Inspiring stories of young Emiratis narrated at Mubadala youth forum [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Abu Dhabi: Nothing is impossible as there are ways which lead to success if we just have sufficient will and determination, said participants who attended the third annual youth forum held in the capital on Tuesday.
The forum, which is an integral component of Mubadala's youth platform, Weyana, meaning â€˜with us', aims to prepare today's Emirati youth for the vital role they will play in the UAE's economic and social development.
The one-day forum, which was started in 2011, brought leading UAE figures together with youth, encouraging dialogue about the exciting fields and career opportunities available in the UAE.
Around 900 participants, including university students, attended the Mubadala youth forum to interact with inspirational speakers, who offered their personal experiences as well as insight into careers in the private and public sectors such as aerospace, health care, metals and mining, renewables and semiconductors.
"Young people are vital to out country's long-term economic and social development. Not only does the forum aim to spark inspiration for their paths to professional advancement, but its sessions will provide information, guidance and encouragement to help them choose careers that suit them," said Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO and managing director of Mubadala.
"Aiming at engaging Emirati youth and enriching their experience by interacting with professionals and experts, Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi- based investment and development company, offers more than 8,000 job opportunities for Emiratis," he added.
The forum also had a series of presentations by young Emiratis in unconventional careers from culinary blogging and social entrepreneurship to wilderness photography.
Salma Mohammad Al Beloushi, 26, is a first officer at Etihad Airways and the first Emirati female co-pilot.
"It is important to know the challenges and difficulties which you might face after your graduation. I believe this forum is very important to engage and inspire younger generations to participate in the opportunities which are being created in the UAE," Salma told Gulf News.
"I graduated from my high school in Al Ain and worked for over one year in nursery. Afterwards, I began my initial flight training at the Horizon International Flight Academy in 2007, graduated in 2009, and joined the cadet pilot programme in 2010 at Etihad Airways," she said.
"My role model and source of inspiration is Captain Aisha Al Hameli," she added.
Salma also pointed out that today's facilities and opportunities were not there earlier. Everything around us has been changed dramatically and women have a bigger voice right now.
"My veil was not an obstacle to work as a co-pilot and I did not face any objections from my family. They were protective just like any other family who would support their children to accomplish their goals and achieve their ambitions. I am looking forward to work as an aviation manager in Etihad Airways," she added.
Reem Al Za'abi, who works as a process engineer for GlobalFoundries, a semiconductor and manufacturing company, is another success story of an Emirati in Germany.
"I graduated from the UAE University (UAEU) with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and joined the company in 2011 after successfully completing an internship with them as part of Al Nokhba Summer Internship Programme, which aims to provide highly qualified UAE students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at GlobalFoundries," Reem said.
"In Germany I had to overcome many challenges while working at the company's fabrication facilities in Dresden. The language barrier was the first and the most difficult obstacle faced; however, I managed to learn their language.
"Additionally, working in a different environment and dealing with many nationalities was another challenge. My team consisted of diverse nationalities; however, I got to understand their cultures and deliver my values in a very respectful work environment," she added.
Reem has also participated in many robotics competitions and designed a solar cell renewable energy system in the UAE.
The forum not only highlighted the experiences of Emirati youth, but also put professionals' and experts' journeys under the spotlight.
Lieutenant Colonel Dr Eman Al Jabri, a licensed lawyer and legal consultant, narrated her challenges as the first Emirati female investigator and lecturer in the Abu Dhabi Police College
"As an Emirati woman, to serve my country is an honour like none other. My job has made me stronger and boosted my confidence and self- esteem," she said.
Aiming at documenting the history of the UAE, Aisha Bilkhair, director of research and knowledge services at the National Centre for Documentation and Research at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, is working in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) to integrate the history of the UAE as a subject in the country's curriculum at the primary and university levels.
"There is a current project to translate the history of the UAE from 1820 till 1971 in a book series, which will be published in 2015.
"Also, the first volume of another book that narrates the history of the UAE, following over 700 interviews conducted with eyewitnesses, who lived the very past years in the UAE, will be published at the end of this year" she added.
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