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It's that time of year.
Graduations! Congratulations! Celebrations!
But, not for everyone. Not for the Tunisian vegetable peddler, Mohamed Bouazizi.
His dad died when he was three. So at age 10, Mohamed started work to support his widowed mom, ill uncle, and six siblings. In a town with 30% unemployment, his job hunt went nowhere. So after 16 years at work, he still earned under $5 a day pushing a vegetable cart. But he was popular around town; he shared food with those too poor to pay.
His kindness got him no slack from bullying officers. Harassment, year after year. Grabbed produce. Imposed fines. Confiscated scales. The unabated abuse snuffed out his hopes.
One Friday last December, he'd had enough. He argued back. The result? Spit. Swear. Slap. Seized livelihood. Public humiliation. His demand for a hearing? Spurned. His dignity disgraced, voice ignored, justice denied. Despairing, Mohamed was desperate. He doused himself with fuel in front of the municipality authority.
And he struck a match.
A Recipe for Heartsickness.
Eighteen agonizing days later, he died of his burns, unaware he'd ignited a protest movement region-wide.
What does his generation want?
Perhaps the ancient wisdom of Solomon provides a clue:
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy."
Listen to the regional chorus of Mohamed's peers, ages 18 to 24, calling out their frustrations and hopes in this Arab Youth Survey
- Stability 95%; No Terror 77%
- Democracy 92%; Women's Rights 73%
- Close Family Ties 79%; Getting Married 77%
- Getting a Job 77%
- Owning a Home 77%
- Reliable Healthcare 74%
Note the list doesn't include "Better Rhetoric." They are risking their lives for a chance to dream again. Literally.
 Findings adapted from the Third Annual ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey (2010). Available at - www.arabyouthsurvey.com/files/AYS_2010_white_paper.pdf.
Deeds, Not Speeches.
But after revolutionary jubilation, now what? Dark clouds obscure the horizon. One insider confided, "If anyone says they know what will happen, you can be sure you are being lied to. No one knows. We cannot plan."
While some advise caution, others see opportunity. An Arab dreamer exclaimed: "We cannot be passive. We must act!"
We couldn't agree more! Dreams InDeed is equipping dreamers to deliver deeds, not speeches. So what are they doing? And how are we helping? Of a dozen stories we could tell, here's how some are turning dreams into deeds.
Jobs with Dignity.
One Egyptian doctor dreams to dignify the new profession of home healthcare and hospice services in Egypt, creating thousands of stable, sought-after jobs.
All of her institute alumni secure jobs upon graduation, with hundreds now gainfully self-employed.
A top business school in the Middle East has commissioned Dreams InDeed to research and publish this case to illustrate how core values impact the social and economic outcomes of Arab businesses.
With this professional visibility, her business model can help inspire newly-minted Arab MBA's to design values-driven businesses to serve people, not just make money.
|Healthcare with Love.
What's more, this same doctor also dreams that these caregivers will sustain loving relationships with their clients. With Dreams InDeed's help, she developed and integrated a core values curriculum into their clinical skills training to sustain service quality when the hundreds of caregivers become thousands. They're living those values: they risked their own safety to keep serving their clients during the crisis. Values in practice leverage impact: two other training centers are already early-adopters of this curriculum.
|Housing with Hope.
For fourteen years, an Egyptian civil engineer has dreamed and worked to solve the crisis of 22 million Egyptians in poverty housing. No lone ranger, his network of 26 partner organizations has housed over 17,000 families so far, with 99.8% repaying their loans on time, most from incomes of just $2 per day. But with millions still in need, the Middle East needs a broader movement with core values as its DNA. With counterparts in Lebanon and Jordan, this dreamer will team up with Dreams InDeed on a values curriculum to inspire yet more aligned networks across the region.
|Family Ties with Respect.
This Lebanese dreamer suffered tragedies that strain the strongest families: chronic illness, even kidnap and murder. For decades, she then persevered giving round-the-clock care for her profoundly challenged autistic son. Her wellspring of love overflowed to other desperate parents who sought her out for help with their mentally challenged teens. She welcomed those teens into her home for 24/7 training, up to eight residents at a time. With 56 challenged youths already restored to their families, now she dreams to expand, reviving respect for the most dejected. Dreams InDeed is reinforcing her with upgraded facilities, strategic planning, and network weaving to satisfy their hunger for dignity.
|Helping Lights Shine.
Now is the time to deliver dreams, not speeches. Results, not rhetoric. Dignified jobs. Loving healthcare. Decent housing. Restored families. Lives the way God desires, alight with the joy of dreams come true. With lights like these shining, no more youths need strike matches of despair in darkness.
Thank you for helping these lights shine.
Janice Hayashi Haskell
Vice-President of Program Development
|Join us by taking action today: |
- Make a check payable to Dreams InDeed International. Mail check to:
Dreams InDeed International, P.O. Box 30730, Phoenix, AZ 85046
- Invite others to accompany you by forwarding this email to a colleague.
- Become informed via our website. Learn more about why we do what we do at Our "Sweet Spot".
Please contact us with your questions and how we may be of better service to you.