Pakistan to host first ever International Youth Conference and Festival

Quilliam’s sister organisation Khudi and events firm Miradore Productions, in collaboration with the Pakistani Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, are proud to announce democratic Pakistan’s first ever International Youth Conference and Festival (IYCF) to be held in Islamabad on December 6-9, 2010.

A staggering 62% of Pakistan’s population is under 24 years old. Poor prospects for social mobility and jobs make them highly susceptible to the propaganda of extremist groups. Pakistan’s youth also have little face-to-face contact with foreign cultures. Together these and other factors have created a suspicion of all things ‘foreign’, a vulnerability to conspiracy theories and a growing isolation from the world. At the same time, people from the rest of the world have highly negative impressions of Pakistan, meaning that this ‘us and them’ mindset is becoming stronger on all sides.

To begin reversing such trends, for the very first time, 300 young people from Pakistan and around the world will gather in Islamabad to bridge this gap of understanding and to work together. Through events, talks and workshops with an action and results-based focus, attendees will learn how young people worldwide can work together to create positive social change.

International speakers from Google, YouTube and Facebook will be sharing how technology platforms can be used by the audience of seasoned international activists and the best of Pakistan’s up and coming talent to produce a unique opportunity for young Pakistanis to learn, network and be inspired. The inaugural address will be given by the Pakistani Minister for Information.

Khudi founder Maajid Nawaz said:

“Khudi is Pakistan’s first youth-led Social Movement set up to challenge extremism and promote democratic culture inside Pakistan through civic action. Khudi aims to build civil society capacity and resilience against extremist narratives by organising and facilitating disparate Pakistani youth-led democracy initiatives under a more unified and coherent umbrella. Key to Khudi’s success is our use of former Islamists to warn against the dangers of extremist ideologies.

“In partnership with events-firm Miradore Productions, Khudi is proud to be part of Pakistan’s first ever International Youth Conference and Festival. It is hoped that this event will take place on a yearly basis in order to contribute to the process of re-invigorating Pakistan both at home and abroad as an aspiring democratic country striving to advance itself against all odds. Where better to start than with 62% of Pakistan’s population – the youth”.

For further information email [email protected] or call +92 301 822 0899/+92 305 555 5370


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