Campaign successfully funded on: 26 May,2019
About Shams Table
Shams Table is a unique format that gathers people from different backgrounds to express and exchange their thoughts on complex issues. Shams Tables are organized by passionate individuals around the world who seek to connect minds and spark change in their own communities. We aim to provide individuals with non-judgmental spaces that encourage personal stories and critical thinking.
We create and encourage dialogue to bring diverse individuals together, and to empower them for the purpose of positive change. We gather groups of friends and strangers around a food table, to discuss a chosen topic. It is designed to allow people to feel comfortable debating important social issues and personal matters without the pressure or judgement. It aims to offer people a sense of community and to allow them to contribute within their society. We believe change can start with a dialogue, and with the rapidly changing world around us, it is important to take a moment to talk. We encourage a safe space lacking judgment, so people can be inspired to share and hear others. It allows others’ beliefs to be a part of your life with a hope for change.
How did shams table start?
Shams Table started from humble beginnings, as something conceived by our founder” Saeed Abu Alhassan” in Nairobi, Kenya. He took this fledgling idea back to Amman in Jordan and nursed it to fruition, starting by hosting Shams Tables in the homes of other people. The format was so successful that the Shams Community space we see today was eventually renovated and opened to become the beautiful, popular and safe environment for discussion you can see now. However, it’s time to take the next big step to bring more people into our fold and family
The Shams Team
We’re a group of dedicated individuals each with at least a decade of experience in social innovation, business development, computer engineering and communications. We’re on the journey together, to explore the potential for positive change in our society and our world.
We are a large and diverse family from around the globe, comprised of workers and volunteers; we are asking you, wherever you come from and wherever you’re going, to join our family, and to help spread the Shams experience to more locations, more communities, and help more people.
About the Crowdfunding Campaign
The money we get will go towards the design and development of the vision that builds Shams Tables from the ground up, in every continent in the world. It will help by training people in the art of hosting dialogue, by offering a global, searchable database of local events, by offering toolkits and discussion boards, and even recipes from different cuisines across different cultures.
This crowdfunding campaign will help us to expand into ten cities around the world, to train 200 local hosts who will organize around 1200 local events by the end of the first year.
Why The Campaign is Important To Us
We’ve all become exhausted by the news of shootings, hate speech, borders, stereotypes, sexism, racism, the list goes on. This campaign represents what we have been doing about it so far and our dream of supporting more people to do it with us. We’re inviting people to the table, bringing people together to get to know each other and strengthening the connections within local communities.
Why is a lack of dialogue an issue that we should care about when wars are waging and people are starving? In short, the ripples of effective dialogue reach far beyond the conversations themselves. Dialogue is an essential piece of community engagement, combating prejudice, and bringing about change. These are problems which require more dialogue:
Ignorance -- Lack of exposure to social issues makes it hard for people to become part of the solution. Rather than sharing ideas and finding common ground, ignorance about different perspectives leads to “othering” people
Connection -- Many individuals do not know how to respectfully discuss social issues with those who have different opinions. Without opportunities to converse openly and think critically, people remain disconnected.
Building walls -- Our social media reinforces our differences. Online and offline, we are surrounded by like-minded people. By staying comfortable in our circles, we never challenge our own thinking, belief systems, or behaviors.
Inaction -- If people cannot gain greater understanding about each other and about complex topics, they cannot take meaningful action
Why Shams Table?
With the right tools and training, We believe that the concept of Shams Table has the potential to spread throughout the world, whereby dialogue is facilitated in homes and public spaces at any time. Imagine a global community of individuals becoming connected, inspired and empowered to create individuals and societal change.
Shams Table is Comprised of Two Parts:
Meaningful Dialogue :
The word ‘dialogue’ comes from a compound Greek verb meaning ‘to converse with’. It is a physical and intellectual activity that asks you to find new ways to question ideas, and to discover new perspectives on various topics. We believe change can start with a dialogue and with the rapidly changing world around us, it is important to take a moment to talk.
Sharing a Meal
Sharing food is an activity that transcends the boundaries of age, gender, race, and religion. Food is important, because it goes beyond societal restrictions. Sharing a meal allows a sense of safety and security, which allows guests to comfortably share their thoughts and challenge their own and others’ thinking.
With more Shams Tables happening around the world, we hope to host more meals and more meaningful dialogue. Through this format, we hope to:
Open up spaces for dialogue -- We encourage the hosting of dialogue in existing community spaces where people can exchange ideas and experiences and make good collective decisions in an environment free of judgement.
Promote a culture of tolerance and self-reflection -- We want people to learn about themselves and to experience cultural differences within their community.
Connect people -- Our tables bring people together, foster friendships, and enable collaboration.
Raise awareness about social issues -- Critical thinking and collective learning through dialogue brings about a deeper understanding of social issues.
Inspire individuals to take action -- We encourage people to question their own mindsets and behaviors when it comes to the most pressing issues of the day to bring positive change to their lives and communities.
What We Need
Over the past three years, Shams Table has broken even on the set-up, renovation and overhead costs of running its weekly events. But there are other event formats we want to pioneer, there are talented people we want to bring on board, there is the bigger mission of working with new communities -- none of which can be done on our ticket sales alone. So the funding we secure is crucial to building the future of our work.
With your support we can build the online platform, develop a training program, hire operations people and community builders and expand into ten cities within a year.
Other Ways you can Help
If you can’t donate, don’t worry! Just by sharing our vision with friends, families, and other networks, you can spread the positive message and help us all the same. It could be as simple as using the share tools right here on Zoomaal!
Thank you so much for reading all this, and we would be honored if you were to join us in our mission to empower local communities through the power of dialogue and food.
To thank you for donating, we're delighted to offer a range of different rewards for you, from masterclasses and recipes to wonderful original pieces of Arabic art.
5 days Hike from Dana to Petra
Take part in our hike along the legendary route from Dana to the ancient Nabatean city of Petra. Globally renowned for its beauty, National Geographic even named this hike one of the best in the world.
Selection of Original Artwork
Shams Community has many friends in the cultural and artistic circles of Jordan and the surrounding region. Above and below you can see some of the stunning creations of these artists: portraits and calligraphy, surrealist and conceptual, available as a reward to donors.
For certain donations (see the reward list) you may be able to receive one piece of your choosing in poster or postcard form to be signed, printed, and sent directly to you, courtesy of these incredibly talented artists. Just peruse the link below to see each work of art, so you can make the right decision!
Shams also has a fantastic calligraphist ready and waiting to sketch out your name in a beautiful and unique style.
Shams Tote Bag
Made just for your convenience, we're offering you sturdy Shams themed tote bag to carry all your necessities!
Wear our symbol and values for the world to see, with our very own branded T-Shirts. Available in a range of printed styles, you can choose how best to express yourself, and show everyone that you're committed to a worthy cause.
Private Shams Event
Take full advantage of the spacious, vibrant, energetic Shams home for an event of your own! This could be anything you like - just bring your friends and equipment and have the time of your life.
Private Shams Table
Sometimes we just need to be given the chance to discuss something close to our hearts, or just to gain a better understanding of it. This is a core part of the Shams mission, and we'd love for you to share it. That's why we're offering the Shams space for a private Shams Table of your own, to be enjoyed exclusively by a group of your choosing, and on whatever topic you'd like.
10 Hours of Arabic
Nothing beats talking to a native speaker to hone your own language skills, so why not take us up on our offer to tutor you for 10 hours of Arabic? You'll be improving your language skills in no time!
learn how to play tabla with Zaid Msaiss
Secrets of Jordan ItineraryIt's hard to know where to go in a new place, not least in a city like Amman and a country like Jordan! That's why the intrepid members of the Shams Community, hardened explorers all, have compiled a list of the best spots, just to be toured by you.
A Trip to Jordan under the SunIf you need a break from work, or wish to see another part of the world, this might just be the opportunity of a lifetime. Fly to Jordan and let Shams take over from there. We'll pick you up from the airport, host and lodge you, and show you all the quintessential sights of Jordan including the unmissable Petra and Wadi Rum!
Refreshed or Entirely New Brand with Studio RaYour brand is the first thing potential clients or customers see, which is what makes it so important in a business context. That is why Shams' esteemed partner Studio Ra is offering to either refresh, or totally redo, your brand and logo. Make sure that the image you or your company presents to the world is the right one.
Become an Official PartnerTo show our everlasting gratitude to the most generous and passionate donors and philanthropists out there, we'd be honoured to make them our official partner. Read the reward description for all the details, but know they include exclusive uses of the Shams space, VIP status when it comes to hosting Shams Tables, and a range of other benefits. Thank you so much!
WE DID IT.
After 45 days of hard work and unbelievable generosity, we have surpassed our target of $10,000.
Thank you so much to all the incredible donors and sharers who made such an achievement possible. This absolutely would not have been possible without you. We are so grateful to all of you, and hope you’re looking forward to your donor rewards!
Shams Community is a nonprofit organization housed in Amman, Jordan. Shams is founded on the premise that every individual has the potential to create change, both for themselves and their society. Shams aims to facilitate such change by connecting, inspiring…Full biography