Impressions of the 2015 Gabr Fellows

Impressions of the 2015 Gabr Fellows

Afnan Khalil

“Joining the program did not only allow me to visit the land of dreams, this program was the experience of a lifetime. I was introduced to people and places that I never knew existed, not only in the US, but even in Egypt (my home country). I realized that I have a social responsibility towards the community I live in and towards the whole world. Nothing compares to the person to person relationships I developed. I made friends from Egypt and the US who I will make sure to keep forever. I really recommend that each and every person work hard and apply for the program, and if you are accepted to join get ready...it’s a boot camp not a shopping trip.”
Afnan Khalil
Senior Lawyer, Bank Audi S.A.E

Ahmed Mohamed

“I believe that, in today’s globalized world, participation in exchange programs has become a prerequisite for effectively contributing to the international community. Not only was the Gabr Fellowship program an exchange program, it also provided an amazing comparative advantage, in political education and diplomacy, over any other exchange program. It provided unparalleled opportunities in terms of the qualities of the Fellows, qualities of the speakers and the massive platform one can build connections through to help with transforming the objectives of this program into reality.”
Ahmed Mohamed
Teaching and Research Assistant, The British University in Egypt

Ahmed Radwan

“We live in a world of monologues. Everyone is talking and listening to himself but to break through you have to engage people in dialogues and this is what we did in the East-West dialogue. We shared our ideas, culture, food, music and traditions among 20 amazing Egyptian, American & British Gabr Foundation Fellows. If I describe what I gained from this fellowship in one word it would be PERSISTENCE, in order to achieve your dreams you have to work hard & smart, and my dream is to be an actor who spreads peace & positive thoughts around the world to help keep the dialogue.”
Ahmed Radwan
Actor

Basma Elbaz

“This Fellowship can be one of the reasons to end world problems and violence because it figured out that the solution is in people to people interaction, bridging gaps of communication and fostering understanding. I learned a lot about the American people and the culture of the country and I learned more about my country and myself. I will work on using this knowledge and this shared goal of Shafik Gabr Foundation to build a better world for us all.”
Basma Elbaz
Writer

Bassma Fahim

“The Gabr Fellowship has provided us as Fellows with a unique and life-changing experience. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the Gabr Fellowship is a turning point in my life. New vistas of knowledge & awareness are opening up for us. With this Fellowship, we are pursuing opportunities & adding a value instead of just simply impoverishing the future. I had a priceless opportunity to participate in a special Fellowship, meeting with Legislators, Public Speakers, CEOs, Congressmen and Ambassadors in USA and Egypt hearing diverse opinions and being exposed to different points of views. I came up with the perspective that there is no difference between people of East & West, we are all human beings with the same needs and spirit. The only difference is in our cultures and perspectives and that is the nature of the whole world.”
Bassma Fahim
CFO Executive Assistant & Office Manager at Binsuwaidan Advocates and Legal Consultants

Casey Smith

“The Fellowship opened a world to me that was previously obscure and unknown. I now have both a better framework of understanding and diverse contacts to apply to my current and future professional career. In addition, the friendships we formed are genuine and I believe will be long standing. It is with great enthusiasm and optimism that I look to the future of all my Fellows.”
Casey Smith
Founder & Executive Director of Cooking Up Cultures

Elisabeth Dent

“This experience completely changed my life and the way I thought about the ‘other’. I didn’t just make friends, I became a part of a family that will continue to work to change the way the East and West view each other.”
Elisabeth Dent
Strategic Planner at the Department of State’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC)

Eze Redwood

“The Gabr Fellowship was transformational. It takes creatively intelligent emerging leaders, puts them in front of global influencers, and challenges them to create something meaningful. This was an opportunity to meet the people influencing the world, get mentored by amazing people, become friends with other amazing people, and create something new.”
Eze Redwood
Partner at Wings Café, Kansas City, KS

Judson Moore

“The Gabr Fellowship has opened my mind to a new world of possibilities. The leaders I met and the dialogue I was engaged in has shifted the course of my life, my way of thinking and I now have a new possibility to be a leader myself in making the world a better and more understood place.”
Judson Moore
Operations Manager at Mutual Mobile

Kemp Gouldin

“I had always dreamt of visiting the pyramids – those marvels of engineering haunted my imagination since I first saw pictures of them in grade school. However, I never thought that I would be so connected to their homeland. Being a Gabr Fellow afforded me a deep love for Egypt and especially its amazing people, while renewing my appreciation for the U.S. We, the Fellows, laughed (a lot); we cried (a few times); we tackled heavy cultural, personal and geopolitical issues. We acknowledged differences but celebrated commonalities. We arrived as strangers and left as lifelong friends. And as Mr. Gabr is often to say, “This is only the beginning…” I cannot wait to see where this story leads.”
Kemp Gouldin
Sales and Marketing Director at Sakhr Software USA

Leah Moshella

“Coming home from the Gabr Fellowship I feel more connected, energized, and empowered to make an impact as an aware global citizen. The program far exceeded my expectations by providing a once in a lifetime opportunity to listen to, question, and challenge key decision-makers in policy, business, entrepreneurship and politics. Furthermore, this Fellowship connected me with 19 of the most innovative, dedicated and intelligent emerging leaders as my peers. Not only was I able to expand my knowledge exponentially through the network of experts, but I was able to live with, discuss, laugh, and cry with the community of Gabr Fellows who will absolutely be their industry’s biggest leaders. In today’s increasingly challenging world, the Gabr Fellowship creates a community for dialogue and understanding while challenging each one of us to better understand our own unique power, skillset and ability to change the world.”
Leah Moshella
Founder and President of Boston Girls’ Leadership

Magdalena Kura

“The Gabr Fellowship was not just a trip; it was a life-altering, powerful experience words cannot describe. This journey shaped me in ways I never thought possible. I will never forget the jokes, smiles, difficult conversations, and the friends I met in Egypt. It’s amazing to see how strong of a bond we created in such a short time. The people I met, the things I did, the places I saw, and everything I learned made me stronger, and left me hopeful about the future. Thank you a million times for these memories. I will never forget them.”
Magdalena Kura
Excelsior Service Fellow, Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York

Michelle Matus

“The Fellowship allowed me to explore new ideas, reexamine old beliefs, and develop a deeper understanding of my own country and of Egypt. I could have never anticipated the influence that the Gabr Fellowship would have on my life. Twenty exceptional people embarked on an epic journey of discovery where we quickly became friends and by the end, consider each other family. I will forever be grateful for the discussions we had with distinguished leaders, as well as my counterparts on the trip. The insights we gained will prove invaluable to our professional lives as we move forward. The Fellowship doesn’t end after the last person boards a plane -- we continue the relationships we made to build a stronger future between the East and the West. I cannot express the gratitude I have for Mr. Shafik Gabr for giving me this transformational opportunity.”
Michelle Matus
Multimedia Journalist

Mike Burgess

“The Gabr Fellowship program is an absolute triumph of learning, understanding and international dialogue. For many Fellows, both from the East and West, it is no exaggeration to say it proved to be a life-changing, transformative experience. To have such privileged access to so many special people, organizations and institutions was a humbling experience. Robust questions were posed, ideologies were challenged and life-long friendships were forged. The Gabr Fellowship is a uniquely rewarding adventure.”
Mike Burgess
Chief of Staff, House of Commons, Parliament of the United Kingdom

Mohamed Ismail

“My experience through The Gabr Fellowship program has become one of the most influential aspects of my entire life. Mr. Gabr and the Fellowship team have motivated me to explore new areas of society, to broaden my ideas about the world, and to show a level of dialogue and understanding beyond that which I thought I was capable. I have grown so much as a person just by taking this step to leave the familiar and open to all the possibilities that are offered by being in a new place with new people! I highly recommend The Gabr Fellowship program to anyone who wants a unique experience fostering dialogue between the East and West. ”
Mohamed Ismail
Cultural Worker at Culture Resource Foundation

Muhammad Nagi

“After a whole month of a very intense program, I discovered that life has so many things we didn’t know about and we as future-shapers have more things to bring to the world. I was exposed to many new aspects, meeting high profile people with expertise in politics, economy, entrepreneurship, art and culture was truly a life changing experience! I’ve never had the chance to see the other part of the story, to think differently, to have access to the vague world of world leaders and be exposed to the global decision-making process. On the same side, I did so with 20 passionate leaders from East and West. We, literally, did everything with each other; we laughed, we talked, we expressed and learned! I’m so proud I was part of a great person-to-person communication, because this is what our world needs today.”
Muhammad Nagi
Founder & Managing Director, Al Maqarr

Murray Abeles

“The Gabr Fellowship is designed to challenge your assumptions about the world and yourself. I emerged from the program with a snapshot of what it takes to be a global citizen and a passion ignited. As introspection without action is worthless, I look forward to leveraging the experience into building bridges and moving humanity forward.”
Murray Abeles
Senior Associate at Franco Financial Group

Nick Dreselly

“To whom much is given, much is expected, and opportunities as incredible as the Gabr Fellowship come along only once in a blue moon; reminding us of how fascinating and wonderful our world is and challenging us with how much work there is yet to do. We departed with the charge to carry what we’d learned here forward to find a way to actually make a positive impact in our own right, and as our society again builds walls and demonizes refugees, it is up to us to again remind our colleagues and friends of the commonalities we share and the innate love that lives within the majority of humanity. Shafik Gabr has planted the seeds and charged his Fellows to make real steps towards U.S.- Egypt Relations; this was only the beginning.”
Nick Dreselly
Entrepreneur

Ola Ali

“Calling the Gabr Fellowship a life changing experience would definitely be an understatement, I have had a paradigm shift of my perspective towards many social & political topics from all over the world. Sharing this Fellowship with the other 19 emerging leaders from Egypt, the US & Britain has helped me have a broader understanding of the other, and also accepting them as human beings, for in the end, we all care about making this world a better place regardless of our diverse political, social or religious backgrounds.”
Ola Ali
Architect, Dar el Handasah Corporation