Global Citizenship in Saudi Arabia
In light of the challenging global context, the importance of global citizenship emerges, raising important questions about the status and position of the Kingdom. But what is Global Citizenship and how can Saudi youth play an active role in representing the Kingdom?
Global Citizenship is defined as a mindset of someone who is aware of and understands the wider world – and their place in it. They are a citizen of the world. Global citizenship is a key aspect of promoting sustainable development as it allows individuals to embrace their social responsibility to act for the benefit of all societies, not just their own.
Youth are the main pillar of global citizenship and in this episode of Anan, Mr. Othman Almoamar, Chair of the Y’20, refers to youth and their important role as ambassadors of the Kingdom to achieve Vision 2030. You can do this active participation in international forums where they represent Saudi and share their voices to be heard by global decision-makers.
Citizenship is not a new concept in the Kingdom
Although the term global citizenship seems new, this concept has been applied in the Kingdom for a long time, as Dr. Hamad Aldraye, the Saudi youth delegate in the Y’20, stated. “Saudi citizens were raised on global citizenship, whether by promoting a culture of patriotism and nationalism, or through the Kingdom’s assistance and cooperation with neighboring countries throughout its history.”
Aldraye asserts that the presence of this concept in the Kingdom helped strengthen its position in global citizenship, qualifying Saudi youth to be able to represent the Kingdom globally, and contribute to finding solutions to the challenges facing the world.
Education and global citizenship
Education is a fundamental pillar of global citizenship, therefore, it is possible to understand the extent to which Saudis have achieved global citizenship by first understanding the education landscape in the Kingdom.
Professor Yusr Alotaibi, Head Delegate of Saudi Arabia Y’20, asserts that the Kingdom has come a long way in the educational process in a very short amount of time. Alotaibi also indicates that the education model in the Kingdom cannot be compared to any other model in the world because of its recentness.
Saudi youth as global citizens
Alotaibi believes that all Saudi youth are global citizens, because their strong presence digitally has connected them to the rest of the world, making them attuned to what is happening elsewhere and their place in the global context.
Here, Alotaibi refers to the speed of digital transformation in the Kingdom, and the speed of youth response to this transformation, and she expects, based on these indicators, that the Kingdom will be one of the most prominent countries in the world in digital global citizenship, which is considered the next stage of the concept of global citizenship.
Advice for the youth
Given youth are the basis for the change that is taking place in the Kingdom and the world, Othman Almoamar advised young people to contribute to shaping the future, stressing that “the best way to predict the future is to create it yourself, so it is important for young people to be proactive.”
Similarly, Aldraye sent a message to the youth that they should be well prepared to represent Saudi Arabia in international forums, because their presence in these places is a great responsibility. He advised that they prepare effectively for these, by conducting research, ensuring they have the relevant information and a clear intention to help solve global challenges.
Alotaibi’s advice was for Saudi youth, as global citizens, uphold their responsibility to continuously learn, acquire the necessary skills, adhere to the values of society, and have an open mind when engaging with others from around the world.