* Hundreds attend special event at Education City, which will culminate with delegates attending the FIFA Arab Cup final
The third edition of the Generation Amazing Youth Festival has attracted young people from across the Arab world. Held during the FIFA Arab Cup, the event has united youth from all 16 competing nations.
Generation Amazing is a FIFA World Cup legacy programme that uses the power of football to deliver positive social change in disadvantaged communities around the world. It has benefitted more than 725,000 people over the past decade and aims to reach 1 million people by the time Qatar 2022 kicks off.
This year’s festival took place at Oxygen Park in Education City and was organised in collaboration with strategic partners, Qatar Foundation (QF). The event celebrated Arab unity under the theme ‘All In’, which emphasises the role every young person has to play in improving their communities.
“We wanted to celebrate the spirit of togetherness that the Arab Cup is nurturing by bringing together young people from the very same region that is hosting the tournament,” said Nasser al-Khori, Generation Amazing Programmes Director.
“The power of football extends into our communities and has the ability to empower young people, girls and boys, across the world to become better citizens.”
“As an organisation committed to youth empowerment and opportunity, it’s wonderful to see so many young leaders from Qatar and the region gathering at Education City to learn, build their skills and make their voices heard on important issues through the platform of football,” said Alexandra Chalat, Director, Community Engagement and World Cup Legacy, QF.
“We are grateful that so many entities from across QF have participated in making this festival such as success as it once again demonstrates Qatar’s love of sport and the vibrancy, energy and agency of the nation’s youth. The festival also reflects the close relationship between Generation Amazing and QF, and we look forward to the many ways we will collaborate over the year ahead as we build towards the World Cup.”
Qatari student Fajr al-Boainain was one of the delegates. She believes Generation Amazing offers a critical space for young people to fulfil their potential.
“Young people have the ability to bring about transformative change in their societies, and through Generation Amazing – and events like this festival – young people are able to learn leadership and communication skills that can be used in their respective communities,” said al-Boainain.
Another delegate, Ali Fakhroo, contributed to various workshop discussions about Arab unity and football’s power to build bridges and break down stereotypes.
“In the same way that football unites the world, so does Generation Amazing. Through this festival, we are able to celebrate diversity and work towards ensuring that young people have the necessary skills to break down social barriers,” said Fakhroo.
During the build-up to the festival, delegates took part in a series of exercises delivered online and in-person. One of the mentors – and an avid supporter of the programme – is Qatar Legacy Ambassador and Australian football legend, Tim Cahill.
“I participate because I want to empower boys and girls,” said Cahill, who represented his country at four FIFA World Cups. “I like to go to the training grounds and talk about my journey, but also listen to their journeys. Through Generation Amazing, Qatar is able to share its resources with countries and communities that need support through football. It is empowering to see the journey that these young people have taken, and to be here at the festival to meet them in person is really special.”
The festival included a host of events which illustrated Generation Amazing’s achievements since 2010. Football for development workshops were also held while details were shared of the recently-announced ‘One Goal Arabia’ programme – which Generation Amazing launched in collaboration with Aurora for Training and Development, the Asian Football Confederation and the Confederation for African Football.
The ‘All In Football for Development’ tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday, with the event designed to maximise social skill development outcomes. Participants will then attend the FIFA Arab Cup final between Algeria and Tunisia at Al Bayt Stadium.
This year’s festival was organised in collaboration with QF and supported by FIFA Foundation, Qatar Airways, Qatar Football Association, Qatar Museums, QLM and beIN SPORTS (official media partner). Delivery partners were WISH, Aurora for Training and Development, Doha Debates, WISE, VISA, CONCACAF, Generations for Peace, FC Zenit, Thimun, Coaches Across Continents, Sports for Live, 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, streetfootballworld, Street Child United, Right to Play, Save the Dream, Sherborne, KAS Eupen and B4Development.
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