CNN Arabic and the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education embark on storytelling and youth development partnership
Posted on 2022 Sep,20

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CNN Arabic is partnering with the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education on two major projects as part of CNN Arabic’s key initiatives in its 20th anniversary year – the continued development of Arab youth and female empowerment.

In the area of Arab youth development, CNN Arabic and the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education are working together on “Siraj” - a unique initiative that will upskill 300 young Emirati and Arabs over the next three years using core journalistic principles and practices. 

The aim of the UAE-based course is to help develop young people with the skills of the future identified by leading organizations to help them think differently about improving their employability and competitiveness in the job market.

Siraj is one pathway project under the Foundation’s recently launched NOMU initiative, committed to a national vision to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 55 participants completed the inaugural “Siraj” course virtually earlier this summer, and in October, two further cohorts of Emirati youth will begin six-week courses that blend online and in-person learning and development. Over the six-week period, participants sourced by the Foundation will engage directly with CNN journalists and executives on topics such as Ideation & Brainstorming, Strategy Building, Storytelling, Critical & Design Thinking, Debate Skills, and Distribution & Audience Reach, with sessions supplemented by exercises and practical learning programs.

In addition, CNN Arabic and the Foundation are working together on a women empowerment project that aims to tell the stories of young women across the Middle East. The project sheds light on the role of Arab women who have made a difference in their communities. The Foundation has helped CNN Arabic identify and provide access to 30 women who have benefitted from the Foundation’s programs and Refugee Education Fund across Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and UAE providing them with equipment and training on how to tell stories through filming. The content will be used as part of the Her Story section on CNN Arabic and shared widely across social media.

“CNN Arabic is incredibly proud to be not just telling the stories of the Arab youth and female empowerment but, through our work with partners like the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education, actually making a difference in their development and advancement,” said Caroline Faraj, Vice President and Editor in Chief of CNN Arabic. “These unique projects give our participants skills that they can utilise in their personal and professional lives as well as a platform in which to make their stories heard across the world. In CNN Arabic’s 20th anniversary year, these initiatives show the impact that journalism can have on the world around us and society at large.”

Dr Sonia Ben Jaafar, CEO of the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education said: “Creativity and communication are vital in the modern workplace and the young people who participate in these programmes will develop skills which will enable them to thrive in their current and future careers. As a foundation we are excited to be working with CNN Arabic, an organisation who shares our values and are wholeheartedly committed to upskilling Emirati and Arab youth and promoting female empowerment in the region. Together we look forward to equipping young people with the tools to succeed as journalists, and bringing to life the untold stories of the many inspiration women across this region.”