Europe

Engaging and empowering the youth remained the central theme

LONDON(PR):In order to engage and empower the British Pakistani youth, Pakistan High Commission London, organized its first ever “Youth Convention 2015” on Saturday, 14 February 2015. More than 150 British Pakistan students and young professionals as well as students from Pakistan currently studying in the UK were in attendance during the day-long Convention.

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The event was divided into four sessions that revolved around the following themes: Pakistan beyond headlines and ‘Homeland’; Engaging and empowering the youth; Setting the Pakistani Context in Social Enterprise; and Culture of Pakistan. The Convention provided a unique opportunity to the youth to interact and debate with renowned experts and scholars from diverse fields including politics, media, academia, social enterprise, government, business, culture and performing arts. Representatives of the youth and student unions were also among the panelists. A wide variety of issues were discussed in an open and candid manner.

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The speakers dwelt upon themes like ‘positivity about Pakistan’ that often submerges in headlines of poorly-informed Western media; issues of identity and how British Pakistani youth could benefit from vast opportunities on offer in the UK by mainstreaming themselves; tremendous opportunities in social enterprise for the Pakistani youth; and how rich art and culture of Pakistan could transcend various ethnic and linguistic barriers and build bridges between the Pakistani and the British communities.

YF2015C YF2015EIn his brief welcome remarks, High Commissioner Syed Ibne Abbas said: “I am delighted to see our youth in such a large number at the Convention. This Convention has been organized because, from the very outset, I wanted to connect and interact with young Pakistani diaspora. I want you to become a productive part of the British society and, simultaneously, it was an effort to introduce you to the opportunities available to you in Pakistan.” The High Commissioner also announced to make the “Youth Convention” an annual feature in High Commission’s calendar of activities. The youth showed great interest in the Convention and appreciated High Commission’s initiative to provide them a platform to get together and exchange ideas. The panelists included Rehman Chishti MP, Peter Oborne, Kristiane Backer, Zia ud Din Sardar, George Fulton, Dr Amina Yaqeen, Fida Hussain, Imran Ali, Tommy Hutchinson, Mashalle Asim and Kubair Shirazee. Comedian Beo Zafar presented stand-up comedy and discussed various aspects of Pakistani culture with comedian Atif Nawaz. Huma Yusuf, Sanam Kubra Siddiqui, Suniya Qureshi and Jawiria Naseem moderated the sessions.