Entrepreneurs in Egypt: Mohamed Tomas
Young entrepreneurs in Egypt are part of a new wave of self-employment sweeping the nation, and Mostafa Shahat writes about them.
The southern part of Egypt, close to the Sudan border, holds one of the country’s oldest civilised regions in Egypt called Nubia. With a history that goes back to at least 2,000 B.C, Nubia contains forty isolated towns that have no access to education or health care services, and some parts have no electricity or even clean food or water. As a result, most Nubian people have immigrated to other parts of Egypt where they can access education, healthcare and other services and amenities.
Mohamed Tomas, originally from Nubia, grew up in Cairo, Egypt, and he has a vision to change Nubian communities and raise the awareness about how worth it it is to develop this community and the importance of giving it our attention.
Mohamed studied commerce at Assiut University and worked as Program Manager at the Al-Anani Foundation and at Health Sector in 2014. He is currently working as an officer in the follow-up management team at Mersal Foundation.
In 2009, Mohamed co-founded Nuba El-khair (meaning ‘Good Nuba’ in English), an NGO that spreads awareness about the Nubian community through campaigns about Nubian history. It also supports Nubian youth with courses like CV writing, interview skills and soft skills as well as other professional courses like Photoshop, customer service and project management.
Nearly 600 youth have attended the training. Nuba El-khair has 120 volunteers who work not only in Nubia but also in marginalized areas in some parts of Cairo, where they run campaigns about the dangers of smoking, the importance of volunteerism and how to work with people who have mental disabilities.
‘Volunteering is very important’, Mohamed says. ‘We have to share with each other our problems and try to solve them because we are living in one community’.
In 2011, Mohamed co-founded Fadilia (meaning ‘Virtuous’ in English), a social enterprise that works in the field of community development, tackling various social issues to create an integrated environment for a better city community. It provides innovative solutions through initiatives, programmes and projects that are sustainable.
Sponsored by British Council, Fadilia conducted monthly campaigns and workshops about the importance of the family bond, as they considered a weak family bond to mean a weak community at large. A virtuous city is built by bonding communities.
In 2014, Mohamed has founded Komma (meaning ‘Story’ in English), an initiative that aims to address stereotypes and issues in Nubia and host Nubian entrepreneurs who are working on their ideas to address a social problem in the community. The support includes a place where they can find internet access and connect with incubators and funders.
Mohamed has organised two major events at the American University of Cairo with 16 speakers and nearly 400 attendees that focused on sharing Nubia history and facts about the Nubian people to reduce the stereotypes.
Mohamed is very proud to be Nubian, and he is doing his best to turn the attention of the community towards Nubia and initiate projects and programmes that support the Nubian community.
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 [email protected] and check out his other blog A Syrian’s Success in Egypt and more from his Entrepreneurs in Egypt series.
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