Esra Al-Shafei

Mideast Youth seeks to amplify diverse voices advocating for change by using digital media to enable dialogue on issues affecting marginalized people throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Why We Invested

Historically, young people and minority groups have been misrepresented in the Arab world—a region which has been characterized by repressive political regimes, high youth unemployment, and a lack of social freedoms. Mideast Youth seeks to overcome these challenges by providing youth and marginalized groups with a platform that celebrates diversity while embracing common values, including human rights, religious freedom, tolerance, and free speech.

Using innovative technology and social media platforms, Mideast Youth offers the public access to uncensored information with the aim of strengthening citizen voices and fostering a culture of transparency. Omidyar Network’s grant will allow Mideast Youth to develop new projects, as well as evolve existing platforms, such as, which tracks voices of protest from around the world by crowdsourcing data and bringing activists together around shared concerns. The grant also demonstrates Omidyar Network’s commitment to promoting investigative and citizen journalism in the developing world.