Tag: ideas beyond borders

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar’s first experience with Americans was during the second Iraq war when a US tank rolled up in front of his house. He shares his incredible story of growing up under Saddam Hussein’s regime, the vaccuum in his neighborhood that was filled by members of Al-Qaeda, blogging against extremism and receiving death threats as a teenager, escaping Iraq, and the ten year journey to becoming an America citizen. He discusses being taken in by a family in Virginia, why he thinks Americans are amazing people, his appreciation of the values America was founded upon – free speech, civil liberties, and freedom of religion – and the importance of the separation of powers. His is the founder of Ideas Beyond Borders, a non-profit that seeks to prevent extremism before it takes root by translating and creating content related to the values that make people less likely to be recruited by extremist organizations. And he shares stories of the heroes he works with across the Middle East who are risking their freedom and lives to help translate content covering controversial or banned ideas, from civil rights, to women’s rights, to evolution, and critical thinking.

Full transcript available here: WiW57-FaisalSaeedAlMutar-Transcript

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Melissa Chen (NY Editor, Spectator US) stops by for a brilliant chat that covers a lot of ground. She describes growing up in Singapore in a “benevolent authoritarian state,” feeling liberated in the US, the fact that most Americans take the first amendment for granted, being on the forefront of human genome research, the Pandora’s Box that is CRISPR, and points out that whatever moral concerns we have about gene editing technology, China does not have them. She is currently the Managing Director of Ideas Beyond Borders, a foundation aimed at translating online content into Arabic and making ideas accessible that can challenge extremism before it takes root. They cover tribalism, intuition vs instinct, post-colonial theory, Bridget’s recurring dream, free speech, self-censorship, and designer babies, among other things.

Full transcript available here: WiW55-MelissaChen-Transcript

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