The WYF: More Than an International Event
By Omnia ElSayed & Jailan Dahab
Reflections of the Members of the World Youth Forum’s (WYF’s) Organizing Committee on Their Personal Experiences
No doubt every single experience has its impacts upon us either positively or negatively, and it always teaches us lifetime lessons that could push us forward and keep us thinking of the future. Everyone has his/her life-changing experience that turned their life upside down: an experience that altered their way of thinking, changed them from being inactive to proactive, or unleashed their skills and potentials. The participation in the organization of the WYF has helped many to rediscover themselves.
Below is a glimpse of the experiences of those who worked behind the scenes:
Ahmed Salah El-Refaie
Despite his outstanding efforts in the Logistics Team in the first two editions, he joined the Content Team in the third edition in order to prepare for the blockchain session and workshop and to share his experience in the blockchain industry. His third experience was a life-changing experience since he now sees blockchain as the new internet.
Commenting on his experience in the WYF, he noted that “though I have been working in the aviation industry since 2009, I rediscovered myself when I joined the Content Team as I realized that I can make information easier and understandable for those who are not experts in the issue at hand, and that I can also run large-scale operations”.
As a mother of two kids, childrearing can never stop her from participating in the organization of this international event. She sees that her good crisis management and teamwork skills have improved as she noted, “I have learned how to overcome and address on-the-spot challenges”. She described the WYF as a real-life experience where “we see the results and outcomes of our work in a wink”. She added that she is always eager to participate in the WYF and waits for the next call for organizers in order to gain new experience.
Mohamed Anwar Turk
Another volunteer is Mohamed Anwar Turk, who described his participation in the organization of the WYF as a valuable experience. Turk sees his participation in the Airport Team as a new experience. Turk said that such experience was fruitful given that his communication skill has improved due to his contact with people from different cultures. In other WYF editions, he joined the Media Team, where he communicated with domestic and international news outlets. Turk also joined the Crisis Management Team in the 2019 edition. He has decided to join a different team every time to get the best out of him and to master new skills in various fields.
Riham Salah Khafagie
With an experience of 11 years in the field of academic research and translation at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, she has been a member of the WYF organizing team for two consecutive editions as a member of the Content and Media Production Teams and as the Head of Copywriting. “The opportunity to meet with young people, from entrepreneurs to scientists, coders to creatives, and mathematicians to decision makers, from all over the world is invaluable, and the WYF is an especially great place for that”, she said.
Hend Galal Mohamed
She participated in the organization of the WYF for three editions in a row. Hend said, “My first experience in the Hall Logistics Team was productive as I have learned the basis of teamwork and how to do logistical operations accurately”. She also alluded that her second experience had given her the opportunity to communicate with people from different countries as she was in charge of the accommodations for the foreign speakers, government officials, and attendees with whom she still keeps in touch till today.