Australian Embassy hosts ‘tolerance, diversity’ activist
KUWAIT: The Australian Embassy hosted a visit by Yassmin Abdel-Magied to Kuwait as part of her Middle East and North Africa regional speaking tour to speak from her experience about tolerance, diversity, faith and gender. Abdel-Magied wears many hats, including a hijab. She’s a mechanical engineer, writer and activist who campaigns for tolerance and diversity. During her visit to Kuwait, Abdel-Magied met students and staff at Box Hill College, and hosted a discussion with the Centre for Research in Informatics, Sciences and Engineering at the American University of Kuwait. Abdel-Magied was also hosted on The Breakfast with Tee and Aki Show on 99.7 Radio Kuwait FM. She is speaking across the themes of gender, leadership, diversity, the role of faith and culture, her work in social advocacy and her experiences as a female engineer.
Abdel-Magied spoke to Kuwait Times about her life and her mission to promote diversity throughout the society. She is an engineer, social advocate and media commentator. She received the 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year award for her advocacy work for the empowerment of youth, women and those from racially, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Born in Sudan, Yassmin and her family arrived in Australia just before she turned two. At age 16, she founded Youth Without Borders, an organization that empowers young people to realize their full potential through collaborative, community based programs. She is an advisor for federal governments and international bodies, and currently sits on the boards of ChildFund, Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) and the domestic violence prevention organization Our Watch. She is the host of the motorsport podcast Motormouth, due for release later in 2016. Yassmin’s TED talk ‘What does my headscarf mean to you’ has over 1.5 million views.
Yassmin’s advocacy work has been recognized with many awards. She was named one of Australia’s most influential engineers by Engineers Australia, and been recognized for her work in diversity by the United Kingdom’s Institute of Mechanical Engineers. She was the youngest woman named in Australia’s 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review in 2012, was the Young Muslim of the Year in 2007 and Muslim Youth of the Year in 2015.
She spends her time both working as an engineering specialist on oil and gas rigs and heading Youth Without Borders. Yassmin has also written extensively, with her articles appearing in The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, The Griffith Review, Huffington Post and others. She has written a book about her life titled “Yassmin’s Story”.
Abdel-Magied will be visiting a number of other countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Sudan.
KUWAIT: Representing His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, Deputy Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber AlSabah, and His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, left the country yesterday for Saudi Arabia to offer condolences over the death of Prince Turki bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. —KUNA
KUWAIT: Yassmin Abdel-Magied is pictured at the Australian Embassy.
— Photo by Joseph Shagra