Alwaleed Philanthropies "Global" supports the Multaka-Oxford initiative to promote tolerance and demonstrate the values of Islamic art and culture
Alwaleed Philanthropies “Global” supports the Multaka-Oxford initiative, an extraordinary community and heritage project that has gained widespread recognition for its role in creating volunteering opportunities and fostering cultural exchange among diverse communities in Oxford. By utilising museums as a "meeting point," the project aims to bring people together, including newly settling families and refugees, to promote understanding, tolerance, and appreciation of art, culture, and science.
Building Bridges Through Art, Culture, and Science: Multaka-Oxford's Vision
The primary objectives of Multaka-Oxford are to strengthen community bonds, bridge cultures, and enhance understanding through various artistic, cultural, and scientific activities. Additionally, the project seeks to support and empower volunteers by providing them with opportunities to share and develop their skills, enriching their lives and opening doors to new prospects. Furthermore, Multaka-Oxford aims to deepen the interpretation and understanding the Islamic world, both within the United Kingdom and on a global scale.
Multaka-Oxford is an ongoing project that spans from 2021 to 2026 and is based in the vibrant city of Oxford, United Kingdom.
Transforming Lives In-Person and Digitally
The impact of Multaka-Oxford can be seen through its in-person and digital reach. Up to date, 3,409 individuals have benefitted from the project's in-person activities, with 2,823 participants engaged in 2022 alone. Moreover, the project has achieved significant digital reach, with a total of 3,054,565 people reached through various online platforms, including social media, in 2022.
Celebrating Achievements and Strengthening Connections in 2022
In 2022, Multaka-Oxford celebrated significant achievements that have furthered its mission of strengthening community bonds and promoting cultural understanding. The Multaka Program witnessed great success, as the team successfully trained 77 dedicated volunteers who play an integral role in the project's initiatives and activities. These passionate individuals contribute their skills and knowledge to enrich the experiences of participants. Furthermore, Multaka-Oxford organized engaging Bridge Building Events, specifically designed for newly settling families and Refugee Week, attracting a total of 3,256 attendees. These events serve as vibrant platforms for cultural exchange, fostering connections within the community and embracing diversity.
The project also prioritized training and knowledge sharing, conducting sessions for 44 museum staff members, equipping them with the necessary skills to effectively engage with refugees and asylum seekers. Multaka-Oxford's commitment to collaboration and networking led to its membership in the esteemed Alwaleed Cultural Network (ACN), providing expanded opportunities for cooperation and partnership. Finally, through comprehensive communication strategies, Multaka-Oxford successfully reached over 3 million people across multiple platforms, including radio, newspapers, websites, television, and social media. This extensive exposure has raised awareness and generated engagement with the project's objectives and initiatives, making a lasting impact on the community and beyond.
Hussein Kara Ahmed, who was forced to leave his home in Syria while preparing to study law at university, moved to Oxford in 2018. A contact at a local community organisation suggested he get involved in Multaka-Oxford. After eight months of volunteering, he felt confident enough to apply for a job and was fortunately employed part-time as a Visitor Services Assistant at the Ashmolean Museum.
Hussein felt that the project helped to create a sense of intercultural understanding between those volunteering and visiting the museums. He appreciated how people in Oxford respected his language and cultural background, and it helped him feel more connected to the community. He says: “People here respect my language, respect where I come from. They like to hear about different cultures, and that’s been very encouraging. It has really helped me to feel part of this community.”