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Young Omani engineer chosen to help curb illiteracy


A young Omani engineer from Muscat has been chosen as the Ambassador for World Literacy Foundation (WLF) from a pool of 4,800 applicants to represent the Sultanate.

Ali al Bahrani, 24, is the only Omani to get this honour to be part of a global initiative to advocate and raise funds for literacy in the world.

Ali took part in a four-month programme where he was involved to develop his leadership and advocacy skills such as introduction to WLF and ‘Aprende Leyendo’, including education and literacy in the world and skills in leadership, advocacy and fundraising.

A nonprofit organisation, Aprende Leyendo founded in 2014 in Manizales, Colombia, has been delivering literacy support and learning resources to children in disadvantaged communities in Colombia who have limited or no access to education.

The end goal for the 2020 World Literacy Foundation Ambassadors is to raise funds for literacy which will go towards Aprende Leyendo.

On October 17, Ali is planning a virtual fundraising event due to COVID-19 and its unprecedented repercussions worldwide.

A Chemical Engineering Graduate from Swansea University of Wales, Ali, was introduced to the World Literacy Programme through One Young World, a UK-based not-for-profit organisation that gathers young leaders from around the globe to develop solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.

“I am so excited to join a global community of like-minded individuals who are determined to eradicate illiteracy and who are using their voices to drive dialogue, action, and change in communities around the world, ensuring their reach is global and unrestricted,” said Ali.

He has always wanted to partake in spreading and supporting literacy in general. “Being able to effectively communicate through writing and reading is a priority and the ultimate investment we can make for our future.”

Education, according to Ali, is not just about learning a subject or gathering information. He says it is also about critical thinking and allowing one to question things.

“It’s about learning new perspectives and different viewpoints,” he adds.

His ultimate goal is to open a not-for-profit organisation that will make education accessible for all.

“I want to provide the opportunity to join the march of knowledge without the discrimination faced by those who do not have the luxury of an education. I can help make sure that no child is denied a dream, such that, one day, every child will have the ability to read and write and use these skills to gain independence and autonomy,” said Ali.

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