It was my pleasure to join and met with more than five thousand youth leaders from around the globe, thousands of Egyptian youth and hundreds of world leaders, UN, regional, international affiliated bodies and governments officials, academia, innovators, entrepreneurs, experts, journalists, public figures and other influential people including ministers from Egypt and other foreign nations, ambassadors and some heads of states who gather at the “World Youth Forum 2018” held in Sharm El-Sheikh city, Sinai Peninsula, Arab Republic of Egypt from the 3rd to the 6th of November 2018; for the second year the Egyptian government and youth succeed to organize the most successful and one of the world largest international youth conventions hosted and funded by a single country.
Under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah Saeed Hussein El-Sisi the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the next coming chairperson of African Union; the second edition of the World Youth Forum was held under three important themes (Peace, Development and Creativity), were the world youth, experts, policy and decision makers use the forum as a common world platform to discuss and tackle topics, share their experiences, exchange diverse views and invert new ideas related to building and sustaining peace, the role of world leaders in achieving peace, cooperation and partnership between nations, Euro-Mediterranean collaboration , fighting and countering ideological extremism and terrorism, humanitarian efforts and responsibilities, rebuilding societies and states in post conflict, energy providing, water security and climate change.
Apart from the sideline MAAS summit or Model of Arab and African Summit where youth participants from 67African and Arab nations representing their countries; the world biggest youth gathering also discussed and debated throughout its panel sessions on issues of development, the 2063 African development agenda, enhancing cooperation opportunities between countries, employment opportunities, issues related to women empowerment and how to reduce the gender gap and inequality in the labor market, the rights, empowerment and integration of people with disabilities, role of volunteerism work in societies, building future leaders, role of innovators and entrepreneurs in global economic growth, the role of arts and cinema in shaping communities, creativity, e-sports and games, the effects of social media, digital technology and citizenship.
The Egyptian visionary president, innovative government, friendly people and its active youth did not only succeed in organizing the biggest international youth convention; but they manage creatively and diplomatically to influence the thinking of the forum foreign attendees, where the organizers introduced “The Seven Pillars of the Egyptian Identity” which is a book written by Dr. Milad Hanna who is an Egyptian author also, the book descript the influential diversity of Egyptian nation and how Egypt manage throughout the different eras to be a linking point between different world civilizations. And the seven pillars are the Pharaonic pillar, the Greco-Roman pillar, the Coptic Pillar, the Islamic Pillar, the Arabian pillar, the Mediterranean Pillar and the African pillar, in this book the late Egyptian author came through different reasons of why Egypt belong to all this pillars and the connection between the Egyptian and other world most influential civilizations, religious, languages and geopolitical regions.
During the regime of late President Gamal Abdel Nassir Egypt use to be strong and influential country specially in Islamic, Arabian, African and other third world regions as its political and diplomatic strongest circle, but decades of negligence and ignorance has changed the geopolitical and diplomatic influence role of Egypt specially in the African continent and Asia; starting with the regime of late President Anwar El-Sadat and continued during the regimes of President Hosni Mubark and President Mohamed Morsi whom give up and turn their back to Africa and the third world only to focus their foreign relations to North Africa, Middle East, Arabian, US, Europe and Islamic regions.
The coming of President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi to the power in Egypt was a major turning point for the Egyptian foreign policy to regain its political and diplomatic influence in the global arena, African continent, Islamic world, Arabian region, Asia and in the Mediterranean basin countries as it used to be for many centuries; a country call itself (the mother of the world or umm al-donya-مصر أم الدنيا in Arabic)Egypt under the leadership of President El-Sisi the is increasingly regaining its world political and diplomatic influence once again.
Through their new foreign policy goals and soft diplomacy strategy president El-Sisi and his government are repositioning and marketing Egypt regionally and internationally as a strong economy, trade and investment destination, commercial partner, cultural and religious linking point, tourism attraction, educational and learning hub; Apart from organizing a lots of regional and international conferences and other influential gatherings El-Sisi Egypt’s is hosting thousands of foreign students on his government scholarships, fellowship and private sponsoring from different countries around the world, visited by millions of tourists and adding to all this the success of Egypt to bring together world youth to its Annual World Youth Forum an initiative which recognize and proof Egypt’s influential and strong diplomacy.