We hope you’ll join us on Wednesday, October 12, at the Cosmopolitan Club in New York City to celebrate the work you are making possible in Egypt! We’ll enjoy a silent auction of Egyptian handicrafts, stories from beneficiaries, dinner, and some special speakers. This year we will be honoring Chris Khalifa, the founder of Zooba, with the Egyptian-American Changemakers Award.
Chris Khalifa, Zooba’s CEO and founding partner, launched the company in 2011. Zooba is a fast-casual Egyptian street food concept with locations in Cairo, NYC and Riyadh. Zooba built its unique brand proposition challenging conceptions of the Egyptian “street” eating experience with a mission to represent a fresh taste of contemporary Egyptian street food and culture, neighborhood by neighborhood. Zooba currently serves over 4,000 customers daily and employs 350 people. The company aims to put Egyptian food on the global map, with a dream of having a Zooba in every major city in the world.
Chris graduated from Boston University in 2005 with a B.A. in Economics. He started his career with EFG-Hermes’ Investment Banking team in the summer of 2006. He spent three years in Investment Banking with EFG, during which time he advised on multiple M&A and Equity deals spanning many sectors across the Middle East. Chris then joined EFG’s Asset Management Department as part of a team that ran a new regional public/private equity fund, seeded by the Wellcome Trust. Chris is an Endeavor Global entrepreneur and mentor and is an active mentor and advisor for a number of startups and incubators.
Jehane Noujaim is an award-winning director and producer of films in America and the Middle East. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in Visual Arts and Philosophy and, while still in school, directed the Arabic film Mokattam about the Zabbaleen communities in Cairo, Egypt, prompting her to receive the Gardiner Fellowship. After graduation Noujaim went on to work as a producer at MTV News and Documentary Division, before leaving to direct and produce Startup.com, a documentary that went on to win the DGA and IDA awards for best documentary. Following the success of Startup.com, she worked as a director and cinematographer for numerous other films including Control Room in 2004, a documentary on the Iraq war revealing the contrasting media depictions of the war in the Arab world versus the US. This led her to be awarded the TED Prize in 2006, the youngest recipient to ever receive this honor.More recently Noujaim has continued to produce and direct notable films such as The Square (2014) which depicts the Egyptian Revolution in 2011 in Tahrir Square and the subsequent crisis and was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Directors Guild Award, the International Documentary Award, as well as the Audience Awards at both the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals. She has been named one of the “50 People Who Will Change the World” by Wired in 2012 and one of “125 Women of Impact” Newsweek in 2013.