WYA Middle East Office Opens Doors In Beirut

WYA Middle East opens its doors!

After several months of planning, preparation and hard work, the Middle East regional office opened its doors on September 17, 2012. Led by the Regional Director, the first four interns have already started brainstorming ways to protect the dignity of the person where it is greatly needed. Several activities and events are already in motion, so stay tuned for more updates!

What we’ve been up to so far
The month of August has seen the birth of the first collaboration with the Lebanese American University (LAU) and the launching of the Fall semester Track A training. On august 20, 22 Lebanese students from the LAU travelled to WYA’s headquarters in New York to participate in a three day UN Leadership Training Program that exposed them to the actual debates taking place today at the United Nations (for the full press release, click here). On September 1, 63 members from the regions started the Track A training to become better informed on the principles that guide the work of the World Youth Alliance.

WYA Trains Lebanese Students from the LAU

We’re only just getting started
Over the next couple of months, we have already lined up several educational and advocacy activities on a regional level:

  • The World Youth Want Conference: WYAME will be sharing its advocacy experience and priorities at a regional conference organized by World Vision in Istanbul between September 21 and 23 to draft their positions regarding the Post-Millennium Development Goals process that will set the goals of United Nations institutions over the next 15 years.
  • Capacity Building Workshop on Youth Issues and Priorities in the ESCWA Region: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia has invited the World Youth Alliance to present its advocacy and policy work to other youth experts at a regional capacity building workshop between October 16 and 18. WYAME will be the first civil society organization to attend these meetings as experts.
  • Emerging Leaders Conference: On October 20 and 21, WYAME will host its first Emerging Leaders Conference in Beirut at the Lebanese American University. The conference will attract 100 youth leaders to come up with a call to action for sustainable actions in the Arab region.

Watch out for the Grand opening of the WYAME office in 2013! For more information or to get involved please contact us on:

Tel/Fax: +961 1 340772
Mobile: +961 78 809745

Meet the Team
Cedric Choukeir, Director, Middle East
Cedric Choukeir was born and raised in Lebanon. During his academic and professional experiences, he took on different fields of work from hospitality to marketing and management, but could only find true lasting motivation in civil society work. With a Masters degree in Local Human Development and International Cooperation from the University of Florence, Cedric currently invests his diverse experience in promoting a dignity based approach to the integral development of the human person in the Middle East and North Africa. After completing his training at the WYA headquarters in New York, Cedric became a full time staff member in June 2012.

Farah Zahra, Regional Intern
An activist, revolutionist, environmentalist, peace healer and knowledge seeker, Farah found the World Youth alliance to be the best ground for her, where advocacy for youth rights and human dignity takes place.

Narod Haroutunian, Regional Intern
Narod is a 19 year old student from Lebanese American University majoring in international affairs and political science. After a trip to New York, where she attended The World Youth Alliance UN Leadership Training, she immediately decided to join the team and become a regional intern in the newly opened office knowing that she shares the same convictions as the organization that are built on the dynamic spirit of young volunteers.

Thomas Podles, Regional Intern
Thomas graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009, and began working in the non-profit sector. As an American, Thomas wanted to work in the Middle East to improve his Arabic, and to experience living in the region. WYA offered the perfect opportunity to do both of those things, as well as the opportunity to promote human dignity, a subject about which Thomas feels strongly.