outh from around the world have gathered in Doha for the Mosaic International Summit 2011, the first held outside of Britain, organised with the support of Qatar Foundation.
As successful applicants that have gone through a rigorous selection process, the delegates will spend the rest of the week participating in leadership development workshops led by business and management professionals and community organisers, hearing from chief executives and business leaders and visiting various projects and organisations in Qatar.
Mosaic was originally founded by Britain’s Prince Charles with the aim of establishing a network of volunteers and developing youth leadership in British Muslim communities.
The summit has since expanded to include a number of countries so that delegates can benefit from cross-cultural communication, knowledge and understanding, and improve the leadership skills of youth around the world.
At the opening of the summit, Britain’s Ambassador to Qatar John Hawkins hailed the significant changes in the Arab world largely thanks to youth movements, and helped provide visiting delegates with context regarding Qatar’s position in world politics and economics.
In his address to the delegates, Qatar Foundation vice-chairman Saif al-Hajari said that one of Qatar’s strengths is that there are many people from different countries and cultures working together to build a nation and achieve its goals.
He also shared some of his experiences as a youth, such as being a scout and being in Qatar’s national football team, and explained how they helped develop his abilities as a leader.
Al-Hajari also discussed some of the challenges facing today’s youth, saying that “we have more children today, they have more knowledge, they have more technology, but they are facing more challenges, because they’ve started to (misbehave)”.
“To be a leader you have to behave right all the time.”
He compared today’s situation to that of his youth, when people had to be careful stewards of the environment without living with wasteful excess in order to prosper, which inspired him to start the Friends of the Environment organisation in Qatar.
Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Ali al-Wadaani, an electrical reliability engineer at Qatar Shell GTL, said he is participating in the conference so that he can contribute to his company’s development programmes.
One of these volunteer programmes sees Qatar Shell employees work with local students to share information on Qatar’s workforce needs, helping them make the right academic choices to so that they can contribute to their country’s prosperity.
Al-Wadaani hopes to get new ideas from people with different backgrounds on how to invest in Qatar’s leadership skill development and contribute to Qatar’s national vision.
Delegate Makhzani Ng said that although Mosaic is not strictly limited to being a Muslim foundation, his interest in coming to Doha is to gain experience from the other delegates and to enhance his role at the Bank Negara Malaysia (the Malaysian central bank) to develop their Islamic financial system.
He also said that it is important to address issues such as wealth gaps in society, as well as reach out to the underprivileged, which the summit will address.
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