Future leaders: Noor Al Kamali

Noor Al Kamali.

At this year's World Economic Forum in Egypt, 20 young Arab Leaders participated in talks covering everything from Palestine to global inflation. Noor Al Kamali, 19, a student at Al Ain Women's College, was chosen to represent the UAE.

What did you ask the leaders at the conference?

We asked questions about Palestine, and pushed for businesses to be more socially responsible and get more involved in society. I also talked about education and in particular the quality of education. I said we should encourage critical thinking at a primary level as this eventually leads to economic growth. I argued that encouraging awareness and motivating children to have opinions will get them more involved in society.

What was the experience like?

I knew this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I had to prove myself. While I was there I realised how small the world is and how I have a responsibility, not only to my family and friends but to society to try and do something positive.

Sometimes to be a mother or father is not enough we have to look at the bigger picture and be capable of challenging people globally. Dubai and the UAE are growing but this is not the end of our task. After I returned I began taking things very seriously, not just focusing on my college life, but becoming aware of issues affecting us all.

How do you think the leaders reacted to your speech?

I believe we had some impact and made the leaders think. King Abdullah of Jordon emphasised that the youngsters he was listening to would one day become the leaders and decision makers of the future. No one can deny that youth today are intelligent and creative, they have become globally aware and better informed than the generation before them.

What was your schedule in Egypt?

I arrived at Sharm El Sheikh on May 15 and had a two day workshop with the British Council.

Three days later I attended the World Economic Forum and we listened to speeches from all the leaders. We participated in questioning them and tried to engage in all discussions. On the second day we participated in a debate on the BBC with a panel of leaders including Tony Blair, official envoy to the Quartet on the Middle East, Ehud Barak, Israel's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority and Gamal Mubarak, son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Does your involvement with the Arab leaders make you want to become a leader yourself one day?

If I had the opportunity it would be an honour to lead others.

For my profession, if I worked for a company or organisation, I would want to be a decision maker and have an influence on making a change for that organisation and also the environment.

 

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