Qatar Foundation International Alumni Students and Their Online Youth Forum to be Spotlighted at FIKR 9 Conference

By Qatar Foundation International, PRNE
Thursday, December 2, 2010

WASHINGTON, December 3, 2010 - A diverse group of Arab and American students have been invited to
highlight their youth-led initiative on bridging cultures at the Arab Thought
Foundation's 9th annual FIKR conference this year. The four students, one
American and three Qatari, are alumni of the Qatar Foundation International's
(QFI) exchange programs.

Held in Beirut, Lebanon on December 8-9, 2010, FIKR brings together
leading cultural, intellectual, economic, humanitarian and political thinkers
and leaders in a cross-cultural gathering in the Arab World. Leading world
figures from America, Europe and Asia will also be attending along with their
Arab counterparts. The FIKR Conference theme for 2010 is "Shaping the
Future… Arabs' Role?" with a focus on promoting dialogue and free
discussion on pressing issues facing the Arab region.

The students will present to the attendees "YALLAH: Youth Allied to
Learn, Lead and Help "- an online forum for former participants in QFI
exchange programs to join together for student-driven and expert-facilitated
discussions on pertinent global topics and a platform for taking action
locally to benefit others. The presentation will demonstrate how they are
building a youth-led community of global citizens - male and females, Arabs
and non-Arabs - who are able to navigate national differences, dispense with
negative stereotypes and build stronger relations with their peers.

"At QFI we are always looking for opportunities to facilitate discussion
and connections between diverse groups," said Maggie Mitchell Salem,
Executive Director of QFI. "This time our students beat us to it and came up
with YALLAH as an exciting and cutting edge way to promote dialogue between

QFI has partnered with, a leader in online social networks
that facilitate collaborations across languages, to develop custom hybrid
translations on YALLAH's social learning platform, increasing the students'
familiarity with both Arabic and English.

About Qatar Foundation International

Qatar Foundation International (QFI) is a private U.S. foundation
established on the principle that education can transform for the better
individual lives, communities, and nations. Our mission is to promote
education as a force that builds strong local communities, facilitates
collaboration across geographical, social, and cultural boundaries, and
builds a network of global citizens who communicate effectively and work
together to find solutions to pressing global problems.

QFI will implement this mission through innovative educational and
volunteer programs, which inspire lasting exchanges of experience and
knowledge. Our programmatic focus is on interrelated issues of global
importance: education, community engagement, technology, and health. QFI's
vision is of a world that embraces and respects diversity, values lifelong
learning, and empowers individuals to take action to shape their future.

Learn More:


FIKR 9 brings together entrepreneurs, decision-makers, academics and
intellectuals to discuss new ways of 'making sense' and 'taking action' to
shape the Arab future throughout the region. New possibilities are emerging
from a variety of countries, people, technologies and methods that contain
early seeds of potential significant transformation throughout the region.
These early seeds are the seeds of new capacities, and communities - enabled

    - Creativity,
    - Community,
    - Entrepreneurship and
    - Education.

Key to FIKR's vision is to bring to light some of these early seeds of
change and help nurture them to greater scale. To that end, FIKR 9 seeks to
begin building a community of capacity transformation throughout the region,
bringing together people from a wide range of experiences, professions and
ages to share their lessons on such capacity building through which the
region will be transformed.

Learn More:

Lauren McCollough, +1-202-255-3575, lmccollough at

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