Qatari youths urged to take right steps, work hard

Building a strong sense of identity, developing tolerance for all people and beliefs, and stepping up to meet challenges that help advance personal growth are key areas of youth development, noted, Tareq al-Ansari, an assistant professor at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) as the country marked International Youth Day last week.

Al-Ansari had enroled in Qatar Foundation's (QF) Qatar Research Leadership Programme in 2010 to help advance his personal passion for research and science.

“When the eco-system is right and everything is in place to help people develop, as was the case for me at QF, I think young people naturally gravitate towards becoming more involved,” said al-Ansari, whose research and lecturing work at the Sustainability Division of HKBU, helps contribute to Qatar’s national priorities of sustainable development, and energy, food, and water security.

“Additionally, when young people feel there is a reason or a greater cause, it helps to bring them closer to participating and to progressing in areas which they are passionate about.”

Al-Ansari is keen to stress that there is a huge element of personal responsibility that young people need to take to achieve and grow.

“The individual has to step up – no one else is going to do it for you. The support will be there and the environment, especially within Qatar, is well geared towards helping young people accomplish their goals, but the onus rests firmly on the student or participant to work hard and make sure they take the right steps.”

Asma al-Khulaifi, a law student at HBKU and a participant at the United Nations’ led Doha Youth Forum on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in 2015 also encourages Qatar’s youth to get involved in the areas of public policy and social justice. She expalined, “The voice and views of young people matter greatly – I have had first-hand experience of this when I participated in Doha Youth Forum 2015.”

“I helped create a recommendations document to be handed to UN secretary general, comprising a list of recommendations with regard to crime prevention and criminal justice. I learned a lot from the process and appreciated the fact that this was organised for youth – it shows that our voice matters, that our opinions matter, and that we have much to offer.”

Al-Khulaifi believes young people need to build a strong sense of identity and take the right steps to grow on a personal, academic, and career level.

“With the ever increasing use of technology, I believe, young people are losing large parts of their identity. Technology provides a platform for youth to be themselves; but equally, too many young people are becoming followers through social media rather than developing their own path and voice to become leaders through experience.”

When al-Khulaifi was looking for a summer internship last year, she was careful to choose an organisation that was aligned to her interests in the areas of equality and education development.

“I could’ve gone to a law firm in the city, but I felt it was important to find work in a field I was passionate about,” said Asma, who interned at Education Above All (EAA) in Doha, after she was awarded the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation fellowship.

According to al-Khulaifi, through the internship, she learned how EAA promotes the right of access to education for women, children, and youth affected by poverty around the world.

As seen on GulfTimes  Image Credits GulfTimes