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AUS delegates hold One Young World MENA Caucus
American University of Sharjah (AUS) students held the One Young World MENA (OYW MENA) Caucus on campus yesterday, June 15. One Young World is an annual summit that brings together the brightest young leaders from global and national companies, NGOs, universities and other progressive organizations. Following the summit in Ireland in October, the OYW MENA Caucus was organized to unify voices and interests of the MENA region, to address a variety of significant and unique challenges, and to help individuals and communities prepare for the future.
Organized by AUS's One Young World Ambassadors Hanin Abbas, Sarah Abdelbary, Samer Khan and Mina Mazin, in collaboration with the AUS Student Leadership Program (SLP), OYW MENA was a daylong event that included speakers' initiatives and discussions on how to jumpstart initiatives to rejuvenate communities struggling under today's difficult economic and political conditions.
The keynote speaker at the event was Kate Robertson, the co-founder of One Young World, who shared with the students in the room her views on what a leader actually is. "It's not the power that you hold. It's not being CEO, or the prime minister or the president. A leader is a person who stands up and says, 'I will make this right. I will do this thing and I will do it better. And while on the way there, I'm going to look after the people as well.'"
Robertson said that the mission of One Young World is about finding leaders. She encouraged the students to take a stand. "What are you actually doing? Are you doing something? Don't think about it. Don't talk about it. Don't ask about it. Just do it!" she said.
"When you get up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror, please remember my question to you and ask yourself, "Is it me? Am I that leader?' Your lives will change when you lead, you will not be the following day the person you are today. Your lives will change beyond recognition, but I promise you they will change for the better," concluded Robertson.
"We are proud of our OYW ambassadors for their efforts in organizing the first One Young World MENA Caucus 2015 at AUS. They proved to be creative, goal-oriented and dedicated students who paved the way for others. The One Young World MENA Caucus brought together great minds and inspired many to take their initiatives to a higher level and turn them into reality, said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Dean of Students.
"After my life-changing One Young World experience in Dublin, I became highly driven to make a difference back home," said AUS student ambassador Mina Mazin. "The OYW MENA Caucus aims to bring together OYW ambassadors and proactive community members to share their initiatives in one hub, in addition to panel discussions on controversial topics in this region by opinion leaders. The reason why we chose to launch this caucus is to have the MENA region's voice more strongly heard at future OYW Summits and to encourage young leaders to take part in One Young World."
"Being part of the organizing team for the first OYW MENA Caucus has been an exceptional experience. As a person who has attended many conferences and workshops, it was very interesting, and sometimes challenging, to see how things come together behind the scenes," said Sarah Abdelbary. "This experience has tested many aspects of my leadership skills, including creativity, patience and team work. I always aspire to give back to my community as much as possible, and this event gave me that opportunity."
The rest of the day included perspectives from different speakers and a panel discussion on how the MENA region culture impacts the youth generation.