In 2011, Reem Kassem established AGORA for Arts and Culture, a program which integrates arts practice and informal education with social and economic development. AGORA aims to complement Egypt’s formal education system, which is still overly focused on passive learning and lacks an emphasis on personal expression.
AGORA’s workshops, youth clubs, and activities within schools all teach important social values such as responsibility, respect, and tolerance, while also developing skills such as democratic decision making, critical thinking, and intellectual independence. AGORA does not only work with youth however, AGORA also conducts workshops for widows to learn how to make certain accessories, and then organizes the “Start On Your Own” festival, which allows these women to showcase and sell their products.
Throughout all her work, Reem tries to engage rural communities and disadvantaged areas to tackle social and economic challenges through the medium of arts and culture. In 2012, she established AGORA International, a new branch of the organization based in Marseilles.