Impressions of the 2016 Gabr Fellows

Impressions of the 2016 Gabr Fellows

Heidi Green

“I am certain that, due to the life-changing nature of the Gabr Fellowship, each alumni will be positively influenced by the richness of the cross-cultural understanding gained from this program. In fact, it would be impossible to not think and act differently after interacting with many of the greatest minds in the world – the speakers in the program who generously shared their perspectives. I developed cherished friendships with incredibly talented young leaders, with a variety of cultures and personalities. Overall, the Gabr Fellowship has had a tremendous impact on me and my understanding of US-Egypt relations, and also the power of dialogue.”
Heidi Green
Program Associate

26th October 2016

Kate Chiucchini

“The Gabr Fellowship was an enlightening and inspiring experience that has significantly expanded my understanding about a region of the world that I was previously unfamiliar with. I learned so much in a short period of time, not only from the variety of influential speakers that we had the opportunity to meet with, but also from direct interaction with the other Fellows. The strong bond that was formed between our group of twenty-two people from diverse backgrounds is a testament to what the Gabr Fellows represent. This experience has proven to me that promoting cross-cultural dialogue and understanding, can have a positive impact on a global scale, and that we have the power to make a difference to our future.”
Kate Chiucchini
Legislative Assistant in the House of Representatives

26th October 2016

Leisel Bogan

“The Gabr Fellowship is a unique and transformative experience which far surpassed my expectations. It provided me with a new lens, through which to view the MENA region; a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities Egypt faces; a more nuanced context for the U.S.-Egypt relationship dynamic; a network of passionate, visionary individuals who labor to strengthen Egypt; a deeper appreciation for the United States and what we represent to the rest of the world, and twenty-two incredible, diverse friends who share a common passion for making the world a better place.”
Leisel Bogan
Consultant of Global Strategy

26th October 2016

Alexis Taylor

“The Gabr Fellowship is a crash course on how to become a globally minded leader. The curriculum that Chairman Mr. Gabr designed, empowers his fellows through exclusive settings, content, and contacts in the arts, science, law, media, politics, business, and entrepreneurship. I feel honored to have participated in this fellowship so early in my career; it shifted my understanding of what I can achieve and cultivated my global mindset. We are living in a highly interconnected world surrounded by problems that take cooperative, collective action, by globally minded leaders to solve, and I know this fellowship and the genuine friendships I formed with emerging leaders, were the first steps towards finding comprehensive solutions.”
Alexis Taylor
Program Manager

26th October 2016

Katherine Tan

“I travel to many places for my work in international development, but prior to the Gabr Fellowship, I never had the opportunity to visit the Middle East and North Africa region, despite having an interest in art and culture from the Islamic Golden Age. I’ve engaged in cross-cultural experiences before, so I had some idea of what to expect, but the fellowship was pretty extraordinary in terms of the level of speakers, diversity of perspectives, and degree of candor in conversation. To be honest, I was expecting to get a more “packaged” or superficial view of Egypt through the fellowship, and instead I was exposed to the current reality of Egypt, in all of its complexity and contradictions. I also gained an extended family of Gabr fellows, that I will treasure for a long time.”
Katherine Tan
Program Officer

26th October 2016

Abby Wiedenhaefer

“The Gabr Fellowship was an incredible experience in numerous ways. Not only was I provided ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities, but I was also encouraged to explore numerous interests, perspectives and possibilities, while making lifelong friends along the way. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to have participated in this extraordinary program.”
Abby Wiedenhaefer
Staff Assistant at State Department

26th October 2016

Robert Sheldon

“Never before have I gained so many new insights or formed so many new connections and friendships in such a concentrated period of time, as I did during the Gabr Fellowship. The program was both uniquely challenging and deeply rewarding. I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated and I look forward to remaining engaged on U.S.-Egypt relations, well into the future.”
Robert Sheldon
Policy Director

26th October 2016

John Ryan

“The Gabr Fellowship was a wonderful experience that introduced the fellows to the modern United States and Egypt, both extraordinary countries, in all of their beauty, diversity and complexity. It introduced us to the knowledge and viewpoints of prestigious speakers who are among the most prominent in their fields of expertise, be it politics, business, the military, religion, art and culture. Most importantly, it introduced us to a remarkable group of fellows whose intelligence, warmth, and talents made a rigorous fellowship schedule fun, and whose friendships I will treasure for the rest of my life.”
John Ryan
Democratic Deputy Chief Counsel

26th October 2016

Thomas Hanna

“The Gabr Fellowship was a life-changing experience. The opportunity to meet these remarkable individuals was a privilege, and I will take the lessons I learned with me for the rest of my life. I feel I now have a greater ability to communicate with, and understand people, in every aspect of life, due to the perspective gained from this program. I am truly fortunate to have had this experience.”
Thomas Hanna
Graduate Student

26th October 2016

Kevin DeWar

“The Gabr Fellowship was a life-changing experience. It transformed me into a more informed global citizen by connecting me with some of the brightest minds in the US and Egypt. To say that I learned more of Egypt’s culture and people would be an epic understatement, and to say that I appreciate the opportunity Shafik Gabr afforded me would neither do him, nor the opportunity justice. The only way I can possibly do such an opportunity justice is to make the most of it, and the Foundation has given me the tools to make that happen. I left the program with increased understanding and, most importantly, freshly forged friendships that will last a lifetime, and will have the potential to impact future generations.”
Kevin DeWar

26th October 2016

Chaza Abou Daher

“Joining the Gabr fellowship program made me feel that I am part of something much bigger than I ever imagined for myself - a mission to make a true and sustained impact in this chaos of a world we live in. After this experience I am now equipped with an expanded view and a strong and lasting support system from different corners of the planet and I have gained friendships with fellows, with whom I shared amazing moments and will continue to share for the rest of my life. In sum, I am most grateful for the ideology that made all of this happen: Mr. Gabr’s dream of a better world through dialogue.”
Chaza Abou Daher

26th October 2016

Ahmed Aboul Naga

“The broader vision the fellowship helped me to develop was incredible. I had the opportunity to meet with a group of the best fellows from Egypt, U.S. and Lebanon, who really made me proud and optimistic for the future. No entity can offer the opportunity to learn from the very distinguished speakers, high level officials and to have lifelong true friends, but this fellowship. Simply, it was the best experience I have ever had.”
Ahmed Aboul Naga
Engineer

26th October 2016

Anis Issa

“Adventure, boot camp, east, west, fellows, friends, intensity, system, education, experience, exposure, civilizations, culture, arts, economics, politics, knowledge, dialogue, diplomacy, negotiations, coordination, leadership, decision making, touch the sky. Life-time experience.”
Anis Issa
Communications & Development Officer

26th October 2016

Hadeel Adel

“The world has never been a quiet zone, with conflicts here and there, broken souls and lost hope. I was left with unanswered questions and poor faith in any potential attempt at understanding and peace building, that is until I joined the Gabr Fellowship program. I have never come to witness such an empowering opportunity to future world leaders, until now. An intense learning journey with an exposure to diversified world-views that helped me find my own voice and my responsibility towards the world. I am most grateful to the journey, partners, the Fellows and to the strangers that have become friends and family. We shared interesting and informative discussions, we laughed, and we cried, together. I have learned more about my own identity and culture through being exposed to theirs and I will always be grateful to Mr. Gabr, the inspiring man whom I learned a lot from and who gave me a role model to look up to. I cannot wait to write more chapters in this life-changing story.”
Hadeel Adel
Senior Business Development Executive

26th October 2016

Hala Abdel Gawad

“The Gabr fellowship is a true eye-opening experience. It is not a mere cultural exchange program, but it is a continuing journey of sharing ideas, meeting incredible future leaders from Egypt and the States, and gaining massive knowledge about politics, economics, diplomacy and culture. If you are ready to have an unforgettable journey to a world of new ideas, and think you have the potential for initiating beneficial changes in your community, do not hesitate to apply for this extraordinary program.”
Hala Abdel Gawad
Teaching Assistant of Political Science

26th October 2016

Hani Elzoumor

“It is true that dialogue is a gateway to understand why we are completing each other. Indeed, The East - West Art of Dialogue is the bridge for gathering tomorrow’s leaders from Egypt, Lebanon and the U.S., to boost their bright minds and characters through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation. Therefore, I believe that discovering yourself before anything else, is the core of the Gabr fellowship program. At present, I have a completely open mindset and I am eager to discover new horizons and aspects of diverse humans.”
Hani Elzoumor
Teaching and Research Assistant of Economics

26th October 2016

Iman Higazy

“The Gabr fellowship is a real life turning milestone through which knowledge, diplomacy, culture and communication, evokes a smooth friendly pool of exchange between East and West, represented by a wonderful group of American, Egyptian and Lebanese fellows, who were selected according to, but not only, professional, social and intellectual aspects, but more importantly, on human aspects, to weave a masterpiece of intercontinental dialogue. And because of all this, the Gabr fellowship will always be a pioneer initiative for world peace.”
Iman Higazy
Pharmaceutical Research Associate

26th October 2016

Mohamed Elattar

“Being part of The Gabr Fellowship, made me expand scope to a great extent. Not only did I get the chance to interact with intellectuals and policy makers, but I was also given a chance to share my own opinion with them. I was exposed to different opinions, I analyzed them and shared my own impressions. I feel this experience has changed my whole world, and now I feel it is my turn to contribute towards strengthening the East & West Dialogue. I have come to believe that deep inside East & West are not so different after all, as we have more similarities than differences and I am now more open to accepting other cultures and ways of thinking.”
Mohamed Elattar
Founder of Tourism Company

26th October 2016

Nayra Gadallah

“Participation in programs such as the Gabr Fellowship, is something that happens once in a lifetime, but its impact continues for the rest of your life. Now I feel that I am part of an international family that expands year after year. The bond that the program establishes, either at the time of the program, or the projects and the activities that come after, is a strong asset for the fellows and for the international community as a whole. The Gabr Fellowship exposed me to people and experiences that helped me widen my horizons, by exploring the U.S., its people and their culture. I have learned more about Lebanon from my Lebanese friend and, surprisingly, discovered new sides of my beloved Egypt.”
Nayra Gadallah
Senior Refugee Status Determination Assistant

26th October 2016

Shorouk Essam

“This fellowship has been a turning point in my life. It did not only change the way I view others but it also changed the way I view myself. I became more aware of what I am capable of, and of what I can achieve. I have learnt so much about the world in the duration of two weeks, which would usually take some years to learn. The program is informative, transformational and eye-opening, to a whole new world of possibilities and a whole new-version of you. My greatest gain was the fellows, who are now friends. We laughed, cried, danced, sang, discussed and bonded. I now have ten family members in the U.S, one family member in Lebanon, and ten family members in Egypt. Here is to new beginnings and to fellows who turned into family.”
Shorouk Essam
Risk Management and Analysis Officer

26th October 2016

Yasser El Zahhar

“Regardless of how high your expectations are, this fellowship will always exceed them - prepare yourself for a high dose of eye-opening insights. The experience of meeting decision makers is an exceptional once-in-a-life-time opportunity and the fellowship helped me develop a new perspective on the nature of the relationships between Egypt, the USA and the world at large. I am certain that my relationship with the foundation will continue to grow, as Mr. Gabr always says, "once a fellow, forever a fellow.”
Yasser El Zahhar
CEO of Healthy Catering Company

26th October 2016

Youssef El Toukhy

“Through the fellowship, I have enjoyed being in different positions: A representative for my own country, Egypt, a political advisor to Congressman Markey during his interactive meeting and a provocative speaker. I was a scholar being lectured by high-profile, knowledgeable speakers and professors and I was an art and history admirer who observed beautiful works and who was ecstatic to be in the ME, National Galley of Art and Cairo Museum! I also played a very argumentative role during the Fellowship meetings. To put it simply, I enjoyed the many roles whilst acting as a Gabr fellow.”
Youssef El Toukhy
Teaching Assistant of Engineering

26th October 2016