Our History
Over a decade of impact.

Majal was launched in 2006 as Mideast Youth. It began as a community-run portal to discuss pressing issues in the Middle East and North Africa. As its influence grew, we began developing new tools that helped us communicate a range of underrepresented causes to wider audiences. Today, we continue striving for new and innovative ways to make marginalized voices heard.

2006
May 2006
Mideast Youth Launches
Mideast Youth is founded and launched in Bahrain.
Sep 2006
Migrant Rights Launches
Mideast Youth launches Migrant Rights to document the plight of migrant workers across the region.
Mar 2007
Alliance for Kurdish Rights Launches
Together with its Kurdish volunteers, Mideast Youth launches KurdishRights.org to raise awareness about and defend the rights of the Kurdish people throughout the Middle East.
May 2007
The Muslim Network for Baha’i Rights Launches
BahaiRights.org is founded to ensure that the Baha'i community has equal opportunities and the ability to freely practice their faith in Muslim societies.
Jul 2007
MEY TV Launches
Mideast Youth launches a video platform to curate content from vloggers across the region.
Nov 2007
Middle East Interfaith Network Launches
Mideast Youth launches MEFaith, which aggregates content from religious bloggers across the region representing diverse faiths, including perspectives from local Christians, Jews, Baha’is, Hindus, Muslims, and members of the atheist community.
Dec 2007
MEYFarsi Launches
The Farsi version of Mideast Youth is launched and discontinued just two years later due to censorship and in order to protect our members in Iran.
2008
1 more team member joins the organization.
Jan 2008
Widget Generator for Imprisoned Bloggers
We launched an automated generator that enables users to create a widget to place on their blogs in order to increase awareness of imprisoned bloggers. It includes a counter of how long they’ve been in prison, calls to action, and access to a database of other imprisoned bloggers around the world.
Feb 2008
iPhone and BlackBerry Application
Mideast Youth launches mobile applications to showcase some of the best content from the region including curated podcasts, videos, blogs and social media.
Mar 2008
MEYArabic Launches
The Arabic version of Mideast Youth launches, serving as a home for hundreds of bloggers across the Arab world who want to share their articles to a wider regional network. Articles include writings from current political prisoners in the Arab world.
Apr 2008
MEY Podcasts Launch
Mideast Youth launches a bilingual weekly podcast covering a range of issues, from LGBT rights to gender equality to religious freedom.
May 2008
Berkman Award Received
Mideast Youth receives a Berkman Award, along with its first ever grant in the amount of $10K, from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.
Mar 2009
Mideast Tweets Launches
We launched a web-based application that enables users to see in realtime what people in the region were tweeting about, along with the trending topics.
May 2009
March 18 Movement Launches
The March 18 Movement launches to mark the death of Iranian blogger Omid Reza Mirsayafi, who was one of the first bloggers to die in prison.
2009
1 more team member joins the organization.
Jun 2009
Echoing Green Fellowship Awarded
With this fellowship we secure our second ever grant, in the amount of $60K from the Echoing Green foundation to support Mideast Youth’s ongoing growth.
Jul 2009
TEDGlobal Fellowship Awarded
The TED Fellows program provides support to an international community of visionaries who collaborate across disciplines to create positive change around the world.
Aug 2009
MEYServices Launches
Mideast Youth launches its services program, assisting nonprofits across the region in the creation and maintenance of their websites, creating custom plugins for campaigns and mobile applications, as well as offering free domains and hosting to grassroots organizations with limited resources.
Nov 2009
ThinkSocial Award Received
Mideast Youth receives a ThinkSocial Award from the Paley Center for Media for serving as a “powerful model for how social media can be used to address global problems.”
2010
1 more team member joins the organization.
Mar 2010
Mideast Tunes Launched
Mideast Tunes launches its web and mobile applications.
May 2010
Viral Video Award
Mideast Youth becomes a finalist in the 2010 Viral Video Award for its animated short on migrant workers in the Middle East.
Jun 2010
CrowdVoice.org Launched
CrowdVoice.org launches out of beta.
2011
1 more team member joins the organization.
Jan 2011
Arab Spring Protests Intensify
CrowdVoice plays a critical role in the archiving and preservation of citizen video and is used by international media to efficiently sift through thousands of pieces of media. The site gets censored in Bahrain and Yemen.
Apr 2011
Ahwaa.org Launches
The first phase of the Ahwaa platform is launched.
Jun 2011
TED Senior Fellowship Awarded
The Senior Fellowship is a promotion of the TED Fellow status to provide greater support and a wider community.
Aug 2011
"Can You Solve This?" Campaign
Mideast Youth helps launch the "Can You Solve This?" campaign for the right of education in Iran.
Nov 2011
CrowdVoice Wins "Top Innovation" Award
CrowdVoice wins award at an Ashoka Changemakers global competition.
Nov 2011
Monaco Media Prize
Mideast Youth is awarded the Monaco Media Prize, which acknowledges innovative uses of media for the betterment of humanity.
2012
1 more team member joins the organization.
Jan 2012
"Top 100 NGOs"
Mideast Youth is featured as one of Top 100 NGOs by the Global Journal magazine.
Jun 2012
BOBs Award
Migrant-Rights.org is awarded the jury prize for Best Blog in the category of Human Rights.
Jul 2012
Making of a Century iPad app
The Making of a Century iPad app launches, which interactively showcases revolutionary leaders and movements that helped shape the last 100 years. Watch the demo.
Sep 2012
Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship
CrowdVoice is awarded a fellowship from the Shuttleworth Foundation, which supports open source projects in achieving their fullest potential for social impact.
Oct 2012
Legal Status Obtained
Mideast Youth is formally registered as a nonprofit in the Netherlands, despite having its physical base in the Middle East, in order to protect our finances from being frozen by regional governments.
Nov 2012
Mideast Tunes Revamped
Mideast Tunes undergoes a significant overhaul, completely relaunching its web and mobile applications with a wide range of new features.
2013
2 more team members joins the organization.
May 2013
1,000 Bands
Mideast Youth wins the People’s Choice Award for best in online activism.
Jul 2013
Making of a Century Web App
Web version of the iPad app launches.
Aug 2013
CrowdVoice Relaunches
CrowdVoice relaunches with significant improvements and additional features such as interactive timelines and infographics.
Nov 2013
Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) Grant
Mideast Tunes receives a grant from AFAC to grow its regional presence and develop significant improvements to the performance of the app and its offering.
2014
1 more team member joins the organization.
Dec 2014
Mideast Youth receives the Human Rights Tulip, awarded annually to organizations which promote and support human rights in innovative ways.
Human Rights Tulip Prize Awarded
2015
1 more team member joins the organization.
Jan 2015
Migrant Rights Interactive Infographics
Migrant-Rights.org publishes the first of its series of animated infographics detailing the abuses faced by migrant workers in the Middle East.
Jun 2015
Mideast Tunes Wins Ebticar Competition
Mideast Tunes wins a grant from the Ebticar competition, which awards innovative ideas in digital media from the Arab world.
Aug 2015
Mideast Youth team meets for the first time
With the funds obtained from the Tulip Prize, Mideast Youth meets in the Hague for the very first time after years of working together remotely.
Aug 2015
Knight Prototype Fund
Mideast Youth receives a Knight Prototype Fund to develop CrowdVoice.by.
Sep 2015
Shelter Me Project
Migrant Rights, in collaboration with Hivos, launch the Shelter Me project to reduce the isolation of domestic workers by informing their choices pre-departure and post-arrival.
Nov 2015
“Most Courageous Media” Award
Majal founder Esra’a wins “Most Courageous Media” award from Free Press Unlimited.
Dec 2015
Mideast Tunes Radio Launches
Mideast Tunes launches a weekly podcast on the intersection of alternative music and social change in the Arab world.
Dec 2015
Gifted Citizen 2015
Julia Gómez is selected as a Gifted Citizen in Mexico for her work with CrowdVoice.
2016
1 more team member joins the organization.
Jan 2016
Mideast Youth formally rebrands as Majal
Mideast Youth announces its rebranded identity as Majal.
Feb 2016
Migrant Rights Guide Launched
Migrant-Rights.org, in partnership with the Shelter Me Project, launches a guide on employing migrant domestic workers, used widely.
Jun 2016
CrowdVoice Reaches 500 Causes
CrowdVoice.org surpasses 500 topics, ranging from issues such as elections, environment, human rights, and armed conflicts.
Sept 2016
Blossom Hill Foundation Fellowship
The Blossom Hill Foundation supports innovative leadership for Middle East youth by investing in the bold ideas of social entrepreneurs who are committed to improving the lives of their communities and crafting a bright future.
Oct 2016
Mideast Tunes Academy
Mideast Tunes runs training sessions for young people in the Arab world who want to improve their digital media skills, especially in the fields of music and podcasting.
2017
Planning the future
A decade of giving voice to people is easier said than done, but it doesn't stop here. We’re looking forward to the decades to come. This is our life's work, and there is still a lot to do. Learn about our plans for the future and support us on this enriching journey!
See What's Coming