23/4/2018 - 10:04 am

A Former Biochemistry Student With A Somalian Family Background Has Been Named The Young People’s Laureate for London

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Momtaza Mehri. / Photo: Spread the Word Momtaza Mehri. / Photo: Spread the Word

Here Youth Time Magazine publishes two of the most interesting and informative youth related news items of the past week. Our weekly news roundup is published every Monday and Friday and contains just some of the most important developments in the world of global youth. Follow, like and submit comments on Facebook and other Youth Time media.

Bored with the EU

A new report from the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR) suggests that German millennials have fallen out of love with the European project. A comprehensive survey of young Germans aged 18-29 found that the majority were concerned about the direction the EU is taking.

Millennials had less certainty about Germany’s place in the world that older generations. The majority of Germans consider France to be the country’s major ally. But only a small minority of 18-29-year olds feel the same way. They are more likely to say Germany has no special partner and also more likely than older generations to say Germany should become a more dominant presence in EU politics.

The poll found that millennials had watered down their optimism about the EU in recent years. Support for the creation of a European army has fallen. ECFR analysis also found that young Germans were far less radical than their peers across the EU. They were more interested in preserving the status quo than expanding Europe with a grand utopian vision.

Queen of rhyme

A former biochemistry student with a Somalian family background has been named the young people’s laureate for London. Momtaza Mehri, aged 24, will take on an ambassador role, using her position as laureate to encourage young people to use poetry as a means of expression.

Mehri has won multiple awards for her work and been shortlisted for the prestigious Brunel African poetry competition. The London native’s poetry has been described as “precise and powerful and rich with images that are haunting” by Rishi Dastidar, a poet and leader of British writers’ network Spread the Word.

In her new role Mehri will work directly with young people aged 12-25. She will tour youth centres and schools with Spread the Word, hoping to convince youngsters to take up poetry as a means of making sense of the world and expressing their hopes, fears, anger and joy.

Mehri’s writings tackle themes of migration, city living and family. She believes that with the huge range of different ethnic and economic backgrounds London offers, young poets will emerge with new voices who present unique interpretations of classic themes.

She will also work with the city’s Young People’s Poetry Lab, a group that local teachers say have helped dramatically improve the writing skills of high school students.

Photo: Spread the Word

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