Youth ambassadors trip documented in TV show

Hamda and the YAP students on a car and manufacturing industry tour, Germany. Photo Courtesy: Seven Media
Hamda and the YAP students on a car and manufacturing industry tour, Germany. Photo Courtesy: Seven Media

ABU DHABI // The journey of 52 Emirati university students has been captured on film as they took part in the UAE’s Youth Ambassadors programme.

The scheme began in 2012 under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The aim is to build links between the UAE and partner countries and help prepare participants to take positions in key government sectors by enhancing their leadership skills and experience outside the UAE.

Those experiences were filmed over three weeks for the 45-minute documentary, capturing language training and government study tours.

Hamda Al Shaiji, 20, is from Dubai and studies international relations at Zayed University. She went to Germany as part of the programme.

She hoped the documentary, produced by Image Nation and to be shown on Abu Dhabi TV, “could be a source of inspiration to people”.

The Youth Ambassador programme helped her push past her comfort zone, she said.

“This trip benefited me more that I anticipated,” she said.

“I gained so many skills from a new language to other soft skills. It exposed to me to many aspects of German life and society that we miss when we visit as tourists. It was thrilling and helped us know ourselves better and be more independent.”

Abdullah Abdulrahman Alhashemi, 21, is a student at Zayed University.

He is taking part in the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Scholars Programme at NYUAD as well as the apprenticeship programme at Expo 2020 Dubai.

He went to South Korea as part of the Youth Ambassadors programme. “There are countless benefits I gained from this trip,” he said. “It made me realise that knowledge we gain from books and other sources is very limited and insufficient.”

He said he had struggled with time management during the trip.

A packed schedule meant early mornings. “I am not a morning person but, after a couple of days, I managed,” he said.

He said the documentary would help raise awareness of the programme and inspire others to take part.

“There are lots of valuable opportunities available for Emirati youth,” he said.

“It is important to highlight the successes and accomplishments of Emirati youth, to inspire others to take up similar opportunities, and show the high calibre of young Emiratis and the potential they have.”

Michael Garin, chief executive of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, said: “The production shows the incredible personal journeys and steep periods of growth these students go through under the UAE’s leadership.”

UAE Youth Ambassadors will air on Quest Arabiya today at 20.30 KSA time.

Published: September 30, 2016 04:00 AM


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