Region's youth to quiz civic officials

DUBAI - Youths from different parts of the region will ask civic officials and policy-makers important questions and discuss key issues concerning them in an interactive dialogue.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 10 May 2005, 11:11 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:25 PM

The dialogue will be held on the first day of the conference on May 16 as part of the upcoming international conference on urban youth and children in MENA region.

The event will feature participants from Dubai and from various parts of the region linked via video-conferencing.

According to Abdullah Raffia, Assistant Director-General of Dubai Municipality for Environment and Public Health Affairs and Head of the Conference Organising Committee, the objective of this session is to give voice to youth representatives from across the region and to provide them with a platform to tell their stories and to highlight their enormous potential.

"The format will be that of an interactive session of two hours, during which selected representatives (representing youth groups from across the region) will be invited to participate and share their experiences (in person and via video-link) and engage policy-makers in a discussion highlighting their concerns and perspectives. Every effort has been made to ensure that the representatives include females and males, able-bodied and disabled youth and those across the spectrum of age and nationality. One individual 'youth' has been invited from each of the four identified sites - Yemen, West Bank and Gaza, Morocco and Egypt - to participate in the session in person, while a group of youngsters will be invited to participate via video-conference," said Raffia.

The session will move on to video-linked youth groups from four country offices. Each site will be represented by 10-15 young people, of whom three will have three minutes each to speak and to provide brief vignettes of their own experiences and concerns relating, but not limited to, school to work transition and unemployment - issues they face, how they cope, what channels they use to address their problems etc. and stories of empowerment.

Each of the connected sites will decide on its own to raise issues related to either individual stories and experiences, or to how groups of youth (formal and informal) deal with a particular issue of concern to young people.

The groups include youth from Egypt to talk about experiences of being unemployed graduates and how they manage their lives; from West Bank and Gaza to talk about life under occupation and the innovative ways they survive and move forward with their lives; from Morocco, young, urban and unemployed and their coping strategies; Yemeni youth parliamentarians and World Bank 'Youth Voices' representatives and Dubai youth participants sharing their experiences of urban life.

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