Muhanned Kalash is a Chevening scholar from Libya studying MSc Global Governance.
I am currently one of Libya's youth civil society activists. I am Operations Manager of, as well as on the board for a Libyan national NGO called ‘Volunteer Libya’. I also work as International Dale Carnegie Human Relations and Effective Communications Trainer based in Libya's branch. Alongisde my political career, I also act back home in Libya, and have also starred in a drama series ‘Dragunov’, which is about the 2011 Libyan revolution.
I decided to study the MSc in Global Governance as I was looking to improve my experience and knowledge in this area; looking at how governments function, and looking at how NGO’s function in relation to the UN sustainable development goals, which will inform my current work as well as help develop my career. There are plenty of highlights of studying the Global Governance Masters degree. We’ve had the opportunity to meet so many notable political figures such as former cabinet ministers, Rt Hon Jack Straw and Lord Peter Hain. I’ve learnt so much and even had the opportunity to discuss politics that touch on Libya with some high-level UK government officials. There have also been study trip opportunities such as to United Nations Global Compact, Scotland Yard, NATO in Brussels and the United Nations in New York City.
I’ve enjoyed being part of a lovely group of inspiring young leaders within the class. Classes are a mixture of theory and discussion, giving us the opportunity to voice our opinions on global matters. The students have all been friendly and open to me as an Arab, Muslim and Libyan. They have shown me a lot of love and support throughout the course, especially when things back in Libya haven’t been good.
I chose to base my dissertation on civil society work in post-conflict Libya, with a special focus on online civic action. This is an obvious area of interest for me and I have been lucky enough to be assigned Dr. Andrew Thompson, Head of School, Humanities and Social Sciences as my thesis supervisor. He helped me narrow down my area of research, and I am now both nervous and excited writing it!
I can already see the change in myself now, I am a lot more knowledgeable and able to push the boundaries in terms of my career choice in the world of NGOs activity and in particular with the UN sustainable development goals.
In the future I would love to secure an internship in a large organization such as the United Nations Refugee Council or the United Nations Development Plan, and then return home to develop "Volunteer Libya”, recruiting more youth volunteers and taking part in bigger projects across Libya with the collaboration of International NGOs. My long term plan would be to work for an international NGO present in the MENA region, and maybe finally return to education to complete a PHd.