• Publication date: January 21, 2014

Youth Meets Hope at ‘Doing Good’ Competition Winners’ Gala Hosted by MBC Hope

MBC Hope has announced the names of the winners of its first ‘Doing Good’ Competition

(mbc.net - Dubai) MBC Hope has announced the names of the winners of its first ‘Doing Good’ Competition, brainchild of MBC Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility division. Winners were awarded their prizes during the event, which included a press conference presided over by HE Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nehayan, Chief Executive Officer of Bin Zayed Group, MBC CEO Sam Barnett, MBC heads and associates, as well as the competition’s expert panel of judges who selected the competition winners: Dr. Magda Abu Ras, Assistant Professor of Biotechnology at King Abdulaziz University and Deputy Executive Director of the Saudi Environmental Society, Dr. Usama El Refaei, Managing Director of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, AFAC, Soraya Salti Regional Director of Injaz Al Arab and Dr. Moezz El Shohdi co-founder and CEO of the Egyptian Food Bank.

‘Arab Idol’ Mohamed Assaf made a point to stop by and say a few words to encourage the winners and youth despite his pressing engagements that same day. Assaf used his own life as an example of how will power and determination can yield success and help one advance in life. In clear reference to his own personal experience he recounted his adventure with ‘Arab Idol’, which carried him on a journey that took him all the way from his refugee camp to the United Nations with his induction as an Ambassador of Goodwill. Assaf concluded with sincere hopes that there would be many more similar, mind-opening quality initiatives, to support Arab youth and allow them to expand their potential and have faith in their abilities.

Egyptian engineer Hosni El Shafei was awarded the Environment and Energy Award for inventing an inexpensive, clean energy, power-economic, self-recharging ‘alternative engine’. While Moroccan director Maryam Addou was named the winner of the Innovation and Creativity Award for her documentary with British director Rosa Rogers. The film deals with the hard-to-come-by opportunities made available at the National Circus Academy in rural Morocco at a time of near non-existent employment opportunities. As for the Social Entrepreneurship and Startups category, the award went to Saudi-national Mishaal Al Nahari who founded a human resources and development company, in order to empower youth with the skills and experience needed to conquer today’s job market. The Humanitarian Causes Award went to Egyptian explorer and adventurer Omar Samra for his volunteer project which carries the name of his late wife, ‘Marwa Fayed Toy Run’, and collects donations of second-hand toys that are then repackaged and handed out to less-privileged children in Egypt and all over the Arab world, spreading smiles and helping little dreams come true.

The big surprise of the night came with the announcement of a previously unscripted 5th award- MBC Hope Award for Excellence- won by Sara Chatilla of AISEC Lebanon for her youth volunteer initiative called ‘Pave the Way’. Chatilla’s project aims to elevate sentiments of social responsibility, entrepreneurship, as well as teach youth to take their own initiative- especially when it comes to something as important as education. This is done through volunteer youth who contribute lectures on different topics and spend time explaining various subject matter to other curious minds.

From his standpoint, official spokesperson for MBC Group, Mazen Hayek, the group’s Director for PR and Commercial Affairs, stated that he believes that the essence of the ‘Doing Good’ campaign lies in its quest to potentiate latent abilities within Arab youth. In addition, it also aims to inspire them to adopt a positive approach to matters, and observe an organized system and sound methodology in the implementation of their charitable efforts. All the while, trying simultaneously to strengthen concepts of social responsibility, and one’s inherent feelings of responsibility towards humanity, within the Arab world. “When we founded the ’Doing Good’ campaign we were driven primarily by our belief in media as a public service and then by faith in the importance of the role our youth have to play. In an Arab world, where over 50% of the population is below 30 years of age, this means that over 180 million young Arab men and women are depending on us, and they hold our futures in their hands”. Hayek concluded by confirming that the roles of MBC Hope and Doing Good do not end following the crowning of the competition winners, yet shall continue through this competition, year after year, through sponsoring and supporting winning projects, that they may shine as a beacon of hope.

It is worthy to note that each of the 5 winners of the night was awarded a prize of SAR 100,000, in a bid to cover some of the production costs of winning projects, and to help establish their first steps on the road to further develop. Meanwhile, competition winners are invited to make the best of MBC’s different media platforms to bring their winning initiatives into the spotlight, transmit their concepts and how they could evolve from there, all the while serving as inspiration to future projects.