Friday,22 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1368, (9 - 15 November 2017)
Friday,22 February, 2019
Issue 1368, (9 - 15 November 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Youthful conversation

Al-Ahram Weekly

SHARM El-Sheikh was at its best this week for the World Youth Forum (WYF). The city was buzzing, not only for the numbers who were attending the WYF but for the sheer fact that it was a conference targeted at youth. Under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, the six-day forum was attended by thousands of young people. The aim of the forum, the brainchild of Al-Sisi, was to engage youth in formulating a common vision for a future that promotes welfare, hope and stability regardless of religion, race, gender or colour.

Forum general coordinator Amr Essam said the WYF aims to promote the idea of youth diplomacy as an instrument of foreign policy to propagate for Egypt abroad. “The best investment for Egypt in this challenging stage is to invest in its youth,” Essam said, adding that Al-Sisi’s patronage reflected Egypt’s real image to the world.

Al-Sisi spoke at length of projects that seek to improve life for Egyptians, especially for young people living in remote districts. The government has already succeeded in providing three million new job opportunities, he said.

Terrorism and the refugee crisis were among the main themes of the conference. Participants also had the opportunity to present their innovative experiences in entrepreneurship and to listen to experts in various fields giving them life tips. Creativity and determination are keys to success, business tycoon Naguib Sawiris told one of the sessions.

The conference triggered conversation even before it started. A promotional video has been viewed more than 15 million times. The forum’s promotional hashtag #WeNeedToTalk also became a fixture on social media platforms.

 The forum meant the city was bursting with tourists as the percentage of hotel occupancy has increased significantly.

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