We take a look at the crackdown in Iraq over comedy, get a small status update on our humanitarian mission in Turkey, and break down some of our latest Innovation Hub grantees.
Welcome back to the Weekly IBB Update!
This Substack is the one-stop shop to find out everything happening in the wide world of Ideas Beyond Borders, where we catch up with our friends, followers, and valued donors about everything we accomplished over the past seven days. If you would like to join us on our mission to spread good ideas where they are needed most, please subscribe to our mailing list and share these updates with those you know!
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Earthquake Relief and Reinvestment
“The Syrians worked hard to rebuild their lives in Turkey. Most of them work long hours to buy just enough food to survive. Now their lives have been destroyed again, and many have given up hope”
Our Innovators in Turkey and Syria have already started providing aid! We will have a much bigger update on our progress in the region next week, getting progress updates and pictures is difficult when everyone is focused more on simply handing out the supplies we have been able to provide. In the last two weeks, we were able to provide an emergency grant through our Innovation Hub program to Hani Hammadeh, who has been able to distribute food and medical supplies to around 50 families, all currently living in tents as their homes have been reduced to rubble. These supplies should last these families a few weeks, so there is still a lot more need though, so if you can please consider donating directly to our earthquake relief fund.
Innovator Profile: Samiullah Nazari
“There’s no lack of talent in Afghanistan, but there is a lack of avenues for the global market to access it. Inspirand is one of many innovative solutions which is leveling the playing field, allowing everyone to access the same opportunities”
Afghan software engineer Samiullah Nazari couldn’t apply for international freelance work due to payment barriers in Afghanistan. So he started Inspirand, a company that outsources web design and development projects to freelancers in Afghanistan, paying them in Canadian dollars. The lower rates charged by Afghan freelancers help them secure work in Canada, while the exchange rate boosts their income substantially. Inspirand aims to provide talented Afghans with sustainable career opportunities and bridge the gap between the two markets.
Read our full story on Samiullah here.
Innovator Profile: Ali Al Musawi
“They wanted me to use my influence to promote the Iranian-Islamic way of thinking… The harassment started when I refused to cooperate with them. These people are killing our culture. What they offer is dangerous to society”
Bookish is a mobile library operating in Baghdad, Iraq, offering a variety of books to students and the general public. Founder and IBB Innovator Ali Al Musawi is determined to provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas and open discussion through Bookish book clubs, despite facing harassment and arrests from groups attempting to impose their ideology on the Iraqi public. Al Musawi believes that books are a powerful weapon against the rising totalitarian way of thinking and a means to maintain Iraq’s link to its literary past. Bookish enthusiasts have requested more frequent book club meetings, and Al Musawi is seeking support to fund additional book clubs and upgrade the mobile library van.
Read our full story on Ali here.
How the Arrest of an Iraqi YouTuber is Inspiring a Free Speech Revolution
“It is a slippery slope from controlling bloggers, social media influencers, and entertainment. I believe this is just the beginning of governmental efforts to interfere in people’s freedom of expression and advance their efforts to silence and scare everyone. It’s about control.”
Faisal’s new article at the International Correspondent discusses the current revolution roiling through Iraq over the arrest of Youtube comedian Aboud Skeba. The Iraqi government, which has close ties with the Iranian regime, is currently cracking down on free speech and expression in the country. The government has passed new legislation on free expression and forced mass censorship, which affects everyone they deem a threat to their existence. Earning its status as one of the most corrupt regimes in the world, the government is targeting comedians and those who criticize them. Iraqi citizens despise their government’s overreach, and control exerted over them, and some have started a campaign to stop this harmful and dangerous legislation from being upheld.
Read our full story on Aboud here.