Hadeer Ashraf

Hadeer Ashraf is a multidisciplinary, flexible development practitioner who enjoys immersing herself in learning and working agilely and efficiently. She studied Business at Cairo University but besides that, she decided to choose and start her career in the civil society sector. She wanted to follow her passion and work in civil society, which has been one of her dreams. Following her passion, allows her to explore herself deeply.

She has a keen interest in learning new and different things about herself and stepping out of her comfort zone. This includes exploring new places, meeting new people, trying different foods, and learning languages. She is constantly on a personal and professional learning journey.

Moreover, she is deeply connected to her country, her family, herself, nature, and her experiences. Her experiences help her grow, challenge her beliefs, and expand her knowledge and awareness. She is also excited about the upcoming experiences, challenges, and learning opportunities.

Development and non-formal education are areas that particularly interests her. Additionally, she has various hobbies, such as traveling, reading, and cycling.

Menna Hefny

Fact: we are all part of something bigger than us. You decide what you do with that. Two revelations have shaped Menna’s life: One. The complexity of the human experience is fascinating. Two. All these people are connected in the intricate labyrinth of the community, some take that as it is, and others decide to take action.

The first made her delve into the social sciences in a pursuit of learning about society and humans, and she obtained a bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University. Her inquisitive nature and exceptional diligence earned her a scholarship at the University of Chicago in the US where she spent one academic year of endless knowledge and self-discovery. Her biggest interest and experiences shaped throughout this journey is in research, and she found her calling especially in gender studies and ethnography.

The second revelation made her recognize her position in her community, her privileges, limitations, and potential. This guided her toward the development sector very early on, and she began her journey by volunteering with her school’s charitable initiative and then during college with different initiatives targeting people with disabilities such as Et3lmo Eshara, and Mashroo3 Matar.

On a more personal side, Menna’s passion for writing encouraged her to join different student activities such as Catcher in the Rhyme and MESE. During her internship at the Art for Vulnerable Road Users Program, she learned about how art can be integrated into social change which she found inspiring. Menna’s biggest comfort and drive has been this awareness of where she fits in her community. Her dream is to write a book about, for, and by her community. She wants to walk inside her city, walk up to strangers, to document their experiences. As a listener, reader, writer, and storyteller, she believes in the power of the narrative. She wants to show people that sometimes they have much more in common than they think and that they are part of something bigger than they are. Menna believes that this will make them question the role they have in their society and hopes this will encourage them to become changemakers and be more involved.

Beshoy Magdy

Beshoy Magdy

Beshoy received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. During his time in college he volunteered in different activities like ENACTUS, as he believes in the power of entrepreneurship and its positive impact on people’s lives. He represented his country in international programs focused on gender and environment in Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia, which gave him a new perspective on global challenges.

He saw that the Lazord Fellowship was an exceptional-just-in-time opportunity to explore civic engagement on a deeper level. Through the fellowship, he is placed at USAID, working on a program that seeks to provide safe work environments for women in Egypt and to change private sector policies to be more inclusive for women.

If Beshoy had a superpower, he would like it to be the power to make people accept each other and live in peace.

Asia Alsadawi

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To empower others, you should be strong, dedicated, confident, and have hope. All of us have the potential to bring about change but need a little push to start, great effort to continue, and no way to end.

Amal Abdelmoneim

Amal Abdelmoneim

Amal hails from Beheira Governorate in the Egyptian countryside. She is interested in development and wants to be part of changing her society and country. She sees that the potential for change lies in the hands of young people. She has been active and experienced in the field of education. Throughout her life, she has faced situations that have helped her discover her passion in this field. She believes that life always fascinates her with challenging situations that shape her personality, change her thinking, and make her become a more rational person. Her father gave her the tools she needed to fight for what she believed in; she learned that work was not only for men, but also for women.

In 2015, Amal volunteered for 11 entities, including local and international development institutions, charities, student activities, and youth initiatives. In 2016, she launched her, “step by step,” initiative to empower youth from Beheira Governorate for college life and to prepare them for the job market thereafter. In late 2016, she discovered that she was interested in all aspects of empowering women and defending their rights. Through Y-PEER Egypt and Save the Children, she trained more than 4,000 people of both sexes on issues of gender-based violence. She has travelled to 16 governorates in Egypt to raise awareness of development issues such as education, peace building, reproductive health, adolescent health, and youth rehabilitation for the labor market between provinces, cities and rural areas. In 2017, she was accepted as a participant of a training that was organized by the German Foreign Ministry, on project management and the empowerment of girls in Germany . She was selected as the role model for girls in Beheira Governorate and was invited on the Alexandria Channel on Egyptian TV.

Amal has obtained many volunteer and scientific experiences and expertises through her affiliation with 4 different universities. She graduated from the Faculty of Sharia and Law at Al-Azhar University; she obtained the diploma of non-governmental organizations at the Faculty of Politics and Economics at Cairo University; she is currently in her first year of her master’s in public policies and evaluation of development projects at the Faculty of Commerce of Assiut University; and she is a fellow of the Lazord Fellowship at the American University in Cairo.  Thanks to her job placement through the Lazord Fellowship at CARE International, Amal is continuing her career in empowering women of different nationalities and defending their rights as she works with CARE’s Women’s Rights Program.

Raya Al-Momani

Raya Al-Momani

Raya received a B.A. in development studies from Philadelphia University, and is currently pursuing a master’s in women’s studies from the University of Jordan.

Raya started in civil society by volunteering for five years with NGOs. She now has three years of working experience with local and international NGOs such as UNICEF, NRC, BASMA, INJAZ, and Better World.

She has represented Jordan in several European countries and given training courses in different Arab countries. She loves volunteering and working with creative youth.  Raya is a leader whose skillset and interests are multifaceted: she is a trainer and facilitator: she is skilled at public communication, marketing, and project writing; and she is interested in women’s empowerment, children’s rights, and education.

In addition, Raya is an inventor, and has an idea for an invention that would help disabled people be mobile without having to use a wheelchair.

Rajaa Jumaa

Rajaa Jumaa

Rajaa is 29 years old. In 2012, she  graduated from the University of Jordan, where she studied business economics and then joined the vocational training center. She took a secretarial course and then worked for the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) through the Lazord Fellowship. After that she worked as an administrative assistant. She finished her last job five months ago, and is currently looking for a new opportunity.

Duaa El-Shafey

Duaa El-Shafey

Duaa grew up in Dahshur, a village on the outskirts of Giza, Egypt. Inhabitants of this historical village live traditionally; they receive their religious teachings from local mosque sermons and clergy. Duaa joined the Azhari education system after the opening of the first school in Dahshur in 1999. Her father supported her joining the Azhari education system as he believed that Al-Azhar was an authentic moderate institution for Islamic studies. Al-Azhar has played a crucial role in civil society by evoking many questions related to women’s issues along with other questions pertinent to modern times.

In September 2016, Duaa joined the Lazord Fellowship, through which she was placed at the Daal Center for Religious Research and Media, and worked with Believers without Borders. Her responsibilities included supervising religious affairs, managing seminars, compiling scientific research, and regularly publishing articles on Thewhat website.

After reading al-Sakhawi’s book ad-Daw’ Allami”, Duaa felt the need to gain more legal knowledge, and got an internship at the Law and Society Research Unit at the American University in Cairo. This experience gave her great exposure to Islamic family law and its intersections with women’s issues. Constantly seeking new knowledge, she then wanted to understand more about how these issues are handled legally from the perspective of Islamic law (fatwa). Islamic jurisprudence is interpreted to achieve justice among the members of society, taking into account gender. She, thus, pursued postgraduate studies on the anthropology of the fatwa. She plans to continue her studies on the history of the development of fiqh and fatwa and how they deal with women’s issues in particular.