Films & Polls on Arab World

The month of June will focus on Electoral Process, Elections, and Election Politics.  The Arab Awakening has prompted a series of new elections in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya–as well as the renewed discussion of electoral process in others.  Last year the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia voted on whether or not women may vote in the future.  In other parts of the world, like in PITAPOLICY’s home country, the USA, 2012 elections dominate the headlines as both presidential candidates rally around parties and Congressional elections organize their primaries.  On a whole, lessons learned will be shared as pita-consumers compare and contrast election, voter, and party experiences.

Our first post began with a discussion of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood by Nadia Hannout.  She described the grassroots, civic participation in organizing the Muslim Brotherhood in part one of her essay.  Two weeks ago, we reviewed how a political campaign in the US shares similar moments and obstacles during candidate elections in countries, like Tunisia.  Last week, we continued with part two of Hannout’s discussion.  PITAPOLICY is preparing a piece for CG News Service on US Presidential Elections and the implications for US relations with Egypt & Tunisia.  Pita-consumers: we want to hear your thoughts!  So we invite you to participate in the poll on “How US Presidential Elections Will Impact Relations with Egypt & Tunisia?


Today’s post is a prelude to the theme for July: Development.  PITAPOLICY intern, Nadia Hannout, has shared her observations from a film screening documenting development efforts for youth in Lebanon.  For more, follow us on Tumblr!

Nadia Walks Us Towards: Meet Me Halfway

By: Nadia Hannout

On Tuesday, June 12, the Nawaya Network screened its documentary Meet Me Halfway  at the George Washington University.  Its founder, Zeina Saab shared her vision with those present, and hoped the film would inspire others to join her in the worth while cause of empowering underprivileged and marginalized children in Lebanon (and eventually elsewhere).

Nawaya was founded to provide children who demonstrate a clear talent or the passion to hone any sort of skill (athletic, artistic, etc…) with the opportunity to do so.
The film was both touching and inspirational and served as a bittersweet reminder of the abundance of talent that lies out there in the world.  Talent that we may never know about, and children that could become modern day Beethovens, Picassos, and Messis, given the chance.
Meet Me Halfway followed four youths now a part of the network, and showcased their skills, aspirations, and what the organization has done to provide them with the resources and opportunities necessary to enhance them.  It is Nawaya’s hope that the future of these youths will be brighter, and that their skills will be used to achieve a better life for themselves, and others around them.
Although it is too early to tell whether the organization will have the effect it seeks in Lebanon, its efforts are highly commendable, and its structure is such that allows those wishing to join in its efforts to do so!  Businesses and individuals can partner up with Nawaya by doing more than contributing financially, although that’s always helpful…  Any one over the age of 18 can apply to mentor a youth, and if you’re interested in helping out but aren’t sure how–just reach out to the Nawaya Network, which seems eager in engaging with all of it’s supporters!

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