Solel International emerged out of the experiences and hardships of our founder, Danny Asberry El, who after completing seven years of military service, returned home to Texas to discover culture-shock due to racism, people’s general lack of knowledge about the history of the Moorish American community, the housing crisis, and the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. He joined AmeriCorps to train in community building to pull communities together after the storm, and as an antidote to so much despair, created the A-Fest. The A-Fest gave Danny the platform he needed to express his culture while also giving every other ethnic group in Houston the same opportunity. The A-Fest attracted Houstonians from all over the world who found a place where they could collectively tell their stories through art. The community asked Danny to keep the A-Fest going, and this helped Asberry El to heal the shock that he felt when he first arrived in Houston. Based upon first hand experiences of what is needed to provide cultural storytelling and inclusion while honoring the communities that were rebuilding, Danny established and founded Solel Intentional.
Our work since our founding, we have produced Showcases for high schools, middle schools, and tackled problems of non-inclusiveness in parts of the United States and other countries. During hurricane Harvey, we assisted low-income Houston neighborhoods with food, maintenance and other resources needed to get the city of Houston back on its feet, including distribution to many areas downtown and in the Northeast. Despite forces of nature out of our control, such as Hurricane Harvey, the Covid19 Pandemic, The Texas winter storm, cyber-attacks and other catastrophes, Solel international has proved that it has created a cultural force to be reckoned with!
Only in a matter of seven years, Asberry El has led Solel international into the fields of community preservation and artistic branding; a variety of arts festivals; arts education with HCC and Change Happens; programming with Cartoon Pilots; and its biggest landmark project to date, creating Houston’s first Augmented Reality Mural on Houston’s First Whole Foods 365 Store. In Texas, since that first mural, Solel International has created the Renaissance Center mural (Houston’s second Augmented Reality Mural), and the City of Galveston’s first augmented reality historical markers and, as featured on ABC News, Galveston’s first augmented reality mural. Other notable mentions are the Bordersville murals, Settegast Barbershop restoration projects, acting classes for the disabled, and our partnership with “Uncover Everything” app service.
Nor is the word “international” in our name just a marketing concept. Solel International has pioneered international arts education projects in Brazil and the Kingdom of Bahrain. We are the first American organization to work with Shaikha Abeer Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain regarding fashion merchandising, creating a platform for upcoming artists and underserved communities. Solel International has worked in collaboration with the Al-Bayan Bilingual School (BBS) located in Kuwait. Recently, Danny Asberry El was featured in a Bahraini commercial as part of a world etiquette project to explore the importance of being polite following a Ted Talk discussing “Thriving in Turmoil”, and being featured in a music video and a Brazilian artist singing program about charity. New relationships are now emerging with the Campinas area in Sao Paulo, Brazil and with the nation of The Seychelles, located near Africa in the Indian Ocean.
We have been recognized by the federal government and the Houston City Council, we have been featured on ABC News, Gulf Daily News and Bahrain international, and we have been presented on Ted Talks.
Solel International has been through the hardest of times but even in the face of turmoil we thrive and continue to excel. We will keep making our mark on the world day by day by reviving community through arts and culture.