Esra'a Al Shafei

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Esra'a Al Shafei

2009 Global Fellow
Founder of Majal

Esra'a Al Shafei 2009 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

Connect youth from the Middle East and North Africa online to promote human rights, religious freedom, tolerance, and free speech.


After a decade of local impact, credibility, and innovation, the scope of work now goes well beyond the region. As such the organization has rebranded from Mideast Youth, to become Majal. With courage and innovation, Majal addresses issues that receive little or no attention: From rights of the invisible lower income migrant workers, to the stigmatized Middle East LGBTQ community, to those seeking to express dissent through music.


Esra’a Al Shafei is a digital native whose work grew out of her experience of the power of the web to bring diverse people together. She is the recipient of the "Berkman Award" from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School for "outstanding contributions to the internet and its impact on society over the last decade", the Monaco Media Prize, which acknowledges innovative uses of media for the betterment of humanity, and the "Most Courageous Media" award from Free Press Unlimited.

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