About Us

Our Founder

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar - Refugee & Social Entrepreneur

Born in Babylon, Raised in Baghdad, Faisal Saeed Al Mutar experienced the villainy of extremism and authoritarian regimes firsthand. He survived the Iraq Civil War, the murder of his brother, and several kidnapping attempts before becoming a refugee in the United States in 2013. ​

A practitioner of countering extremism and misinformation on an international scale, he’s traveled to conferences and spoken on campuses across the globe on his experiences working to create an alternative positive change in the region. He founded the organization Ideas Beyond Borders, a non-profit dedicated to empowering people across the globe with access to new ideas and fresh perspectives. 

Faisal received the “President’s Volunteer Service Award” from President Barack Obama and is a Fellow at the Elevate Prize Foundation.

Our Goals

Making The Inaccessible Accessible

Ideas Beyond Borders develops and implements international programs to empower individuals with knowledge often suppressed by authoritarian regimes and dictatorships.

Encouraging Critical Thinking

We encourage youth and young adults to think critically about topics ranging from civil rights to science and reason, making inaccessible topics accessible and sparking curiosity.



Funding Innovative Projects

We fund programs and people aligned with our values. From building a library for former slaves in North Africa to providing job opportunities to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, we support those who want to fight repression and stand for freedom.

Donate today and change the world

Our programs rely on you. We need involved, impassioned community members and donors to help us succeed.

Our Worldwide Partners

Ideas Beyond Borders isn't just a non-profit. It's a movement.

We’re partnered with youth and young adults across the region to make vital, but often banned information accessible to Arabic, Farsi, and Kurdish speakers everywhere. We certify and empower each of our translators, and work diligently to translate and distribute topics including critical thinking, civil rights, science, and pluralism.

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Our Mission

Working to be an agent of change in the Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

Our programs bring together leading education and human rights initiatives to counter extremism and its violent outcomes. We have an emphasis on making the inaccessible, accessible to MENA youth across the globe. This includes forming curricula on global human rights, translating articles and literature on critical thinking, self-help, mental health, women’s rights, & more, and working closely with youth and partners in the region to make sure their voices are heard and their needs are met.

We’re empowering youth across the region to use critical thinking skills to engage in lively, spirited discussion on controversial and often banned topics. Our theory of change relies on the fact that there is a hunger for knowledge that dictatorships and extremist, authoritarian rulers cannot stamp out.

Feeding this hunger with inspiring and empowering perspectives on the human spirit, perseverance, scientific thought, and our shared human values can limit extremist’s recruitment efforts, and in turn make the world a better, brighter place for everyone in the world. 

"Ideas Matter. Ideas Change the World."

Professor Steven Pinker

Harvard University Professor & Author of 'Enlightenment Now'.

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