The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

World Faith Winston-Salem Leader Talks Egypt in Washington Post 8 February , 2011

Filed under: News — Administrator @ 10:54 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Mustafa Abdullah, Egyptian-American and President of World Faith Winston-Salem, talks about the similarities between Egyptian Protests and the demonstrations led by Dr Martin Luther King.

In the midst of revolution in Egypt, and with lessons from Martin Luther King Day still echoing in the air, I am reminded that our world requires of us–in times of incredible injustice–to resort to an expansive imagination, a deep sense of courage, and a desire for challenge.

These are qualities that are best exemplified by the youth organizers in Egypt who, in the face of 30 years of oppression, a crumbling economy, and increasing tensions between the Muslim and Christian communities both domestically and internationally, have looked beyond their current state of despair by imagining their country as it should be–a place where they can be the agents of tomorrow and participate in the possibility of democracy.  READ MORE

 

Mustafa Abdullah Shares about Winston-Salem for World Faith 11 January , 2010

Mustafa Abdullah is a Senior at Wake Forest University, and a current Fellow of the Interfaith Youth Core.  About two years ago, when at an IFYC conference, he found out about World Faith and wanted  to apply the World Faith model in his own community of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  Here is his story of how he mobilized students in his community in interfaith service work through World Faith.

 

The Next Chapter: Cairo 20 July , 2008

After an enjoyable weekend in Amman while basically living out of Book@Cafe, I took a bus to Aqaba and ended up waiting 10 hours for a ferry across to Noueba, which left at 4am, and unloaded at 1pm.  That was the worse experience of the trip so far, and if wasn’t for the fact that a friendly Syrian (who also happened to be a Druze from Souada, go figure) helped me out, I may have just totally gone nuts.

Cairo has been an enjoyable experience, as after spending some time here each summer I am finally mentally prepared for the insanity that is Cairo before arriving.  Cairo is essentially the same size as New York, only you take away the infrastructure and add heat.  

My host last week was the morning DJ for Nile FM, the largest english radio station in the Arab world.  After a few days, she invited me into the studio to talk about the hospitality club we are in for such hosting (www.couchsurfing.com), and I also got to talk a bit about the chapter we are working to start in Cairo for World Faith.  It was funny to do an interview on the radio that wasn’t focused on World Faith, but rather talking about someone else’s project.  The interview will be posted on the World Faith website soon.

So after getting settled here, I met with Mustafa Abdullah, the leader of the World Faith chapter in Winston-Salem, and with Catherine Manfre, who is going to be our new Regional Director for Egypt.  After some meetings we came up with our plan of attack, and are hosting an interest meeting for the chapter this Tuesday at Pottery Cafe, across from American University of Cairo (Where Catherine had studied).  We already have quite a few interested people, and I think it will be a very interesting meeting… these sort of things get me re-inspired and remind me why I even do this in the first place.  More to report as afterwards.

Finally, after going to the Sudanese Embassy, I found out that my application for Sudan has to be personally signed by President Bashir, who was indicted by the ICC the same day I applied… I have no idea if I am going to get this visa or not.  Furthermore I have spent most the money I set aside for this trip already, so I am digging a little deeper than I feel comfortable with, but c’est la vie.  STILL reaching out to funders and seeing if we can get some real funding behind World Faith, as we still have done all that we have on less than $20,000 in the past two years.  I apologize that most of my blogs right now are commentary, but I hope to expand into more exploratory discussions when I am not traveling… Right now I am using the blog to keep people updated that I haven’t been able to single out and update.  More to come, as usual… 🙂

 

With Love from Beirut 4 July , 2008

Greetings from Beirut!

On this Fourth of July I will be celebrating with some friends here Beirut, most of which don’t know what the holiday is or what it represents, but are joining me for supposed “moral support.”

After graduating, I have decided to push World Faith full-time as a volunteer. While I am still sending our organizational plan to foundations and other contacts in search of funding that permits me to sustainably continue this pertinent work, I am also traveling to make it more “fundable.” Essentially, if there was something holding back a potential funder from supporting World Faith, I want to remove it.

So I am in Beirut now, working to help the local chapter here, 2gether, regroup after some of their key members left the country after the last bout of violence. The issue raises a more general trend, that the social entrepreneurs and promising leaders of the future leave, draining Lebanon of some of its greatest talent for the future.

Next week I will go to Amman, through Damascus, for a few days, finishing the week in Cairo. I’ll meet up with Mustafa Abdullah, the leader of Winston-Salem for World Faith chapter, to start cultivating our contacts there to see if a chapter can be started there as well. I look forward to returning to Cairo and seeing some good friends of mine, like Michael Esso, a fun-loving but dependable friend, and Angie Balata, a humbling and inspiring friend who is as quick-witted as she is sharp-tongued. Other friends await and I know it will be a good trip. I’m awaiting details, but it still looks I will continue on to Khartoum, Sudan to do the same.

While working here, at the moment from the United Lebanon Foundation’s office, I have been inspired at the value of human contact. For instance, when I flew into Beirut I had no reservation for a hotel, so I returned to the hotel we stayed at when we did the first trip of The Lebanon Project back in January. Not only did the manager, and most the staff, remember me, but he refused to charge more than half the listed price a night. Le Marly Hotel is a friend of World Faith.

Also, the frustrated state of the Lebanese population has never been more apparent. Upon passing a photo of Rafik Hariri, and digitized numbers next to him: 1 2 3 4. I asked my taxi driver what the numbers were… It has been 1,234 days since the (likely Syrian) assassination of Hariri. Yet in these few years, the Lebanese have survived more political stability than the US has since the US Civil War. Some have lost hope, resorting to accepting the status quo, or leaving Lebanon. Others retain hope, but wait for the blood-stained political leaders, virtually all guilty of crimes against humanity during the Lebanese Civil War, with non-regional and non-religious leaders who seek to unify Lebanon. However, I have found very few that are inspired enough to take action. One in particular sticks out to me.

If there were an interfaith project happening anywhere in greater Beirut, Nader Houella would be there, and there is a likely chance he had something to do with the planning. In a country of memories, Nader dreams. I don’t think I have talked to Nader on one occasion without him telling me of an idea he has had. Beyond this, he actually works to carry them out, a trait hard to come by in Lebanon. We are talking about putting together a unity concert for August, and I do believe it will happen. More to come as details progress.

 

World Faith Winston-Salem has First Event 19 April , 2008

Mustafa Abdullah, a Sophomore at Wake Forest University, recently founded the second Chapter of World Faith in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  They just held their first event, which was a day of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Winston-Salem.  This is a sign that the World Faith model is definitely replicatable, and we look forward to seeing where else it goes!