Beshouy Botros

University & Major/Degree

Pomona College & Utrecht University, History, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Gender Studies

Why did you join the Leadership Fellowship?

I joined the Leadership Fellowship in order to deepen my work with Arab and Arab American communities and learn about how we can further utilize the arts for education.

What is your favorite quality about your host-site organization?

I appreciate that at the Arab Film and Media Institute we continue to serve our Bay Area communities and local schools while pursuing larger projects such as the annual festival. We recognize that our grassroots efforts and national programming are fundamentally connected endeavors!

What is your favorite part overall about the fellowship?

It has been a joy connecting with the other fellows and learning about their experiences at the different organizations working with NNAAC. Hearing from leaders from across the NNAAC umbrella about the history of Arab American community organizing and their own professional trajectories has also been deeply rewarding.

How does this program fit into your future plans?

In the future, I plan to work between the arts and academia while remaining rooted in community-driven movements. Taking part in this program as I am writing my Master’s thesis is giving me a great idea of what that balancing act looks like.

What is a personal goal that you would like to achieve?

I’m planning on making a special short film myself. Maybe it will be ready for the next festival? For now, the details remain secret!

What is a professional goal that you would like to achieve?

I hope to connect emerging Arab and Arab American artists to our festival, the oldest Arab Film Festival in the country, and to help establish structures of support and mentorship so that the Arab Film and Media Institute can foster more new talent.

Why do you think programs like this are important?

Programs that create structures of mentorship are so important for developing new leaders and helping us benefit from intergenerational knowledge! This is particularly crucial when it comes to the non-profit and community organizing fields where so much institutional memory and knowhow is held by specific individuals. Connecting with those individuals and learning from their guidance is the best way to really see how things run.

How do you plan to use the skills and experiences you gain through this fellowship, in the future?

My skills and experiences in grant-writing, outreach, and management will certainly be useful as I continue pursuing research and creative and community work.

Describe yourself in three words.

Joyful grit, windmaker!

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