October 29th, 2019, Dubai (UAE): Team Hope led the winning four-team alliance to a dramatic victory in the grand final of the FIRST Global Challenge 2019 in Dubai. The third edition of the annual robotics competition – the first to be hosted outside the Americas – drew the participation of more than 1,500 students from 191 countries.
Team Hope comprised five Syrian refugee teenagers who are keen to overcome their challenging pasts and help make the world a better place through robotics and artificial intelligence – Maher El Assawi, Ammar Kabbour, Salam Al Farekh, Youssef Shaaban, and Amina Kabbour – and Supervisor Yamen Alnajjar.
Given the context of their inspirational journey to the finals, their victory embodied the team spirit that brought the international community together in a bid to provide technological solutions to the major issues affecting the planet’s marine life under this year’s theme ‘Ocean Opportunities’.
Under the slogan ‘United by Land, Connected by Oceans’, the global youth robotics event resonated with humanity’s wider ambition to motivate people from around the world to clean up our oceans to build a brighter future for our planet.
Hosting a competition with such a crucial ethos at its core underscored the UAE’s message of tolerance, in addition to the underlying philosophy of the FIRST Global Challenge – to provide a global platform for talented young people to leverage the power of collaboration and communication to tackle environmental challenges.
Representing the UAE in the competition was seven-member Team Falcon, including Shawq Saeed Al Dhanhani and Sheikha Ali Al Sreidi from Dibba Al Fujairah Secondary School, as well as Hamad Saeed, Abdullah Jawdat, Abdul Rahman Abdullah, Ghazi Salem, and Mohammed Yasser from Rashid bin Saeed School in Hatta.
Launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and organized by Dubai Future Foundation, the FIRST Global Challenge 2019 in Dubai hosted more than 1,500 students aged 14-18 from 191 countries from October 24 to 27.
About Dubai Future Foundation
Established in 2016 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Future Foundation plays a pivotal role in envisioning and shaping the future of Dubai in collaboration with government and private sector entities from various industries.
The Foundation is mandated to position Dubai as a hub for innovation and a leading city of the future. Its strategic business units comprise Future Foresight, Thought Leadership and Capacity Building, Knowledge Sharing, Prototyping and Accelerating, and Future Experiences.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, once said: “The future is not built on possibilities and numbers but on clarity of vision, planning, action and implementation.” This quote outlines a far-sighted approach for the Foundation that places future readiness at the core of its operations.
About the FIRST Global Challenge
The FIRST Global Challenge invites all nations to send their teams to compete in its robotics Olympics that take place in a different country every year, themed around the greatest challenges facing our planet, including the 14 Grand Challenges of Engineering identified by the US National Academy of Engineering. Each year, a different challenge takes center stage in a bid to foster understanding and cooperation among young people as they use their abilities to solve the world’s problems. The issues facing global society need to be solved, and the next generation can fulfill the task – together.