Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. In this role, Jayathma works to expand the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts across all four pillars of work – sustainable development, human rights, peace and security and humanitarian action – and serves as a representative of and advisor to the Secretary-General. Originally from Sri Lanka, Ms. Wickramanayake has worked extensively on youth development and participation, and has played a key role in transforming the youth development sector in her home country. Prior to taking up her post, Ms. Wickramanayake was instrumental in creating the movement for civic and political engagement of young people, especially young women in Sri Lanka named “Hashtag Generation”. Previously, she advocated for global youth development on an international level including as the first ever Sri Lankan Youth Delegate to the United Nations and as the youth lead negotiator and member of the International Youth Task Force of the World Conference on Youth 2014 where she played a critical role in mainstreaming youth in the Post-2015 Process and in the establishment of World Youth Skills Day.
Abdalla I. Al Suwaidi is a devoted young entrepreneur and passionate in paper recycling business. He has been initiating the advocacy of paper recycling all over Qatar. He believes that through this initiative we can help to reduce the effect of climate change. Abdalla mainly focus in taking care of the environment and to eliminate cutting of trees through paper recycling. With his entrepreneurial spirit Abdalla successfully managed to build a recycling factory and sustain his business even more launched his export line outside of Qatar for over 20 destinations worldwide at the age of 22. He is also a reputable public figure giving TV / Radio / newspapers Interviews in Qatar & World Wide, champion on climate change, public awareness on environment and sustainability. Throughout his work career, Abdalla has acquired several awards and appreciation. He received prestigious award ‘’The Green Era Award for Sustainability” in the year 2018 that shown his outstanding environmental achievements and sustainable practices. Abdalla is continuing his MBA studies in Business Administration. Recently, Abdalla introduced for the first time in Qatar the 360 Circular Economy Model introducing recycled carton ‘’100 % recycled’’, ‘’100% Made in Qatar’’.
Al Anoud Al Kuwari is a senior majoring in International Politics in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and currently works as a writer for Women of Qatar, a website dedicated to representing successful Qatari women to inspire young girls. She is also an ambassador for Georgetown University, where she represents the university and participates in talks with ministers and foreign dignitaries. In addition, she participated in Zones of Conflict Zones of Peace, where she traveled to China to explore and study the relationship between Chinese Muslims and the state. Al Anoud has previously interned at Josoor Institute at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, where she worked on connecting the community through sports. She is also a Youth Advocate for Education Above All (EAA) and is passionate about politics, academics, and education.
Arwa Elsanosi holds a BSc in International Politics from Georgetown University - SFS Q, where she was awarded for her thesis on rape and Islamic jurisprudence. She contributed to published research on food security in the Middle East, sectarian politics in the Persian Gulf, and the evolving domestic politics after the Arab Spring. Recently, Arwa has been working in advocacy, policy and emergency response to refugee children in Sudan, and is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Humanitarian Action as an Erasmus Mundus grantee at University College Dublin.
Aimless wanderings of her mind as well as her feet, take her to places far away from home. She lives for moments like abseiling in Oman and getting lost in a trail in Frick forest, catching sunrise on her bike and whispering to animals. Dina is an avid environmentalist, low-waster and a devoted vegan earthling. She enjoys volunteering with animal rescue groups and guiding kayaking and clean up trips through Green Mangroves, the non-profit she and her sister co-founded in 2014. Dina was selected as a finalist in the United Nations Young Champion of the Earth competition for 2019. She currently works as a Biological Sciences researcher at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, where she graduated in May 2019.
Hamideh holds a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University majoring in International Economics and currently works as a Research Assistant and Translator for Georgetown’s Islamic Bioethics Project. She is also an MA student in Women, Society and Development program at Hamad Bin Khalifa University and a graduate research assistant. Hamideh has previously interned for Brookings Doha Center and Teach for Qatar in which she wrote reports and provided translation and research support. She is also a Youth Advocate with the Education Above All Foundation (EAA) and part of the Global Shapers Community Doha Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Hamideh speaks seven languages and is passionate about education, gender equality, and social justice.
Khansa Maria is a junior with a burning interest in advocating for the rights of the disabled and alleviating the stigmas surrounding this issue. She is also blind, and she, therefore, has a first-hand knowledge of these stereotypes and their negative effects on the disabled community. Khansa is actively involved in various initiatives that advocate for disability rights. In the spring of 2016, she founded Hope for Tomorrow, which is an organization that aims to combat the stigmas surrounding disabilities in order to bridge the gap between the disabled and the able-bodied. She is majoring in Culture & Politics and also pursuing a minor in Theology and a certificate in Media & Politics at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Services in Qatar. She is currently also pursuing her research with a Qatar National Research Fund Grant an investigating the factors that impact the lack of policy implementation for the employment of people with disabilities in Qatar.
Youth and education activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Muzoon Almellehan began campaigning for children’s rights while living in Jordan’s Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps. Born in 1998 In Daraa/Syria, Muzoon lived in two refugee camps for three years after fleeing the conflict in Syria with her family in 2013. In Za’atari, she began working with UNICEF, campaigning for the rights of children, particularly girls, to an education. Muzoon has been advocating for children’s rights worldwide ever since and, in 2017, was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF – the youngest ever appointed at that time and the first person who holds refugee status to be appointed. A UNICEF No Lost Generation Champion, Muzoon lives in the UK with her family and is studying International Politics at university. She continues to work with UNICEF to speak for voiceless children and travels around the world advocating for them whenever she can. She has been awarded a host of honours including being named in the BBC’s 100 influential and inspirational women, TIME’s 30 Most Influential Teens and Teen Vogue’s 21 Under 21, and has been awarded a Glamour Women of the Year Award. She also has recently received the Award of Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Glasgow Caledonian University.
Mohamed Adel is a marine ecologist and activist who has spearheaded MENA’s Ocean Decade movement. He is also a Director, Coastal Oceans Research and Development at Ocean for Climate, Coral Reef Conservation and Large Marine Ecosystems Trainer and Observer at UN Biodiversity and FAO, and Project Manager at Underwater Sciences and Techniques Academy - USTA (a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about coral reefs, sharks and turtles, and works to stop ocean harmful practices like overfishing and marine plastic pollution). Mohamed participated at UN Biodiversity COP-14, World Meteorological Organization DBCP-35, NATO 1st Maritime Situational Awareness Workshop, 4th EU Science-Policy Dialogue, OceanObs'19, Horizon 2020 Environment & Resources Information days, UN ESCAP Global Dialogue on Ocean Accounting, Interreg blue and green economies in the Mediterranean, Arab League 3rd Arab Sustainable Development Week, IOC-UNESCO MSP forum ‘Global meets regional’.
Mohammed Al-Housani is a sustainable energy activist & researcher, he has a bachelor in engineering, Master in Sustainable Energy, and currently doing his Ph.D. in the same field. He has been active in the field since 2012 when he participated in 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Doha, and understood the significance of the issue. Mohammed aims to contribute to the global human effort to tackle climate change through education, applying the right strategies, policies, and development of new technologies. He worked on and developed different renewable energy systems, and holds a patent in the hybrid solar power field.
Nelufar is a multi-award winning journalist and presenter who has worked across American and British Television. 2019 saw her join Morgan Freeman as a contributing presenter on season 3 of Story of God for Nat Geo as well as joining Doha Debates as a correspondent, bringing the debate topics and themes to global audiences across digital platforms. She previously hosted the award winning investigative series The Traffickers now on Netflix, uncovering the illegal trade and trafficking of people, precious minerals, counterfeit drugs and endangered species. She travelled through Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to chronicle corrupt officials, dealers, poachers and smugglers, revealing vast transportation networks, safe houses and packaging factories. Her work has earned prestigious awards and nominations, including Livingston awards for excellence in reporting, an international affairs award from the Association for International Broadcasting, and best investigation and journalist of the year awards at the Asian Media Awards, as well as the correspondent of the year Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media. Her second series for Fusion TV Food Exposed with Nelufar Hedayat took explored the hidden truth behind the global food industry whist speaking to prominent activists like Moby, Jeremy Irons, Nicole Richie and more. Previously Nelufar worked for the BBC, Channel 4 and The Guardian focusing on challenges facing women, children and families from the flagship show Newsround to chronicling the global refugee crisis and health workers risking their lives to vaccinate children in hostile regions.
Rumeysa Kadak (born in 1996) is a young Turkish activist and a member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Kadak was elected in 2018 as a member of parliament representing Istanbul. Kadak is the youngest MP in Turkey and Asia. Kadak received her bachelor's degree from the English Language Teaching Department of Marmara University and continues her master's degree on Global Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London. As a student, in order to get involved in the administration process of the university to lead change, she was elected as the Vice President of the Student Council. Besides college, Kadak spent her free times in NGO’s, volunteering actively on women’s right, youth representation, debating and social innovation. Kadak is known to have a strong passion for debating and coordinating organizations to spread debating throughout Turkey. After one year of duty as the executive board member of AK Party and as the deputy president in AK Party’s Civil Society and Public Relations branch, she is now serving her country as the member of parliament and a member of the Presidential Council of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey as the Clerk Member.
Thana Hassan El-Sallabi is the Summit and Community Development Officer at the World Innovation Summit of Education. She is passionate about issues relating to access to education, and innovation in education. This began from her focus on transitional justice when she was in university. She has pushed for the use of education and art as a tool to heal divided societies in her activities and her Tedx talk. Thana received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service and her graduate degree from Georgetown’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.