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Saudi Arabia

Youth participation ‘encouraging’

About 50 Saudi youths joined the Jeddah Economic Forum in a Q&A session with Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal to discuss housing issues and suggest solutions for the problems.
“I am very happy at this moment when I participate with my sons and daughters and talk about social and national issues and I am very proud of their wonderful level of experience which is very promising for the future of this nation,” said Prince Khaled Al-Faisal. “We are on the way to achieving a global presence and these ideas and projects that I heard from the youth makes me excited and makes me insist on continuing with the strategy that helps developing this region and that we started five years ago.”
The prince promised to look into the ideas, suggestions and studies that the youths presented on the session and demanded that they keep giving him suggestions.
“You do not need a leader, you need someone to serve you and I am that,” he said. “I am with you and for you and I will do my best through you and through your association and I am very happy that some of the speakers are young women and members of the Makkah Youth Society.”
Al-Aghar Group hosted the session.
“In 2011, we released a new initiative called the intellectual container under the slogan ‘today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders.’ This aimed to built a connection and exchange knowledge between the Saudi youth and the decision-makers in the Kingdom,” said Fahad Abu Al-Naser, CEO of Al-Aghar Group. “The youth session was held to help the Saudi youths express their opinion and suggest ideas as solutions for the housing problems that we face today,” he added.
The session was impressive, according to Yasminah Hashim, a member of Lawyers United. “Whereas the exposure gained from presenting these ideas has benefits of its own, it seems that the presenting youths hoped to gain more by presenting than just a few encouraging sentences by representatives of the state,” she said.
“There is need for concrete steps to reflect the seriousness of the people responsible about truly involving the youth. We, the youth, no longer want to be involved “symbolically” as it will take us nowhere,” she added.

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