While the Arab world may often be associated with negative headlines in the news, there's an exponential amount of creativity, intelligence, and perseverance all around us that often goes by unnoticed.
Here are five Arab millennials who are taking the world by storm:
1. Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui (UAE)
When Al Mazrui was appointed as Minister of Youth Affairs at 22-years-old in February 2016, she became the youngest government minister in the world.
Born and raised in the capital of the UAE, Al Mazrui received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from New York University in Abu Dhabi, and later a Masters of Public Policy degree from Oxford.
She has also worked in private equity for Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, interned at the UAE Embassy in Washington D.C., and served as a public policy analyst at the UAE's Diplomatic mission to the United Nations.
Al Mazrui was also named in Forbes’ "Arab 30 under 30" class of 2018.
2. Mahmoud Wael (Egypt)
It’s not every day that a 14-year-old scores 155 on an IQ test and gets called the smartest kid in the world.
Things started early for Wael when he recited the multiplications table his older sister was learning at the age of three and a half.
Today, he is the youngest programmer certified by Microsoft, having learned the programming language C++, which qualifies him to teach it to university students. He's also given a TED Talk about his journey.
3. Halima Aden (Somalia)
Aden is no stranger to having her name associated with firsts. She was the first hijabi to walk Kanye West’s Yeezy runway, the first hijabi to compete at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, and the first hijabi to sign with IMG Models.
Aden was born in a refugee camp in Kenya in 1997 and moved to the US at the age of six. As far as magazine covers go, she also became the first hijab-wearing model to grace the covers of both Vogue Arabia and Allure.
4. Jihad Kawas (Lebanon)
This 20-year-old Lebanese college dropout is the co-founder and CEO of Saily Inc, a Silicon Valley-based company that developed "one of the top ranking shopping apps on the App Store with over 500,000 users and became part of Japan’s billion-dollar commerce giant Mercari Inc in 2017."
He also made it to Forbes’ 2018 "30 under 30" list of Enterprise Technology.
5. Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
At 25, Salah is already the second highest goal scorer in the English Premier League (EPL).
He is an Egyptian professional football player for Liverpool and his country's national team. Salah was also named CAF African Footballer of the Year in 2017 and given the title "BBC African Football of the Year" that same year.
Salah is also in Forbes’ 2018 "Arab 30 under 30."
STEP Conference 2018
Between March 28-29, more than 6000 techies will gather in Dubai for the latest in entrepreneurship, digital, fintech, and future tech.
STEP Digital will focus on the most forward-thinking topics and global trends in digital, advertising technology, content, and media.
In addition, it will feature exhibitions, workshops, and talks from global influencers in the digital media industry.
Speakers such as Fahad Albutairi, Mashal Waqar from The Tempest, Starz Play's Vural Cifci, and many others will take the stage at the conference.