Post Growth: Collaborative Consumption in the Middle East & North Africa: Building on Cultural Traditions of Sharing

by Ahmad Sufiyan Bayram

For those not familiar with sharing and collaborative consumption movements in the Arab World, these are not new ideas in the region, nor within Arabic culture. Throughout history, people have shared food, products and homes among many other things. They used to crowdfund landsharing in order to allocate crops and shared the financial returns with each other. Moreover, they used to have houses where visitors could sleep over for a few days as a traditional model of couchsurfing. Recently, as a repercussion of all the war-torn years that this region has witnessed, people have retreated from ‘the commons’ and trust between strangers, and this has resulted in sharing being confined to inner circles of friends and acquaintances. But with the internet revolution and network technologies that have brought together and then expanded the community’s input among people who have similar needs or interests, some new collaborative and open business models have emerged.

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