Ahmad Nawaz (activist, Pakistan), Anne Applebaum (journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, United States of America), Chris Arnold (entrepreneur and social entrepreneur, UK), Edith Schlaffer (social scientist and founder of Women Without Borders, Austria), Fareeda Khalaf (refugee and Yazidi activist, Iraq), Germán Garavano (Lawyer and Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Argentina), Harald Jäger (Army officer of the former GDR, Germany), Laya Vasudevan (Director of the Center for Legal Aid and Rights, India), Saki Macozoma (entrepreneur and activist, South Africa) and Svetlana Alekseyevich (writer and Nobel laureate for Literature 2015, Belarus) will all be speakers at the 6th edition of the Estoril Conferences themed Empowering Humanity: from local to global justice.
Human rights and duties, development in the technological era, world poverty and inequality, and the environment will be the four thematic axes that will guide the next edition of the Estoril Conferences. Teresa Violante, speaking to Portuguese news agency Lusa, stressed the importance of the conferences continuing to convey a message of dialogue and tolerance.
"It is this message that we will want to continue to share next year without being afraid to challenge difficult issues such as populism or the crisis of political representation and without being afraid to invite some more controversial or contested speakers. To keep on facing the difficult debates without fear and looking at all perspectives of the debate, even those that can please us less”, she said.
In the audience, composed of about a hundred students from schools of the municipality of Cascais and diplomatic representatives of several governments, were also the Mayor of Cascais, Carlos Carreiras and Daniel Traça, dean of the Nova School of Business and Economics, who took the stage to speak about the importance of the new campus in Carcavelos, and to underline the fact that the next edition of the Estoril Conferences will take place there. But in the audience was also a 17-year-old who would inevitably be the center of attention.
Ahmad Nawaz, a young activist for education and peace, was the special guest for this official presentation session of the next edition of the Estoril Conferences, in which he will also be a speaker.
He shared with the public the story of how he survived a terrorist attack by the Taliban at his school on December 16, 2014, where he lost his brother and several friends. He told how he was treated in the UK and how he decided to become an activist.
According to him, the attack on a school was an attack on access to education. To the audience, he recalled the opportunities that exist in countries such as Portugal and left a piece of advice: "First look around you, start with yourselves and the problems in your community, then you can look more broadly at society."
The strength and example of Ahmad Nawaz impacted the audience, visible through a student present at the session, who thanked Ahmad by saying that "these things happen but then it's as if we do not want to know. That's not it, we want to know but we do not see ... Thank you for opening some eyes. "
Ahmad Nawaz wants to be an exemplary student, able to reconcile his studies and his activism. So after the presentation session, he headed directly to the airport, from where he was to leave for the United Kingdom. He had classes the next day. But he will be back for the 6th edition of the Estoril Conferences, taking place May 27-29, 2019.