Dr Lamya Al-Haj
Dr. Lamya Al-Haj is an Associate Professor at Sultan Qaboos University and an award-winning scientist, recipient the "L'Oréal UNESCO for Women in Science Middle East fellowship - 2018". She is also a member of the World Academy of Science 2019-2025 “TWAS”. In addition, she has been hand picked by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader (YGL) for the year 2020 - 2025. Dr. Al-Hajj represents the honorary chairperson of the team and the sessions moderator.
It all started with an inspiration! An inspiration from the youth themselves!
As an associate professor at Sultan Qaboos University, I am blessed to engage with a lot of Omani youth on a daily basis and I have had the pleasure to do so for over 10 years. Having engaged with thousands of millennials and being one myself I fully understood the need for Arab and local role models, empowerment, inspiration, and most of all unleashing potentials of our youth to build a strong Omani society.
In 2018, I decided to create a platform for youth empowerment, and I knew that I would need the help of the youth themselves to make this happen. It was not long before I posted a request for volunteers for an “unknown project” on my twitter page and immediately started receiving tens of emails and messages of people volunteering from inside and outside the country! This positive and prompt response just further proved to me that the youth are hungry to serve and are in constant search for inspiration.
Before I knew it, we had formed a team of 22 young boys and girls aged 18 to 30 who volunteered and committed to create an inspirational experience for other young people through the interesting range of skills that each one displayed and, more importantly, the unifying quest from all to give back to the society and make a difference. We all worked towards the same goal, “create a youth empowerment platform that showcases inspiring role models from the Arab world in order to share their message, stories and inspirations to the Arab youth”.
On a beautiful evening in November 2018, “Jalasat Mulhimoon” was launched in Sultan Qaboos University and followed by the second and third sessions throughout 2019, where the number of attendees and beneficiaries of all three sessions exceeded 7,000 individuals. Sessions were organised once per academic term as we seek to build the largest youth group of attendees who are in the phase of establishing their future plans and who would benefit from sharing experiences and advice to guide them in shaping their plans and achieve their goals and aspirations in life. Our target audiences are young people aged 15 and 35 years old, high school students, undergraduates and young professionals in both governmental and private sectors.
We believe “Jalasat Mulhimoon” has succeed in supporting knowledge exchange between inspiring Arabs in the region and our Omani youth. This was evident in the overwhelming responses by attendees on social media platforms where the hashtag #JalasaatMulhamoon hit the trend twice in social media with overwhelming positive feedback and appreciation. The number of attendees was another KPI for the success of the platform where we received 700+, 500 and 4000+ physical attendees in the 3 sessions respectively, and thousands more who followed our live stream from all over the world. The platform has also attracted local media where the event was extensively covered on all platforms including local TV, radio channels, newspapers and articles.
The journey of inspirations with outstanding Arab role models!
Amid an exceptional night on the 8th of November 2018, the first session was launched hosting the first inspiring figure, the Saudi writer and blogger Lubna al Khamis. She is the founder of Abajora Podcast which started running in 2017. Lubna is a Senior Executive (for awareness and strategic communications) at the Executive Office in Dubai since 2017 and a columnist in Al Jazeera newspaper since 2008.
Nevertheless, she wore different hats through her career journey including: a Media Professional in the Prime Minister’s Office in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future (2016-2017), a Research Analyst in the same office (2015-2017), a Copy-writer in the MBC group (2014-2015) and a writer in al Bayan newspaper (2009-2011).
The session saw wide attendance of high-ranked figures in the Sultanate in addition to many academics, media specialists and students. The total number of attendees was about 700 and it was held in Sultan Qaboos University conference hall.
What starts with determination never ceases and inspiring young competencies is the aim of our team! We committed to delivering this through the second session held on the 10th of April 2019. The session took place at the Roman Theatre in GUtech. The guest of this session was the Saudi media professional Mofeed al Nuwaiser, the host of Min al Sefer on MBC. Not only the session was widely attended by about 500 people, but it was also extremely celebrated in social media networks that #Jalasat_Mulhimoun hashtag was a trend on Twitter.
Al Nuwaiser story of struggle started from an early age of fourteen, when he worked as a smithy and grocery store shopkeeper to help his family. Life, as well as his passion to study, took him to the UK to spend his life in a small underground room with a rent of £150 per month. Al Nuwaiser inspired the audience with his charismatic talk and style where he drove home the point that “happiness is to live with an inner peace and to truly believe that tomorrow, with the help of Allah, will be better”.
On a magical night on the 28th of October 2019, and in the majestic Grand Hall in Sultan Qaboos University, our dream materialized as we witnessed the attendance of not hundreds but thousands of Omani and non-Omani youth. We were truly moved and inspired ourselves to see the hall fill up with thousands of young boys and girls an hour before the session even started! This comes to no surprise as we hosted incredible Arab scientists and engineers from the gulf region. The third session featured the following STEM related figures whom truly stool the show with their knowledge, stories, charisma and smiles:
Dr. Mohammed Qasim
A consultant in Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), an ANN specialist and an Assistant Professor in Electronics Department at The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training.
Additionally, Mohammed is a show host of Sciware Podcast and a member of judges chosen by “MIT Technology Review 2019” for Innovators Under 35 prize. In 2010, he received his PhD in Electronics and Computer Sciences from the University of Southhampton in the UK, while his Master’s Degree in Electronic Engineering was from The Ohio State University in the USA in 1999.
Moreover, he was chosen by “Teach Middle East” magazine as one of the best 6 scholars simplifying science for the public.
Dr. Mohammed R. Al Enezi
An Assistant Deputy Director General for Applied Education and Research, and a member in the Supreme Council of American Congress of Advanced Technology.
He was awarded for the best doctoral thesis on sensor manufacturing by nanotechnology.
Eng. Majid Al Enezi
Dedicated to enrich the Arabic scientific content, Majid writes scientific context with the aim of enriching Arab knowledge and helps Arabs youth better access science and technology information. Also, he is the founder of “Sciences in Arabic” channel.
Eng. Hashim Al Rashdi
Well known in the local and Arab community as “Oman’s Einstein”, Hashim is highly fond of physics and seeks to share its joy throughout simplified methods on social media platforms and organized workshops.
“Jalasat Mulhimoon” is a mission and a dream come true and we aspire to grow it bigger and better to reach to each city in the Arab world. We are confident that it is just a matter of time! We were pleased to have received several invitations from Gulf countries such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to host “Jalasat Mulhimoon” in the Gulf region.
Last but not least I would like to thank my amazing team for their dedication, passion, drive and hard work to make this happen, all the amazing attendees who inspire us to continue, the sponsors for the generous support and for the Omani – Anglo society for the kind invitation to share our story and inspiration with the world! If you would like to see more photos, please click here.
Thank you and STAY INSPIRED with “JALASAT MULHIMOON”!
Lamya Al Haj