MH-Global Communications Network
Phoenix, AZ – August 2, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — “Celebrating the International Year of Youth: Youth as Leaders, Change Makers, and Connected Global Citizens” in Doha, Qatar, ended July 28. Hosted by Global Citizen Corps, this program of Mercy Corps was implemented in partnership with Reach Out to Asia, a Qatari non-governmental organization that works under the auspices of the Qatar Foundation.
Retaj Al Rayyan Doha offered free and reduced price accommodation for participants. Four Season Hotel Doha sponsored the opening dinner celebration for participants and guests. The Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, on Qatar Foundation’s Education City campus, was the host venue for the conference. Northwestern University hosted two evening events and video conferences .
Twenty youth leaders, aged 16-25, from ten countries, including Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories (Gaza, Pakistan, Indonesia, the US, the US and Haiti took part in activities designed to stimulate learning and cross-cultural sharing. Participants engaged in dialogue on five key issues central to the Global Citizen Corps curriculum: environment and climate change, education, food security and hunger, health, and peace and conflict. Participants discussed how these issues affect their communities and what they have been doing to tackle these challenges.
A highlight of the week was the “Town Hall” event featuring Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, a renowned columnist and commentator from the United Arab Emirates who was recently ranked by Forbes Middle East as the top “Tweeter” in the region, with more than 70,000 followers on the popular social networking site Twitter. Sheikh Sultan will be joined on stage by Shadi Hamid, Director of Research at Brookings Doha Center and a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. This discussion was moderated by Andrea Koppel, a longtime journalist and media professional who recently joined Mercy Corps as Vice President of Global Engagement and Policy. Audiences in Washington, DC; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Portland, Oregon joined the conversation via videoconference.
In addition, participants strengthened their skills in areas such as the use of film and photography to support self-expression and community work, and the use of advocacy and social media to promote positive community change. Participants visited important cultural sites in Doha and took part in service activities giving back to local communities.
Global Citizen Corps is a Mercy Corps program that aims to inspire, educate and equip a growing international network of young leaders to be responsible, active, and globally connected citizens. The gathered youth group of these youth have returned home now to develop multi-country initiatives reflective of the Global Citizen Corps mission. Sarah Warren, Director of the Global Citizen Corps commented: “This is a dynamic and historic time in the Middle East and North Africa, with Qatar playing a leading role in the events of the moment, as well as in the effort to tackle ongoing humanitarian and development issues in the region and beyond. It is fitting to have these young leaders here, now, sharing ideas about how they can contribute to building a better future.”
“Reach Out to Asia is proud to be a part of this event and of the Global Citizen Corps initiative, which is helping thousands of youth develop critical leadership skills and engaging them as partners in addressing the real issues that face their communities—and the world,” said Essa Al Mannai, Director of ROTA, commenting on sharing Qatari culture as participating youth brought their cultural heritage and experiences to share.”
Through structured dialogue and informal interactions, participants were encouraged to build new relationships and challenge their stereotypes and misconceptions of others. Sharing their experiences with youth around the world through daily blog posts, tweets, and other forms of social media, the conference impact can be measured through viewing such responses on the Internet.
For more information on Global Citizen Corps, please visit: www.globalcitizencorps.org.
MH-Global Communications Network
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