11-17 November 2017
For Arabic speakers/readers, check out the full invitation in Arabic (as a PDF file) and apply in Arabic from this form.
Priority deadline for Applications: July 30, 2017
Final deadline (if space is still available): September 15, 2017
Masaa2 il Fol!
It is our honor to invite you to apply to participate in a unique gathering: the Egypt Youth Transformational Leadership Jam! This Jam will connect 30 diverse, engaged and committed leaders from around the country for sharing inspiration and skills. Over the period of seven days, we will journey together through deep listening, sharing, self-discovery, systemic inquiry and community building. It will take place from November, 11 – 17, 2017 in the beautiful desert of Fayoum in Egypt. All of you are welcome and each and every part inside each of you is welcome!
What is a JAM?
We call our gatherings “Jams” because we are inspired by music jams. When musicians get together to “jam”, each gets to share their own unique skills as well as learn from each other. Musicians jam in harmony to create melodies together. As they jam, musicians have fun, build community, use their individual talent, expand their horizon by learning from others, inspire and get inspired to create something far greater than the sum of its parts. Similarly, the YES! Jam brings the elements of fun, creativity, inspiration, co-learning, co-living and co-creation to conversations and experiences of social change. The Jam is composed of a facilitation team and a group of participants who act as the Jam’s engine through their wisdom, questions, curiosities, challenges and expressivity.
The Jam is a gathering of diverse changemakers for three different levels of conversation/awarenesses about change: the personal (self), the interpersonal (relationships) and the systemic (the whole). It is a space for truth telling, healing, compassion, connectedness and learning.
On the internal level, it is a place to share and reflect on our life journeys and our work in the world. This means first and foremost deciding to put down the masks that we use on a daily basis; the Jam gives us a chance to leave our box of masks at home and come with our true authentic selves. All parts of ourself are welcomed and embraced. It is a time to replenish, recharge and renew, to connect with nature and to gain specific and practical tools for self-care and personal sustainability. It is an opportunity to grow in self-knowledge, to ask meaningful questions, to unlearn our fears and blocks, and to co-create new possibilities together.
On the interpersonal level, we come together to share our cultures, our stories and our struggles with each other, to deepen our understanding of each other and of ourselves. The Jam values diversity and seeks to bring together as diverse a group of people as possible. During the Jam, we hope to discover our commonalities and celebrate our differences. Given the conflicts happening in Egypt, it is not always easy to hold onto a vision of dignity and cooperation that exists beyond the narrative of ‘us’ vs. ‘them’. The Jam seeks to create dialogues that build on what is common among us, in which our differences are engaged, not with antagonism, but with a spirit of shared learning. We see the Jam as a chance to move from the ‘demon-ization’, to the ‘human-ization’ we so desperately need for a healthier future for all. The intention is to build trust and friendship, in a meaningful (not superficial) way. This means challenging stereotypes, inquiring appreciatively, being present with each other, speaking truth, working through tough places and being open to giving and receiving support. We feel that the more authentic our relationships are, the stronger the foundations we will have for developing new collaborations and synergies for living the journey of the change we wish to see in the world.
On the systemic level, through the Jam, we become clearer about our vision and work in the world. We vision and practice the world we want; we nurture our beloved community. We get a chance to link issues that aren’t commonly linked, to notice crucial intersection points, and get a clearer picture of the whole. We come together to learn from each other: about what is working, about what mistakes we have made, about where we need help. We have a chance to share tools and ideas to support one another. In turn, we hope this helps us to generate a body of collective wisdom for transformation in the country. We also hope it will enable each participant to feel deepened in their capacity to affect meaningful positive change and carry their dreams forward.
What is NOT a JAM?
The Jam is a unique and special gathering, where we bring our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, and together explore what is alive for us towards healing, liberation and transformation. It is not a conference, seminar on a specific topic or a typical meeting. Also, the Jam is unlike many of the workshops that have been conducted around “hosting”. It is also not a training specifically, though participants usually pick up several dozen tools and practices that they can take forward into their work, families, and communities. The focus of the Jam is the people in the room – our struggles, hopes, fears, relationships, contexts, visions, identities, possibilities, and more – and what we can learn from and with each other to build the community we want to see.
Why is an Egypt JAM needed?
Egypt has been going through several changes & challenges in the last few years — political, societal, economic, religious, and ecological changes. With these broader changes on a national level come more personal transformations as well. With differing political, religious, and societal ideologies, Egyptians are becoming more polarized, making dialogue between them that much more challenging. The JAM is an opportunity to have an intentional space where we can slow down and reconnect to ourselves, to each other and to nature. It is a space to re-energize and realign our values and our work as people who work for the well-being of this community in every field. To contemplate and reimagine what rhetoric we want to create in our struggle for justice and peace.
We invite you to take part in the Egypt JAM to be a part of a group of people who are yearning to reflect, deepen, heal, and co-create a vision for Egypt. We also invite to be a part of the Jam to connect to a global community who are on similar pursuits around the world.
Who can attend?
Persons are eligible to apply from all over Egypt, whether they are Egyptian nationals or not.
Fluency in Arabic language since the Jam will be held in Arabic.
We seek a (flexible) age range of 20-40 years old.
Participants level of Leadership: from ‘person on the ground’ to ‘director and founder”
Years of experience: from ‘just starting out’ to ‘been at it for a while’
Methods and venues of social engagement: entrepreneurs, NGOs, communities, families, neighborhoods, educationalists, healers, philanthropists, governmentalists, parliamentarians, environmentalists, academics etc.
Issue- or work-focus: all spectrum of social change is welcomed. For example, community media, local economies and globalization, indigenous issues, education, food security, cultural regeneration, cultural exchange, interfaith, health and physical well-being, ecology, spiritual healing and recovering from trauma, arts, sustainable living tools and practices, political participation, socially- and ecologically-conscious building and architecture, upholding and honoring diverse forms of human dignity, etc.
Diversity in Ethnicity, Religion and Gender are all welcomed.
Dates and Venue
The Egypt JAM will take place from November 11-17, 2017 for seven days in Fayoum, Egypt. The venue is the spectacular Zwara ecolodge located in the National protected area of Wadi el Rayan in Fayoum.
The ecolodge was founded by renowned Egyptian adventurer Hani Zaki and offers lodging for travelers from around the world. For the duration of the JAM, Hani has kindly reserved the whole place for our comfort and privacy. Please find the link to the Ecolodge on Facebook here.
Our food menu will be sourced locally with traditional meals set by the local people working there. If you are selected for the Jam, we will follow up with you in more detail about your food and lodging needs.
We ask participants to contribute to the cost of the Jam. The contribution covers: food, lodging, transportation to-from Cairo, organizing support, materials and facilitator honorarium.
We ask for a sliding scale of contribution of 1,500-4,500 EGP. The expense per participant for the Jam is actually 3,900 EGP, but we have received some funds to bring the contribution request to a more reasonable amount. So far, the Jam is supported by YES!, though we are seeking additional financial support from local sources. We work on a shared economy basis. Meaning, we apply a sliding scale of contribution. People who are able to pay more will help to cover the tuition of people who are paying less to cover the jam expenses. If you are able to contribute more, feel free to consider making a donation to the YES! Egypt Jam to help us bring in more applicants with financial difficulties. At the end, this also enriches the Jam’s diversity and our co-learning experience.
Payment plans on monthly installments all year long, up until the Jam time in November, are also available, if it is easier for you to divide your contribution up over time (for example, 400 EGP per month for four months).
In all cases, if you really think the Jam is the right place for you and that there is a calling for you to attend, please do not let money stand in the way of your participation. At the end, this is about creating the community we wish to see and if you are the right person to be in the group, you and us can work together to find a way to bring to the Jam. For example, we can consider you trading some skills of yours in exchange of a reduction of your Jam tuition fees. And we maybe able to provide additional partial scholarships, if there are other participants who contribute more towards the higher end of the sliding scale and/or we are able to raise more funds.
Language of the JAM
Given the nature of the country, the Jam will be predominantly conducted in Arabic. It is possible for a person who speaks only English to participate, since we expect that there will be a large contingent of people who speak both Arabic and English and who can support him/her in translation, although some working knowledge of Arabic is useful and will enable your fuller participation.
Who is putting the Egypt Jam together?
Below you can find the profiles of the Egypt Jam Facilitation Team:
Lama El Hatow works in the environmental field focusing on climate change and water issues in this region. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the Netherlands at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) on Water governance of the Nile River basin under climate change. She is also the co-founder of the think tank the Water Institute for the Nile (WIN) looking at win-win solutions for water issues on the Nile River Basin for all African states.
Karim El Mantawi is a performing artist and an instigator of play. He believes that movement and play can liberate us and bring us closer together. A global nomad since the age of one, Karim has spent many years studying, teaching and working in communication and conflict resolution. He now facilitates connection, movement and play workshops for adults using conscious dance and clown techniques.
Nariman Moustafa is a social innovation catalyst and an educational activist. She is currently the co-founder of the School for Education Entrepreneurs and the founder of Mesahat: an Egyptian Initiative for Self-Directed Education that aims to create spaces of free learning for children and adults. She has previously worked across several social issues with leading social entrepreneurs across the globe through her work with Ashoka Arab World. Nariman journeyed to the social innovation field after shifting careers from Dentistry. She practices art and mindfulness in various shapes and forms. She loves to travel, connect and enjoy coffee along with authentic conversations.
Yousof Elkady has been a participant in life for 27 years now. He spends his time on drumming, outdoor activities, designing games and aimless wandering. He currently works at Makouk creating educational/entertainment games and activities.
Shilpa Jain is currently rooting herself in Oakland/Berkeley, CA, where she serves as the Executive Director of YES!. Prior to taking on this role, Shilpa spent two years as the Education and Outreach Coordinator of Other Worlds and ten years as a learning activist with Shikshantar: The Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development, based in Udaipur, India, where she served as coordinator of the Swapathgami (Walkouts-Walkons) Network. Shilpa has facilitated dozens of transformative leadership gatherings in India, Jordan, Senegal, Lebanon, Egypt, Thailand, Canada, Peru, and the US, working with hundreds of young leaders from over 50 countries. She is passionate about cooperative games, dance and music, organic and natural farming, upcycling and zero waste living, asking appreciative questions and being in community.
About the YES! Network:
YES! is global nonprofit organization that connects, inspires and collaborates with change-makers to join forces for thriving, just and sustainable ways of life for all. We work at the meeting point of internal, interpersonal, and systemic transformation. YES! is a vibrant and dynamic body of people – staff, board, global program partners, alumni, and supporters – on a learning journey, seeking to live and work more consciously in alignment with our values. The organization and program principles focus on restoring balance and sustainability; means-to-end consistency; partnerships across historic divides; and intentional space for the role of love and spirit. YES! brings these core elements into social change movements worldwide by convening transformational gatherings called Jams and building lasting partnerships with diverse social entrepreneurs worldwide. YES!’s JAMs support some of the planet’s most potent and dedicated young social change leaders and are currently being held on six continents. If you want to learn more about the history of the JAMs, or to see where else they are happening in the world, please visit http://www.yesworld.org.
How To Apply?
Please click on the this link to go to the application form. We are only able to process and contact applicants who submit full applications (all questions answered). We invite you to give optimal time for the application and speak to us from your heart.
To keep the Jam intimate and participatory, we only have 25 spaces available. We will take applications on a rolling basis, meaning, we will admit applications as they are filled. So the sooner you fill out your application, the better, to be able to book your spot.
Priority deadline: July 30th, 2017
Final deadline (if spaces are still available): September 15th, 2017
For any further inquiries, please email us what is on your mind at: Egyptjam@gmail.com.
We look forward to Jamming with You!
Hob Keteer ..
Nariman, Lama, Karim, Yousof and Shilpa