Entrepreneurs in Egypt: Ahmed Salama Hussein

 In News

Young entrepreneurs in Egypt are part of a new wave of self-employment sweeping the nation, and Mostafa Shahat writes about them.

Sinai is one of the oldest historic regions with a history that goes back to 3100 BC. It is located in the northeast part of Egypt, and it’s considered the only land bridge that connects two continents: Asia and Africa.

Due to its lack of resources and facilities, Sinai, compared to other governorates in Egypt, is marginalised and underprivileged. There have been many activists and changemakers who have dedicated their lives to develop Sinai with different development programmes and projects.

Ahmed Salama, a social entrepreneur who was born and raised in Sinai, has being dedicating much time and effort to development projects in Sinai since he was in high school. Ahmed studied English Literature and Translation at Ain Shams University, and he served at El-Gona Community Development Association for fifteen years, starting as a volunteer and becoming a project manager.

Ahmed has managed several community development projects funded by different international donors, from USAID to the Swiss International Fund. Ahmed was part of the team managing a project called ‘promoting civic engagement for high school and university students’ in Sinai.

The project is a series of workshops and trainings that increases youth’s political participation, raising awareness about how elections campaigns are organised and how the election internal process is conducted. It works to uplift young people’s personal skills, too. Trainings are conducted on a weekly basis, and more than 450 students have attended the training.

Ahmed also ran several campaigns about the important of volunteerism, reaching more than 15,000 people in Sinai. He has managed a project supporting African immigrants in Sinai, too.

The project was divided into two parts: first, ongoing support including food, water, clothes and medicine for the immigrants, and second, raising awareness for the Sinai people about the importance of protecting and embracing the immigrants. The project has supported more than 150 immigrants, and the awareness campaigns have reached more than 1,000 people.

In 2012, Ahmed managed an entrepreneurship programme that involved Sinai youth in community development projects. Nearly 150 youth have attended the training programme, and five different initiatives have been launched to tackle some of the local issues in the Sinai community, from education to unemployment to the environment.

In 2013, Ahmed and his partner launched an initiative that lasted for three years and focused on tolerance and acceptance of others’ ideas and ideologies.

‘Sinai society is based on big triples, and after the revolution, fights started between families. That’s why I started the initiative’, says Ahmed.

Ahmed started with series of campaigns and meetings with leaders and activists in Sinai to renounce violence and intolerance. He managed to reach to more than 600 people. Ahmed has been awarded with several scholarships to travel to Lebanon, the US and Greece to attend conferences and internships for­ social entrepreneurship.

Article submitted by Mostafa Shahat, the volunteer responsible for Arabic guest bloggers in the MENA region and an entrepreneur who has established one of the most successful youth communities in Egypt, Goal Oriented Learners. Mostafa studied social entrepreneurship in USA and is currently the Middle East & North Africa representative at StudySearch (Nigeria) and the Egypt representative for All Events in City (India). Mostafa is also a reporter at Nudge Sustainability Hub. Email him at mshahat@golteam.org and check out his other blog A Syrian’s Success in Egypt and more from his Entrepreneurs in Egypt series.

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