Name: Heba Assem
Organization: World Youth Forum
Role: Steering Committee Member
– Volunteer at African Union Youth Volunteer Corps – Cohort 10
– The first and only Egyptian winner of Young African Leaders Awards 2019 for Outstanding Visionary Leadership and Dedication to the community and nation building from African Youth Architects in Gambia representing Egypt and Northern Africa region 2019.
– Trainer at National Training Academy in Egypt of African Presidential Leadership Program APLP (First Batch).
– Moderator of ‘Youth Inter-African Cooperation for Development’ Preparatory Workshop of World Youth Forum Third Edition 2019
– General Coordinator of Round Table “The Forum Third Edition 2019
– General Coordinator of Round Table “The Nile Valley: The Pathway for Arab African Integration” at Arab and African Youth Platform in Aswan, 2019
– November 2018: General Coordinator of Arab African Summit simulation model; World Youth Forum Second Edition, 2018
– General Coordinator of Model of African Union of World Youth Forum Platform First Edition, 2018
– Bachelor of Arts – Spanish language and Literature Department, 2011
– Diploma in International Negotiations, 2014
– Diploma in Crisis and Conflicts Management in Africa, 2019
The day everything almost fell apart:
After graduation in 2011, I took up work as a pharmacist assistant in order to get myself started in the professional world until hopefully I found a proper job related to my major of study. During this period, I took up many courses and participated in several activities related to political science and international relations and because of this passion, I decided to join a Postgraduate Diploma program in international Negotiations within the Faculty of Economics and Political Science.
I used to go to work in morning and attend the lectures in the evening and despite this being very exhausting, I did not care as I was doing the thing I loved. However, during the time of final exams, my then employer refused to give me days off to focus on and write my exams and he even went as far as telling me that I had to choose between continuing the work and attending my exams.
It was a very hard decision as I was using the salary from the job to cover the financial demands of my courses and studies, but I decided to continue on the path I had started on, left the job to attend my exams and never regretted taking this decision. I got very good grades and I was among the top 10 of this Diploma class. Since then, I dedicated my time and studies to the field I love the most and eventually, I found myself fond of African Studies and everything related to Mama Africa.
This was mostly because after I finished my studies, I started participating in students’ activities in the university, something I did not have the opportunity to do during my studies. I found the Simulation Models so attractive and I was keen to attend them with the beginning for me being the African Union Simulation Model in Cairo University wherein I met active youth from all over Africa.
I felt that there is another part of the world I don’t know anything about and I found myself eager to know more about and explore it. Since then, I dedicated all my efforts to know more about Africa and to connect with my fellows from all over Africa. I just felt that Africa is the homeland where I belong and I have to serve.
From my experience, I learnt that, no matter how many times you fall down, failure itself isn’t wrong, just keep trying and believe in yourself and your capabilities. You can reach whatever you are dreaming of. Don’t allow any person or anything to kill your enthusiasm. Shine bright and keep trying, there is nothing impossible.