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ICYF Essay Competition Youth in Face of Conflict, Violence and Global challenges in Post COVID-19 Era


Youth are surrounded with challenging cultural, technological. socio-economic, and political environments and thus with complex opportunities and problems across the OIC member states geography. A general overview of the status of youth in the OIC Member States and beyond show how those challenges are closely interrelated and found across key domains of society and development. Those complexity of those issues vary across the OIC zones; they generally include education, unemployment, underdeveloped entrepreneurial ecosystems, illegal migration, limited civic and political participation, deteriorated health and wellbeing, extremism, cultural and social changes triggered by globalization. Those common challenges are further exacerbated for young people in OIC Member States and Muslim communities that are struck by on-going conflict and war undermining the well-being of youth at a greater extent and with greater implications on the future.

As the umbrella for youth organizations in the Muslim world and intergovernmental organization, ICYF plays active role in building the youth capacity for the prevention and resolution of conflict in the OIC Member States and beyond while helping reduce the repercussions of conflicts on youth and their respective communities, especially when conflict continues to cause significantly negative impact on vulnerable groups including youth. A culture based on dialogues, reconciliation and sharing of common values remain the key source for building peaceful and much more sustainable solutions to prevailing conflicts and problems. This Essay Competition seeks to engage youth; especially on how they view peace and reconciliation and how they choose to address both local and global challenges with concrete and actionable recommendations, and how they would contribute the building of global community based on shared human values as a solution capable of holding the world together and promoting peaceful coexistence.

Main Questions

In addition to the questions mentioned above, a broad range of issues in this field can be addressed:

  • Which approaches may better foster global cohesion in world afflicted by post COVID-19?
  • How do we build and share our common set of values about the right of communities in peace and security?
  • How to create solidarity in response to conflict, and common peace and security challenges facing our region or your own country?
  • What is the role of faith and values in solving global challenges in post Covid-19?
  • How cultural and civilizational diversity contributes to global community authentic dialogue?
  • How can global policies prevent the world from cross-cutting and persistent wars, economic, political, cultural, pandemics etc. crises?
  • What changes are needed if we were to build much more secure, peaceful, and resilient communities?
  • What resources are needed for better future for youth especially in conflict zones?

Approaches fostering global cohesion

  • Youth views and perception on the right of communities in peace and security
  • Muslim cooperation and solidarity in response to building common peace and security challenges
  • The role of faith and faith organizations in promoting mediation, peace and conflict solving.
  • The added value of cultural and civilizational diversity and its role in the conflict authentic dialogue
  • The global policies and the world conflict prevention from cross-cutting and persistent economic, political, cultural, etc. crises
  • Families and children in zones of conflict
  • Thoughts about the reality of youngsters
  • Ideas/insights for improving life in areas of the conflict
  • Memories about conflict (if any)


The Youth in the face of Conflict and Global challenges Essay competition aims to generate common understanding to current context of tension and conflict whole supporting the production of relevant creative and innovative approaches and strategies. Especially in the Post-Covid Era.

Essay Requirements

The Essay must be attached to the main questions of the competition and in the framework of the approaches fostering Global cohesion.

  • The essay must be written in English language only.
  • The essay should be between (1500-2000 words).
  • Each applicant may only submit one essay.
  • The essays should not have been published earlier, neither electronically nor in print.
  • Essays must be submitted electronically.
  • Essays must be the individuals’ own original pieces of work.
  • Submissions must also include: (1) a 250-word summary; (2) bibliography; (3) brief biography; and (4) a copy of school/university enrollment; photo is Optional.
  • The biography should include a) full name of student; b) name of the school or university and program in which the student is enrolled; c) student contact information (email and phone number)
  • The summary, bibliography, and biography do not count toward the maximum word count of the essay.
  • Citations should be included as endnotes and follow the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Essays must be typed (1.5 spaced) in 12-point Times New Roman and submitted in both Word and PDF format.

Participants’ requirements:

  • Age: 18-35
  • Enrolled as a student of bachelors or graduate programs
  • Young professionals
  • ICYF workers or their relatives cannot apply to the competition

Submission deadline

  • Essays and others related submission requirements MUST be submitted by 30 June 2021 using the online submission form.
  • Winners will be announced on 15 July 2021.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Essays will be judged on clarity and elaboration of arguments and on the creative and original nature.
  • Novelty, Expression, Structure, organization and mastery of essay
  • Application potential/prospects of the proposed theme
  • The essays would be assessed for their originality and practicality.
  • The essays will be checked for plagiarism using standard software and those found to have high similarity index with published material would be automatically disqualified.
  • There would be a scrutiny to determine the eligibility of the submitting authors as the anti-plagiarism test on each submission.
  • The qualifying essays would be evaluated by an international jury of scholars and practitioners of 5 persons.


  • Top 3 winning essays will receive honorary monetary awards.

         1st. 500 $

         2nd. 350 $

         3rd. 250 $

  • Honorable mention for selected essays (100 $)
  • Internship opportunities at ICYF
  • E-publication of all the ‘Winning Essays’ on ICYF Website, on ICYF E-Magazine Current occupation and name of the organization/institution affiliated with (university)

Technical Details of the Essay

  • Essays should have a proper introduction, topic, and conclusion.
  • Essay should not contain more than two graphs, charts, or photos, with copyright secured.
  • Essays MUST be original. They should represent the entire work of the participant. By submitting of the essay, participants confirm that their entries are original, have not been previously professionally or commercially published in any language, do not infringe copyright or any other intellectual property right and do not defame or invade the privacy rights of any third party, or infringe any other legal rights, regulations, or laws. Any evidence to the contrary will result in immediate disqualification.
  • Essays should be written in Times New Roman in 12 size with 1.5 space Authors should use 12pt font (any font), black, double-line spaced (i.e., a blank line space between each line), with pages numbered at the center of the bottom of each page.
  • Author’s name, motion and date being at the left upper corner in the paper. Page number and all being bold including the topic of the essay.
  • Page Margins: Left: 3.5 cm Right: 2.5 cm Bottom: 2.5 cm Top: 3.5 cm.
  • Entries should be Submitted via application form in MS Word format, and in English language.
  • Word limit to be between 1500-2000.

Application Process

  • The application process should be held by sending the essay to the application link below. Participants should provide a brief introduction about themselves (cover page).

The introduction must include the following:

  • Full name and age
  • The competition is of interest.

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