Our story began from the need to find different ways to enhance people’s ability to claim their rights. In 2011, Nisreen Haj Ahmad and Mais Irqsusi founded Ahel to work with people pursuing change through collective action to organize their voice and build shared leadership. The first three years passed, during which we tested the community organizing approach in Jordan and Palestine, and we contributed to their success in achieving important political and social change. They built people power and leadership but it came with sacrifices and challenges.
In 2016, Mays married and immigrated to Sweden, and Nisreen took a research year at Harvard University to reflect on the experience and research social movements. Reem Manna led Ahel and continued to coach Stand Up with the Teachers Campaign in Jordan and Sayr and Sayroura in Jerusalem. In 2017, both campaigns proved their success and strength. In 2018, we launched a new phase of Ahel with more hope, energy and commitment. We ran the online course titled Leading and Organizing Collective Action for Change reaching. We reached thousands of leaders in the Arab world and formed Athar Network. We enlarged the team and trained dozens of community organizing trainers and coaches.
This is the story of the first ten years and here you will find a summary of our impact so far. Now we prepare for the next ten years with the same sincerity, aware of the challenges and maintaining the hope. Follow us and support us.
As our colleague Farah Halasa once said: “To work at Ahel you need a balance of a few things: an internal fire for change, thick skin, and continuous passion to learn.” This is our great team.
Director of Teaching & Learning
Director of Campaign Coaching
Nisreen Haj Ahmad
Rahaf Abo Doha
Lead Public Narrative and Popular Education Trainer
Media and Communication Manager
Afnan Abu Yahya
Writer and Researcher
Talent acquisition & management coordinator
We met them in different campaigns, courses and workshops. They caught our attention with their leadership and passion for learning, and our values and approach captured their attention. We built their capacity through our Train the Trainers and Train the Coaches programs. While they are not employees of Ahel, they are partners in our vision and mission and because of them we can expand our reach and our support to more leaders and causes in the Arab world.
Samer Shareef – Palestine
Abdennceur Nasraoui – Tunis
Amani Jouza – Jordan
Ahlam Abou Baker – Lebanon
Fatemah Zaben – Jordan
Abdul Rahman Abu Nahel – Palestine
Reem Khashman – Jordan
Ruzeen Odeh – Palestine
Raji Jundi – Syria
Huda Barakat – Lebanon
Maxwell Hani – Egypt
Mai Khazaela – Jordan
Noor Dissi – Jordan
Mohammad Jarad – Syria
Hadeel Kiswani – Jordan
Twice a year we meet with our advisory board to review Ahel’s strategy, work plan and financial status. We also seek their advice and support throughout the year and we are constantly thankful to them.
Ikram Ben Said
To coach leaders and campaigns and to teach community organizing and participatory leadership practices in the Arab world, we worked with many organizations that share our vision and values and that seek to promote people power. We are thankful to our partners because they respect our decisions and the decisions of the campaigns and leaders we work with.