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Naif Al Mutawa

Naif Al-Mutawa is an award winning serial entrepreneur, clinical psychologist and clinical hypnotherapist who is the founder of The Soor Center for Professional Therapy and Assessment, Kuwait's leading professional source of a broad range of psychological services. A licensed psychologist in the State of New York, he is certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists and is a member of the American Psychological Association. An Assistant Professor in Clinical Psychology, Naif is a member of the academic staff at Kuwait University's Faculty of Medicine, where he has been teaching clinical psychology, communication skills creative writing, and cognitive behavioural therapy since 2005. Naif is the creator of The 99, the first comic book to feature superheroes born of an Islamic archetype. Forbes named The 99 one of the top 20 trends sweeping the globe.

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Teshkeel Media Group
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For-profit Social Enterprise
Global Health; Entrepreneurship
Areas of Impact
Middle East & North Africa

Teshkeel Media Group

Teshkeel Media Group is capitalized for several million dollars by 60 investors in 10 countries. Based in Kuwait, its focus is on the creation of a popular culture for the Islamic world consistent with the universalistic themes inherent in Islam. It has recently expanded into the licensing of its own creation, The 99, and into other markets.

The 99 has tapped into the same sources from which others have taken violent, hateful messages and created story lines that promote diversity, multiculturalism and personal responsibility. Drawing upon global history, culture and traditions, its 99 superheroes come from 99 countries and work together to improve the world. Their aim is to provide positive role models for children that are inspired on a global level.

The 99 is one of the most popular entertainment properties from the Islamic world. A global animation project co-produced with media giant Endemol is scheduled for release. So far 26 episodes of the animated TV series have been completed, with another 26 in production. Broadcasting rights have been sold in 49 countries across four continents, to Cartoon Network, The Hub, MBC and others. Through its parent company, Teshkeel Media Group, The 99 also licences characters and provides product endorsements for a theme park in Kuwait, back-to-school products in Spain, banking products for a Gulf bank, plus digital and mobile comics. DC Comic's Justice League of America has enlisted its superheroes to join Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and other heroes in a mini-series to advance the cause of good over evil. An agreement with digital comics website Comixology has been signed to distribute The 99 comics via their digital platform. The 99 has also expanded into new territories with licenses with leading comic book publishers for Turkish and French language editions. 

The direct impact of The 99 cannot be easily measured, yet it clearly is causing a cultural shift. Its partnerships with major players like DC Comics, Endemol, Panini, Gulf Bank, Comixology and others have demonstrated the strong commercial demand for the content. There are now classes in schools and universities studying The 99, and more than 1,000 media articles have been written about its cultural goals.


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