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Prof Dr. Ismail Serageldin

Young people are often doubted for their lack of experience and naiveness. Yet, little do most of us know that there are in fact numerous major achievements and substantial changes in the recorded history of human civilization initiated by youths, stated Egyptian intellectual and world-caliber scholar Dr. Ismail Serageldin at “Youth Led Development” talk on Sampoerna University campus, Jakarta, on Wednesday (4/25/2019).

“We’ve seen many historical figures from Alexander the Great to Napoleon Bonaparte who made history while they were just in their 20s. In the 21st century, we witness the rise of even more young statesmen, innovators and leaders from around the world,” said Dr. Serageldin who is internationally known for his contributions to the development of literacy, knowledge, culture, and science.

“It’s ‘simple’ for youths like you to change the world. Each of you should just pursue your dreams,” he replied when asked what young people can do to change the world to be a better place to live.

He shared his eye-opening insights on youth-led movements with the audience consisting of students from not only Sampoerna University but also several other universities in Jakarta and its greater area.

Born in 1944 in Gyza, Egypt, Serageldin himself is a living proof of his own words. Having grown a profound interest in reading and knowledge since his tender age, Dr. Serageldin founded and Bibliotheca Alexandrina which is a brand-new library of Alexandria and led the library before he retired.

He once held many international positions, such as Vice President of the World Bank (1993–2000). For all his outstanding merits, he has received many accolades, from the first recipient of Grameen Foundation (USA) Award for a lifetime commitment to combating poverty in 1999 to Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters awarded by the government of France in 2003. (*/)