Lockdown Learning In Lebanon

The pandemic has not stopped youth from worrying about the future, rather the opposite. Young people are feeling more uncertain than ever before and need our support. For this reason, technology has never been more central to Mentor’s work than now.

29 June 2020 | Blog

Mentor Arabia was quick to realize that its community – most importantly youth – are feeling scared and unwell from the pandemic, not necessarily because of a coronavirus infection but from a combination of many factors that are weighing on them. These factors include quarantine, the risk of getting infected, the fear of losing a job or a loved one. There is an additional unease from the impact on the already strained economy and the continuous barrage of ever-changing information. The pandemic has been a strain on every aspect of society and that has caused a lot of stress.

Finding a way to inject new energy and hope into society via its information channels was vital for Mentor Arabia. “Mentor Arabia plays an important role in the Arab Region supporting youth development and mental health. Reaching out to our beneficiaries through online platforms was fundamental to continue strengthening their potentials and giving them hope by sharing inspirational success stories,” says Thuraya Ismail, Secretary General of Mentor Arabia.

Reaching people online was the safest and most effective option. Mentor Arabia created an online ”Career Experience Talk” series that focused on the many questions surrounding the pandemic; as well as opportunities that would arise and constructive ways for people to channel their focus. Mentor Arabia recruited some of their most influential and dedicated partners to sit down in front of the camera and talk candidly sharing their personal views and professional experience. The talks were hosted on Zoom and accessed through Facebook.

The list of guests included Dr. Farouk el Baz, renowned NASA Scientist & Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University, who spoke about education, science and the importance of youth involvement in leading professional careers. Samer Khoury, President of Engineering & Construction and Director at Consolidated Contractors Company, who spoke about the industry challenges and the investment opportunities in the region. Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Oracle Senior Vice President – Middle East and Central Eastern Europe, who spoke about his career challenges and how he rose in the ranks to become the SVP of Oracle Systems. Furthermore Amr Mansi, CEO of IEvents & Co-Founder of El Gouna Film Festival, spoke about entertainment and entrepreneurship; and Mariam Farag, Communications and Corporate Responsibility Professional, spoke about sustainability and how to give back to the community. Finally, Shaden Khallaf, UNHCR Senior Policy Advisor, spoke about the role of the international community in supporting refugees and under privileged youth in such uncertain times.  As is customary at Mentor, each guest also talked about the role models they had that had inspired them and made a difference in their lives.

These live chats were opened to all but intended to support youth with inspiring visions of the future when the entire country is experiencing a challenging period. The discussions focused on positive, proactive stories that were relatable to a wide audience. They have had hundreds of viewers per session. Mentor Arabia thanks everyone who contributed to this initiative.