The Soliman Foundation
Empowering and amplifying voices through education, music and grants.
The Soliman Foundation was created as way for me, Mike Malak, to honour my grandparents.
Originally from Cairo, Egypt, my grandparents Mary and Yehia were the foundation of my upbringing and our family. They were the true examples of principles, work ethic and values.
Moving to London when I was 5 years old, they took us in and we lived with them for many years, speaking daily thereafter.
Without their guidance, I would not be who I am today.
My grandfather was a doctor, and like a father to me, always there helping others and never asking for payment. He was fulfilling a life’s mission that was bigger than himself and it was through those actions that I quickly learned the importance of helping and supporting those who just may not have been as lucky as you.
It was not an effort, it was a duty.
The best ways of learning are through actions. Throughout my childhood I waited in my grandfathers car as he took me along to see his patients and would tell me stories of what happened. I felt very fortunate to not be in their predicament and it gave me a deep sense of gratitude.
His endless work ethic was one I carried on. An endless sense of purpose.
My grandfather would always help the homeless he saw. I especially remember one gentleman who lived outside our block of flats. Day after day he was there, all his belongings in one shopping trolley. He and my grandfather had a special relationship, I instantly felt this from a young age. I sensed how my grandfather would be thinking of how he could help him, clearly bothered by the sense of having more than someone else who was in such a dire situation.
Clearly, I inherited this feeling. To this day, my greatest pain is seeing someone who is in a situation less fortunate than my own, struggling to get by on what should be basic things in life such as food and shelter.
With that in mind, one of our main strands to the Soliman Foundation is helping those in need. Our aim is to give yearly grants to people who are on the edge of homelessness by partnering up with established charities in this sector and identifying individuals for whom that extra funding means the difference between getting back on their feet or being on the street.
My grandmother, taught me many things. A force of nature, she was the educator. Filled with love she quickly made me understand that education is a blessing and one not afforded to everybody. It was through those lessons that as I established myself in the music industry, a dream of mine since childhood, I once again felt this sense of duty to give the next people to come up an opportunity to learn, understand and find their own way – hence KID Talks was launched.
Throughout the years, KID Talks has partnered with some of the best in the business from the Royal Albert Hall to Teenage Cancer Trust through the vehicle of educational panels, networking events and workshops. Our YouTube channel has plenty of content with artists and music industry professionals. Though some of it may not be the highest quality in terms of editing, I feel it is important the information is out there, accessible and have always tried to make myself reachable to those who have questions and want their opportunity to live their youthful dreams as I have.
Therefore KID Talks is now under the Soliman Foundation umbrella, as our education strand.
Lastly both my grandparents loved music. I have infinite memories of being in my grandfathers car, being picked up from school or waiting outside his hospital appointments listening to Magic FM, while he would singalong to the likes of Sinatra, the Carpenters, Toto and more. He loved Charles Aznavour and one of my greatest memories was taking him to see him at the Royal Albert Hall. Both my grandfather and grandmother loved the art and glamour of music and entertainment. They appreciated the emotions song can bring and truly understood the power of music.
It is through them that I understood this too and through my professional career we will continue to embed their legacy as the Soliman Foundation through music events and artists that stand for something bigger than themselves. Truly leveraging the power of music for good.
With this, I thank you Grandpa and Nanny and I promise you I will ensure the Soliman name lives on forever.
Stats & Impact
Vegan meals sold at the O2
Of carbon saved