Bits and Bytes
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Bits and Bytes
Hippie or not
Over three years ago, I mate a young man, from the same community, I always found thing strange in his behaviour and character, which made me feel uncomfortable.
Since then, I was trying to figure out, which group he may fit in, he looked like a care free person, long hair, I realized he has a Hippie character, don‘t ask me, I just sense it.
The question is, are their Hippies in the Arab world or not?
Bits and Bytes
I believe that his father is behind this charade, which has been planned very well.
He may have tipped him of to create diversions of the world from Osama’s 'the Terrorist' to sympathise with his son 'the victim' of his father’s sins (that he kills innocents for the name of Islam), who was once covering his daddy’s back in Afghan and supporting Talibaan with their manly and primitive thoughts by the name of Islam.
His side of the story
One of the world's largest international organisations for students, AISEC, is all set to start operations in Oman with an innovative foreign internship programme.
At 19, Saqib Khan is like any other student within the Majan College premises in Muttrah but for one thing. Come February next year this third year student of computer networking will be off to Keio in Japan for a three-month internship with Kiban, a technology company dealing with e-commerce. Saqib, will be the first person rom Oman to go on an internship arranged by the international youth organisation AIESEC.
He will be the first of many hundred more young people from the sultanate who will be off in the coming years on an exchange programme that opens the doors for Omani youth to develop their skills abroad. At the same time, AIESEC’s programme will offer local busines-ses a chance to tap into an international talent pool especially for temporary roles.
“At the moment, AIESEC, with 32,000 active members, is present in more than 108 countries and territories around the world. We have a deep history in the Middle East-North Africa region, dating back to the 1960s,” said Brett Borkan, director of business development, AIESEC official extension to Oman.
“With student chapters in Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Jordan, Iran, Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Oman is logically the next step in our efforts,” he added.
Although AIESEC has been present in Oman for some time now, their official launch is expected to take place at year-end. The organisation itself, which is run entirely by students and recent graduates of higher education, was launched 60 years ago in 1948 in Stockholm with just seven member countries.
The aim was to promote peaceful relations between these seven nations in a world fresh out World War II. In its first year the then fledgling organisation arranged 89 traineeships. Interestingly enough, many of these early internship exc-hange programmes were between France and Germany, a country that had occupied much of France during the war.
But how does all this make a difference to people in Oman? Kenneth MacFarlane, senior country partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), which is AIESEC’s global partner and also its local partner in the sultanate, has this to say. “PWC absorbs around ten Omanis into its permanent staff each year.
The main attraction for me is to get Omanis on outbound internships where they can gain international exposure,” he expl-ained, adding that this would help build a young national workforce that would come armed with knowledge of how things work outside their own country.
MacFarlane’s argument is vindicated by the views of inbound interns who are already working in Oman. “I have already worked with PWC in Mexico City. I wanted to see how the firm operated elsewhere so that I could learn about its global operation methods,” said 25-year-old Rebeca Rubi Alvarado, a student of accounting from Mexico. Yet, the idea of overseas internships is not the only attraction for AIESEC’s members.
A non-profit global organisation run like a business house, it gives its members the opportunity to try their hand at being professionals before even exiting the academic world. “Firstly, I enjoy the sense of responsibility that comes with being a key member of the organisation. Secondly, as the vice-president of marketing, I get practice in reality what I learn in the confines of the classroom,” said Hasna Sultan, who recently graduated from the Modern College of Business and is the vice- president of marketing for AIESEC’s local committee in Bausher.
For Rashad al Jamali, president, local committee, Bausher, AIESEC, it was the whole professional aura of its members that drew him in. “I got to know about AIESEC when Brett and a friend were promoting the organisation in our college. At the time I thought the whole thing seemed a lot more professional than anything else,” he said.
Since then Rashad has attended two international AIESEC conferences, one in Bahrain and another in Tunisia, and the only thing that he thinks could be a deterrent to more people joining the organisation is the need for time management. “It can get difficult to manage time on occasion, especially during exams,” he said, adding that he would nevertheless recommend becoming a member.
Meanwhile Saqib’s initial excitement about going to Japan has given way to apprehensions about the change in environment. “Language is probably going to be a big problem. Unlike in Oman where most people speak in English, everything in Japan is in Japanese,” he explained, adding with a nervous smile, “And I don’t know a syllable of Japanese.” According to 26-year-old Kristina Mader, a student of finance and tax audit from Germany, the only way to get over such apprehensions is to take the plunge and find out what the situation on the ground is really like rather than depend on second hand experience or the opinions of others.
“Back home, everyone has a negative opinion of the Middle East region because of what they read or see in the media. But no one really knows what things are like here. Only after coming here do you realise that not all of the Middle East is a conflict zone,” she said.
Besides, according to Adriana Marinaro, senior manager, assurance/business advisory services, PWC, being an AIESEC member might even work out in your favour when it comes to employment.
“Having AIESEC on your CV immediately communicates that you are more likely to be a dedicated employee,” said Adriana, who was a member of the organisation for three years and is now coordinating PWC’s activities with AIESEC in Oman. So, does being a member of AIESEC mean a ticket to overseas internships, fancy designations and an easier route to a job? Not quite. “You could either choose to be a passive member or someone who is actively involved. Most people who benefit from their time as AIESEC members are the latter,” said Adriana.
After all you get what you give. Email BrettB@aiesecom.org or log on to www.aiesec.org for more details
H E Dr abdullah al sarmi undersecretary, ministry of higher education, speaks to THEWEEK
What will AIESEC be able to accomplish for Oman and its youth?
AIESEC, the world’s largest international student organisation and the second largest organisation registered with the United Nations (UN), has taken recent steps in a bold initiative to bring new human development opportunities to the youth in the Arab region.
In Oman, AIESEC will work with higher education institutions to give students the opportunity to participate in its empowering programmes. These would offer students the chance to participate in conferences with youth from across the region and the world and in skills training from local and global businesses in Oman.
In addition, they will help develop a sense of community and giving back through cultural programmes; foster a greater understanding of what is happening in the Omani society and in the world. What exactly is the ministry’s role in the establishment of AIESEC in Oman?
The ministry has already liaised with the government sectors involved in this regard. AIESEC is now registered in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, as an independent body, and can exercise its functions, one of which is to sponsor visits of inbound interns to Oman.
The ministry has also encouraged public and private higher education institutions to participate and contribute with AIESEC in order to activate its noble functions. What sets AIESEC’s internship programme apart from others? The exchange programme will open the doors for Omani youth to develop their skills in any of the countries where AIESEC currently operates, and at the same time give Omani businesses the chance to access an international talent pool to fulfill their business needs in temporary roles while building future local capacity.
The question is:
We'll see the next four years of his career as a President of the United States.
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