The word congress is originated from the Latin word congressus, which is an off-spring of the word congredi; con- meaning together and -gredi meaning walk, giving us “walk together” or “meet”. And On the 7th and 8th of May, 2017, IEEE’s youth of the GCC got to “walk together” in to the huge halls of Gulf Convention Center, Bahrain, where the first of its kind in the region, IEEE GCC SYP Congress, was held in conjunction with the 9th IEEE-GCC Conference & Exhibition.
It all started when a group of bright individuals being the UOB and KFUPM IEEE student branches, and both the Young Professionals of IEEE Bahrain and Saudi Arabia Sections, decided to join powers and be a part of organizing an event that will gather youth of the area together. Their hard work paid off eventually, when it was time for the event to come through.
The 2-day event was targeted at the students and young professionals of the region but was gladly unbounded by that target. The congress was a welcoming host of more than 300 students and professionals that are focused outside the GCC as well, which added variety to what the congress was offering. It was admirable as well as delightful to see young minds come together to share ideas, success stories, future plans and a lot more with such passion and enthusiasm.
The congress, with open arms, offered a long-awaited platform for youth to engage in conversation and present new ideas that revolve around building a better future and improving the present. Over the two days, attendees also got the chance to participate in organized competitions in the fields of Technology, innovation and Robotics, which all-in-all, displayed excellent technical skills and great sportsmanship.
The congress was also honored to have 2 of the most respected figures in IEEE as guest speakers; The first being the past IEEE R8 Director, Mr. Costas Stasopoulos, and the second being the current R8 Director of IEEE, Ms. Margaretha Eriksson. Both took part in multiple interactive sessions, gladly answered the attendees’ questions and admired the effort put in each individual session.
These were not the only speakers joining us from the R8, as we had multiple sessions being led by R8 representatives. One of the sessions was headed by an R8 SAC representative Mr. George
Papadimitriou, discussing student activities. Another session was entirely about the young professionals and their role and was also headed mainly by another R8 YP representative, Mr. Skander Mansouri.
More than 15 sessions, 3 workshops and 3 competitions took place over the span of the two days. Panel discussions were organized to discuss extremely important topics like women’s role in the field of engineering, entrepreneurship and youth’s participation, which encouraged dialogue and debate from the attendees, which was, what an engineer would call a “desired output.”
Do not be fooled, though. Just like all the workshops and panel discussions took place during the day, social events and dinners took place during the evening hours. Moreover, tours of the country took place in between breaks during morning sessions, to give the attendees of the congress the full experience and to create a friendly air.
The closing ceremony brought many, organizers and attendees, to tears as it was emotional to see all the hard work unfold before their eyes: organizers seeing what they have been working on coming to an end, and participants hearing out competition results.
All of this, of course, would not have been so wonderfully organized if it wasn’t for the organizing team behind the success, headed by Dr. Mohammed Al Muhaini, the congress chairman, under the constant guidance of IEEE veterans like Mr. Muhammad Al Dhamen, Mr. Jaafar Al Ibrahim and Dr Ibrahim Elamin. An appreciative thank you goes out to all who got involved in bringing such an important event about.
Hoping that this IEEE SYP GCC congress has set the way for many to come in the future, bringing our youth together, to work on a better today and an even brighter tomorrow