I remember the day I met him on a hot afternoon in downtown Rome. His broad smile, strong handshake, and confident tone. “Hi, I’m Mohamed Bakhrieba and I’m a social innovationist.”
Three years on, he’s running a global platform for intercultural dialogue that he launched at the UN Headquarters in New York, and serving as a youth advocate for the UN Millennium Campaign. How did he do it?
“I was volunteering at WHO, and when I attended UN conferences I was always asked the same question: so do you really have oil in your backyards, do you really ride camels to your office? And I thought, people are not understanding enough about each other. We need to create real cultural dialogue”, he says.
So he went to Naples and presented an initiative to promote Arabian culture through its youth. A week later, he was talking about it in TEDex Arabia. “Not many people liked it in Saudi; however, the idea to bridge the Arab youth voices into the western world worked, because a week later I got a call from a production company in Hollywood.”[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaK-dcycg7A]
Back in the KSA, he got an invitation from New York University University and presented himself at the UN with the full-fledged project for International Peace Day. “If you want to get involved with the UN,” he concludes, “you need to interact with its platforms on social media, reach out to its people, and get them to know who you are and what you do.“.