QL Exclusive: An interview with Qatari influencer and educational content creator Salah Alyafii
Salah Alyafii is a Youtuber, influencer, content creator, author, and the head of leadership development at Aspire Academy School who founded his project Life Engineers in Qatar back in 2017.
Life Engineers is an educational platform dedicated to youth empowerment and leadership training. Through workshops, travel experiences, and consultations, the program offers a holistic learning experience for youngsters aged 3 -18.
The program has been nominated as one of the top three initiatives for the Akhlaquna Award, which is an award funded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, to help nurture positive behavioral change within the society.
“I remember many years ago, I attended a training session and noted down creating my own educational training as my aim. This dream became true after many years,” Salah said.
“Following the blockade of Qatar, most people did not travel that summer, so I came up with the idea of Life Engineers as an activity in the beginning. Later, it turned into a project,” he recalled.
“I never expected the success that we reached in our first year, it was overwhelming to see the response from the families as they sent their children to train with us,” he said.
Salah is also a published author, with two books under his name.
The first book - “Faseeho” (the Arabic word for travel and tourism) talks about his experience in his journeys and travels, at its best and worst.
His second book is the first of its kind in the Middle East where he talks about how to learn the skills of the LEGO Cubes to know more about teamwork. He underlines the strategies of this game and how they can be used to enhance the learning experience for young minds.
“I used to play LEGO Cubes since I was a child, and until now I play LEGO with my children. This inspired me to write this book as I learned more about this game when I went to Switzerland, to join a training of LEGO Series Play, which is a methodology to learn how to implement the LEGO in raising children and teaching them teamwork and leadership skills,” Salah described.
Salah’s efforts have always been driven by a passion to educate. He has organized and led several voluntary training sessions and workshops. Additionally, he has founded many projects, which have gained popularity amongst society.
His main aim is to equip the new generation to contribute to the development of a stronger society in Qatar and the Middle East.
Salah believes that each person should enjoy life on his own terms, besides being successful in his job or projects.
Traveling and hiking are some of Salah’s favorite things to do. He has even taken two youth groups to hike the Himalayan Mountain in recent years.
With the COVID-19 restrictions in place over the last couple of months, Salah found something really interesting to do.
Together with his children, he created a big wooden house. He found joy in this activity while also filming episodes for his YouTube channel.
Sport is another one of his interests. He is a professional trainer in hiking and climbing and has been featured and documented in programs in the US and Germany.
Talking about his journey in content creation, Salah mentioned that he started with Snapchat to record some educational videos. Later, he moved to YouTube and with time rose to fame to become one of the top 10 influencers in the Middle East.
“I never expected that I will find a lot of engagements from the people on my videos. But in one year I was one of the top 10 influencers in the Middle East. My main aim was to create content that benefits people,” he commented.
Salah said he researched a lot to understand the Arabic educational content available then. He analyzed what was missing and he improved his content relying on various sources.
“Being a YouTuber is not easy,” Salah said. “It needs a lot of time, efforts, and research, and most of the YouTubers have their own team, but I do not. I built my own studio at home.”
Salah’s journey has been all about self-education and learning over time.
“I learned how to design and build my wooden house by myself. Technology makes it easier to learn. I do not have the experience or enough knowledge to build a wooden house, as I am not an engineer or designer, but I was able to learn how to do it,” he mentioned, as an example.
He links this learning process to his childhood. “I used to be an observer in my childhood, as I was watching my father doing everything to learn from him. I want my children to be like me,” he said.
This is why during the pandemic Salah encouraged his children to help him in building the wooden house.
After Salah posted the content where he was building the wooden house on his social media, he was surprised at the response.
A lot of people started to ask him to build one for them. This is where he decided to open another project to build wooden houses per request.
Salah encourages everyone to believe in his or her power.
“Nothing happens by chance, and everything happens for a reason. I believe in the butterfly theory, people say the butterfly does not do anything, but they do not know that the butterfly is small, but it can affect,” he added.
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