“If playing is the highest form of expression and simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication, then play simple,” said Fahmi Al Abdissalaam, who is the founder of insta8 Oman, and is also a philanthropist, communicator, and motivator. One of the most popular digital event concepts and possibly the first of its kind in the world, this was one of the many ideas that sprung into Fahmi’s mind and has turned out to be a huge success.
“insta8 is a public speaking platform merged with social media. Allowing people to talk about what they want to talk about publicly,” he explained. “I found that there was a need for people to speak publicly about what they do, but it could only be done in corporate circles and Ted Talks,” added Fahmi, observing that not many people in Oman are comfortable with such a format and find it restrictive.
“So I thought I am an average Joe, so how about using Instagram to talk about things. So I thought I should, source them, pluck them, and bring them on to my platform and my job is to make it interesting enough for the public to come and see them.” insta8 Oman has benefitted a number of people coming from different backgrounds in many ways. “Some people had kids following them. After insta8 they had adults following them. A food blogger was launched on insta8 and she is very famous now. Many comedians got a lot of followers. Dr Amer Al Rawas got extra business for his organic farm because of insta8,” said Fahmi.
As a philanthropist, Fahmi strongly believes in the Islamic saying, ‘Be speedy in being good.’ Fahmi pointed out that he is not a man with a lot of money, but that doesn’t stop him from reaching out to people and helping those in need. He has tried to lend a helping hand to many underprivileged people in Oman, as well as outside of Oman, in his own way. Fahmi had even tagged along with one of his friends on a philanthropic trip to Ghana recently.
“When we went to Ghana, we visited as many Islamic schools as possible, Islamic communities and tried to figure out what it is that was required. I was just a tag along.” He added, “In one village, all the adults were doing nothing. One of them came over and begged me to buy a football. He said that for months they were just sitting idle without anything to do. I immediately donated some money so they could go buy a football. And up till now the village is sending me emails because they got a purpose and now they seem to have something to do.”
Fahmi is also the brand ambassador for a Khimji Ramdas CSR initiative. “They help visually challenged and needy people with supplies, office material, shades, and many other things. They asked me to be the ambassador. But I wanted to be physically involved,” he said, adding that he makes sure he spends time on such initiatives and with these people instead of just being a face for the brand. Even during Ramadan, Fahmi was at a village near Rustaq distributing mattresses and supplies in the village. He is also closely associated with the Special Olympics team in Oman.
“I have started joining them now. I try to help them out in any way possible. Moral support, physical support, being an extra to whatever event is going on and promoting it on social media,” he said. Fahmi’s main focus is going to be helping people in Oman, especially by promoting talent in his own creative and innovative way by giving them a platform to express and impart all the knowledge that he has gained from his experiences; he will not shy away from helping the needy in any way that he possibly can.
He has also gone out of his way to find people living in difficult conditions and connecting with them. Fahmi recently found out that there are villages in Oman where people live in temporary metal sheds. “There are places like that in Oman, in Suwaiq. It’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter and if they have kids that are challenged in any way, they just chain them down. My next step is to bring their plight to light.”