Qatar goalkeeper Shaima Abdullah plays her football with a smile. As well as being the last line of defence for the Qatar women's team, Abdullah has become a valued member of Generation Amazing's local coaching talent. She started playing sports as a six-year-old in school and went on to become a member of her school football team and then the women’s national team. She then studied economics, marketing and management at Qatar University, while also playing for the national team. She started taking coaching courses with Qatar Football Association, which led to Shaima learning about Generation Amazing. She now works as a Generation Amazing coach in schools across the country and splits her time humbly between university and teaching children new life skills through football. Shaima’s dream is to play for Qatar at the Women's World Cup and Women's Asian Cup one day. When she ﬁnishes playing football, Shaima would like to become a goalkeeping coach, as the ﬁrst Qatari woman to do this job for her national team.
When Asmaa entered the Generation Amazing youth ambassador programme in her community of Tripoli, she had one goal in mind: “I want to convert the energy of the youth of my community from a negative to a creative one.” As with many other female ambassadors and young leaders, Asmaa also suffered from the boundaries imposed on her due to her gender, and as a female Palestinian living in Lebanon, she is also denied many opportunities in her community due to her migrant status.
Despite these challenges, being selected as a GA ambassador gave Asmaa refreshed confidence in herself and her power to fight gender inequality in her community. She quickly became one of the main coaches for young boys and girls in the Naher El Bared camp. She now confidently speaks with community elders, religious leaders and parents, convincing them all that girls and boys should have the same opportunity to play football and participate in life skills sessions.
After leading Team Philippines at the Street Child World Cup 2018, Angela Jessa, an orphan who grew up in a difficult drug-clad childhood, seized the opportunity to become a Generation Amazing youth ambassador and learn about football for development. Her vision is to contribute to social change in the Philippines and show her capabilities of being a youth leader, inside and outside the pitch. Angela is taking concrete steps to achieving her goals. She has already been granted a scholarship for a University in Manila for the academic year 2020, and is leading the GA programme in her village by herself, implementing one of GA’s core values, inclusion, by integrating her younger sister, who has disabilities, into the training with the other kids.
Zaheer Khattak grew up in the Pakistani city of Thatta with a wish to play football professionally. With limited opportunities in his city to pursue his dream, he was forced to neglect the footballing ambitions he had for himself. Frustrated by what had transpired, the 26-year-old got an idea to begin mobilising his own coaching academy, the Makhdoom Child Academy, for underprivileged and disabled children to avoid this from happening to others. Becoming involved with Generation Amazing as a youth ambassador has helped him carry his project forward, provided him with football for development trainings and given him new and meaningful ways to keep kids engaged. For him it’s important that children can stay oﬀ the streets and away from drugs and he hopes his academy can go some way in ensuring that. Zaheer runs trainings for both girls and boys, with a consideration to the cultural sensitivities in the community and separate sessions for each. He recently travelled to Qatar for the Generation Amazing Festival 2019, where he undertook workshops and trainings on football for development and football3 methodology, which he says he’ll take back to his academy and community.
Sadique is a Generation Amazing senior coordinator at Al Thakhira Youth Centre in Qatar. He helped promote and expand the programme from 20 participants in the pilot to a significant 300 participants per year. He was recognised with an award by the Al Khor community for his eﬀorts as an important member of the community. Apart from coordinating weekly sessions for workers in Al Khor, he introduced GA in 5 schools in Kerala, India, including a disabled children’s school with the support of 20 local sport coaches he has trained to deliver GA. Sadique and his fellow GA ambassador Najih Karangahan also helped to support the disaster relief eﬀorts in Kerala, India, after the area was devastated by severe ﬂooding. Together they visited Kerala – their home state – in 2018 and quickly got involved with the relief eﬀort by coordinating the distribution of vital supplies, including food and blankets. Sadique has said he and Karangahan used the leadership skills they had learned during Generation Amazing training sessions in Qatar to support the relief eﬀorts. The pair were invited to attend Generation Amazing modules before progressing to become coaches themselves and attended the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia for further leadership training.
Football is everything for Abdel Azeez Suleiman, 28, from Ghana. Starting out as a participant in the Generation Amazing Qatar programme, Abdel Azeez quickly progressed to become a coach imparting his knowledge to others, and was chosen to travel to Russia 2018 based on a number of criteria including his outstanding contributions to the Generation Amazing programme.
Abdel Azeez participated regularly in the Workers Cup and had the opportunity to shake the hand of FIFA President Gianni Infantino at Al Thumama football ﬁelds. Abdel Azeez is also focused on helping Qatar prepare for the world’s greatest football tournament, as he contributed daily to the rapidly progressing Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, where he worked as a lifting and rigging supervisor. He hopes to take part in all of the activities of the Generation Amazing programme, continuing to inspire his peers and community up until the World Cup and beyond.
When Mahira Ahmed Miyanji started Woman Is a Nation (WIN) in 2013, she didn’t anticipate the adversity she would experience for being a female NGO founder advocating for women’s education. Having received numerous threats on her life, and menaces targeted at her family, Mahira reluctantly stepped away from her work. This is until one day in 2015 she took a chance on broadening her horizons and participated in a football programme. That football programme was run by Generation Amazing and through the programme Mahira discovered the joy of football. Here she met a group of like-minded young boys in the GA programme who encouraged her to resume her work on WIN. Mahira has since regained her conﬁdence and moved WIN out of Lyari and into a safer neighbourhood in Karachi. Surpassing her own expectations, she has been awarded an NPeace Award from the United Nations and continues her battle for girls’ rights and education.
Sirajul Islam’s humble plan to bring his country the best of his football skills has encouraged him to work his way up to the title of Generation Amazing Worker Coach in 2018. In his mission to establish a programme that reaches the most impoverished neighbourhoods across Bangladesh, Sirajul wants to enlist values around tolerance, respect and goodwill. These are all qualities he lives by and passionately teaches in his current football coaching sessions across workers’ football grounds in Qatar. Today, 25-year-old Sirajul delivers each of his training sessions with a big smile on his face, fuelled by the knowing that every interaction with his players provides him a feeling of fulﬁlment. Sirajul meets the world through the many participating workers and looks forward to taking the insight he has gained in his coaching to places that need it the most. He recently achieved his goal to deliver the GA programme to his home country, reaching many children and further edging himself towards fulfilling his role as a community leader.
Nour is passionate about the positive impact Generation Amazing has had on her life as a Sports Science student at Qatar University. She expressed that GA plays a big role in her education as she is able to implement the Football for Development training she has had with GA, into her university courses, which often earns her a good grade with her professors. She was first introduced to GA at the Festival 2019, which she says was one of the best experiences she has had. Her favourite part was interacting with so many other like-minded youths from all over the world, in which she was able to really understand and implement what F4D really meant. Since graduating as a 2021 Youth Advocate, Nour has refused for her journey with GA to end there, and has since joined the team as a coach for the ability friendly classes, amongst many other activities. Nour is especially grateful that GA has opened up many opportunities for her within the industry including her most recent trip to Jordan at the ‘Future Leaders in Football’ workshop that was organised by the German Corporation for International Cooperation’s (GIZ) and the German Football Association sport for development program.
Sayed first learnt about Generation Amazing while transiting through Qatar as an evacuee from Afghanistan, before moving to Virginia in the United States. He now works as a translator and journalist and is studying for his master’s degree. Sayed quickly involved himself in many activities that were held at the compound. As a result, he learnt more about football for development and was selected later selected to join the Generation Amazing Youth Advocate programme, which he continues to engage in from Virginia. Sayed took part in Generation Amazing’s 6th of April panel for the International day of Sport for Development and Peace at The World Federation of United Nations Associations as a keynote speaker (WFUNA), where he spoke about the impact that Generation Amazing had on him by saying, “The days at Generation Amazing taught me that no matter what was going on in life, no matter where you were or where you came from, sports have always brought people together and brought smiles to billions of people worldwide. So, I’m speaking to you today, and to millions of people worldwide, to tell you that Sports save lives and bring us all together, regardless of the dark times.”
Tahmina first learned about Generation Amazing through her sister, a member of the Afghan evacuee compound in Doha, before moving to the U.S. They were both evacuated from Afghanistan. Tahmina quickly took it upon herself to become involved in all of the activities at the compound, from football to helping the children learn and play to translating and breaking language barriers. “I’m immensely grateful for GA’s activities, as it gave me a reason to make myself valuable to my people. In addition, the sporting and recreational activities have helped me and the children around me continue to develop before we move onto different parts of the world.” Tahmina has also participated in a The Hague International Model United Nations conference (THIMUN). She spoke about Generation Amazing programming in the Afghan evacuee compound and how this has helped her cope with difficult times.
Fawzi Galtesh is currently living in Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. He is outgoing person who loves horse riding and passionate about football. Fawzi has always dreamt of becoming a professional soccer player. In 2017, Fawzi was selected to be part of a football team that Aspire Academy selected to participate in a youth football tournament. At the same time, his journey was screened to become the ‘’Captains of Zaatari” documentary. The film follows the thrilling experience of Fawzi and his friend Mahmoud who are dreaming of becoming professional football players. In November 2021, Captains of Zaatari won Hilal Best Feature Film Award during Ajyal Film Festival and also attended the GA Festival in 2021. After the announcement of the award Fawzi was selected as Youth Advocate to present his story to inspire and is now also a professional player at the Lusail Football Club.
Mahmoud Dager is currently living in Jordan’s Zaatari camp, he studied until grade 11 and then left school because of the low quality of education. Mahmoud started volunteering within the camp to teach kids how to play football and other sport activities. He loves football because it is the only thing that makes him feel that he is outside of the camp. His dream of being professional football player came true when he joined the Lusail Football Club. Besides Fawzi, Mahmoud is also the main character of Captains of Zaatari documentary, which documents the journey of two wide-eyed teenagers who are now adults and role models to hundreds of thousands of young people who live in and around refugee camps. During Ajyal Film Festival, Mahmoud was selected as a Youth Advocate alongside his friend Fawzi and also attended the GA Festival in 2021. He believes he has a responsibility towards refugees, especially youth who look up to him and Fawzi as role models.
Uzma was selected as a Generation Amazing youth ambassador in 2014 and acted as Vice Chair on the Youth Advisory Committee. She was the first female to establish a girls’ football team for Lyari at a Generation Amazing football pitch. Since then, Uzma has gone on to college where she is in her final year of her Humanities degree. She continues to engage her fellow students in football, and elsewhere, aspires to be in the police force when she graduates. Uzma is a good example of how young women are being impacted through GA, to make important life choices in terms of study and career. She currently sets up tournaments and matches in her local GA pitch when she has time.