In 1974, my father was deployed to Sinai as a UN peacekeeper to observe the ceasefire between Israel and Egypt after the Yom Kippur War. After the Israel-Lebanon war in 2006, my late brother-in-law was also deployed to the region as a UN peacekeeper to maintain the truce between Israel and Lebanon. Therefore, my family’s contribution to promoting peace in the Middle East made me develop an interest in the region. However, events of the Arab spring moved me from being a passive observer to taking an active stand in creating the vision of a Middle East that is open, progressive, and committed to the protection of human rights and freedom. Such a vision, I believe, can only be achieved if we work towards raising a new generation of leaders with a different orientation and socialization.
Through my “action tank,” Matrix, I founded the Six Days of Peace Initiative to build cooperation and dialogue between young people in the Middle East in the areas of business, culture and education. One of the major projects we are working on is the “Peace-building through Joint Venture Creation.”This innovative approach to peace building focuses on using joint venture creation as a catalyst to spur cooperation in the Middle East. We are organizing the 1st Young Entrepreneurs Business Forum on June 4th, 2012 at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The goal of the Forum is to bring together young Israeli and Arab entrepreneurs and financiers to promote peace building through shared learning and joint venture creation. The entrepreneurs will work together to develop innovative solutions to some of the socio-economic challenges the Middle East faces.
Davos for me presents the platform for tomorrow’s leaders to engage with today’s leaders about the critical issues confronting us. Too often, there is a huge gap between the rhetoric of youth inclusion in policymaking and its implementation. We cannot speak about the future without including the voices of young people because we are the future. To make sure that voices of not only Global Shapers but young people all over the world are heard at Davos, I created a blog to provide a platform for people to contribute their ideas about the great transformation they want to see. Sarah Busch from the USA wants a world where environmental justice becomes a cornerstone of national and international policy. Laurence Hull from the UK wants to see a world that is no longer based on historical or modern exploitation, but instead upon humanity’s potential for creativity, innovation and pushing past our limits.
This year’s meeting also represents a personal milestone for me since I turn 21 on January 26. It is a great way for me to discuss with relevant stakeholders the vision of the world that ought to be 19 years from now. When I turn 40, I want to be able to say that the world is better because of the people I met in Davos in 2012.