Under the theme of ‘SHABAB2030’ (‘Youth 2030’), the latest edition of “MBC AL AMAL” yearly event took place Sunday at the Palazzo Versace in Dubai. The annual awards by MBC Group aim at supporting and promoting sustainable development, creative youth projects and entrepreneurship in the region – as well as enabling students from low-income backgrounds a chance at pursuing higher education.

The 2018 ceremony was attended by notable guests from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), represented by Toby Howard, Head of UNHCR office in the UAE, as well as the World Food Programme (WFP). Several partners, specialists, social activists and other VIP guests were also in attendance.

Hosting leading institutions in the region, entrepreneurs, creative visionaries and small and medium-sized enterprises – all distinguished by their tireless work towards social, humanitarian and youth initiatives – the “MBC AL AMAL” awards included three segments: Part one of the event was dedicated to honouring MBC AL AMAL partners from humanitarian and other non-profit organisations.

This was followed by the announcement of the winners of the ‘SHABAB2030’ project, which aims at encouraging young people all over the Arab world to get involved in creative, innovative and sustainable projects that can change the world for the better. Last but not least, the final segment of the event saw five female students awarded the Soraya Al-Salti University Scholarship. Named after the late Jordanian activist, this scholarship – managed by Newton Education Services – offers a number of fully-funded and partial scholarships for Arab women looking to pursue a master’s degree in various fields, for up to two years. The total value of the grant is $100,000, which was this year distributed equally to the five winners.


 Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group delivered an opening speech welcoming guests and thanking them for being “partners and pioneers of hope”. He stressed the importance of individual and youth initiatives in activating the economic cycle, in addition to the necessity of supporting development projects pertaining to empowering the younger generation and building a better future for them. He also noted the “importance of broadcasting positive spirits, keeping the torch of hope lit despite wars, crises and obstacles to promoting diversity.”


  1. Education for Employment (EFE): Received by Andrew Baird, CEO, EFE Global.
  2. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): Received by Toby Howard, Head of UNHCR office in the UAE.
  3. Generations for Peace (GFP): Received by Dr. Mohanned Al-Arabiat, GFP Board Member and President.


The ten winners were chosen after presenting their projects to a committee of prominent investors and major companies in the region. This pitch, in association with “MBC AL AMAL”, was held with the aim of finding the projects with the most potential to scale.

  1. Ahmed Al Azzouzi, Toufoula Kids (Tunisia)

This mobile application specialises in Arabic-language educational content aimed at children in pre-school and school.

  1. Afnan Ali, Eureka (Jordan)

Specialising in tech-education, this academy prepares children to become engineers or tech-entrepreneurs through comprehensive multi-level programmes.

  1. Ahmed El-Murtada, SIMPAY (Sudan)

A start-up that provides online-market places, crowd-funding sites, and small platform-oriented businesses with applications to seamlessly facilitate easier and faster payment-processing.

  1. Amira Cheniour, SEABEX (Tunisia)

An agricultural e-monitoring and smart automation system that helps farmers make better use of available resources, such as water and energy, to produce larger quantities that are of better quality.

  1. Hassan Al-Balawi, Wakecap (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Focusing on utilising wearable technology products to improve safety and productivity at construction and industry sectors.

  1. Mostafa Kandil, SWVL (Egypt)

This private alternative to public transportation enables individuals taking a journey in the same direction to share a ride during rush hour for a flat fare. The carpool-style system increases efficiency for all involved.

  1. Layal Jebran, Moubarmij (Lebanon)

A platform that provides high-quality educational programmes online, focusing on Arabic tutorials in video form.

  1. Ahmad Al-Hidiq, Salamtak (United Arab Emirates/Palestine)

The code name for an initiative launched under HeyDoc!, this telemedicine platform connects patients with doctors, no matter the location.

  1. Khaled El-Nems, E-Rain Gate (United Arab Emirates/Egypt)

A venture that controls irrigation systems via small electronic networks. This prevents systems from flooding during heavy rain or storms.

  1. Hashim Al Zaabi, Wavex (United Arab Emirates)

Combining features that promote renewable and sustainable solutions, this project carries out crowd-funding for renewable projects, as well as energy transactions via blockchain.


  1. Irene Baghdadi (Egypt): Sustainable Development
  2. Khadija Radwan (Egypt): Design and Project Management
  3. Lynn Sharbatly (KSA): Law
  4. Mayada Sabry (Jordan): Communication Disorders
  5. Mariam Al-Nahrawi (Egypt): Geological Sciences.

Finally, the event’s entertainment was provided courtesy of the much-loved Palestinian singer, Yacoub Shaheen – best known as the 2017 “Arab Idol” – who presented the choir “Sonbola”, comprised of refugee children with outstanding musical talents.

(Source: MBC press release)

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