The chairman of the Saudi International Relations Committee (IRC), Mr. Amr Khashoggi, has asked members to “think of ways of training our youth on how to communicate, appreciate and project our country and culture.” The committee came back with the following plan. From the Arab News:
Saudi Arabian Youth Ambassadors Program is dedicated to creating world-class ambassadorship. It has three basic strategies. One, to instill three identities: An understanding of the Saudi identity, an appreciation of the Arabian identity and the centrality of the Arabic language to it, and a deep admiration and respect for a tolerant global Islamic identity.
Two, to teach basic personal and interpersonal communication skills to guarantee maximum effectiveness of their communication with the world.
Three, to ensure that these programs will move the youths from the local to the global arena gradually and with wisdom (Hikmah).
The plans have three phases. The First Phase is entitled (Safwa) which means “select elite” in Arabic. It is also an acronym for the first letters of Saudi Arabian Future World Ambassadors.
The plan will find, recruit, and locally train Saudi youths to prepare them to become youth ambassadors to the world.
It will also select events that can become the building blocks for the first phase of the Saudi youth international empowerment program. The Second Phase is entitled (Safeer), which means ambassador in Arabic. Here, Saudi youths will be sent to selected parts of the world to participate in visits designed to link them with the world and help them understand how other countries work while also giving them the chance to represent Saudi Arabia to the world.
Selected youths will be sent to a country or two as samples of building blocks that can later become the foundation of Phase Two of the program.
The Third Phase (Majlis) which means “gathering” or “council” in Arabic is dedicated to creating a Saudi/International Youth Council.
The sponsors of such a plan will be ready to help Saudi youths host a first event in Saudi Arabia inviting youths from around the world (or selected countries) for dialogue, exchange, and understanding. If successful, we may choose to institutionalize this effort into a permanent Majlis: The Saudi Arabian Youth Ambassadors Council.
The Action Plan for the First Phase will prepare 30-40 Saudi males and females to be ambassadors. The goal is to instill the Saudi Arabian, Arab and Muslim identities in young Saudi participants by lectures, training, field trips and discussion forums.
Lectures will explore the history, geography, social, economic, and political system of Saudi Arabia. They will also provide brief historical and socioeconomic and political information about the targeted foreign country.
Training will focus on basic personal, interpersonal and diplomatic communication skills and languages.
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