In 2009, PBS’ Frontline/World discussed problems that youth are facing in Cairo, Egypt, noting that there is an average five-year wait for a decent job, even for college graduates. Thankfully, one of this year’s Kravis Prize winners, INJAZ Al-Arab Executive Director Soraya Salti, is working to broaden opportunities for Arab youth. INJAZ Al-Arab runs programs in a dozen countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, including Egypt, that aim to provide experiential education and training to Arab youth in work readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. PBS interviewed Salti regarding the organization’s mission. She discussed the importance of teaching students practical business-related skills in conjunction with their regular educational curriculum:
“When you have youth who are educated and unemployed, what will they do with their lives? Either these youth become a burden on our economies or they become an engine of growth and prosperity. We want to catch them before they’re unemployed and we want to instill in them the entrepreneurial spirit and entrepreneurial skillset so that they can create their employment opportunity. We want to create excitement. What’s the best thing to do more than create the competition for entrepreneurs?”
As part of INJAZ’s goal to inspire entrepreneurship and invigorate Arab youth, the organization holds an annual competition for the best student company, which is judged by the innovativeness and profitability of the businesses. Watch the video to see how INJAZ is inspiring Arab youth to pave their own future through creative and interactive programs! You can also read PBS’ extended interview with Soraya Salti.
To find out more about Soraya Salti, check out her Kravis Prize profile.