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  • My Egyptian roots and the events of the past year have made me wonder how The Leapyear Project could be helpful in the Middle East.

    In fact, since the start, I have always envisioned this as a global project. Not only because Leap Year is a globally recognized part of our calendar, but also because I believe there are people around the world who can identify problems, think through solutions and who want to be those solutions. Personally, I’ve seen that one of the most powerful ways we can create change is by working together to do what we can to solve those problems. Big or small, action inspires action.

    So, I’ve spent two months trying to work with some newfound friends in Alexandria to gather footage from Egypt and then to create a Leapyear video from here in the states. However, someone recently encouraged me that I need to go there. I need to see it and see the work they’re doing. I can’t sit in the comfort of my own home and ask others to take leaps.

    Then…two weeks ago, after a few calls, another friend agreed to donate the airline tickets for me and a videographer to actually fly to Egypt.

    We had one week to prepare for the trip. Six days to be exact.

    Tyler Jackson, a dear friend and a talented videographer, joined me on the six day journey to Cairo and Alexandria.

    It was an interesting week leading up to the trip — explaining myself to my family, organizing transportation, planning where we’ll stay, skyping with all types of people, contacting family members, calling complete strangers, thinking through story boards, planning the trip on a shoestring budget and the list continues.

    But why...why go to Egypt amidst so much chaos?

    I hope to find people who are taking action to change their communities for the better (aka: Leapers) - to spend time with individuals and organizations who are pursuing positive change. I'm also curious if we can create a video to invite others in the middle east to join the project and pursue positive action amidst difficult times — and to share their stories.

    People continue to tell me that there is no good news in the middle east, that corruption and greed are the new norms, and that my ideas are nice — but the middle east is a hopeless place.

    To be honest, those people may be right. But, it doesn’t change the need for us to pursue what is right & to explore new ways to instill hope in our world. If anything, all of that should propel us forward.

    So, here's to leaping...
    together.
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