The Luminous Scope is a 501 (c)3 fiscally-sponsored organization whose mission is:

  • to support a culture of empathy and understanding around the people of North Africa and the Middle East;
  • to educate the public about the real human stories unfolding in the middle east/north africa region (through gallery exhibits, films, articles, social media and public talks) in order to create a culture of empathy and understanding between people from diverse backgrounds;
  • to activate and encourage dialogue between people from various backgrounds with their peers in the Middle East (through partnerships with various universities, individuals and organizations);
  • to donate back a portion of all proceeds from the educational efforts to organizations and social entrepreneurs in the region who are improving the lives of others. (we also identify these organizations and encourage others to become involved at various levels).

Jennifer MacDonald, founder of The Luminous Scope, is a multi-award winning producer/writer (Special Jury Prize at Sundance – with years of experience in many aspects of film-making, and whose special area of interest lies in North Africa and the Middle East. A former cryptologist, world traveller and polyglot (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and some French), she started the first basic Arabic program for High School students in the American South with an emphasis on cross cultural connection and discovery. She currently teaches and lectures about the culture and history of the Middle East.

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Jennifer is also an explorer, writer, mother, teacher, and linguist driven by an incessant curiosity for life and an insatiable thirst for adventure. Her interest in North Africa and the Middle East began on a school trip to Morocco at sixteen years old. “I had never been to a more mysterious or paradoxical place and I realized that I could spend a lifetime trying to unravel the endless yarn of multiple kasbahs…and still be left with questions and conundrums. I am happiest when I can bring friends along on my journeys with me, either vicariously or literally, and especially when I can help create an atmosphere that brings people across cultures together and into deeper understanding of one another.”

She also enjoys… strange flavors, jumping from buildings, kundalini yoga, whirling dervishes, market places at closing time, being the first one on the streets in the morning, esoteric fiction bought off street vendors in Rio, soft fabric, Turkish honey and pungent smells. She likes to travel lightly and not look back.

"If I meet you on the road, I will always have time for tea"