ADMAF grooms tomorrow’s industry professionals through the Young Media Leaders initiative

25 Nov 2011

Course designed to empower National students with the knowledge and skills to become media professionals

The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) today celebrated the significant achievements made through its progressive educational programme –Young Media Leaders – at an event that showcased the tremendous successes of the past year and welcomed a new intake of students to participate in the eight-month program.

The Young Media Leaders initiative, now in its fourth year, is supported by the Patron & President of ADMAF His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. It is operated in partnership with twofour54 tadreeb, the training academy of Abu Dhabi’s media content creation community, twofour54.

Young Media Leaders seeks to encourage the direct involvement and participation of high achieving Emirati university students based in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, who are in their second and third years of study. Through a series of workshops affiliated to the Thomson Foundation and Thomson Reuters Foundation, they acquire a broad range of media skills and techniques.

In addition, students have the opportunity to meet and discuss with leading international and local industry professionals, including inspiring figures such as Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, The Nationals’ Editor in Chief Hassan Fatah, Erik Mackinz from the Thomson Foundation, Nancy Durham from the Thomson Reuters Foundation and CBC reporter, judge at the Emmy Awards Tareef Sayed, Turki Dakheel who discussed his experience at Al Arabia TV, Zahi Wehbi who highlighted his experience at Future TV in Lebanon and his program “Khalelek bel Beit”.

Gaby Ltaif also shared her vast experience and discussed details of her career in the media as the youngest and first Lebanese woman presenter to becoming a famous radio presenter at France 24 and Radio Monte Carlo in France.

Since its launch in September 2007, no less than 95 students have graduated from ADMAF’s Young Media Leaders initiative.  These students have gained experience, insight and understanding of the local, regional and global media industry, having participated in a total of 80 workshops and covering over 120 events including workshops, lectures, trainings, conducting interviews and by covering media events.  Students have also had the chance to meet and interview high profile visitors such as Her Excellency Princess Mathilde, Wife of the Crown Prince of Belgium during her visit to the UAE.

Through the Young Media Leaders, students were also able to attend organised trips to top leading international media organizations in France and Belgium, and participate in visits to the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysee in France, the media centre of the European Union in Belgium, in addition to the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in New York.

By May 2011, Young Media Leaders will have given 110 Emirati students the chance to be able to take their first steps as media professionals.

Last year alone, a total of 35 students from Zayed University, UAE University, Abu Dhabi Women’s College (HCT) and Abu Dhabi Men’s College (HCT) took part, and experienced a vast range of media roles first-hand including photojournalism, website development and journalistic reporting.

The students were able to practice both their natural and newly acquired journalistic skills by publishing the Young Media Leaders Magazine, for which they covered a variety of art and culture events including the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010, where they produced two festival newsletters.  They also created a dedicated student website:, designed to showcase student works and allowing them to explore and experiment with the online and digital media sectors.

This year, Young Media Leaders welcomes 15 students from tertiary institutions who will all benefit from the expertise and talent of regional and international industry professionals, as well as access to state-of-the-art equipment, training rooms, and media studios.  The range of courses will include: website design and development; photo and video journalism; how to cover arts event; the art of the interview; TV presentation skills; and the art of the profile.  Certificates will also be given to top performing students from international leading media organizations such as the Thomson Reuters  Foundation and the Thomson Foundation.

Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, said:

“The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation has a year-round education programme that is designed to inspire and engage with people of all ages across the Emirates.  The Young Media Leaders initiative forms an integral part of this programme as it aims to support local talent and help shape the media leaders of tomorrow.

“The Young Media Leaders is a dynamic and important educational scheme and the only initiative of its type in Abu Dhabi, which encourages young nationals to tell the story of their country by guiding them into a media career.

“We are dedicated to playing a role in helping to empower local talent within the media industry, and are incredibly proud to launch another year of the programme together with our delivery partner twofour54 tadreeb.  We offer our ongoing support and encouragement to all those participating, and look forward to seeing their work as it materialises throughout the year.”

Ms. Noura Al Kaabi, from twofour54, said:

“We are extremely proud of our alliance with ADMAF, and are very pleased to be able to work with the organization in its ongoing efforts to support young Emirati talent within the media industry. Equipping students with the knowledge and tools required to become the media leaders of tomorrow, is crucial in creating a sustainable media industry for the entire region. Through our alliance with ADMAF we look forward to further facilitating the development of world-class Arabic content across the Middle East and North Africa.”

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