A Young GE Engineer from Bahrain Takes on Local and Global Challenges at the World Economic Forum MENA
On April 6, more than 1,000 leaders from government, business and civil society will gather at a Dead Sea resort in Jordan. Among them will be 29-year-old Hashem Almusawi. He will be there, in part, because he was good at fixing things as a kid, chosen as part of the Global Shapers Delegation.
Almusawi, a regional application engineer with GE based in Bahrain, is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 who work together to address local, regional, and global challenges.
The event he will attend is the biennial World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa. During the two-day event, Almusawi will “take advantage of opportunities to represent myself and GE, and to talk about my experience in the power industry and showcase how youth in our region are working hard to make a difference.”
The event will be the third WEF event he’s attended, following the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos and the 2017 World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa.
At the Davos event, Almusawi was awed by the kinds of discussions and people in attendance. He attended as one of 50 Global Shapers selected to represent youth. “It was great to help get the opinions of young people on the table as global leaders discussed problems such as gender equality and climate change,” he said.
Of all the experiences and discussions, Almusawi was most struck by what Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., had to say about leadership and intelligence.
Almusawi recalled Ma saying, “‘To gain success, a person will need high EQ (emotional intelligence). If you don’t want to lose quickly, you need a high IQ (intelligence quotient), and if you want to be respected, you need a high LQ – the IQ of love.’”
Almusawi said that Ma went on to say that women “strike a perfect balance in EQ, IQ and LQ, so, if you want your company to be successful… then women are the best’.”
As a young leader at GE, Almusawi said, “I keep reminding myself to care about the people I work with and to encourage women empowerment in the workplace.”
The Davos event also filled him with energy and motivation because the discussions on global challenges at the forum put his work into perspective. While Almusawi says this applies to everything GE does, it was particularly relevant in his role as part of a team that works with power plants across the region.
Almusawi, a Bahraini citizen, began his engineering journey early in life, after his parents noticed he was strong in physics and math, and was handy at taking electronics apart and fixing them. He studied hard in high school, so much that he earned a scholarship from the Bahrain government to study abroad. He earned a BSc in mechanical engineering from Newcastle University in the UK.
After graduation, he was hired by GE, who placed him in its prestigious Edison Engineering Development Program. Almusawi spent 30-month in the program, doing five job rotations across the Middle East and in the United States. As part of the program, he earned an MSc in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University.
Almusawi applied to, and was accepted by, the Global Shapers Community after completing the Edison program. “I had more time, and I love community work, and wanted to join an initiative that was doing real work to solve different problems.”
By being open and engaged, he has gained new opportunities and perspectives, which is why Almusawi’s advice to young people is not only to focus on their current work role and day-to-day tasks. “Also focus on community work and giving back. Focus on broadening your horizons, which can provide you experience with different leadership and cooperation skills.”
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