G9 – Week 1

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Day 1
Sunday, June 30th
Location: Chairman’s club, KIPCO tower
The protégés candidates were welcomed and seated at the chairman’s club. They started their journey by writing a letter to their future selves, something they’d like to read in ten or even more years! After that, the annual picture of the new generation took place. Furthermore, mentors and chancellors were introduced, code of conduct was read thoroughly. Then, they played a couple of icebreakers for them to get to know themselves and each other more. 

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Day 2
Monday, July 1st
Location: AUK, Auditorium
The day started with Mentor Rana explaining and discussing the importance and basic understanding of business ethics. She went on to use distinct ways of getting the message across. A presentation followed by implementation via the ‘snakes and ladders’ game. Prior to the game, each team had their own case presentation in which they went up and presented their arguments and ideas. The game ended with the first team (peaky blinders) by answering the questions fastest and reaching the final goal of the snakes and ladders game.

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Day 3
Tuesday, July 2nd
Location: KIPCO tower
The love map! The day started with the candidates sharing their own definitions of love. It went on with mentor Yarub explaining what a love map is and the importance behind it. So, what is a love map? Each candidate had their own large poster where they mapped out the things they loved. With that poster, they had a variety of their interests on paper, some of the candidates were even surprised to witness that they loved more things than they thought. It’s amazing how adding simple loved things to our daily life can change the way we perceive our outcomes. 

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Day 4
Date: Wednesday, July 3rd
Location: AUK, Auditorium
The fourth day started with an introductory talk from the head of relations in Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, KPC, Mr. Jamal Al-Sanousi. He made sure to mention many times that they’re here for the candidates and all their needs, hoping to see our students working hard for their dreams individually and as a group. After Mentor Rana’s praise to Mr. Jamal, the students spent the rest of their day with her and a very exciting session about talent discovery. They each got to understand themselves more. Mentor Rana focused on how each of them are in total control of their timeline in life and the importance of following their instincts. She also pointed out that it’s okay not to abide by the rules of a typical society. 

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Day 5
Date: Thursdsay, July 4th
Location: AUK, Auditorium
Artistic piece of you. The day started with a brief presentation by Ms.Mariam Al-Omani, explaining what the candidates will be doing during the session. This was followed by some physical exercises and imaginary movements to enhance their productivity. Then they moved onto the main part of the session: performing a play. This included splitting the candidates into teams based on their abilities and interests. The five teams were filmmaking, acting, writing, musical and artistic teams. The candidates were asked to decide on each aspect of the play, practicing their roles and documenting behind the scenes in a 2 minute video.

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Day 6
Date: Saturday, July 6th
Location: Elevation burger – Bidae,  AUK, Auditorium
Our first weekend together in G9 was welcomed by the Elevation team. The students spent an interesting session with Mr.Abdulaziz Al-Turaiji and Ms.Mona Nusaiba, who both were kind enough to explain the role of their team in the proteges and how happy they are to be our sponsor for the 5th time this year. They overviewed the business market in Kuwait and what they added to it. And after enjoying a nice meal at Al-Bidae branch, the students enjoyed a drama therapy session with our own Mentor Fatma Al-Qadfan. The session explained the concept of drama therapy and its effects. With each acting activity, students started opening up and learned how to be more expressive. 

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G9 – Week 3

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Day 1 – Critical Thinking with Amani AlBidah.
Date: Sunday, July 14th
Location: Kuwait Fund

Critical thinking was just that, critical.  Dr. Amani took the students on a journey, a journey that demonstrated how we take in information, filter it, and end up believing it. She first started off by demonstrating to the students the relationship between the information we are exposed to through modern media, and our tendencies to over think. Dr. Amani demonstrated how in this age the amount of information we are open to is overwhelming, and is increasing in a staggering degree.

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With this overwhelming amount of information, it is important that we think critically of what is presented in front of us. To be able to question, understand, and filter what we take in and what we leave out. We dived deep into concepts such as fallacies, biases, facts, and how to distinguish between the three. We further conceptualised the ideas by debating our points of view on a certain matter.

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This debate allowed us to express our opinions, but more importantly to understand that others have their own opinions as well, and are sometimes just as valid to them as an individual.


 

Day 2 – Project Brainstorming
Date: Monday, July 15
Location: AUK Auditorium

The project. Year after year the project has been an important element in The Proteges program. It’s an essential part and learning point for every generation. The project phase of the program gives the students a chance to put all their teachings into practice. It gives them a chance to be frustrated, put under pressure, to discuss, debate, share ideas, and learn from their mistakes as a group. Those moments of struggle and confusion translate into moments of joy in the future. They look back at it and get nostalgic. Those moments of struggle end up being the most important moments of the program.

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This year’s project ended up differently than the past years. Before we used to give students the choice for their project. This year the mentors let the students know that the project idea itself has little significance. Everyone has ideas, everyone has an aspiration for something they want to achieve, what’s important however is the implementation of these ideas. This year, the mentors gave them a choice for a couple of ideas, and the students had to implement it and make it a reality. This gave students a chance to get into the trenches and dive right into the project. This day was full of surprises, a lot of debate and talks, and officially the project was given the green light.


 

Day 3 – Music Day
Date: Tuesday, July 16
Location: AUK Auditorium

Music has a way of inspiring us in ways that are beyond comprehension. It’s a delegate expression of art. It has the ability to deliver an image, a story, an emotion in an impactful way. Music day has and will always be an important part of the program. But what goes behind the music we produce? What is the process that a piece of music goes through for us to listen to it? This was discussed in the first part of the session. Mentor Mohammad AlMunaikh and Rotana executive director Mohammad AlHajri dived deep into the music industry. What goes on behind closed doors, what is the difference between a star, and someone who plays music. Mohammad AlHajri gave us as much details as generation cloud could handle, getting into the details of the different seasons the music industry goes through, the geography behind concerts and the legal aspect of owning a piece of music.

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Onto part two of the day. A surprise from Bahrain showed up to The Proteges. Generation 9 have been hearing about him all week. They listened to his interviews, they enjoyed his pieces of music, Mohammad AlHajri himself talked about him being on another level in the music industry, and that he is a teacher we should learn from. Anticipations were high. Expectations were high. The bar was set high. The surprise was Mr. Khaled Alshaikh, and we can easily say he exceeded expectations by miles away. It’s one thing to hear a person express his talents through music or art, but when you see them in their raw form. When you hear there moments of struggle, when you listen to them share their moments of vulnerability, the things they went through, it gives a person a new found appreciation for them. Mr. Khaled Alshaiekh was interviewed by one of our own, mentor Abdulaziz Alloughane, and we listened to Khaled AlShiekh talk about the importance of fighting for your dreams, and that often, the fight itself is an important aspect of reaching your dreams. Afterwards, some students had a chance to showcase their singing skills in front of him.

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Day 4 – TAPathon
Date: Wednesday, July 17
Location: TAP HQ

“By the time you reach perfection, it’s not perfect anymore”
– Ali Abulhasan

When you first walk into TAP’s HQ, and meet some of the people working there you immediately know that this is a company that operates on such a high level. You see that from the authenticity, dedication, honesty, and hospitality of the communication between the people there. The day started off with TAP co-founder and CEO Ali Abulhasan talking about his experience with entrepreneurship, and the framework required to look at the challenges we face in the business world. His words spoke magnitude. He talked, we listened, and we were in awe as he spoke of concepts that showed us what it means to be an entrepreneur. Mr. Ali talked about failure being a necessary part of success, and that it should be expected, learned from, and repeated.

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The floor was then given to Ms. Zeynab Akouri. She split generation 9 into groups and each was given a task to complete. The goal of these tasks was explained later. The tasks were challenging and required it to be done in a timely manner. Afterwards Ms. Zeynab explained how these tasks were meant to test their critical thinking skills, their communication skills, and it demonstrated the importance of working as a team.

Ms. Zeynab’s last 20 minutes with us was an important part of the day. She spoke to the students about her experiences in regards to her career. The emotional ups and downs, the frustration that comes from failure, the importance of humility in the face of adversity, and to understand oneself.

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Day 5 – Elevation
Date: Thursday, July 18
Location: Elevation – Albidea

Elevation has been an important part of the program, as in generation 9 experienced important moments in their AlBidea branch. On this day, the students were met with the usual,  hospitality and kindness from the elevation team, who served us food, and opened their branch for the students. They provided us with some giveaways for our trip, we had lunch, and then went over details about the trip with the mentors and chancellors. The trip was hours away, and this meeting gave a chance for the students to ask their questions and concerns, and for mentors and chancellors to put in place some guidelines moving forward.

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Week 2

DAY 7
Sunday, July 7th
Location: Chairman’s club, KIPCO tower
The new generation spent a session full of tips and tricks on how to build up their charisma. They started their day with Mentor Yarub Burhama, where they discussed a variety of famous personals and how influential they were because of their unique traits. He pointed out that it’s okay not to follow the idea of perfection and to not trust the superficial information. His session was followed by a surprise visit from Dr.Bassam Al-Jazzaf. He spent such an interesting couple of hours with the students, talked about his experience in life and what are the 30 traits that make a person charismatic. His session was packed with useful information for everyone attending. Students were excited to find how many of these traits they currently have. 

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Day 8
Monday, July 8th
Location: Kuwait Fund
Welcomed by Kuwait fund, all students were seated in a beautiful hall with amazing set up and sound system! They welcomed Ms.Rana Al-Rushaid  which was the guest speaker of the day with the topic of Design thinking. Throughout the session they got exposed to what design thinking was, it’s main concept, implements and how it could affect our lives. Examples of successful companies using “design thinking” inspired many students and made it easier to understand. The session included many fun activities that were eye opening. During the break, students got to enjoy delicious food and mingled around.

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Day 9
Tuesday, July 9th
Location: Coded
Today marks our first day in our bootcamp in CODED! The day went in a very interesting way, considering that most of the students were not familiar with coding and technical work. The place’s environment was very helpful, it can be easily described with cozy and friendly. G9 spent half of their session learning how to develop their own websites and the other half doing it. Each student incorporated their ideas and passion to the website they created, it wasn’t easy, but most students were up to the challenge and succeeded with a big smile on their faces. Also, with the amazing snacks provided by our host, our new generation was constantly energized and ready to give more!

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Day 10
Wednesday, July 10th
Location: Coded
The second day of our coding bootcamp and another day full of opportunities and experiences at CODED! Our students spent another day learning how to code more of themselves in the websites they created the previous day. There is no denying that it was hectic, but most candidates did incredibly great! And of course we can’t deny the huge help they got from the CODED team, they were more than delighted to explain and help with every bit of info. And as our students carved their way through a new topic like “coding”, snacks and good vibes came to their way. The day ended with ten short presentations, each one was about a random student talking about what they did and why they did it regarding their websites. 

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Day 11
Thursday, July 11th
Location: Diyar United company – Coded
The day started with a session at Diyar United Company. A beautiful two hour session was conducted by Mr.Ahmad Al-Marouf about Technology, our values, and the world to come. The session was full of valuable information and interesting stories. It sure captivated the students attention and kept them thinking.
The day then continued at coded for our final session of boot camp! It was Tech day presented by Mr.Hashim Behbahani. Tech day included all the basic tools and essentials to help start up a tech company. The session kept building up and they were then surprised with a business pitch competition. Students then split up to 6 groups, worked on coming up with an idea, developing it and finally pitching it. They were all super creative and passionately fought for their ideas. Judges  invested their “fake” money in the ideas presented. It was an exciting challenge for both the students and the judging panel!

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Day 12
Saturday, July 14th
Location: Elevation Burger – AUK
The last day of our second week ended strong! G9 was welcomed by the elevation team where they started off their day with a session by Ms.Danah Hamadah. She was curious to know about their highlights so far in the program, and the students were amazingly interactive with her. Then, the candidates were divided into 5 groups, each had their turn to go for a kitchen tour. It was an enlightening, fun experience, and the elevation team was kind enough to answer all questions afterwards. They were impressed by how clean the Kitchen was and the workflow of the employees.  After that, G9 were surprised by a visit from the ambassador of Australia. He expressed how hopeful he is in the new generation and wished them good luck in the direction they choose for themselves and their country. And after a delicious meal at elevation, the students headed to AUK to complete the rest of the sessions planned. They started with a session about the Business model canvas by Ms.Noura Al-Askar.  They worked in groups to fill it and build their business.
The day ended with their presentations of the (1 KD challenge!). It was judged by both Mentor Rana Al-Khaled and Mentor Eman Al-Reshaid. Each student had their unique idea presented and they were all impressed by the ideas of their peers. 

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Generation 8 – Day 37

The day started off with something Kuwait is very famous for: oil. The Candidates met at Ahmed Al Jaber oil and Gas exhibition for an exclusive tour in collaboration with Kuwait Petroleum Company. Generation 8 learned about Kuwait’s oil history, KPC history and the process of oil extraction to its different usage. The tour ended at the gift shop and a group picture with KPC and KOC representatives.

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Later on the day Generation 8 met with one of The Proteges program continuous supporter over the past years; Tap payments. The Candidates had the chance to sit with Mr. Ali Abulhassan who is the CEO at Tap Payments. Mr. Ali welcomed the Candidates at his office and spoke about how Tap started as a startup and evolved over the past years. Mr. Ali explained to Generation 8 how to setup an online business and he focused on Tap payment services and the kind of different payment solutions offered by them. He also touched on the benefits of online payments for all type of businesses not only in Kuwait but in the region. And in the end Tap payments team surprised Generation 8 with a cake wishing the Candidates the best of luck on their upcoming journey for the next 96 days which is their project phase.

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Generation 8 – Day 36

Generation 8 met at American University of Kuwait to present their findings after Mentor Rana Al Khaled’s “If the walls can speak” activity. According to the presentations, the Candidates were very inspired by the walls that they would usually not look at. For example, they noticed how people used these walls to express their feelings through graffiti, as well as mark their presence as tribes using numbers. Each group presented a unique presentation of its areas and each presentation ended with a great discussion with Mentor Rana.

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There comes a point in every generation where the previous generations passes down their most valuable project advices. Today, was the day when five previous generations gave Generation 8 their top advices for their upcoming project based on their past experiences. The day included presentations from “RAH” Generation 3, “Concrete conversation” Generation 4,”Raqsh” Generation 5, “key of Life” Generation 6 and “Kamalah”. All alumni spoke about their project’s idea development, implementation, communication and much more. Generation 8 wrote down all critical information presented to them for future use during their project phase.

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Generation 8 – Day 35

Today was the first session back in Kuwait for The Proteges after their delightful journey in Swansea. They were divided into groups for Mentor Rana’s “If walls can speak” activity. Each group was assigned about 10 different cities, totaling up to more than 50 cities in Kuwait with variable areas. It seemed like a very simple task at the beginning; however, after hours of taking pictures of the walls, and a huge effort to observe patterns in paintings and graffiti Generation 8 were amazed about how much was hidden in those walls.

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Some groups found out that those walls were an ancient form of communication and identification between Kuwaiti tribes. As well as, the paintings portrayed images from ancient Kuwait such as old cutlery, tool and oil extraction methods. The next part of the task is for the students to present their findings in a few days in their own creative ways to Mentor Rana.

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Generation 8 – Last day in Swansea

Last day in Swansea at Rhossili Bay where Generation 8 had some time off to enjoy the beautiful beach and pure weather before starting their session with Carreg Adventure about the “Art of Storytelling”. They were divided into groups and had to collect elements from Mother Nature to create a story on the sand and let the Mentors guess the story from the beginning till the end. The task was successful and all of them used their brilliant creative minds to blow their teammates and Mentors minds.

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Then it was time to head back to the mansion for lunch and the last session in Swansea with Mentors Yarub Burhamah and Rana Al Khaled, called “Hope for the Flowers”. Emotional moments were shared with the group, learning that nothing comes easy and patience always gets rewarded.

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Finally, after packing the Mentors, Chancellors and Generation 8 shared their last dinner in Swansea and right after that, gathered around a bonfire to reflect and express their feelings on their journey. Mentors have decided to write a letter for each one of them putting their thoughts together in one paper. A letter that will last with them forever.

At 1am the mansion was empty, everyone was on their way to London Heathrow to catch their flight back to Kuwait. There were mix emotions within the group who spent the last 10 days together. However a new phase for Generation 8 will start upon their arrival to Kuwait to apply what they have learnt throughout this unforgettable experience.

 

 

Generation 8 – Day 33

Today was in collaboration with Ooredoo, The Proteges Generation 8 Telecom Partner. On the road to Cardiff to visit the Senedd – National Assembly of Wales and the Millennium Centre. A cultural day away from the countryside to discover the capital. Next stop was the Cultural Centre of Wales; where the Candidates were taken in to a tour around the theatre. Starting with the backstage, the tour guide explained how backstage operates and the reason for having ultra high ceilings. They then took the Candidates to the grand theatre, and they allowed them to explore the acoustic walls, and understand how performers perform without a microphone and how sound travels in the room. It was such a great experience for Generation 8.

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Next stop was at the Castle of Cardiff where the staff presented to the group the Bad Wolf studio where couple of movies have been filmed such as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who. Generation 8 visited the studios and the impressive parts of the castle. The Candidates walked into the dungeon that is only accessed by VIP guests. It was 4 stories low, and it was the location of where most of Doctor Who’sset was present. The Candidates were in awe because of the mystic atmosphere and the medieval feeling.

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The day ended with a talk with Ms. Sara Al Qabandi from Ooredoo, who honored us at the mansion to spend some days with the Generation 8. She explained what Corporate Social Responsibility is, and what is Ooredoo’s role in this sector. Ms. Sara then allowed the Candidates to ask questions about how it is working in a corporate private company. She enjoyed answering them questions, and wrapped up the by giving advices about allowing oneself to explore their talents, and never stop. The sun has set, everyone is ready to rest to wake up in the early morning of the last day in Swansea.

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Generation 8 – Small and Big Moments

Orange juice, cereal, and warm pain au chocolate is served! Generation 8 are ready to kick start the day. Today was in collaboration with United Real Estate Company, the Candidates started the day by developing and strategizing their project. Creativity, and leadership were all over the place, scrapping on paper and interviewing their fellow mates to place each candidate in the appropriate group. Then the Candidates met with Ms. Ola Al Fares, everyone sat in a native American tent. Cozy, warm, and perfect for a deep conversation. Ms. Ola started talking about her journey of success, how she convinced her family into letting her kick start her career in journalism, and be a journalist on TV. She shared a part where she said that she had to sleep in the car because of the delayed salary, and didn’t want to ask her family to send her an allowance in order to show them that she can depend on herself. All Candidates were in awe about what one would do for the things they love, and how much the price of success cost, and it’s not necessarily monetary. Ms. Ola was a great success example, as she had developed herself into becoming a very influential person.

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Furthermore, Generation 8 enjoyed playing a game with the Mentors, it was Q&A, and every answer is accompanied with an action. For example, some students had to sing their answer. The dynamic and atmosphere were exquisite, and a great bonding time.
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Then the Candidates moved to a sentimental session with Mentor Shamlan called Small and Big Moments. It explained to the Candidates how to enjoy small moments, how to remember scents in order to remember beautiful memories. Small moments such as watching sunsets in a garden, sitting around bonfire, friends laughs, celebrations, and so on. Generation 8 were engaged in a surprising, beautiful way, sharing their feelings and experiences, which made the session much more influential. The session wrapped up with a surprise, which was considered as a “Big Moment” it was a British choir singing songs for the Candidates. Everyone was in awe including the Mentors to the point tears were coming down from happiness. The beauty and the sentimental atmosphere added a big value to memory keeping for Generation 8 to never forget this moment. After the choir, dinner was served, the sun has set, and everyone was taking off for the next day.

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Generation 8 – Day 31

Early birds stayed in the mansion this morning to attend a session given by Mentor Rana Al Khaled about  Talent Discovery; where they had to explore themselves, reflect on their passion and find who they truly are. After having lunch, the whole group jumped in the bus to drive straight to YMCA theater of Swansea where they performed their playback in front of  live audience. The Candidates have been training for this performance for the past 4 weeks and they impressed the public including the Mentors. Success is driven by hard work, and that is certainly the motto of Generation 8 who truly gave everything on stage.

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We were glad to have Ms. Abeer Al Omar, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at KIPCO, who honored us by her presence. After the play, the University rewarded The Proteges Mentors to whom we would like to extend our appreciation and gratefulness.

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Once back at the mansion, a surprise guest was waiting for the Candidates to continue celebrating the success of their performance. Our guest came all the way from Los Angeles to spend time with Generation 8, who were extremely happy to welcome Ms. Ola Al Fares. She will be spending the upcoming two days at the mansion to share her inspiring life experience. The Candidates shared with Ms. Ola Al Fares some delightful moments of their journey in The Proteges and the experiences they have been through until today.

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The day ended up quietly in the mansion, dark light, candles and bonfire to meditate and reflect on the Candidates’ inner evolvement during the program.