Youth Separated by Borders United by Common Desire for Positive Change
Young people gather in Saint Petersburg, Russia to take part in Youth Circles, an initiative started in the UAE.

Youth Circles is an Emirati initiative under UAE Minister of Youth Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui and the Emirates Youth Council. It is a dialogue-based platform for youth from various backgrounds to identify critical challenges and come up with creative and practical solutions for a better world.

As a student intern at the office of the UAE Minister of Youth, I thought it would be a great idea to take the concept to my home country and to engage Russian youth in a similar way. So, I flew to Saint Petersburg to organize the first international Youth Circle and to facilitate multicultural dialogue between the UAE and Russia. Emirati and Russian youth had a chance to gather under one common cause — entrepreneurship — and to meet with investors from Mubadala and the Russian National Wealth Fund.

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Youth Circles shows that it is possible to have peaceful and productive dialogue between two countries with very different languages, cultures, and norms.

Daria Dmitriyevna Baidakova, Class of 2017

Hosting the Youth Circle in Russia was an eye-opening experience. It proved that the desires of youth are not specific to one country — they are universal. It is critical for young voices to be heard and, most importantly, be taken into consideration. Youth Circles shows that it is possible to have peaceful and productive dialogue between two countries with very different languages, cultures, and norms.

The first Youth Circle outside of the UAE was held under the patronage of Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui and in partnership with Mubadala in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

By Daria Dmitriyevna Baidakova, Class of 2017