Under the patronage of HE, the Minister of Culture and Sports, Mr. Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, the events of the third edition of Qatar Youth Forum were concluded yesterday. The two-day forum, supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports and organized by Qatar Cultural and Heritage Events Center, witnessed announcing the first elected advisory committee for HE, the Minister of Culture and Sports. The elections were held among 29 candidates to elect seven people from among those candidates who represent various cultural, literary, youth and sports sectors as well as entrepreneurs. The number of voters reached 1,243. The committee’s membership was won by Hamad Al-Labda, Mohammed Al-Dahabibi, Sheikha Al-Marri, Sherifa Al-Sa’i, Faiza Al-Kaabi, Ahmed Al-Jasem and Khadeja Albuhelaiqa.

The forum was held under the slogan ‘Ya Watani Ha Ana tha (Oh my country, here I am!)”. The forum sought to empower youth to exercise their leading and societal roles that help them in achieving the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030 and bolstering dialogue and consultation between them and officials in charge of their affairs at centers, committees, clubs, etc., in addition to providing them with the appropriate environment, where their ideas can be shared and their talents in various fields can be discovered. the forum comprised 33 participating pavilions, including 22 youth centers, 5 cultural centers, and the youth advisory committee of the Minister of Culture and Sports, in addition to 9 partners from the centers and educational institutions working in the youth field, in addition to the interactive workshops. There were also 20 workshops attended by around 500 youths, which gave the forum a momentum and diversity in the level of Partnerships and outputs.

The forum was held in the belief that youth are makers of the future and the basis in building the nation. Hence, this forum is considered an opportunity for direct interaction and expressing the hopes and aspirations of youth and ways to support them, in addition to enhancing communication and mutual dialogue between youth, and formulating a viable vision for the future that enables the state to anticipate the prospects of progress and development for society. The success of the forum, and its resulting initiatives and events, created an opportunity to display the activities of youth institutions and attract many Qatari youth to engage in youth work, since the forum created an opportunity to sign many agreements between those institutions and launch some youth initiatives and electronic applications which are aimed to facilitate youth participation.

The Qatari Youth Forum witnessed the launch of the “Al-Mobtaker (Innovator)” magazine of the Qatari Scientific Club, an annual magazine issued by the club highlighting the role of Qatari innovators and contributes to display the achievements of the Qatari youth, and documents the most important achievements of the scientific club within a year. The Forum also witnessed the launch of the Hobbies Youth Center. On the sidelines of the Forum, there were many shows such as the “juggling show “, “Our Ethics Award, Student Council and Modern Communication,” presented in cooperation with Qatar University. In addition to the above, it witnessed honoring the winners of creativity competitions at the Girls’ Creativity Center, and a presentation of the “Rakz Shwai (Focus a little bit)” initiative, which was presented by the Media Center for youth, in addition to signing memoranda of understanding between youth centers and the Qatari Scientific Club to establish digital manufacturing factories (FabLab) in Centers

At the conclusion of the Forum, the names of the “Challenging Ideas” competition winners were announced. This event, in which several parties participated in the country, lasting over three days, is aimed to promoting the role of Qatari youth of coaches and facilitators. Twenty-one coaches and facilitators had been engaged to facilitate the setup of workshops for the participating teams, and those who have been trained and developed through a specialized program in Design Thinking to enable them in the future in this field.

The program had witnessed a remarkable turnout of young people, as the number of registrants exceeded two hundred until its closure. Eighty participants were chosen to compete to solve the challenges presented by the participating bodies, namely: Qatar Development Bank, Qatar Railways Company (Rail) and Qatar Charity, The Center for Protection and Social Rehabilitation (AMAN).

It is noteworthy in this context that a number of state agencies have expressed their desire to participate in the program in belief and support from them to promote youth participation, but it was not possible to meet all the requests for participation, and coordination was made with them to participate in the next version of the event.

The teams participating in this program were divided according to the participating fields. They began with a workshop in Design Thinking which were presented by both coach Nasser al-Maliki and coach Nasser Almoghaiseeb. This was followed by brainstorming sessions, while ideas were presented by participants as proposed solutions to the challenges that were developed and presented during the discussion sessions, in which the best innovative and non-stereotypical solutions were reached, making them applicable on the ground               .

The forum witnessed heart-to-heart talk with youth and the representative student council of Qatar University, to discuss the council’s role and the challenges facing it. Faisal Al-Hanzab, Abdulrahman Al-Baker, Hamad Al-Jumaily, Ahmed Al-Marri, Najla Al-Khulaifi, Hanan Abdulrahman, Fatema Al-Maraghi and Fatema Falamarzi participated in this talk. The session was presented by Khaled AL Jumaily, attended by Dr. Hassan Al-Dirham, President of the University, and Dr. Omar Al-Ansari, Vice President of Student Affairs.

First, Faisal Al-Hanzab spoke about the representative student council, which is considered a link between the administration and the students, as it conveys the problems facing students and discusses the administration. He said that the council has launched its strategic plan, which is five-pillared, including the council’s relationship with the council itself, and its relationship with the management and with students and the society as a whole as well as its relationship internationally so that it attempts to handle Arab and international issues.

Abdulrahman Al-Baker believes that many students know about the council, especially that in every election there is announcements between the candidates. In addition, the university sends emails to students, as well as conducts introductory meetings. He said that every council faces a number of challenges and it has to prove its worth, so that we try to deal with the administration comfortably, but challenges are represented in routine procedures.

Hamad Al-Jumaily stressed their endeavors to develop and expand the council, and indicated that the number of members has increased and there is an expansion of powers, reflecting the development and improvement of the council. He continued saying that he had a feeling, a year previous to the candidacy, that the council was a formality. However, after joining this entity, he found that the reality is different. Some people do not realize the council’s scope of powers and consequently, expects from the council to achieve matters beyond that scope.

Najlaa Al-Khulaifi said that the council’s structure is constitutes of 16 heads within 61 members who are distributed, so the number of members of the representatives of each college varies according to the density of students. All this is true about different committees that have different roles. She added that some say that the council does not perform its functions and that there are students who submit to the council issues outside the scope of its powers. However, the seminar will support us, especially as it is under process, to introduce the council from the next course. Hanan Abdelrahman believes that the council is an opportunity to acquire skills, because each council witnesses a difference from the other, noting that it has faced problems with the administration, and the council is always the closest to the students., She added that she believes that the council needs to activate its powers and to obtain greater ones, noting that there are complaints of abuse of events and of a moody policy followed by the management. Fatema Al-Maraghi said that despite the challenges, the council was able to achieve many issues for students, the most important of which was that it contributed to the expansion of the structure of the student’s council and increased their number, explaining that the administration has helped to share the decision regarding, for example, the problem of warnings. There is also a free hour every Monday and Wednesday each week and it goes without saying that there are challenges specific to each college, depending on the nature of the study in it.