Moukhtar Kocache has expertise in philanthropy, cultural and civil society development and curatorial practice. Born in Beirut, he was raised in Paris and spent fifteen years in Washington DC and New York before moving to Cairo for eight years until February of 2012. He currently resides between New York City and Paris.

From 2004 to 2012 he was Program Officer at the Ford Foundation’s regional office in Cairo. During his tenure there he worked mainly on the development and sustainability of arts and culture spaces, networks and service infrastructure. His grant-making supported small to mid-sized organizations and focused on creativity, discourse, arts education and cultural development in Egypt, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Lebanon with some programming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. While at Ford, he also programmed and managed a cluster of grants that support alternative and emerging media platforms and media reform agendas, as well as a cluster of grants that support the development of local philanthropy in the MENA region. His portfolio of active grants was worth $14 million at the date of his departure.

From 1998 to 2004 he was Director of Programs and Services at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in New York, a leading arts council in the US where he initiated and developed residency programs, art in the public realm initiatives, exhibitions, publications, conferences and seminars as well as workshops and resources including grantmaking for individual artists and small arts organizations.

He has an undergraduate degree from American University in Washington DC and a graduate degree from Columbia University in New York in International Relations, Art History and Non-Profit Management. He has curated, managed and organized exhibitions, and has consulted for and worked with art galleries, museums, not-for-profit organizations and foundations in the US, Europe and the Middle East. Moukhtar has taught seminars at university level and has published critical texts in catalogues, journals and periodicals. He has been a keynote speaker at various specialized events and has received awards for his professional standing in the field. His current interests include the sustainability of independent creative platforms, cultural and social justice philanthropy, political philosophy and policy, alternative institutional structures, memory, film and material culture.

Seminar: “Facts and Fiction / Myths and Reality: Pragmatism and Politics of Funding and Resource Mobilization”
Tuesday July 3rd to Thursday July 5th 2012 – from 10:00 till 15:00 – Campus in Camps Al Feneiq Center, Deheishe Refugee Camp

This three day seminar is designed to shed light on the various structural and institutional frameworks of charitable giving, aid and philanthropy in an interactive forum of knowledge transfer, debate and critical analysis. Through lecture, group presentations and discussions, the seminar’s aim is to empower participants with fundamental knowledge about the function, the role, the opportunities as well as the politics that lie behind the various processes of resource mobilization and distribution.

What is the difference between international development agencies and foundations, between community funds and trusts and corporate philanthropies, between Awqaf and crowd funding? What are the origins, characteristics and functions of these various bodies? What are the moral, ethical and political dynamics they embody but also generate? What are the local, regional and global trends?

In landscapes and environments that are highly saturated, dependent and impacted by charitable and funding mechanisms, how does one navigate the various pitfalls and opportunities and develop healthy cynicism but also critical and philosophical understanding of the various available mechanisms and resources both foreign and indigenous? What impact do such processes have on the development of civil society and how can we consider various accessible but also not yet existing options for the sake of community development.

Reading Materials 

Givers and Takers: The case of international aid to Palestine [ENG]

At the Palestine roundtable of the Voices of the Poor conference, the Spanish journalist, Teresa Aranguren, and author of Palestina…

Foreign Aid and the Molding of the Palestinian Space [ENG]

This study, titled “International Aid and the Molding of the Palestinian Space”, comes as part of a series of studies on development…

The New Generation of Community Foundations [ENG]

Community foundations have enjoyed considerable growth in recent years, not only in their number but also in their character…

The Value of Community Philanthropy [ENG]

Discovery of something in common is an exhilarating occurrence. So it was back in the spring of 2010 when we discovered…

Takaful 2011 The First Annual Conference on Arab Philanthropy and Civic Engagement [ENG]

While philanthropy has some of its oldest roots in the Arab region, contemporary research on giving and other forms of civic…

What is Philanthropy [ENG]

Philanthropy” is one of the most profound and influential ideas in the history of Western thought, originating 2500 years ago…

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