The IBBlog

This month, IBB is celebrating women across Persia, the Middle East, and North Africa that are bravely sharing their stories about life under extremist rule in the hopes of making their region safer, better, and more inclusive and diverse for everyone. Check out their stories and articles below. 


I Was an Afghan Child Bride

"Overnight, I was turned from 14 to 19."


LAYLA (Not Pictured)

An ISIS Survivor That Holds Onto the Names of Her Captors

"A Yazidi woman escaped ISIS in Syria and keeps in her purse the names of the fighters who enslaved and assaulted her."


The Brave Women Working to De-mine Post-ISIS Territories

Women After War: We Want to Rebuild Our Lives

"Two years after ISIL ceded territory in Iraq, these courageous women are clearing mines on their journey back home."


These women are empowering others who have suffered sexual abuse and violence, devastating loss, and violent horror at the hands of extremist groups, and are using their voices to uplift a region.

Young adults in our target areas have similar stories to the brave women you've read about; they have grown up under ISIS, Al-Qaeda, or similar regimes and are accustomed to acts of violence, threats, and aggression faced by those under extremist rule. Information on human rights, women's rights, and democratic movements and institutions is inaccessible and often wholly unavailable due to active censorship and oppression. Unlocking access to these ideas and making them available for discussion is a prerequisite to building equality and lasting peace in the region.

We've launched partnerships with local universities to create on-the-ground programs to rebuild Post-ISIS territories. These programs empower families and young adults devastated in the aftermath of war and terrorism. At each partner university, we're enrolling 30 students a year into our Bayt Al Hikma 2.0 translation program to translate, discuss, and spread the values of pluralism and enlightenment. In exchange for their efforts, program participants receive a small stipend for the school year, the mentorship of a program coordinator, help with resumes and cover letters for economic empowerment, and official certification as a translator for our program.

We aim for equal representation of genders in our university program participants, and are eager to help young women work towards a better, brighter future for their region.

Donate today and help Ideas Beyond Borders empower young women across the Middle East.

In the mood for some levity? Check out these translation mishaps pulled from across the web.

#translationmatters -- and Ideas Beyond Borders knows it! We're a 501(c)3 founded by an Iraqi refugee dedicated to translating banned, controversial materials into Arabic such as works on women's rights and reproductive health, human rights, humanism and evolution. Ideas Beyond Borders has touched the lives of millions of Arabic-speakers, empowered hundreds of translators, distributed 12 books and 1600+ articles (including western bestsellers like Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now!), and is igniting a movement of youth dedicated to elevating the region and empowering its people with its flagship translation program.

Check out these memes and see what happens when translation doesn't quite go as planned!


Evil Saloon, anyone? Only if you want a wicked haircut!


All of these flavors are wild, TBH


Someone call Brick! He loves lamp.




Okay, someone's salty.


Hopefully you'd have to eat a lot of it before the effects could kick in.


Enticing, but(t)...


Thanks a lot for reminding us!!


Where could this possibly lead.


Does this count as cannibalism?

Bonus for Arabic Speakers:

Did he try the meatballs?

Have your own translation fails you want to share? Share and tag us on our Facebook page!

New platform launched by a refugee-led non-profit distributes meaningful and often inaccessible best sellers, videos, and articles in Arabic for free.

New York, NY, July 12, 2019 -- Ideas Beyond Borders (IBB) -- a 501(c)(3) organization -- has launched a new website hub that makes their English-to-Arabic translations of dozens of books, thousands of articles, and millions of words available for free throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

“Arabic speakers are the 4th largest group of internet users, yet are able to access only 0.6% of all online content,” says Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, the founder of IBB. “That’s because more books are translated into Spanish in one year than into Arabic in a thousand years, and authoritarian governments in the region curtail free speech. Our mission is to make otherwise inaccessible content accessible to millions of Arabic speakers worldwide.”

Named after the “Golden Age” centuries ago when critical thinking, scientific research, and open dialogue flourished throughout the Arab World, Ideas Beyond Borders translation project hopes to rekindle that spirit of inquiry and exploration. “We named the program ‘House of Wisdom 2.0’ to remind our readers of their rich history, and encourage them to rediscover its diverse traditions by reading newly translated books and articles showcasing reason, humanism, and art.”

With an illustrious Advisory Board including author Dr. Steven Pinker of Harvard University, former ambassador to the Netherlands Dr. Cynthia Schneider of Georgetown University, and the former Dean of the Harvard Medical School Dr. Jeffrey Flier, IBB is determined to enlighten and empower millions of people who are otherwise marginalized and manipulated by a paucity of available content.

IBB is supported in this translation and distribution initiative by over 14 partners, including the Human Rights Foundation, the Muslim American Leadership Alliance, Wikimedia, and TedX. IBB has also launched on the ground training and empowerment programs in post-ISIS territories with the University of Mosul and other institutions, and continues to pursue similar opportunities to spread a grassroots movement throughout the Middle East.

About Ideas Beyond Borders

Founded by an Iraqi refugee, the mission of IBB is to prevent extremism before it takes root by making inaccessible ideas and content accessible. IBB empowers people to retain their cultural identities while pushing against authoritarian censorship, hate, and violence. To date, IBB has reached over 2.4M people through the translation of more than a dozen books including Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now, as well as 1,600 Wikipedia articles covering topics ranging from human rights to physics. IBB also leads grassroots educational programs in post-ISIS territories.


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

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