Cambria’s newest Seeds of Empowerment recipient is Dr. Manal Kelig, an expert in community development and tourism in the Middle East and North Africa.
Dr. Kelig plans to use the $25,000 grant to enable women from diverse communities of Egyptian society to tell their stories publicly and share knowledge with fellow Egyptians via workshops and festivals. Through this project, Dr. Kelig hopes to create meaningful dialogue and action regarding aspects of the female experience in Egypt.
"The project, Gateway to Egypt, will use the Seeds of Empowerment Fund to train 100 Egyptian women in the art of storytelling over the course of 10 months." - Dr. Manal Saad Kelig.
About Manal Kelig
Dr. Manal Kelig is one of three co-founders of Gateway to Egypt and Great Wonders of Egypt (GWE). Her businesses look at ways to develop diverse sustainable tourism products and training modules in the MENA region. The GWE group is dedicated to operating only responsible travel in Egypt and the Middle East, and developing programs that foster a culture of peace between the travelers and the local populations.
Manal consults for many leading organizations on community development projects in Egypt and Sudan. She recently created special volunteer programs for children above the age of 10 to hopefully instill a spirit of volunteerism in future generations. Two years ago, she created an initiative called Peace through Tourism, which seeks to close the cultural gaps between the East and West.
Manal became a mentee in the Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership in 2012. Her latest achievement was joining the Advisory Board of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). Her ultimate goal is to raise awareness about the potential of the travel industry in the Middle East to support empowerment in local communities, particularly empowering women. Ms. Kelig received her B.A. in Egyptology and Tourism in 1992 from the Faculty of Tourism & Hotel Management at Helwan University of Cairo.
Gateway to Egypt will use the grant funds to train 100 Egyptian women in the art of storytelling over the course of 10 months. The project consists of 8-10 storytelling workshops for 15-20 women at a time, helping to develop women’s confidence and public speaking skills in order to highlight their stories of struggle, challenge, and triumph. Manal will conduct these workshops, which would then culminate in public storytelling festivals, to provide a larger platform for their voices to be heard while extending the reach of their stories. Through the project, Manal seeks to create meaningful dialogue between Egyptian women by encouraging the sharing of stories about the female experience in Egypt.
About Vital Voices
Vital Voices invests in women leaders who improve the world. We search the world for a woman leader with a daring vision. Then we partner with her to make that vision a reality. Through long-term investments that expand her skills, connections and visibility, we accelerate her efforts.
In 1997, Vital Voices was created to make space for women to be heard. Our founders knew then what has now become a universal truth: women are essential to progress in their communities. Our world cannot move forward without their full participation. Today, our organization is the product of the women we work with, their insights into leadership, and our changing world.