2023 has been another difficult year for all of us. From the ongoing war in Ukraine to the horrific conflict in Israel and Gaza, the flame of liberty seems to be flickering. But you, the supporters of AHA Foundation, have stood firm with us as we tended the flame of liberty, keeping it alive during the darkest of times. Below, you can see the amazing impact you made. Together, we can keep the flame of liberty bright for generations to come.
Throughout the year, our Founder, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, has stood bravely in defense of liberty for all. In The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Dialogues series, she championed free speech with world-renowned experts Jacob Mchangama, Winston Marshall, Greg Lukianoff, and Kathleen Stock.
Ayaan was also at the forefront of the media response to one of the year’s biggest and most disturbing events: the conflict in Israel. You can find all of her commentary, including articles in UnHerd and the Daily Mail and TV appearances on Fox News and Sky News Australia, here.
Ayaan’s other appearances in 2023 included being an expert panelist on the future of democracy at the Milken Institute, being the keynote speaker at the Sun Valley Policy Forum, where she spoke about the threat of Islamism, and speaking alongside Jordan Peterson and others in defense of Western civilization at the Alliance for Responsible Citizenship conference in London. You can find all of Ayaan’s other appearances and articles, plus media coverage of her, here.
AHA’s advocacy in 2023 achieved several huge victories against these abusive practices. Washington state became the 41st state to ban FGM, while we helped to pass laws against child marriage in Vermont, Connecticut, and Michigan. Women’s rights are one of the greatest of Western freedoms, and thanks to you, we have helped to protect thousands of women this year.
This year, we also published a groundbreaking new report on FGM in the U.S. that will be invaluable to all those committed to ending this human rights abuse. Read more here.
This year, we conducted 16 live trainings—the most we have ever conducted in a single year—for frontline professionals such as social workers, healthcare providers, and law enforcement agents, on FGM risk assessment, prevention, and response, including 8 trainings in Chicago under our three-year grant from the Department of Justice. Additionally, our Continuing Legal Education webinars with the American Bar Association and American Medical Association continued to train lawyers and doctors on how to deal with FGM. We also launched a new anti-FGM training course with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners which garnered 267 completions. Thus, in 2023, we trained 564 frontline professionals.
As the first and nationally leading organization providing anti-FGM training to frontline professionals and the only organization that provides training about all four harmful practices of FGM, child marriage, forced marriage, and honor violence, your support enables us to help countless women and girls across the entire nation.
To date, through our text and email helplines, we have assisted 884 individuals in crisis, including people fleeing from the Taliban. This year, we also helped a Liberian FGM survivor to receive life-changing reconstructive surgery.
We trained 10 new campus fellows from colleges including Yale, Columbia, Georgetown, and the University of California, Berkeley, this year. Now, a new generation has been inspired to keep freethought alive!
Event highlights of our campus program this year included a virtual gathering with constitutional scholar Nadine Strossen on free speech; a two-day in-person event by philosopher Peter Boghossian on having difficult conversations; and workshops with our Senior Fellow, Asra Nomani, at Harvard University and Brown University. Our fellow at the University of Central Florida, Hanna Nour, hosted a webinar with our Founder, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Find out more about our campus program here.
In partnership with The Dissident Project, a Young Voices initiative, we also piloted education to high school students about Islamist authoritarianism by supporting an in-person event with the anti-Islamist speaker Tawfik Hamid.
In 2022, AHA, together with activists, academics, ex-Muslims, and Muslim reformers, launched the CLARITy Coalition (Champions for Liberty Against the Reality of Islamist Tyranny) and continued its work in 2023, doubling its membership. New members included people from across the world: Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Trinidad, and Canada.
CLARITy hosted quarterly Town Halls to discuss current issues regarding Islamist extremism; released 8 public statements on important public issues, including the war in Israel; and created the CLARITy Pledge, which commits signatories to opposing Islamism. Find out more about CLARITy here.
Thank you all for everything that you do—without you, none of our work in 2023 would have been possible. From everyone at AHA Foundation, we wish you a prosperous and happy 2024.