Second Silatech Conference

Doha, 08 June 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen,
My young sons and daughters,

Welcome to Doha and thank you for being with us today to reaffirm our trust in Silatech and our continued commitment to its mission and to achieving its objectives.

As I have done in the closing session of the previous conference, I would like to thank once again our Arab youth, who represent my sons and daughters throughout the Arab world and would like to say to everyone:

You are the captains and the sailors of Silatech, I have unlimited trust in your intelligence, in your commitment and in your ability to understand and comprehend not only the needs of the present but also the needs of the decades to come.

Your creativity, foresight and vision will enable you to run the course of Silatech and to overcome the various challenges and obstacles which you will face. I am also certain that you will succeed in overcoming any hurdle which comes your way because you are all striving for a cause and because you believe, just like your parents and grand- parents in the right to a humane and dignified life. 

It gives me great pleasure to express today my deep gratitude and appreciation for the courage and commitment of our partners in this initiative. I would also like to express my gratitude to the pilot countries for believing in Silatech’s vision and for the endeavor they demonstrated in bringing to life the goals of Silatech. I am pleased on this occasion to welcome Iraq as an active partner among these countries.

It has been one year ladies and gentlemen since we first met and launched this project together. However, one year is not considered to be a long time given the magnitude of this ambitious project which aims at tackling major challenges to finding long term solutions to create employment opportunities.

This year gave us the chance to introduce the project and to open a dialogue with all the stakeholders in order to build trust, dissipate doubts and strengthen convictions. Above all to reaffirm Silatech’s objectives which stand at the heart of human development in our Arab world; the creation and development employment opportunities for the youth. 

I am certain that a large number of participants and parties are wondering about what alternatives and solutions Silatech can offer in order to solve the unemployment crisis and the scarcity of employment opportunities.

Silatech’s efforts consisted of more than just defining the project’s objectives rather Silatech brought a series of programs which it launched in several leading countries: Syria, Yemen, Morocco and now Qatar in order to affirm and reflect the practical and realistic dimension of the project’s vision. These programs provided training to thousands of young men and women for the purpose of developing their capabilities and honing their skills, in partnership with official authorities, employers, universities and civil society organizations.

As a strategic partner, Silatech has put in place a program which offers loans for small enterprises launched by young people in collaboration with local banks, civil society organizations and other partners. In this way Silatech, despite being a new initiative, was able to enhance through its creative approach, its partnering position and credibility with the other parties, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Two weeks ago a report was issued by one of the international legal groups which described the human rights situation resulting from the current financial crisis as a time bomb. This description is not blown out of proportion because as we all know, around 100 million jobs need to be created in the next two decades in the Arab world. Daily there is news about the economic recession leading to lay offs of hundreds of thousand of workers and to a significant decrease in investment opportunities resulting in turn in the loss of thousands of employment opportunities. Ths represent a major challenge for us in the Arab world and for the world as a whole.

This situation enhances the position of Silatech and its role as a mediator between youth and the job market. This situation requires as well a lot of thinking in order to develop for Silatech a creative strategy which is adaptable to all the changes we are witnessing. In that same context, Silatech’s emphasis on technology developments will bring it closer to the needs of the market.

It will also make Silatech an objective partner and an influential voice in determining the educational policies when implementing any educational reform which aims to strengthen the knowledge based economy concept.

My sons and daughters,

These were some of my thoughts through which I tried to express my deep belief and my absolute trust in your potential and qualification. Youth of the Arab world, we rely on you to overcome our current situation and to catch up with developed countries.

Your Silatech was and will always remain a bridge for dialogue and communication among generations and civilizations, it will also continuously remain a source of inspiration, a host for courageous and creative ideas and a factor for achieving positive change which we desperately need as human beings and as societies. And because Silatech possesses all of these attributes, it will receive from all of us all the support that it needs.

That is what I am expecting from our courageous and ambitious youth.

Thank you for your participation.