Founder’s Message

The world has been a very troubled place and much of that trouble is focused on the region of the world most of us call home. The Middle East is wracked with violence and bloodshed. The litany of explosions that cross our TV screens like an avalanche is a painful daily reminder that peace is very far away. And the displacement of populations in the region is plain for all of us to see, and truly cataclysmic. Caring for hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons is a challenge to the entire international community. And this challenge becomes ever more compelling as relentless winter weather is near at hand to render the refugees ever more helpless.

The rewards that were the promise of the Arab evolution beginning in 2011 have not been realized. Calls for political reform have been met with a cacophony of ideas that go nowhere near satisfying the citizens of this region. On top of that, the realities of economic growth and the inequalities of the work place leave countless thousands of young Arabs frustrated and vulnerable to extremist ideas and actions.

Upheavals in Iraq and Syria are relentless. Even further afield major sectarian and tribal clashes wrack Libya, Yemen and Bahrain. And beyond the borders of the Arab world -- in Pakistan, Mali, Nigeria and the Central African Republic – clashes erupt continually.

We must all commit ourselves to finding solutions, and these cannot always -- nor automatically -- be military and security solutions. The push back against extremism must engage all of us across all fields of human activity. It is precisely in the face of this broad-based challenge that we come together to embrace successes by Arabs in what I described lately in London as a real renaissance – an Arab renaissance.

The Arab world is alive. We want people to see examples of all of these in the work of Arabs in virtually every field. TAKREEM can showcase stories of Arab success that should be a source of pride for all of us. Through these stories we can broadcast the message that the Arab world is a place of initiative, creativity, positive thinking, entrepreneurship, and the sanctity of youth.

Ricardo Karam


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