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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.