Yousef Albannay, 2023 Kuwait Alumnus Launches QUWA Expo

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Student Leader alumnus, Yousef Albannay, announced the official launch of his Community Engagement Project (CEP), QUWA Expo. “QUWA” is an Arabic word that means power. This name reflects Yousef’s mission to empower youth through education and knowledge, while emphasizing the transformative power these elements have in shaping youths’ futures. His CEP is specifically designed to empower young people to actively engage with and promote the United Nations Development Programme’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Mr. Mohammad Ajrash, CEO & Co-Founder of Kuwait Space Company, discusses how the space industry is aligned with the United Nations to support sustainable development.

On April 23, 2024, the QUWA Expo launched and received significant collaboration and support, most notably from the United States Embassy in Kuwait. The Embassy was instrumental in securing an inspiring speaker for the event, Ms. Melanie Elturk, CEO of Haute Hijab, New York. The launch attracted a diverse audience, including a significant number of youth participants as well as dignitaries including the Consul from the Korean Embassy and Mr. Sherif Eltokali, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, who highlighted the importance of youth education and engagement initiatives like the QUWA Expo on both local and international stages. This theme was further reinforced by the Honorable Mr. Dawood Marafi, Kuwait’s Minister of Youth, who emphasized the Kuwait government’s national commitment to youth empowerment.

Opening Day with QUWA Expo audience
Opening Day for the QUWA Expo.

The launch of the QUWA Expo has set a robust foundation for additional QUWA events. In a conversation with Paul Silva, the Program Director of the Student Leaders Program at Georgetown University, Yousef shared that the event on April 23rd, was the first step towards a main event he has planned for November 2024, in which the QUWA initiative will further advance the important dialogue on Sustainable Development Goals and deepen the impact of Kuwaiti youth involvement. As a 2023 University of Delaware Student Leader, Yousef also shared that he owes a debt of gratitude to the professors at the University of Delaware, particularly Dr. Tracy and Dr. Dan, for their invaluable support and guidance in bringing his project to fruition.

Funding for the Student Leaders Program is provided by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Office of Assistance Coordination (NEA-AC).