Here We Start – Issue #55

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Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Artwork by Maryam Zainal (@Maryam_Zainal)

Those who know me personally know that last month I was honored to be chosen as a delegate to the 51st International Achievement Summit. And like all the other delegates and myself before we started the program, it would be safe to say, no one really knew what was this all about, because it’s not one of those summits that you hear all the media frenzy around. So what is it all about?

The International Achievement Summit is hosted by The Academy of Achievement, which was started by Brian Reynolds in 1961, and was later taken over by his son Wayne Reynolds and his wife Catherine Reynolds who carry on Brian’s vision as their own. Brian Reynolds was a freelance photographer for many established publications such as: Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, and many more. Part of his job was to take pictures of many great personalities who have changed our current times, from scientists, Nobel Prize Laureates, to sports athletes, authors, diplomats, presidents, and many more. He realized that those people have much more to offer than just what is being reported on them in the news, and more importantly, the younger generations ought to hear those people’s journey directly from them to be able to make a difference in their own lives. And so he started the summit, to bring the exceptional graduates and the youth who have achieved something significant, together in one place with figures and role models of our current time, people who have changed life as we know it.

There are some key elements in the way the summit is structured that I respected dearly. The first element was that as a delegate, I was in once place with people like Dr. Jim Watson who received the Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of the DNA in the 50s, Dr. Robert Leftkowitz who received the Nobel Prize for discovering receptors in the body that reacts to medication and accordingly shifted the medication industry in the 80s, to Carol Burnett who paved the way for many women into the comedy industry, to George Locus the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones film series and many more amazing figures for this year’s summit. Names that didn’t just make it in the past few years, names that aren’t particularly popular, names most of which don’t exist on social media and don’t care about a following count, yet names that has changed our lives without us even knowing it. To quote the Academy on the importance of this: “Such personal encounters send an enormously powerful message to the youth raised in a world that so often values the superficial and ephemeral over the monumental and enduring.”

Those amazing figures talked with us in the summit’s symposiums and roundtable discussions about their journeys, and the universal message across all of them through out their different industries is: you will fail, you will be rejected, and you will fail many more times, but you have to keep working hard and believe in what you do, and one day, the success will be on your side. When you hear such message from such figures, you can’t but feel humbled by everything they’ve been through, and be filled with an amazing since of hope and inspiration.

And the last great point I’d like to bring up about the summit is how isolated it is from the media frenzy. Unlike our events that are crazy about media coverage before and after the events, this summit kept away from all that for all those years to maintain the value and quality of what it produces. So people don’t approach and ask to be part of it just to be part of the frenzy, instead, the Academy selects the top-notch achievers and youth to be part of it.

The 51st International Achievement Summit Delegates Group Picture

The Achievement Summit experience was beyond extraordinary, and I can’t begin to thank Mr. Wayne & Mrs. Catherine Reynolds enough for hosting such an incredible summit, and bringing such amazing minds in one place. You’ve truly inspired us to bring out the best in us!

 And now to our 55th issue for the month of October 2014:

Hats off to our amazing editorial team: Aida AlBusaidy and Dhabya AlMuhairi. Enjoy our reads, and don’t forget to check out our inspired artworks by our creative team: Dana AlAttar, Hayat AlHassan, Marwa Fuad, led by Maryam Zainal.

To keep up with our monthly-published issues and to know about any of our coming events, make sure you register with us by clicking here

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