Six members of the Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah (Sajaya) were taken for a weeklong trip to learn about the newest digital innovations in Japan – the birthplace of the bullet train, the Walkman and the android robot, and several other revolutionary inventions that define today’s technological landscape.
The visit was conceived by the Rubu’ Qarn Foundation subsidiary to develop personal and professional skills of Sajaya’s members, with a view to nurturing a generation of qualified Emirati women capable of using their science and technology skills to excel in their careers and also better serve society.
The delegation, accompanied by Reem Al Naqbi, an electronic engineering graduate from the Tokai University and the first Arab to win the Japanese Higashi-Kuninomiya Award, visited some of the largest and most prominent factories, labs and other institutions to get a closer look at how these places optimise their processes using best practices in science and technology.
Among the places visited were the Miraikan or National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Sony Explora Science (Minato) and Panasonic Centre (RiSuPia), the Toyota manufacturing factory, and the FabCafé, which offers visitors an opportunity to construct things using 3D printing and other digital fabrication tools.
Sheikha Aisha Khalid Al Qasimi, Director of Sajaya, said: “Our six young members made the most of the opportunity to familiarise themselves with digital technological innovations in Japan. The purpose of this visit was to show the UAE’s youth the extent that creativity and imagination can take you even in conventional fields of science and technology. We want to inspire the nation’s youth to be able to conceive their own pilot projects in the world of technology – an objective in line with the UAE’s approach to foster a culture of innovation in our community.
“From a cultural perspective, the visit was an incentive for the girls to know more about the Japanese community and their way of life. We believe that such experiences are crucial to personality development and truly broaden the horizons of young minds who are able to see their life goals more clearly with a deeper intellect.”
Al Qasimi noted that Sajaya will continue their efforts to build on the success of these cultural and educational tours abroad, by delivering a training approach strongly focused on equipping Sajaya’s members with new abilities, skills and tools that they are introduced to on these visits.
In the first four days of the tour, the young ladies of Sajaya were introduced to the functioning of robots at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, have a peek at 3D printing technologies at Sony Explora Science (Minato), enjoyed a hand-on experience in interactive technology at the Panasonic Centre (RiSuPia), and witnessed a car being manufactured in 3 seconds at the Toyota Manufacturing Factory.
They also learnt about the latest techniques in virtual reality technology, and visited 4D exhibitions at the Sunshine, Tokyo, visited the Tokyo University, one of the best universities in Japan and around the word, and took a trip to the Yayoi Kusama Museum, named after Japan’s legendary artist Yayoi Kusama.
The delegation wrapped up its visit on the fifth day by visiting the UAE Embassy in Tokyo where they engaged in an interactive session with the members of the diplomatic mission who introduced the girls to the essence of Japanese culture characterised by its capacity for innovation, in a move aimed to motivate young participants to be inspired and let their learning seep into their own project ideas upon returning home.
Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah is dedicated to developing the talents of girls aged 13-18 years in all creative spheres. Established in 2004 under the umbrella of Sharjah Children, Sajaya became an independent entity in 2012 following an administrative decision by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and Chairperson of the Rubu’ Qarn Foundation.