Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Rubu’ Qarn Foundation for Creating Future Leaders and Innovators, has called on all Emirati youth and young residents (13–18 years) in the UAE to participate in the Sheikh Sultan Award for Celebrating the Spirit of Youth.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher noted that the award’s significance lies in the fact that it focuses on developing the life skills and capabilities of young people, and is designed to unleash their true potential. The award integrates academic knowledge, life skills and overall personality development through a mix of physical and value-based learning, HH Sheikha Jawaher has emphasised, saying that the unique structure of the award has been formulated to nurture creative and productive generations capable of taking on leadership roles.
Award is a response to modern-day challenges
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi said the award was launched in line with Sharjah’s vision and the UAE Youth Empowerment Strategy (YES), and is a response to special challenges of urbanisation posed to the youth characterised by lack of physical activity and substituting the learning of essential life skills with technology-based entertainment.
Sheikha Jawaher noted that the Sheikh Sultan Award for Celebrating the Spirit of Youth focuses on developing the mental, physical and moral abilities of young people – a multidisciplinary approach to help them reignite their youthful spirit, discover their hidden potential and hone them. “The award clearly encapsulates life’s true essence; that’s it’s a challenge, and hence, success cannot be achieved without pushing one’s boundaries and concerted efforts inspired by the integration of skills and the determination to win.”
Her Highness noted that the ultimate goal of the award is to qualify young people to become active contributors to nation building. “Progress is not quantified by the passage of time; rather by one’s conscious efforts, which justify the anticipated outcomes. Simply put, there’s no telling that our future will be better than our present; we need to shape in a way that it can benefit from the learnings of the past and present.”
Sheikha Jawaher said that the award’s choice of age group, which is 13–18 years, is a strategic move to anchor young people as they undergo a sensitive transition from adolescence to adulthood.
“If classroom learning can be integrated with extracurricular capabilities and a more holistic understanding of success, we would have laid the foundations for a prosperous future.”
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi went on to say: “Today’s job market requirements have gone beyond simple one-dimensional skills to needing multifaceted and multiskilled youth, who can bring both professional and people skills to the plate. Sustainable and inclusive development can only be practiced by youth who realise their roles need to be performed beyond their work desks to lead humanity to a meaningful future. We need to teach our children to view work as part of their life, not the entirety of it, and excellence is not restricted to one job no matter how important it is.”
Sheikh Sultan: A humanitarian figure for home and the world
Presenting the rationale for naming the award after His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher said that the award’s qualities mirror those of the Sharjah Ruler who has been a natural at balancing multiple responsibilities. “Despite all the pressing national and official duties, the Sharjah Ruler’s commitment to following citizens’ concerns is undivided. His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Al Qasimi is an astute critic of art and culture, and spends much of his time reviving the Arab cultural movement and offering a vibrant environment for family life and personality development. The humanitarian leader has dedicated his whole life to showing the Emirati and Arab youth through his own experiences that nothing is impossible, and that life is a continuous journey of giving.”
The award’s message: Everyone’s achievements count
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher has emphasised that one of the key messages the award delivers is winning does not have to be limited to a few; recognition is due to all those who invest their time, effort and diligence in successfully fulfilling its requirements. “The award tries to foster healthy competition, spirit of working together, and promotes a culture of respect for everyone seeking to learn and develop themselves. The award honours all young people who have the desire to excel and will put in the efforts to reach their goals. It is not limited to recognising a select few,” Her Highness highlighted.
Sheikha Jawaher underlined that the real competition in life is with the self. The win is manifested by one’s ability to surpass one’s limitations to unleash their true potential, and channeling it in the best ways to advance one’s roles and responsibility.
Her Highness illustrated that the Rubu’ Qarn Foundation has not included a monetary component in the Sheikh Sultan Award to show young winners that their accomplishments and their talent are private and public fortune. The award is a way for Sharjah’s leadership to show their appreciation for young leaders and recognise their drive for excellence. It is a way to show them their key role in the UAE’s continued wellbeing and progress. These goals are priceless,” Sheikha Jawaher said.
Her Highness said that while in its first phase the award being launched locally, future editions will hopefully honour young talents around the world.
“Communities worldwide need such initiatives to restore the role of youth as active contributors in building their countries. Sharjah is best known for its interest in the aspirations of the entire Arab world. Uniting the efforts of all Arab youth to strengthen our sociocultural fabric is fundamental to overcoming pressing challenges and continuing regional advancement,” Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi concluded.