October 15 2020, MENA Meetup

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MENA Meetups

The monthly meetups bring together folks from the MENA region to share, connect, seek help, and release stress by celebrating each other. In addition, it's a time for us to find ways to support each other, and help us understand what is happening in our part of the world. If you cannot attend the monthly meetups, we are taking notes of each gathering and linking to them below.

The MENA community is connected during the week in different ways. Either through various MENA-focused channels on the IFF Mattermost or via different events organized on various topics during the year.

Notes

The group discussed belonging issues at their home countries and diaspora to share their feelings at the beginning of the meetup.

What do you suggest for our next knowledge sharing session?

  •  The group discussed racial issues and colonization in the digital rights field. we are going to host a session about this.
  • Focused scope of mental health session we would like to discuss, imposter syndrome with the space being mostly white.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Needs

  • Resources list from MENA to be add to the wiki page.
  • Develop a "Principles and Shared Values" for inviting more organizations
    • this sits on top of IFF's documents and is more specific to the needs of this regional
    • expanding the circle slowly for various reasons such as security concerns
    • having a contingency plan for when the wrong people join the group. What do we do about it and how do we go about it to reclaim our safe space?
    • there's no need to exclusivity. if people don't match our values, they sure can have their own small groups and conversations.
    • not everything is black and white, there are some grey zones. (ie what do we do if someone is already in the IFF space but not necessarily a good fit for these meetings?)
    • We can adopt IFF's CoC and have our own values on top of that. Let that cover the base and then we can add preventive measures for our specific potential problems.
  • People not orgs
    • some of these values were mentioned such as remembering *why* we are doing the work and focusing on people rather that organizations and brands
    • it was mentioned that let's agree to not to let orgs that sue people to limit their speech in our groups
    • We understand the security concerns and we definitely have to be mindful of that, and putting vetting measures in place. We just hope this space doesn't get too difficult to find, because we definitely need more MENA people in this space talking about these issues.