CHAPTER TWO

be curious

A book collection to encourage the Millennials and Gen Z to reach their potential and connect with mentors.

Those Who Inspire is a book collection and a tool, whose purpose is to encourage the Millennials and Gen Z to pursue their dreams and believe in themselves. We connect young people with local role models and mentors from their own country. Each book is a source of inspiration to the youth of different countries all over the world. It can be used as a tool for them to discover fascinating and accessible stories of men and women from all walks of life, the Inspiring People - IP. By sharing their stories, the IP ignite passion in the hearts of the youth of their country.

PANAMA

Panama is one of the only countries in the world where it is possible to see the sun rise on the Atlantic Ocean in the same day and then the sunset on the Pacific Ocean! It’s also the country where we launched in July 2019 the second book on the American continent. 48 Inspiring Panamanians will truly and passionately inspire you.

BAHRAIN

The Kingdom of Bahrain is the country where we launched our ninth book in October 2018. Infinite inspiration and reliable mentors will be found in 140 pages and 51 real life stories of Bahraini women and men from all walks of life and all ages.

LEBANON

A collection of 60 Inspiring Lebanese awaits you in the pages of Those Who Inspire Lebanon, launched in June 2018 in Beirut. Discover the cultural and religious diversity, ingenuity and generosity of the Lebanese people through their stories.

MEXICO

Mexico, a magical place, full of colours, flavours and traditions, is the first country on the American continent where we launched Those Who Inspire in May 2018. Get inspired by the stories of 107 Mexicans from all walks of life.

KUWAIT

63 Inspiring women and men from Kuwait who had the courage to share their passions, real life stories, doubts and inspirations. Those Who Inspire Kuwait, our third book in the GGC area, was launched in April 2018.

HONG KONG

Hong Kong, place of diversity and contrast, as you will discover reading the stories of 67 Inspiring Hong Kongers, all mentors to the Hong Kong youth. This first book in Asia was launched in 2016.

NIGERIA

2 years to complete our first book on the African continent. Discover the surprising and amazing stories of 90 Nigerians from all around the country. After the launch in September 2015 in Abuja, we donated 15.000 to the Nigerian youth.

UAE

60 Emiratis from all walks of life across the 7 Emirates tell their stories to inspire and motivate the Emirati youth. The launch took place in 2014 in Dubai.

OMAN

Oman is our first book of Those Who Inspire book collection. We launched it in English and Arabic back in 2012 in Muscat. Many thanks to our Omani friends for trusting us in this first and unique adventure and supporting the Omani youth.

How do we produce our books?

We meet face to face with all the IP, discover their story, experiences, and advice to younger generations, and we turn their words into a beautifully written narrative, just long enough to capture their voice and to celebrate who they are and how they’ve made an impact. With about 45 to 107 people portrayed in each book, we include people from all backgrounds and walks of life, both famous and everyday heroes – anybody who is living their dreams and simultaneously adding real value to the people around them.

How do we get the books into the hands of as many Millennials and Gen Z as possible?

The books' distribution is done within the same spirit as its creation: Donate a maximum of books to youth. No young person should have to pay for it. We partner with companies who receive half of the books for their young employees and training center. The other half is donated to all public universities. A few months later you can also read it and share it online for free.

5 criteria to be selected as an Inspiring People

Be citizen of the region or country

Be inspiring

Be passionate and daring

Give back & sharing (Mentoring, Volunteering, Philanthropy…)

Pledge to some mentoring if contacted by the local youth via TWI and/or do talks for the youth

Inspiring story

Paola Gómez Barletta’s rich ancestral background and heritage inspired her to gravitate towards multiculturalism from an early age. Using her remarkable empathy, she studied cultures in depth, and now she strives to pass the torch by promoting cultural emancipation and gender equity in Panama. Practical-minded and driven, she has already seen the fruits of her labour improve the daily lives of many in the country.

Paola Gómez Barletta

Diplomat, Head of Programs - UNESCO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Inspiring story

Román Torres will forever be associated with the iconic goal that allowed Panama to take part in its first World Cup. But his path began much earlier, back when he was selling fish alongside his father and playing baseball before switching to football. He wanted to be a forward but tried out for the national team as a defender. He was in and ready for glory! Today, Román helps young people through education.

Román Torres

Capitan Panama national football team

Inspiring story

Every sentence she utters is packed with wisdom and inspiration to improve the world. Orit Btesh is critical of politicians because she knows what it means to lead social and solidarity projects without their help. Her brainchild, the International Book Fair of Panama, is not just a meeting place for literary figures; it’s also a platform for uncomfortable but necessary debate. Orit knows the dangers that windmills hide.

Orit Btesh

Ironwoman El Hombre de la Mancha

Inspiring story

From wild child to award-winning photographer, social media influencer and budding filmmaker, Omar Farooq has found his passion for film and video and is using his skills to make an impact and change how people see things. “It is important to find what you’re good at and what you love. Once you do, everything else will fall into place,” he explains. “Find what you love and keep doing it, making it better and making you better.”

Omar Farooq

Filmmaker & YouTuber

Inspiring story

At just 15, aspiring chef Karim Mohammed Altoobli is determined to take the culinary world by storm. From his first dish cooked in his grandmother’s kitchen to the restaurant he hopes to open in Bahrain after completing his studies in France, he is determined to share his passion for cooking with the world, serving it up one delicious recipe at a time. “I decided that I am a chef when I was just a small kid,” Karim smiles. “Food makes me happy.”

Karim Mohammed Altoobli

Aspiring Chef

Inspiring story

Athlete, adventurer and UNDP Climate Champion Michael Haddad has used the power of his mind, his faith and his determination to overcome a spinal injury that left him paralysed from the chest down, and go on adventures most of us only dream of. “We have to remember who we are,” he says, committed to doing his part for the Earth, humanity and Lebanon’s unique identity. “We must break our barriers and start giving back to humanity and the world.”

Michael Haddad

UNDP Arab States Ambassador for Climate Action

Inspiring story

Bringing together theatre and therapy, Zeina Daccache founded Catharsis, the Lebanese Centre for Drama Therapy, to give a voice to marginalised and disadvantaged communities and help participants heal. From penitentiary reform to women’s rights, she doesn’t pull her punches. “I love Lebanon a lot,” Zeina says, “but there are a lot of issues. I’m a drama therapist, so I’m using drama therapy and the theatre tools I have to change policies.”

Zeina Daccache

Founder Catharsis Lebanese Center for Drama Therapy

Inspiring story

Through their organization Unreasonable Mexico, José Medina and Raúl de Anda dedicate themselves to supporting social entrepreneurs in Mexico – anybody working to solve the country’s most urgent social challenges. The two of them work very closely together, helping to inspire and change the realities of the people around them. For both of them, it’s all about doing work that is meaningful and finding new ways to add value. They agree on a lot of common principles, including this: “It is important to be different, to ask questions, and to achieve your goals.”

José Medina and Raúl de Anda

Co-Founders Unreasonable Mexico

Inspiring story

As Corporate Marketing Director for América Móvil, Marcela Velasco Cámara has reached the top in her profession, which is inspiring when you consider the fact marketing was a new area of study when she attended university. At first, she was uncertain about her career path, but with solid mentorship she was able to find her way to staggering success in the marketing world. And now she’s returning that opportunity, participating in initiatives like Áurea, which focuses on mentorship for female executives and entrepreneurs. “Mentorship is an absolute must. Almost everybody needs a mentor.”

Marcela Velasco Cámara

Marketing Director - América Móvil & Mentor - Áurea

Inspiring story

Yasmeen Marafie’s first steps in dancing were the result of her mother’s search for a fun outlet for her very energetic and active daughter. “I started doing classical ballet when I was four. Classes for little kids are just playing around and having fun. I loved it! It wasn’t until I was about ten that I realised I wanted to actually dance!” says student ballerina Yasmeen. At 11, she signed up for her first competition. “I wanted to see what I could do, to test myself,” she says of travelling to Paris to compete against young dancers from full-time professional dance schools. ...To be continued...Read the whole story!

Yasmeen Marafie

Student Ballerina

Inspiring story

From raising awareness about good health practices in Tanzania to mobilizing Kuwaiti youth, creating health informatics solutions and protecting the country’s marine environment, Dr Dari Alhuwail, Assistant Professor of Information Science at Kuwait University, has found the golden balance in turning his passions into volunteering opportunities, most so through his work with the Kuwait Dive Team. “We are called upon by different government agencies,” says Dari. “They know that we can get the job done. For us, it a service to Kuwait. We help because we want to make Kuwait a better place.”

Dr Dari Alhuwail

Water Rescue Captain

Inspiring story

Simon Murray, CBE, has lived a life of intrepid pursuits, always carving out his own path. He moved to Hong Kong fifty years ago and was one of the few expatriates who stayed. His contribution to the country is expansive and impossible to fully measure. For him, it has always been a matter of following his instincts and listening to others when it counted most. “When I look back, it’s impressive to think about all the people who have been there at every crossroads in my life, people who have guided or inspired me. But really my life has been like an unplanned scramble up the mountain.”

Simon Murray

Chairman and Founder SMC & GEMS

Inspiring story

Nwankwo Kanu worked hard to establish himself as one of Nigeria’s most recognized footballers, but not long after leading the Nigeria team to the gold medal in the 1996 Olympics, he was diagnosed with a heart condition and needed surgery. Thankfully, Kanu made a complete recovery and was back on the field in a matter of months. The life-changing experience led him to start the Kanu Heart Foundation, raising awareness about heart health and helping young Nigerians receive treatment for heart conditions. “Each and every person must find a way to give back in some way, shape, or form to this country.”

Nwankwo Kanu

Footballer & Founder of Kanu Heart Foundation

Inspiring story

Zuriel Oduwole is a girl of far-reaching and dynamic aspirations. And having already accomplished so much at an extremely young age, inspiring other children and even adults throughout Africa, she is well on her way to realizing those aspirations. Born in the U.S. to a Nigerian father and a Mauritian mother, Zuriel considers herself a Pan-African child. ...To be continued...Read the whole story!

Zuriel Oduwole

Student/Activist

Inspiring story

Mohammed Saeed Harib has had an unmistakeable impact on the UAE’s fast changing cultural landscape. His animated television series FREEJ has helped kickstart the Emirati animation business and reconcile a massive generation gap. A true artist, he remains passionately committed to his craft and to always learning new skills. He hopes to share his experiences in the field with others, to help them rise to meet new challenges and thrive in the UAE’s blossoming entertainment industry. “There’s a lot of opportunity here but it is very competitive. This is a good thing because now we Emiratis have to prove ourselves.”

Mohammed Saeed Harib

Founder Lammtara Art Production Est

Inspiring story

Budreya Faisal, fashion designer, car enthusiast, and one of the first Emirati women in sports marketing, inspires those around her not just with her marketing acumen and creativity but the sense of passion she carries throughout life. “Do not be afraid to be different, to pursue what it is you want in life; people may not understand you at first but they will come around,” she says. “At the same time, don’t ever hesitate to seek support, whether it’s advice or anything else – I don’t think any country can give as much support to its people as the UAE does.”

Budreya Faisal

Head of Marketing and Sponsorship Arabian Gulf League Fashion Designer, BLEACH

Inspiring story

Tariq Al Barwani aided the Sultanate’s transformation into a digital society, which opened countless doors for economic growth and job creation. “Today, most of the world’s ICT projects are outsourced to India, but we can do it in Oman too, even better,” he says. “We have the knowledge and we can be both creative and effective. But first we must believe in ourselves.”

Tariq Hilal Al Barwani

CEO and President knowledgeoman.com

Next books to come…

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Ghana

Morocco

Mexico Women

Dominican Republic

Read and Dare! Discover more about our Inspiring People…