NCUSLR-YI Spotlight: Mabrukah Abdullah
The National Council on U.S.-Libya Relations kicked off its Youth Initiative programming in February 2019. Since then, a number of incredible young Libyans have started regularly engaging with the Council and sharing their experiences and knowledge with their fellow peers through NCUSLR-YI.
Mabrukah Abdullah is one of the pioneering young Libyans who has helped develop the NCUSLR-YI Network of Entrepreneurs - an initiative to connect, develop, and invest in young Libyan entrepreneurs. Mabrukah started her own project Do Training & Development in her city in southern Libya, Sebha. Learn more about her, Do, and her future hopes for the Network of Entrepreneurs and Libya below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Mabrukah Abdullah?
I am an English teacher, an entrepreneur and a passionate reader and occasional writer. I love learning new things and I never say 'No' to new experiences. My mantra in life is a saying by Walter Anderson, "Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action".
What inspired you to start Do Training & Development in Sebha?
I have always dreamt of establishing an institution where young people can learn and develop their skills and thus contribute to creating the new Libya, but I never could take the action and actually do it. In September 2018, I made a very difficult decision, I quit my job after working there for 3 years, and I had two options, either be depressed and lost or drive that negative situation and make something good with it. So I took action and made my dream come true; and in one week, Do was born and that is where the name comes from, Do as in taking action.
What challenges have you faced in working on Do? How were you able to overcome those obstacles?
The main challenge was financial; I had very little money, not enough capital, I only had me and my determination. So, I took a leap of faith and started Do with the little money I had and then two of my friends – Mohammed Zohdy and Abdulhafeez joined me and the family grew bigger and we've been working ever since. My family and friends are a big support system for me and especially my parents, so I guess that is what keeps us going.
What have you learned from working on this project? How have you grown personally and what changes have you seen in your community as a result of your work?
I learned that nothing is impossible, as long as I have faith in God and in myself, I can do anything in the world. I was going through a great hardship after being forced to leave my job and Do was the beacon of light that replaced the negativity that surrounded me at that time.
I see the impact we are making almost every day, in my students, in the feedback we receive from people who use our services. Youth who finally got the chance to ‘Do’ and learn new things that were not available in my city before Do started such as in technology and new ways to learn languages. Their satisfaction and positive feedback are our fuel.
What excites you about participating in our Youth Initiative and in the Network of Entrepreneurs specifically?
I am very excited to be part of an initiative that enables youth in Libya and empowers them. We live in a post-war country and we need to invest more in youth as they are the ones who will build the new Libya. Enabling Libyan youth as entrepreneurs through the network will contribute greatly in reviving our economy through revitalizing the private economy.
In the future, what do you hope to see in Libya and how do you see yourself contributing to making that future a reality?
I want to see Libyans working together, women and men, and making Libya a first world country. My father once said to me that "A person can change a country, but a country cannot change a person." I want to be that person.
Interested in joining the National Council's Youth Initiative & Network of Entrepreneurs? Register today here.