Shams Community

Shams Table

Through Shams Table, we want to foster community by bringing people together to share a good meal over meaningful dialogue.

What is Shams Table

Shams Table is a unique format that gathers people with different backgrounds to express and exchange their thoughts on complex issues. Shams Tables are organized by passionate individuals around the world who seek to connect minds and spark change in their own communities. We aim to provide individuals with non-judgmental spaces that encourage personal stories and critical thinking. 

Shams Table is comprised of two parts

Sharing a meal​

We are a diverse crowd with one thing in common: We love food! We share a meal in every gathering, it’s an activity that transcends the boundaries of age, gender, race, and religion. It is the best way to bring people together, Food is important, and it can go beyond societal restrictions. Sharing a meal allows a sense of safety and security, which allows guests to comfortably share their thought and challenge their own and others’ thinking.

Meaningful Dialogue​

The word ‘dialogue’ comes from a compound greek phrase meaning ‘converse with’. It is a physical and intellectual activity that asks you to find new ways to question ideas, and to discover new perspectives on various topics. We believe change can start with a dialogue and with the rapidly changing world around us, it is important to take a moment to talk.

People from around the world want to bring the concept of Shams into their own communities. We believe with the right tools and training, meaningful dialogue can be facilitated by anyone in their homes or in public spaces at any point in time.

Shams Table aims to

Raise awareness about social issues

Critical thinking and collective learning through dialogue brings about a deeper understanding of social issues.

Connect people

Our tables bring people together, foster friendships, and enable collaboration.

Promote a culture of tolerance

We want people to learn about themselves and to experience cultural differences within their community.

Open up spaces for dialogue

We encourage the hosting of dialogue in existing community spaces where people can exchange ideas and experiences and make good collective decisions in an environment free of judgement.

Inspire individuals to take action

We encourage people to question their own mindsets and behaviors when it comes to the most pressing issues of the day to bring positive change to their lives and communities.

What We’ve Done

Over the past 3 years..

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Attendees:
~1500 unique
~30-50 avg

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Hosted Events:
Cook & Talk, Dinner & Dialogue, Trivia Night, Hikes, Talking in the Dark

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Social Topics Discussed:
Eg Sexism, Education, Fasting, Recycling, Mental Health, ...etc

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Private Events Hosted

At the heart of Shams Table is meaningful dialogue and sharing a meal. We gather groups of familiar and unfamiliar folks in a safe space to share food and engage in a conversation about topics that matter. At Shams Table, people discuss local and global social, economic, environmental issues.

For almost a year now, Shams Community has been prototyping the Table in different formats and locations around the world. We believe that bringing people together across cultures to share honest conversation and personal experience will help us understand the people around us in deeper, more meaningful ways.

We have built and trained a community of almost 30 hosts who have organised at least one Shams Table in cities such as Beirut, DC, London, Hanover, Irbid, and Amman.

Alongside this prototyping, we held focus groups, conducted surveys, and gathered feedback from participants from different backgrounds and countries to get a sense of how Shams Table might look on a national and international level.

The feedback has been very positive, so it is our goal to build on that, training hosts in countries beyond Jordan and seeing its impact expand.