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Empowerment summit connected Kurdistan’s youth and leaders

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Empowerment summit connected Kurdistan’s youth and leaders

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:46 pm

Empowerment summit connects Kurdistan’s youth and leaders

The first Kurdistan Youth Summit was held in Erbil on Saturday to provide a platform in which ideas could be exchanged and allow youth to connect with prominent leaders across the region to showcase their ideas for a better Kurdistan.

"We gathered youth and leaders together to give chances to people who have entrepreneurship ideas and have amazing business ideas," Solin Baban, Kurdistan Youth Summit organizer and manager for Erbil Magazine said English.

"Our youth needs this, needs the power, needs the encouragement so if I gave them hope this is a big thing for me," Baban, who is just 20-years-old herself added.

The summit held three panel discussions in addition to allowing many young entrepreneurs and business owners the chance to present their ideas in front of successful leaders in several different fields, including doctors, educators, business owners, diplomats and politicians.

The first panel which took place was entitled '#StoriesNeedToBeHeard' included panelists Kalia Raouf, manager of the Women's Sports Club and one of the first women to open sports and swimming clubs in Kurdistan for females only in the 1980s and 1990s along with Abdulrahman Sdiq, a civil engineer and former Minister of the Environment in Iraq (2003-2004).

The second panel, entitled 'Build a Bridge Between Dreams & Reality', included Abdulrahman Skeeq, Abdulsalem Medeni, an advisor for the Deputy Prime Minister of the KRG on civil society and youth issues, Arshad Taha, Economist and economic advisor to many companies and Hazhar Ismeal, the executive director of the Funding Box for Youth Projects in the Ministry of Social Services.

The panelists discussed different ways in which youth would be able to turn their dreams into reality.

The final panel, entitled 'Women Empowerment', included panelists Chinar Saad Abdulla, the youngest elected member to the Kurdistan parliament in 2005, Lina Omar, the youngest woman to be elected counselor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baghdad in 2010 and Kafia Raouf.

They discussed obstacles they had to overcome in a male-dominated society and inspired young women to work hard to achieve their dreams as well as the importance of equality with men and women working together.

"Forty participants had entrepreneurship ideas and their ideas were amazing and the people heard them, so I hope I gave them a chance to start a new beginning, not to end up with something else," Baban explained, adding that "This will develop our people and our society because people were stuck in one point so now we're taking this point out and developing our society more."

The 40 participants presented a variety of ideas on improving Kurdistan's economy, such as creating a greener Kurdistan to attract tourism, exporting items special to the Kurdistan region, ways to conserve power which would offer a cheaper and cleaner solution to fuel, and several technology-based ideas such as home surveillance systems and facial recognition technology to help find criminals.

Social programs were also suggested, such as providing more psycho-social care to troubled youth so that they can better integrate into society.

One attendee and volunteer, Alasiymand Saber, 20, studies business administration at Cihan University.

"I am very happy about this event for the youth," she said. "I have a dream of a big business project in Kurdistan, maybe in fashion designing that could help me support my family."

Mohammed Masih who studies International Relations came to the summit from Soran.

"Today I came to this summit because I think it's very good especially for our young people," he said. "The youth can use our power for our future and this summit is very good for us."

Sarezh Sardar age 21 from Erbil joined the summit to learn about some of the ideas of Kurdish youth and believe they have the power to improve their ideas in business which will help Kurdistan grow economically.

"I'm sure this will work for the youth who came here," she said. "Maybe someone will support them and maybe their ideas will come true one day.

"Actually, the important thing is we need to support them and push them to do what they want because I am sure the young generation has more power and they change the world and change Kurdistan into a better life.”

Darya Adnan Kurdi, a 45-year old Kurdish language teacher was also present.

"They are the power, the future and the development of the country so we should focus on them," he said. "But the important point is the financial support for the youth because they can't do anything without money.”

http://www.rudaw.net/english/business/02092018
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