Volume 02 | July 2020
News & Updates from AFF

I hope this finds you all healthy, safe and, most importantly, keeping sane in what can only be described as “a very crazy year.” It’s only July and 2020 already feels like the longest year!

I wish we were going to meet in person this year, but the global pandemic seems to have other plans, forcing us all to take a moment and reflect on how we work, live, communicate, and survive. For me, personally, the effects of COVID-19 have been acutely felt on so many levels – from my significantly decreased travel (down to zero from an average of 20 trips per year), to an almost exclusively home-based working model, I have had more than my share of ups and downs, as I know so many of you have experienced. I’ve also taken a lot of time to reflect on our network, our sector, and our role as a social sector – both regionally, as well as globally. I’ve also spent a lot of time reflecting on what role AFF can play specifically as we face an uncertain future, but one that is certainly new and different. A “new normal.”

This new normal will undoubtedly dictate everything we do and how we do it – from our personal, daily lives to our professional lives. For us, as a network that is dependent on the engagement of our members, this poses an interesting challenge and I am grateful for the support and willingness of our members to help guide us as we re-design our way forward. One way you are helping us is by joining our Membership Committee 2020. We are so grateful to the members who have already joined the committee and we hope a few more will come on board as well. We want to make sure we articulate a value added proposition that will keep you engaged and keep us relevant, and the best way to do that is to have your input!

We’ve also gone completely digital over the past 6 months and, in doing so, we’ve had to compete with all the other ways in which you’ve all gone completely digital. We’ve scheduled several webinars since the beginning of the year, and an excellent Town Hall Meeting in April, that we hope have been useful to you, but we are trying to design a program for the rest of the year to keep you engaged and to continue meeting your needs.

This newsletter is the first of what we hope will be quarterly issues – our next one will be in October – and we have included as many updates on our network, our news, and other content we hope you will find interesting, and we hope to hear from you to let us know how else you feel we can help you and keep you informed.

Thank you for your continued support and valuable membership,

Naila Farouky
CEO – Arab Foundations Forum
Podcast Interview
Our CEO was interviewed by Karen Legget on the podcast “American Egyptian Women of Influence” where she discussed the difference between Arab and US philanthropy. Take a moment to listen to the interview here .
Board Appointments
Beginning in 2020, AFF’s CEO, Naila Farouky, was invited to serve on two prestigious boards, Candid and The Resource Alliance. As a member of each board, she represents the AFF, and brings the perspective of Arab philanthropy and the social sector to globally impactful organizations. Click through each image to read more about the organizations and the wonderful work they do.
In addition to webinars we’ve already hosted this year, we are planning two additional webinars in July and September. We have partnered with two organizations to bring you exclusively curated content on two issues that are timely and relevant in today’s environment. We have partnered with the Gerhart Center , building on their excellent webinar series, to bring you a panel of speakers and experts to discuss "The Aftermath of COVID-19: The New Social Impact Ecosystem.” We are also working with Innovety on a webinar that will be held on July 29 at 4 PM Cairo where we will discuss 11 innovation practices organizations can adopt to survive called “Innovation for Survival: A Guide for Organizations in a ‘New Normal.’” Add to calendar.
We also hope to host a second “AFF Town Hall Meeting” with our network on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 to build on the wonderful session we hosted in April, where we will build on the discussions we had, check in with the network on how things have progressed since earlier this year, and what are the ways in which AFF can help the network navigate the foreseeable future. Invitations and calendar requests will be sent shortly, so please SAVE THE DATE!
Here are some additional resources from around the world we’ve collected that we think are helpful!
In this presentation prepared for Local Trust, the Long Crisis Network discusses how COVID-19 marks a turning point in the 21st century, and shares scenarios that imagine what could happen, allowing us to explore what different pathways into the future could look like.
As a nonprofit employee, feelings of impending burnout are probably as familiar to you as the trenta coffee you throw back each morning like it’s going out of style.  Add the impacts of a global pandemic to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Read the best advice on what to do if you definitely want to burn out as a nonprofit employee in this blog post by Tatiana Morand.
Each month, Wild Apricot compiles the internet's biggest list of free nonprofit webinars - value-packed lessons and conversations about everything your nonprofit needs in order to navigate today’s world. Topics include crisis management, COVID-19 resources, remote work, conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion, and much more. See the full list here .
We’ve been in touch with our members throughout this year to check in and see what you’re all doing! Some of the highlights of your network are here, but please make sure to keep sending us your highlights, updates, news, and anything you’d like to share with the network so we can include it in our next newsletter!
The King Hussein Foundation has provided many contributions to National Efforts during the COVID-19 Pandemic. One is a series of 25 stories on social media titled ‘ Glimpses of Hope in the Era of Corona: Our Stories from Jordan ’ available in both English   and  Arabic .

Other resources include helping the Institute for Family Health (IFH)  spread awareness on best practices in dealing with the COVID-19 virus, especially around the subject of mental health . See all of their current news and programming here .
Khutwa, under the Qaddumi Foundation, recently launched the first edition of Khutwa Spotlight , a biannual publication that aims to tackle an important topic related to learning, shedding the light on the situation in Palestine as benchmarked against relevant global framewerks and practices.

The first edition focuses on Technology & Education, the topic that occupies a big part of the current discussion across all educational systems. The Covid-19 crisis has forced people to think of new solutions to ensure the continuity of core aspects of life. Read the full publication here .
Since the shutdown of COVID-19, Ruwwad launched two campaigns, first one is Jeereh Youth Led Campaign focusing to support 773 families in Amman on the Eastern neighborhoods, Al-Rusaifa and Al-Zarqaa, and the second is Byout Ahalina; Ruwwad Community Campaign targeting 1019 families who live in Jabal Natheef and neighboring areas. They reached over 1750 families for a total of 9766 individuals with food packages, medical support, internet and ongoing digital support.
The American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) has been working closely with the World Health Organization, Lebanese Ministry of Health, and other public health officials in Lebanon from the earliest stages of the outbreak to respond to COVID-19 . AUBMC has also been a n invaluable resource for health professionals and the general public providing reliable information on COVID-19

In early June, it was announced that AUB had climbed 24 points in the  2021 QS World University Rankings ​ and is now ranked #220 in the world, putting it among the top 19 percent of the 1,002 universities ranked by QS this year. Also in early June, AUB learned that it had won gold , silver , and bronze awards in the 2020 Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Circle of Excellence Awards !
The ACSS has been working to promote the norm of data preservation and data sharing among social scientists and research institutions in the Arab region through its Arab Public Data Initiative . This initiative began two years ago in the hopes of addressing some of the challenges to making social science data more open and accessible.

In February 2020, the ACSS officially launched a new and bespoke program - the New Generation of Social Scientists in the Arab Region . This program is an experiential fellowship program will select a cohort of fellows who are passionate about the social sciences and who are studying at different levels at different partner universities in the Arab region.  Read more about these exciting programs.
For more information on how to join our growing network of members, please visit our website for a membership application .