EMPOWER Youth Conference 2013 to kick-off on 28 March | Press Releases

EMPOWER Youth Conference 2013 to kick-off on 28 March
28 March 2013

The 5th EMPOWER Youth Conference 2013 on Leadership, Service Learning and Global Citizenship, organized by Qatar’s leading educational not-for-profit organization Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), begins at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) on Thursday 28 March.

Qatar’s largest annual youth gathering, an expected 400 youth activists and community leaders of the future will come together at EMPOWER 2012 to participate in a focused program of activities focusing on the 3-day event’s key themes: the Arabic language, Sports,Skills Development and the Environment.

This year the theme proposed for EMPOWER 2013 will be Water Cooperation. In December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. In reflection of this declaration, the 2013 World Water Day, which will took place on 22 March 2013, the conference, will be dedicated to water cooperation.

Environmental issues will be a key theme throughout EMPOWER 2013.

“EMPOWER 2013 will focus creating awareness on Water Cooperation. In order to address these challenges, taking youth seriously is not an option but an urgent priority, and mobilizing them to take action within their communities in order to create awareness is an excellent entry point towards building a more sustainable future,”explainsMohamed Abdulla Saleh, National Programs Director, ROTA.

In addition, EMPOWER delegates will attend several workshops that will focus on exploring the theme of sustainable development and investigating the problems that can arise while engaging in development activities in the context of environmental sustainability.

EMPOWER 2013 Day 2 features a packed program of 14 creative workshops facilitated by leading experts in the fields of youth development, leadership, service learning, global citizenship, environment and sports.

Msheireb Properties will be presenting a case study and demonstrate the essential steps taken by Msheireb Properties to develop a sustainable project with a focus on water. Participants will be able to understand the driving vision behind Msheireb Down Town Doha and have a detailed understanding of what can be done from a master planning point of view as well as a technical one.

Similarly, delegates will have the opportunity to attend a seminar on ‘Action Campaigns – Water Cooperation’ that would comprise the introduction of what the UN International Year of Water Cooperation means and how it is related to EMPOWER 2013 conference

This seminar has the involvement of the Earth Charter that will facilitate the delegates to develop a clear cut campaign strategy that can be implemented and followed up on upon their return to their schools and universities. The ultimate goal is to equip and enable youth to be responsible global citizens.

Empower 2013 delegates will have the privilege to have an interactive sessions with two leading speakers- Dr. Farhan Mujahid Chak and Dr. Essam Heggy, PhD.

Dr. Farhan Mujahid Chak is Assistant Professor of International Affairs at Qatar University and, also, teaching at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS) - Qatar Foundation, Hamad Bin Khalifa University.  He completed his BA at the University of Alberta and Masters in International Politics and Strategic Studies from Bradford University (UK) and a PhD from the University of Durham (UK). He has worked at the United Nations (USA), the Canadian House of Commons and the Liberal Party of Canada. Also, he has completed a fellowship at the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in Georgetown University (USA).

For the Empower delegates, a session with Dr. Essam Heggy is a guaranteed treat. Dr. Essam Heggy is a planetary scientist in the Radar Science Group at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Visiting Associate in Geology at the California Institute of Technology. Heggy obtained his Ph.D. in astronomy and planetary science in 2002 with distinguished honors from the Paris VI University in France. His main science interests in planetary geophysics cover Mars, the Moon, icy satellites and Near Earth Objects. His research at JPL involves probing structural, hydrological and volcanic elements in terrestrial and planetary environments using different types of radar imaging and sounding techniques as well as measuring the electromagnetic properties of rocks in the radar frequency range. His research expertise spam from laboratory electromagnetic characterization of planetary analog materials, Radar sounding of aquifers in hyper-arid environments, GPR surveys in volcanic and ice-rich environments, FDTD numerical simulations of wave propagation and terrestrial and planetary radars data analysis

Furthermore, the second day will also feature a workshop on Social Entrepreneurship presented by SilaTech. This session will define and explore Social Entrepreneurship. Audience members will learn about various business models and examples of social entrepreneurs. They will explore recent trends of mass social enterprises online through crowdsourcing, crowd-funding, and open innovation.

Taking place on the final day of EMPOWER 2013 will be dedicated for service learning event that will include 9 different activities, 2 on-site activities and 7 off-site ones.

Mr. Saleh added: “EMPOWER 2013 will be a platform for youth from different countries to network with the youth of Qatar. As well as an excellent opportunity for other regions to learn from our best practices, EMPOWER 2013 gives Qatari youth the chance to unite with youth from around the world in preparation for this year’s iEARN Annual Conference andYouth Summit being hosted by ROTA in July this year”.

EMPOWER 2013’s main objective is to encourage individuals to challenge themselves in an environment alien to them; an exciting experience which becomes a worthwhile educational experience. At the same time, the conference epitomizes the “work hard, play hard” ethic, as all delegates, facilitators and observers display both a seriousprofessionalism combined with wit and humor when approaching the various EMPOWER activities.

“EMPOWER’s innovative program guarantees participants will not only leave armed with new knowledge and skills, but a collection of memories and friendship circles that reach out across the world,” promises Abdulla Salem Al Bikri, Youth Development manager, ROTA.

“In the space of three days, through interactive debates, workshops, lectures and off-site projects,400 youth from around the world will return home with the tools and the self-confidence empowering them to become the local and global leaders of tomorrow.”

EMPOWER has gained a reputation for in being the first youth led conference in Qatar to focus on equipping young people to take active roles in building your communities and having a voice on global issues. The main aim for the conference will be to raise awareness and build knowledge and capacity to enable young people to take leadership roles in addressing local and international developmental issues of concern to them.

For the latest EMPOWER 2013 news, visit www.reachouttoasia.org or the ROTA Facebook page at www.facebook.com/reachouttoasia