PalThink for Strategic Studies & FXB have concluded the activities of the “Building Tomorrow’s Leaders for Palestine” project, which spanned from August 2022 until July 2023. The project comes as part of PalThink’s ongoing efforts to promote a culture of dialogue and rational discourse among the youth.
The program targeted 55 young men and women from Gaza and initially included a training program on debating skills to develop youth’s abilities in public speaking and persuasion on their issues in a civilized and peaceful manner.
After the training, PalThink formed a team of debaters who conducted 20 debates in partnership with civil society institutions and universities in the Gaza Strip. The debates focused on enhancing youth’s networking skills and adhering to the values of dialogue, respecting others’ opinions, accepting differences, and promoting peaceful discussions.
The team addressed several topics relevant to the Palestinian community, especially the youth, including elections, student council elections, academic freedoms, awareness, tolerance, gender justice, community accountability, youth activism, and other related issues.
The program also involved the production of policy papers on the consequences of the absence of Palestinian elections on the youth in Gaza and effective national policies to enhance youth participation in the Palestinian elections. Additionally, videos were produced to showcase the youth’s aspirations for the elections.
The team also participated in advocacy campaigns to promote youth’s perspectives on various issues from their own point of view, fostering mutual understanding, and building bridges around these issues to present them to society with the aim of contributing to its development.
At the conclusion of the activities, Omar Shaban, the director of PalThink, awarded certificates of appreciation to the debating team, reaffirming that PalThink aims to graduate a young generation of leaders equipped with diverse skills that qualify them to be active contributors in their communities and in any position they hold.
“PalThink will continue to dedicate all its efforts and resources to empower the youth and enhance their role in society,” Shaban said. “The organization will also maintain its relationship with the program participants by engaging them in workshops, conferences, research papers, and various other activities.”
In turn, the team members expressed their satisfaction with the level of awareness and skills they acquired during the program’s various activities, which instilled in them a culture of peaceful dialogue through debates, teaching them to use logical arguments to build balanced and knowledgeable speeches.