A scientist from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) is one of the featured speakers at the fifth Empower Youth Conference which opens today at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
Organised by Reach Out To Asia (Rota), the annual event has invited Dr Essam Heggy (pictured), a planetary scientist in the Radar Science Group at Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Visiting Associate in Geology at California Institute of Technology, to speak in front of over 400 youth activists tomorrow.
Heggy obtained his PhD in astronomy and planetary science in 2002 with distinguished honours from Paris VI University in France. His main science interests in planetary geophysics cover Mars, the Moon, icy satellites and near earth objects.
His research at JPL involves probing structural, hydrological and volcanic elements in terrestrial and planetary environments using different types of radar imaging and sounding techniques as well as measuring the electromagnetic properties of rocks in the radar frequency range.
Empower 2013 comprises three days of debates, workshops, lectures and off-site projects. It centres on key themes: the Arabic language, Sports, Skills Development and the Environment taking the spotlight on Water Cooperation in line with the United Nations declaration of 2013 the UN International Year of Water Cooperation.
“Empower 2013 will focus creating awareness on Water Cooperation. In order to address these challenges, taking youth seriously is not an option but an urgent priority, and mobilising them to take action within their communities in order to create awareness is an excellent entry point towards building a more sustainable future,” said Mohamed Abdulla Saleh, National Programs Director, Rota.
This year’s conference features 14 creative workshops facilitated by leading experts in the fields of youth development, leadership, service learning, global citizenship, environment and sports.
Among the highlights include a case study on the essential steps taken by Msheireb Properties to develop a sustainable project with a focus on water, a seminar on ‘Action Campaigns – Water Cooperation’ and a workshop on Social Entrepreneurship presented by SilaTech.
In addition, the Earth Charter will facilitate the delegates to develop a clear cut campaign strategy that can be implemented and followed up on upon their return to their schools and universities.
The final day of Empower 2013 will be dedicated for service learning that will include two on-site and seven off-site activities.
“Empower 2013 will be a platform for youth from different countries to network with the youth of Qatar. As well as an excellent opportunity for other regions to learn from our best practices, Empower 2013 gives Qatari youth the chance to unite with youth from around the world in preparation for this year’s iEARN Annual Conference and Youth Summit being hosted by Rota in July this year,” said Saleh.