We hope you had a wonderful start to the New Year of 2013. Just because we blog and note the alarming developments in the pita-consuming region, does not mean we need to downplay the professional, institutional, economic, and social goals that diverse societies are trying to address. In fact, we hope you have come up with a few resolutions for this year. Maybe it is to use Facebook less (by clicking ‘Like’) and donate to causes more. Or maybe it is to take a crack at writing a Letter to the Editor for your local paper — even if writing does not fit your comfort zone. Social media is not the end all be all of change. Hashtags are a great way, but a multi-pronged approach across various (and all) media types and outlets is key to breaking pita-bread constructively.
In a nutshell, our hopes for you are the hopes we have for ourselves: to actualize our goals. Therefore here is our list:
1) Be more enterprising than social. Yes, PITAPOLICY is a social enterprise. We valued breaking -bread with you. However, we are constantly learning the distinction between knowledge transfer in a social setting versus in a business setting. Talking about a subject is one thing; consulting on it is another ;).
2) Be more thick-skinned when others disagree in inappropriate or immature ways. For example, last week, our PITAPOLICY POEM on the Huff Post blog reviewed the events of 2012. Thankfully, it received more positive than negative attention. Yet, the negative attention came from those who thought photoshopping demeaning pictures of PITAPOLICY was their best “method” of debate. PITAPOLICY will continue to blog, tweet, and consult on these international development. We stand by what we post.
3) Be more engaging online. A few weeks ago, someone reached out to PITAPOLICY “unofficially” expecting an honest, official response regarding a piece written for the Sada Journal, which is a publication by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The piece was written by PITAPOLICY Founder, Mehrunisa Qayyum. Qayyum responded officially and professionally via email. Again, we stand by what we post.
Sada Journal ~ December 18, 2012 Arabic Version (Translated by Sada Journal Editorial Team)
By: Mehrunisa Qayyum
In the last two years, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has increasingly focused on supporting social entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa region as a way of tackling the region’s socio-economic challenges that cause poverty. This approach has compelled Arab non-profits to reorient and present themselves as social enterprises based on U.S strategic interest rather than their own local needs. As one local activist notes, social entrepreneurship has become the latest “buzzword to attract funding projects” that are not actually oriented towards poverty alleviation in the region. He argues that local organizations increasingly promote themselves as social enterprises in the hope of procuring funding. Click here to continue…