Empowering young people

Many young Egyptians want to speak out about the cultural and political issues affecting their lives,  but may lack the opportunity or know-how.

That’s not the case with our Young Arab Voices programme, which aims to equip young Egyptians with the skills and confidence to speak up and be heard.


Partnering with the Anna Lindh Foundation – an organisation tied into the 43 governments of the Union for the Mediterranean – and working in co-operation with the education and civil society sectors, the work of our programme is based on setting up debating clubs and organising debating forums involving diverse groups of young people. Its objectives are:

  • increasing young people’s skills for public debate 
  • providing platforms for youth from diverse backgrounds to meet and exchange views 
  • providing targeted support for young bloggers, enabling them to bridge the gap between virtual and public space.


In the programme’s first and second year, Young Arab Voices supported more than 9,000 Egyptians from across 17 governorates to debate the social and political issues of their choice.

We trained 453 young people in debating skills, and ran 27 debates.

"I gained a lot of confidence from learning the skills of debating and it also pushed me to say what I really think… It would have been a success even before the revolution, but now we can really grab people’s attention and talk about what we want" - Hadia Mohamed, Young Arab Voice

Watch participants in the British Council’s Young Arab Voices project confidently discuss international affairs with three of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders.

“I have been very impressed by the level of participation by young people involved in this encounter. Young Arab Voices is a great example of the way youth can be connected through different countries and I think it would be good to have such structural ways for the voices of young people to be heard here in Egypt.” - Mary Robinson of The Elders. Find out more about Mary on The Elders website.