“I think it is extremely important that we prepare our youth for meeting the challenges of the future,” a Pakistani scholar said.

In a video interview with the Mustafa Science and Technology Foundation (MSTF), Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Professor of Bioorganic and Natural Product Chemistry and the Comstech Coordinator-General, stated that the Islamic world is a large community constituting mainly of young people with tremendous potentials.

“I think it is extremely important that we prepare youth generation for meeting the challenges of the future,” he said.

In order to prepare the youth, “We need to use centers of excellence in the Muslim world as training centers,” he added.

Choudhary proposed providing “at least 1,000 scholarships” in the Islamic world, through which young researchers from West Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central Asia can be invited to scientifically more proficient countries—such as Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, and Indonesia—and be trained for the future.

Asked about the significant potentials the Islamic world possesses to confront crises, he replied, “Every calamity creates new opportunities.”

Stating that Muslims account for around one-fifth of the world’s population, he contended “we are a large community with some very good institutions, centers of excellence, and expertise.”

He asserted that we need to use these resources properly. We need to “use the potential of young people, provide opportunities of creativity for them, and become self-reliant in many of the health-care needs,” he added.

“We need to use centers of excellence for developing capacity in the Muslim world and provide more opportunities for the mobility of young people in order to be prepared for the future calamities,” he continued.

Choudhary also pointed up the importance of learning from the successful experiences of different Muslim countries.

Regarding this matter, he pointed to those Muslim countries who have handled the COVID-19 crisis very well so far and reduced mortality rates.

Referring to the 7th Science and Technology Exchange Program (STEP) held by the MSTF virtually in May 2020 as a platform which provided the opportunity of sharing Islamic countries’ COVID-19 experiences and scientists’ discoveries, Choudhary said: “more intellectual meetings like STEP 7 must be held all over the Muslim world so that we will be able to come up with inter-Islamic action plans and policies to help our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

He maintained that learning from each other’s experiences and subsequently making sure that every Muslim country has “necessary resources, policies in place, and support from other Muslim countries” is of high importance.

Asked how collaboration among scientists can help to tackle problems, he replied: “Synergy and collaboration are extremely important for long-time survival of humanity at large and also for the well-being of Muslim Ummah.”

“My message is that we have to work together to make sure that a large number of young researchers are prepared for the future. We have to build a capacity to meet the challenges of any kind in the future,” he concluded.

Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary has won many prestigious national and international awards for his scientific and capacity building contributions. He has more than 1,000 publications (above 23,000 citations, and h-index of 62) in the fields of organic and bioorganic chemistry, 57 international patents (51 US Patents), 68 books, and 40 book chapters. He was a speaker at STEP 7 in a panel discussion on “Scientific and Technological Networking in Facing the Coronavirus Challenges in the Islamic World.”

Originally published at mehr news