Charity Focus: Ideas Beyond Borders

Ideas Beyond Borders

Ideas Beyond Borders (IBB) is a US-based not-for profit organisation started by Iraqi refugee Faisal Saeed Al Muta in 2017. The organisation promotes the free exchange of ideas and defends human rights through education, partnerships, research, and technology to counter extremist narratives and authoritarian institutions.

Faisal arrived in the United States as a refugee in 2013, after surviving the Iraq Civil War, the murder of his brother, and several kidnapping attempts.

Guided by acclaimed advisors including Harvard Professor and best-selling author Steven Pinker, IBB develops and implements international programs that work to prevent extremism before it takes root. IBB’s Global Conversations program has a reported 2.4 million people engaged online.

Programs lay the groundwork for students to retain their cultural identities while questioning the status quo, pushing back against extremist hate and violence while finding their own unique voice.

IBB’s flagship program,  House of Wisdom 2.0, is a translation program and distribution platform that aims to rekindle the pursuit of knowledge, enlightenment ideas, and scientific revelation across the MENA region.

Thus far, a growing network of volunteers have translated 2.1 million words to Arabic Wikipedia as well as books covering subjects such as civil rights, women’s rights, reproductive health, mental health, secularism, scientific principles, evolution and philosophy.

After meeting through a mutual friend in Boston, Templar offered to guide Faisal on his public speaking. North America director, Hugo Williams said: “Faisel is responsible for raising money all the time for his organisation. We worked on refining his story, which is extraordinary, and helping him with presentation skills, confidence and clarity.

Maybe the biggest thing was showing him how his natural style and the story about his family, when told in his normal manner, was incredibly powerful.  Like so many people, it was good to help him get out of his own way, and be simple, direct and natural.

We always advise to identify your simple and authentic story and bring it to life with engaging delivery (the latter was all the work in this case).”

Faisal, who received the ‘President’s Volunteer Service Award’ from President Barack Obama. in 2015 said: “Meeting like-minded professionals like Hugo who have experience in public speaking and communication has helped me greatly and is practical in multiple events related to my organisation and elsewhere. While I know how to speak, doing it in an organised and structured way is essential and Hugo was a great person to do that. “


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