7 ini­tia­tives for highly ef­fec­tive Arab youth

Khaleej Times - - WORLD GOVERNMENT SUMMIT - 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.”

sh­er­ouk@khalee­j­times.com

— 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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