El Mastaba is an organisation that seeks to counter Egypt's current cultural policy in favor of Western and pop music and encourage the teaching of Egypt's diverse music traditions in the schools. Music education, if any, now consists of memorising songs for end of year concerts El Mastaba provides an umbrella for traditional musicians from all parts and traditions of Egypt, providing performance and production opportunities and operating two schools for kids in the Canal Zone to learn and perform the music and dance of their region. Three of the Mastaba groups now tour internationally, have won awards and have produced albums commended in Songlines Magazine. El Mastaba believes that creative expression is a catalyst for social change as it encourages risk-taking, initiative and experimentation, all lacking in the current educational system. El Mastaba groups are playing an active role in supporting social and political change in Egypt, performing in Tahrir Square and engaging with farmers and workers. I am an American citizen fundraising for El Mastaba because I believe its mission is crucial to issues of social change and social justice: it's about changing attitudes and getting people to appreciate their own diverse cultural heritage, to be inspired to innovate, rather than to imitate and to value difference as enriching and diversity as crucial to the development of the human community.