyptian friends is engaging Egyptian youth coming from diverse religious backgrounds in an interfaith dialogue and action doing community work together. The project aims at providing a space for the youth to engage in a transformational interfaith learning journey. Usually the youth coming from different religious backgrounds don’t work together because they don’t know much about each other, and thus rumors and stereotypes are developed. Our aim from this project is to reconnect the youth with their common identity as Egyptian citizens.
PulseWire will help me in getting this project on grounds, since it provides me with networking and resources exchanges opportunities. I hope to get connected with women who have worked on interfaith dialogue and diversity projects, and to learn more from their experiences and best practices. I’m also looking to find a mentor who can help me throughout all the phases of project management. I can definitely see lots of opportunities emerging from a network like PulseWire.Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change