Doha Muslim Youth Forum echoes voices, concerns of a generation
By Shafeeq Alingal /Staff Reporter
The Doha Muslim Youth Forum turned out to be a venue for youth to contemplate, chalk out action plans to tackle challenges, become cognizant of the current Islamic world and share their experiences.
“The forum brings youth from different countries together and offers them the opportunity to chalk out plans to beat the challenges,” Mohamed Saleha, who represents Lebanon in the forum, told Gulf Times on the sidelines, yesterday.
“In fact, it showcases the cultural diversity of the Muslim world and gives the delegates a new insight about Muslims and their social and cultural identities,” he said.
Saleha, who hails from Mali, is glad to attend the forum for the first time.
He could represent Lebanon after he approached his Lebanese friend. “I got support from Lebanese authorities and made my entry to the forum,” he said.
The forum, according to delegates here, has helped them dream of a better world where the youth play an important role. The forum witnessed discussions and workshops on good governance and transparency, youth and sustainable development and youth and social media.
“The sessions here have motivated all of us. Being youths, we feel elevated as they are a crucial part of development and welfare,” said Alzahraa Said al-Sawafi from Oman.
She added that the youth in her home country are actively taking up efforts for the overall development of Oman.
“We have a good government which is keen to extend all support to youth,” she said.
Al-Sawafi, a graduate in Environmental Engineering, is presently active in social work in Oman.
“I want the ideas to be implemented in my country after I reach home. The sessions have helped me take new lessons as a social worker,” she said.
Maha al-Ammari, who represented Qatar, says the forum reminded her of her duties as a youngster.
“We have much to do and the forum has come as a wake-up call,” she said adding that she wants to make use of social media for the betterment of the society.
“The potential of the social media can be tapped in order to find apt solutions for some of the issues being faced by the Islamic world,” the graduate from Qatar University said.
Al-Ammari who regularly volunteers for various initiatives has plans to develop social media as an ideal tool to make people aware of civic issues.
She believes campaigns will bring in changes if core issues like environmental challenges are raised through social media.
She added Qatari youth are getting due representation in all sectors.
The forum, according to Mohamed, also discussed tackling measures against the current challenges being faced by the Islamic world.
“Spreading of Islamophobia and extremism need our intervention. It’s high time the youth join hands against all kinds of extremism and violence. The youth are the ones who are obliged to maintain peace,” he said.
Al-Sawafi said only active intervention can beat misconceptions about Islam and the Muslim world.
The delegates underscored the need to stay united, saying it will help the Islamic world become powerful in all sectors.
“Unity can assure you more power. And the forum is heralding unity and equality,” she said.
The delegates praised Qatar’s hospitality and thanked the organizers for providing such an excellent venue like the Qatar National Convention Centre.