Changing the Narrative: Introducing New Speaker Suleiman Bakhit
Bakhit’s most powerful CVE initiative so far was the creation of Aranim Media Factory, which sold 1.2 million comic books in Jordan, a country of 6 million people—a massive achievement. With titles like Element Zero (featuring an Arab James Bond) and Princess Heart (a modern spin on 1,001 Nights), Bakhit was not only creating gorgeous, exciting, and affordable narratives for Arab youth, but books filled with homegrown heroes who extolled positive, optimistic, and empowering messages.
Since then, he’s brought his message to the White House CVE Summit, the World Economic Forum, the United Nations CVE Summit, and the Oslo Freedom Forum. In his talks, he traces the psychological and mythic origins of harmful ideologies—those that glorify violence, xenophobia, and toxic masculinity—and highlights the vital role of storytelling in every healthy culture. In the war for Muslim youth, changing the narrative is absolutely essential—and Bakhit offers an ingenious model to do so.
In a recent interview with VICE, Bakhit shared an optimistic take on overcoming problems in the Arab world. “Approximately 50 percent of the Middle East is under 15; 62 percent of Muslims are under 30. With such a young population we can actually effect serious change within three to five years,” he said. “It just won’t be governments that do it; governments aren’t good at communicating. But they can enable us—civil society and social entrepreneurs who can really make a difference. And we’re ready.”
If you’re ready to hear more about Bakhit’s revolutionary approach to countering violent extremism, he’s now available for keynotes and other speaking engagements.
To hire Suleiman Bakhit for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency speakers bureau.