I traveled… My experience in Sweden at the International Youth Media Summit 2017
For the last few years, I have been making New Year’s resolutions about things I can possibly change in my community, in my surrounding. But after my participation in the International Youth Media Summit - IYMS (July 27 - August 9, 2017), my plans have changed, and so has my perception of the things I thought I knew very well. My desire for acquiring new knowledge grew.
For those who do not know what IYMS is, it is a group of young people coming from different countries around the world to learn about photography and filmmaking in a series of workshops. They are then assigned the task of producing short films on various topics such as women's rights, youth empowerment, protection of the environment, the prevention of violence and more. My participation in this encounter has enriched me in ways I had never imagined.
The first thing I learned from Sweden, our host country, is the importance of our natural environment, and that renewable resources are essential for the preservation of our planet. What I found appealing is the ability of Sweden to harvest wind, water and waste to produce energy. It is incredible and makes me think of how much we are so in need of that back home in Lebanon.
It is true that we did not leave Sweden during the training, but I was able to go places through the participants’ stories, through my conversations with them and our exchanges about their cultures and traditions.
In my imagination, I traveled to Nepal where I learned that humanitarian work and providing aid to children do not necessarily require money but hope and passion. I traveled to Japan and I realized that despite the country’s progress, there are still young people fighting poverty. I traveled to Pakistan and saw that women need support and help to free themselves from the traditions and customs of early marriage and honor killings. I traveled to Afghanistan and witnessed the way youth struggle to survive the consequences of tragedies and war, and how they keep looking for hope by moving to other countries.
I continued my journey and traveled to Europe where I changed my mind about European youth. I realized that they, too, have problems that hinder their development. I found out that many of them do aspire to change the world to the better.
I traveled to America and learned that, like us in Lebanon, young Americans drown under university loans and have difficulty accessing education.
I traveled to Africa and witnessed how, despite disease and obstacles, young people still help children go to school. I traveled to my Arab region and saw young people searching for hope amidst heaps of rubble.
I traveled, and I traveled some more. I learned that by coming together as young people of the world, we can build peace, build the future and make the world a better place for everyone to live in.
This experience overwhelmed me with hope, love and knowledge...
The participation of two NET-MED Youth representatives at the International Youth Media Summit was made possible thanks to co-financing from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Watch here the short film that Majd Ayoub and his team made at the International Youth Media Summit 2017.
Cover photo credit: IYMS2017
Activities building skills among youth organizations and young journalists; to enhance youth representation in media and promote freedom of expression, media and information literacy and youth-generated media content.
Activities joining youth organizations, employment experts and different national stakeholders to engage in dialogue and work together on unemployment solutions and skills needs.
Activities empowering youth to participate in the communal and national development, revision and implementation of national youth strategies and public policies.