Life at Yahoo
My name is Mohamed Sabe and I am the Arabic Editor in Chief for Yahoo Middle East. I was chosen to be the representative for YEF in Egypt in January 2011, only two months after joining the company.Despite starting the year with less than forty employees in the Cairo office, new Yahoos were determined to do good as soon as they found out that Yahoo encourages its people to make positive contributions to their community.
However, YEF initiatives had to be halted due to the Egyptian revolution, and the office had to be shut down for several weeks for security reasons. In spite of this setback, as soon as things were back to normal, we were again focused on planning for our first initiative and working with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to decide on what would be the best way to contribute to development in Egypt. Little did we know that our first initiative would cross boundaries and reach beyond Egypt.
In mid-July 2011, a severe drought hit the entire ‘Horn of Africa’ region on the Eastern side of the continent, resulting to this day in over 29,000 deaths among children under 5 in Somalia.
Given the magnitude of this tragedy, local initiatives took a back seat and YEF Egypt members decided that contributing to the well being of Somali families was crucial, and in mid August we approached the Union of Arab Doctors who were collecting money to buy food supplies and send them to Somalia.
Four hundred Egyptian Pounds (67 US dollars) was all that was needed to support a Somali family for a month, so we started a collection campaign that lasted for two weeks.
Around thirty Yahoo employees (out of sixty in the Cairo office) contributed their money to this cause and we ended up collecting 6,550 Egyptian Pounds (around 1,100 US dollars). While the amount may not seem like much, it meant that we ended up helping over 16 Somali families overcome this crisis for a month.
I remember walking through our small office in Cairo collecting donations and seeing the spirit that Yahoo!’s employees in Cairo displayed in competing with each other to give more money and encouraging each other to contribute. It was really breathtaking!
I personally believe that the beautiful and collective spirit of this small startup office had a strong impact on us. This great start for YEF initiatives in Egypt only increased the appetite of Yahoo’s employees to contribute more and encouraged new Yahoos to take part in upcoming projects.
YEF Egypt will next be teaming up with local NGOs who work on supporting orphans and developing education.
From where I stand, I can proudly say that the culture of doing good and contributing positively to the community is alive and growing in Cairo’s Yahoo office.
To learn more about YEF or find out how you can make a difference, check out http://howgoodgrows.yahoo.com/.
Best Regards,Mohamed SabeArabic Editor-in-Chief Yahoo Middle East