Dr. Mohamed Ghazala elected ASIFA vice president

Dr. Mohamed Ghazala
Updated 19 February 2019

Dr. Mohamed Ghazala elected ASIFA vice president

Dr. Mohamed Ghazala from Egypt has been elected vice president of the International Association of Animation Films (ASIFA) for a three-year term, which ends in 2022. The elections were held in January among the 40 members of the international board of ASIFA, which represents more than 5,000 members in the field of animated films around the world. Sayoko Kinoshita, head of the Japanese chapter, was elected president of ASIFA; she will also serve a three-year term. Three other vice presidents from China, Austria and the US were also elected.

Dr. Ghazala is an assistant professor of animation and the chair of the Department of Visual and Digital Production at Effat University in Jeddah, which is the first in the Kingdom to teach film production, animation, screenwriting and interactive media. He has won several awards for his films, including the prize for Best Animation of the African Oscars (AMAA) in Nigeria 2010 for “Honyan’s Shoe.” He has also done a range of studies in the field of animated films, including writing two books — “Animation in the Arab World” and “Animation in Africa.”

ASIFA was founded in 1960 in Annecy, France as an association of individual animation artists, headed by Norman McLaren, a Scottish-Canadian animator, director and producer; and Paul Grimoult, a French animator. Since its founding 59 years ago, ASIFA has promoted the art of animation through a variety of activities: Supporting festivals, organizing training and educational workshops, creating archives, presenting annual awards such as the Annie Award in Hollywood, and celebrating the World Animation Day on Oct. 28 each year.

ASIFA has more than 40 branches around the world. The Arab and African branch, ASIFA Egypt, was established in Alexandria in 2008; it has launched a series of local and regional initiatives since its establishment. 

These include organizing monthly performances at the Bibliotheca Alexandarina under the supervision of the late critic Samir Farid and also holding workshops with foreign animation artists in several Arab and African countries, such as Algeria, Ghana, South Africa, Libya, Comoros, Jordan, Cape Verde and Morocco, in addition to launching the ASIFA Egypt Prize for the best Egyptian, Arab and African film.

360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

Updated 23 May 2019

360-degree mentoring to boost Saudi social enterprise sector

The King Khalid Foundation (KKF) and Mowgli Mentoring have collaborated to strengthen the growing social enterprise sector in the Kingdom through the provision of 360-degree mentoring, which will support the personal and professional development of social entrepreneurs. The EMCC-accredited mentoring organization is working to built the capacity of Saudi mentors by instilling best mentoring practices and sharing experiences from its 10-year work around the world.

Globally, the concept of social entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining momentum and positive attention as it combines commerce with social good, allowing entrepreneurs to go beyond profit to positively impact communities and societies. Supporting these entrepreneurs, therefore, is in line with the KKF’s vision, which is to have a Saudi society with equal opportunities.

The KKF’s collaboration with Mowgli resulted in the creation of the Athar (Impact) Mentoring Program.

This program aims to build and increase the capacity of Saudi mentors, and equip them with the necessary tools to be able to provide mentorship, support and guidance to social entrepreneurs in the Kingdom. Matching mentors with social entrepreneurs and managing their mentorship relationships is a key benefit of the program.

To commence the mentoring program, Mowgli recently delivered a four-day workshop in the KKF premises in Riyadh. Fourteen professionals and business leaders received training to be 360-degree mentors before being matched with 14 social entrepreneurs. Both groups were provided with the guidelines to build solid foundations for their 1-2-1 mentoring relationships. In addition, the matched pairs will be supported over a duration of six months, during which structured on-going support will be provided to ensure that trust-based and impactful mentoring relationships are developed.

Mowgli Mentoring’s CEO Kathleen Bury said: “We see this program supporting the three themes on which the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 was built upon: Developing a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. By supporting social entrepreneurs, we’re working toward achieving the Kingdom’s economic aspirations of increasing SME GDP contribution by 20–30 percent by 2030. We are, therefore, excited to be back in Saudi Arabia and are honored to be working with the King Khalid Foundation in delivering this program, and building Saudi Arabia’s mentoring capacity to sustainably support change-makers and their surrounding ecosystems for years to come.”

The key to developing entrepreneurship and fostering economic development lies in having a well-balanced ecosystem with equal investment in four key pillars: Environment (schooling, parenting), finance (working capital, debt and equity financing), infrastructure (incubators, accelerators, utilities and sound legal frameworks) and human capital development (mentoring, skills and knowledge development). Mowgli supports the latter and has successfully delivered more than 110 mentoring programs across the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.