Syarifah Aliyyah Shihab

Like many people Syarifah Aliyyah Shihab was deeply affected by the September 11 attacks and the many tragic terrorist attacks that have persisted since 2001 in her country of Indonesia. After much deliberation about what she could do to help halt the on-going attacks, she decided in 2007 to form the non-profit organization Sarifah Aliyyah Shibab Foundation.

Syarifah now runs the organization’s programme Your Talent Success, a talent coaching initiative designed specifically for teenagers from poor and remote regions of Indonesia. Syarifah’s mission for the organization is to provide youth who are socially and economically marginalized with alternative opportunities and to discourage them from being influenced by fundamentalist and extremist indoctrination. Syarifah and her team travel around schools and universities giving talkshows on how to develop talent and about their vision for how youth can become agents of peace.

The organization’s aim is to provide guidance through the encouragement and development of each person’s talent. Since it’s establishment, the Syarifah Aliyyah Shihab Foundation has reached out to over 1.5 million teenagers in Indonesia. In addition to talkshows, the foundation has also started counseling and support programmes, through which youth can receive guidance by phone, sms and social media chat services. Other Media channels, such as radio and local TV stations, have also been used to create a motivational talkshow for teenagers across Indonesia. Syarifah’s underlying aim in her work is to help young people to develop and “encourage their talents so they are not misled and affected by terrorist inclinations”.

Syarifah’s contribution to the creation of an anti-terrorism mentality among youth in Indonesia has been recognized. She has received 5 national awards including the Young Caring Professionals Award in 2012, the Inspiring Women 2013 by Nova Magazine, and the Lupus Achievement Award in 2014 by the Lupus Foundation .