We talked to Mariam Ahmid one year after she attended Young Leaders Boot Camp 2014 about leadership and her dream to work in the Middle East.
By: Evie Soli and Sarah Dolah
Who are you?
My name is Mariam Ahmid and I am a social worker who works with unaccompanied children who come to Sweden from other countries. I am passionate about human rights and about social development. I would describe myself as having a passion for life in general!
Why did you apply to Young Leaders Boot Camp (YLBC) last year?
I applied because regardless of how, I have always wanted to take advantage of every chance I get in order to develop as a person. My dream has always been to go to my parents’ home country, Libya, to do something social or psychosocial for that country. I felt that if I am going to go to Libya to lead a project, I need to be strengthened as a leader. I felt like YLBC would be a great opportunity for me to do so.
I felt that if I am going to go to Libya and lead a project, I need some attributes. I need to be strengthened as a leader. I felt like YLBC would be a great opportunity to do so.
I expected to be made aware of certain disadvantages that I might have and to learn things about myself and how to be a good and stable leader.
Have you been to other leadership programs before?
I attended one when I studied social work, which was more about organizations on a theoretical level and not so much about the individual leader and empowerment. Young Leaders Boot Camp was more empowering because it focused on me as an individual and leader, and that was what I was looking for.
Do you feel like you have developed leadership skills through YLBC?
I have certainly developed as an individual, and to me, that equals development as a leader. Some of the things we learned were a bit scary, and if something scares me, I want to try it out. When something makes me uncomfortable it is a sign that I should go deeper into it.
I have certainly developed as an individual, and to me, that equals development as a leader.
Can you say something more about Libya, and what you want to do there?
The dream to carry out some kind of project in Libya is one of the things that I am most passionate about in my life. I decided a long time ago that I wanted to do something there. There is an incredibly high level of injustice in Libya, and I have seen that from a very young age. There are still many things that need to be improved in Libya, and I want to be a part of doing that.
What are your expectations and needs from the YLBC community?
I hope we will meet together soon again. Every time I am with the group, it is like time stops. It gives me an opportunity to stop and observe myself from an objective point of view. I really need to focus on myself and not just make work and life about other people. With the YLBC community, it is about me and what others can give to me, while I also give back. It is more of an exchange rather than a oneway process. YLBC provides me with some peace, and allows my mind to rest.
I know that when I need someone I can always get in touch with the group. I am always reminded that there is a bunch of tough girls behind me.
I know that when I need someone I can always get in touch with the group. I am always reminded that there is a bunch of tough girls behind me. I think that knowing that someone is there for you is very important.
Any final words?
Programs like YLBC are so important because I feel like women in society need not a push but an uplifting. We need empowerment and we need to believe in our attributes and our strengths far more than we do.
I don’t think we are socially programmed to believe in ourselves as much as men do. This program is important and so vital, because there is so much strength within us that is valuable to the world that is sometimes forgotten. We tend to not believe in ourselves instead of believing in ourselves.
I think Young Leaders Boot Camp is lifting us up.
And I think YLBC is lifting us up. So yeah, to me that is very, very important.