Khaleej Times

7 initiative­s for highly effective Arab youth

- Sherouk Zakaria

dubai — As part of the National Arab Youth Strategy, the Dubai government will launch seven initiative­s to empower the youth of the Arab World, it was announced during the closing session of the World Government summit that concluded on Tuesday.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidenti­al Affairs, said the initiative­s are the part of the government’s responsibi­lity to assist the youth of the Arab World in achieving their ambitions. The Arab Youth Strategy was initiated among 150 young men and women from 22 Arab countries who gathered to discuss different ideas and initiative­s during the summit’s Arab Youth Forum chaired by HE Shamma bint Suhail Al Mazrui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs.

“It is the youth’s responsibi­lity to work on their strategies and initiative­s. The future is in the hands of the youth and our children see [the leadership] as role models. Therefore, it is our responsibi­lity as Arab government­s to create hope and open doors of opportunit­ies for them,” said Sheikh Mansour as he addressed a crowd of leaders and delegates.

Displayed behind them on a big screen was a number that went beyond 108 million, which Sheikh Mansour described as the number of youth segment in the Arab World. “This number is not the number of victims of war or the number of losses in the oil sector nor figures fluctuatin­g in the stock market or number of terrorist attacks. This number refers to the increase in the most important sector, which is the Arab youth.” He said that the government’s focus on Arab youth goes years back when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was appointed the youngest minister in the world. He repeated the same legacy with Shamma Al Mazrui who was named the Youth Minister last year at the age of 22.

What the youth want

Young people spoke about different ideas to be implemente­d as part of the Arab Youth Strategy.

Among them was Ayman Al Musbah, a Sudanese social entreprene­ur whose work involves youth empowermen­t. “The most important part is to take the initiative. Many times, we see great initiative­s started with excitement in the Arab World, but they soon go down the drain and we never hear of them,” he said.

Syrian Mohammed Saeed Al Ghabra said he struggled to follow his dream of going to university. He said it’s necessary to work towards retaining the Arab world’s glory by establishi­ng top educationa­l institutio­ns that would compete internatio­nally and highlighte­d the importance of adopting volunteeri­sm as a lifestyle among young people.

“We need to be proud of our Arab identify and culture. Despite the degrees and positions we hold, what unites us is our pride of Arab cultures and values.”


 ?? — Photos by Shihab ?? Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Arab Youth Strategy discussion, with youth representa­tives from different Arab countries.
— Photos by Shihab Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Arab Youth Strategy discussion, with youth representa­tives from different Arab countries.
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