Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

Watch: Five inspiring young Emiratis share their stories

The ones to watch include a scientist, a poet, an entrepreneur, a coach, and an artist

Five inspiring youths.
Five inspiring youths.

“The children of Zayed were raised knowing that no dream is ever too big ...

"The big proof, the real deal, the surprised and unsurprised, the United Arab Emirates.”

Under the lights of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dome, poet Shamma Al Bastaki recited these verses celebrating her pride in her country on UAE National Day.

And it is true. No dream is too big for young Emiratis. They are encouraged to pursue their passions and to be pioneers in different fields.

Last year, at the Mohamed bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces told the young people of the UAE that they are the future.

Sheikh Mohamed urged them to not think only of government jobs, because the country also needs generations of engineers and scientists to secure its post-oil future.

As the country celebrated its 47th National Day over the past few days, we interviewed five Emiratis who followed the call and turned their passions into success stories.

A scientist, a poet, an entrepreneur, a coach and an artist - young people to watch now, rather than later.

The scientist: Dr Mohamed Al Sayegh

Dr Mohamed Al Sayegh, who holds a PhD in cellular and molecular biology, manages the stem cell laboratory at NYU Abu Dhabi. Before this he worked at the Mazzoni Lab in the US. He has received many awards including the Young Emirati Researcher Prize and the Sheikh Rashid Award for Academic Excellence.

The poet: Shamma Al Bastaki

Shamma Al Bastaki, 23, is a writer, artist and poet. She mixed her interest in anthropology with her love of words to create poems and artworks. She has had spoken word performances internationally and locally, the most recent of which were at Louvre Abu Dhabi during UAE National Day celebrations and on Louvre’s anniversary.

The entrepreneur: Mohamed Al Mubarak

Despite his young age, Mohamed Al Mubarak opened a branch for his coffee shop at a premium location, Louvre Abu Dhabi. Mr Al Mubarak, 23, is the owner of Aptitude Cafe, an Abu Dhabi chain that he plans to expand into other emirates and then regionally. He says entrepreneurship is challenging but he believes it runs in his blood.

The coach: Dalal Mohamed

“While everyone wants to be the athlete I wanted to be the coach,” says Dalal Mohamed, 26, a fitness and wellness specialist. Captain Dee, as she likes to be called, started the first women-only Olympic weightlifting classes at the University of Oregon in the US while she was studying psychology, in which she focused her research on the psychology of coaching. Capt Dee now coaches in the UAE and internationally, while she also runs a healthy food meal plan business with her husband.

The artist: Khalid Mezaina

Khalid Mezaina is an artist, designer and illustrator. Among his projects was a design for Hermès that was displayed at The Dubai Mall. He recently attained his Master's degree in fine arts and textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design. He expresses his art in exhibitions, projects and residencies in the UAE and internationally.


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