Craigslist Founder, Craig Newmark, Joins in Support of Middle East Entrepreneurship

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Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist, announces he is joining the advisory board of, a web-based microfinance organization focused on economic development in the Middle East.

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Craig Newmark, Internet entrepreneur and founder of the classified advertising website Craigslist, has spent his career connecting people with complementary needs. Now, he is working to bring borrowers and lenders together to facilitate economic development in the Middle East. Newmark announced today that he has joined the advisory board of a new microfinance website called allows users to make loans to specific entrepreneurs in the West Bank, thus helping them build a sustainable livelihood through small business and tangibly contributing to stability in the region.

"I have modestly done my part over the years by getting involved in peace making efforts in this region," said Newmark, "I believe that economic development is one of the ways that we can lay the groundwork for political stability in the Middle East. is helping to advance this cause."

Newmark has already leant $5,000 to Palestinian micro-entrepreneurs through Hajar Farukh, a 44-year-old mother of seven children, is one such individual. Her husband, a taxi driver, does the best he can to support his family, but only earns about $500 a month. Hajar dreams of being able to provide more for her family and so she opened a small grocery by her home to contribute to the household's income. Working with a local microfinance partner, she requested a loan to buy more inventory for her shop. With the support of users like Newmark, Hajar's small business will have the opportunity to grow, enabling her children to stay in school and her family to contribute positively to the community.

"We are honored to have Craig Newmark on's advisory board," says co-founder Allam Taj. "His dedication to the cause, entrepreneurial insight and experience make him an inspiration for our organization."

Founded by two Jews and two Palestinians, is an innovative non-profit organization taking a grassroots approach to peace building. Through's website, individuals can make small loans to specific entrepreneurs in the Middle East. By increasing cross-cultural exposure and collaboration, is striving to not only bring needed funds to the region but also to enhance interfaith dialogue between Jews and Palestinians.

About Craig Newmark:
Craig Newmark is the founder of, a site where people can help each other with everyday needs including housing and jobs. He's also working with a wide range of groups using the Net to help each other out, like, the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, and Consumer Reports. Craig is also actively engaged with government workers on multiple levels to use the Net for superior public service, and with Sunlight Foundation for government accountability and transparency.

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Sam Adelsberg
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