#InspireMENA – Storytelling on Sustainable Development in MENA

Over 350 million people live in MENA and share Arabic as a common language. To date, there is very little literature in Arabic about sustainable development in general and specifically on the United Nation’s new global goals and the associated agencies and initiatives. More than half of that population is below 25 and is currently going through a lot in terms of political, economic, and social change. Despite all of this, those young people are innovating and making positive change in their communities. It is of utmost importance to support such impact with credible information, more visibility for success stories, and better communication tools.

Today we are excited to announce a special partnership between EcoMENA, a volunteer-driven organization working to raise environmental awareness and foster sustainable development in MENA, and +SocialGood, an international community where digital innovators, thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, change makers, and global citizens come together to share world-changing ideas and catalyze action.

The #InspireMENA Initiative will work to raise awareness and magnify impact on sustainable development issues and projects throughout the MENA region. Each #InspireMENA story will be shared in both English and Arabic on both platforms. Professionals, volunteers and writers are invited through both networks to contribute to identifying stories, writing and translating articles.

What we're looking for in an #InspireMENA Story

  • Describe the outputs/outcomes from your story (qualitative and quantitative).
  • What makes this a real success story? What change have you contributed to?
  • To which Global Goal(s) would you link the impact(s) of this story?
  • What resources did you use and where did they come from?
  • Who were your partners in implementation? Who was the Champion?
  • What would you do differently if you can go back in time (lessons learned)?
  • Does your story trigger similar stories within your community/country/globe?
  • Sustainable Development is about justice and inclusiveness. How do you tell your story in light of this?
  • How do you measure your impact now and in the future?
  • Give us a 'Call for Action' statement to show how relevant this is to the reader.

Guidelines for Submission

  1. Stories should be focused on these core areas – sustainable development, environment protection, green and social entrepreneurship, capacity-building, social inclusiveness, youth empowerment, environmental education, renewable energy, waste management, resource conservation management and related areas. It is advised to refer to Sustainable Development Global Goals for guidance on topics. Please visit this link www.globalgoals.org
  2. Entries can be submitted by project stakeholders, co-workers, industry professionals, domain experts etc.
  3. Preferred length of the story is around 800 to 1500 words.
  4. Entries can be submitted in Arabic or English or both.
  5. Stories should be concise, upto-the-point and meant for a general reader
  6. Stories should be non-commercial and non-promotional
  7. Contributors should be ready to respond to queries/comments by readers
  8. All entries will be cross-verified and reviewed by domain experts. We reserve the right to accept or reject any story.

How #Inspire MENA started

As two entities committed to supporting sustainable development, empowering youth, sharing knowledge and promoting success stories and role models; EcoMENA and +SocialGood are coming together to collaborate on 'Story Telling for Sustainable Development'. This was initiated by the +SocialGood Connector in Jordan, Ruba Al-Zu'bi, after her participation in the +SocialGood Connectors and Advisors gathering in Washington D.C. – July 2015. Through this partnership, Ruba and Salman Zafar, Founder of EcoMENA, hope to mobilize a story telling campaign in Jordan and the MENA region around impactful and innovative projects and initiatives that advance sustainable development.

To get engaged and share a story, please contact:

Salman Zafar: salman@ecomena.org /salman@cleantechloops.com or

Ruba Al-Zu'bi: rubaalzoubi@gmail.com

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is a renowned consultant, advisor, entrepreneur and writer with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. He is the Founder of EcoMENA, in addition to being the CEO of consultancy firm BioEnergy Consult. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is a professional writer and is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability. He can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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