UAE: This 15-year-old Emirati student is a pianist, public speaker and diplomat-in-the-making

Alawlaqi is also the president of the student council in the Applied Technology High and is currently enrolled in the advanced science program


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Tue 19 Apr 2022, 6:28 PM

At just 15, Emirati student Ahmed Alawlaqi is an aspiring author, chess player, pianist, music conductor, diplomat, and a public speaker.

Alawlaqi, a grade-10 student at the Applied Technology High School in Abu Dhabi’s Mohammad Bin Zayed city says it is not very easy to juggle practising these skills with studies. But the hard work and passion for what he’s doing helps him strike a balance.

“I am lucky that I have taken part in various fields and learned skills in writing, music, diplomacy, public speaking, and others at my small age. I love what I do which drives me to do more each single day,” Alawlaqi told Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview.

“I learnt these skills by loving them. When you love something, you give in time and effort too. All my skills are dear to my heart.”

Talking about reading and writing, the Emirati says he’s a very enthusiastic reader. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, Infinite Games by Simon Sinek, Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash and the infamous 1984 by George Orwell are some of his favourite books.

“I started writing recently. Omar Saif Ghobash, UAE assistant minister for cultural affairs and Moza Ghobash, who has authored many books in the Arabic language, inspired me to write. Omar has helped me do many other things and I am what I have become today because of him,” said the Emirati.

Though he's yet to publish any book, Alawlaqi has is working on one that is titled 'The Philosophy of a Young Doubter'. It talks about the challenges in a young person's life and his philosophy on them, breaking taboos and addressing the unaddressed.

The young Emirati says skills like playing chess, piano and being a music conductor, public speaker, are things that make him wake up every day with a reason.

“Playing chess has been a major part of my life,” he said. “It has been quite the hard journey with ups and downs, quite unique I’d say with the challenges that come with it!”

Being a pianist and a music conductor has been more about inner peace, says Alawlaqi. “’It has brought me peace within self and made me entertain myself and people.”

Learning public speaking, the Emirati teenager says, has been quite hard. “From speaking at the school assembly to discussion circles to hosting meetings, public speaking has been a great journey that I wish I have given more care about. Public speaking is the “mitochondria” of all my other skills!” he says.

Keen on a career in diplomacy

Alawlaqi, who is also the president of the student council in the Applied Technology High, is currently enrolled in the advanced science program commonly as the AP program.

With a huge interest in international relations and economic-political diplomacy, the skilled teenager aims to pursue a future career in diplomacy and has already attained some experience and skills at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFIC).

“With the little experience I’ve had of being a diplomat, I can tell you it has been a wonderful journey and a unique one,” says the Emirati.

“From meeting officials to taking part in negotiations to discussing policy and writing papers. I couldn’t believe the experience I have had at such a young age. I have learned how diplomacy really works in the modern era in the Emirates.”

Alawlaqi noted that it was quite fascinating and intriguing, with his experience at the MoFAIC, the UAE permanent mission to the Arab league, the UAE embassy in Egypt, and the US-UAE business council in addition to the international model United Nations institute. “I can tell you diplomacy is an art of its own,” he said.

The youngster says he’s highly skilled in writing reports and researching. “Within my very small economic and political experience at the MoFAIC I have been working on bilateral relations between the African region,” said Alawlaqi.

“I see myself becoming a diplomat. And with the skills I have, it would be a great and unique addition to my diplomatic career.”

The Emirati says his family, school, and the community around him, have been supportive in developing his skills.


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