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The weight of water

Date: 24 March 2022  Time: 17:30 – 20:00

Venue:  Spain Pavilion, Sustainability District, EXPO 2020 Dubai

Water connects all aspects of our lives, from education, women empowerment, health and economies. Accessibility to sanitation and safe water can instantly transform problems into potential, poverty into possibility, and time spent into time saved.

This year for Water Week, Dignified Storytelling  joined forces with We Are Water, a foundation dedicated to breaking the barriers between people and access to safe water and sanitation, to help us advocate and bring awareness around Sustainable Development Goals and the Dignified Storytelling Principles, goals and aspirations which are severely dependent on the global communities’ equal access to clean water.



Ragy Saro

Dignified Storytelling Lead

Ragy Saro is currently the Head of International Organisations at Expo 2020 Dubai. He oversees the engagement of international and regional organisations and leads on diverse programs, such as Dignified Storytelling. Prior to Expo 2020, Ragy was External Relations Officer at the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), managing partnerships, resource mobilization and communication.

He led several advocacy campaigns, including the Making Cities Resilient Campaign. Ragy holds a Master’s Degree in management with a focus on international organisations. His love for biodiversity goes beyond spending most of his free time diving and exploring the oceans; he is an adamant advocate for the conservation of sharks – one of the most valuable and vulnerable species today. He has a passion for storytelling and film. 


Marita Peters

Surge for Water

Water is the most important natural resource in the world; without it, life cannot exist. 2.1 billion people across the world lack access to clean drinking water. Marita Peters, the Executive Director of Surge UAE chapter, is determined to change that.

Marita’s childhood friend, Shilpa Alva, is the founder of Surge. Growing up together, they had a shared dream to do something that makes a difference in the world. Both Shilpa and Marita shared similar lives growing up. They were NRI kids who mostly visited India only during the holidays. It was during these trips they realized that running water was not available to everyone and the thought that they must do something about it occurred to them. It was this thought that later led to Shilpa setting up Surge, a non-profit organization that focusses on providing clean water and sanitation in water-stressed areas.

Since its inception Surge has impacted over a million people across the world. Marita shares her wonderful story of fulfilling a childhood dream with her best friend, Shilpa and how their bond is now enriching the lives of so many across the world.


Sumaiya Omar

Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Hashtag Our Stories

Sumaiya Omar is Co-founder and editor-in-chief at Hashtag Our Stories. Her team publishes over 1,000 videos a year, and reached over a billion views in 2021. Sumaiya knows how to reach young audiences, with content targeting young women aged 13-24.


Carlos Garriga

Director, We Are Water Foundation

Carlos has a Degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Barcelona, with a postgraduate degree in Protocol from UPF. He has developed most of his professional career in the field of communication, working for various agencies and companies such as the Roca Group or the RBA Editorial. He is the Director of the We Are Water Foundation since 2020.

In 2010, he began working as Project Manager, being responsible for coordinating the projects carried out by the Foundation together with international organizations such as Unicef, Oxfam Intermon or World Vision International; as well as various awareness initiatives worldwide.


Yusuf Omar

Co-Founder, Hashtag Our Stories 

Yusuf Omar is co-founder of Hashtag Our Stories, a global journalism video publisher with over 4.2M followers. Their shows include Our Minds, Our Stories, and the Snap Original, First Person. They’ve empowered over 20,000 mobile journalists across 140 countries to make videos with phones. The former CNN Senior Social Media Reporter is a multi-award-winning journalist and TEDx speaker. He has been a correspondent since 2010 in countries including Syria and Congo. And by the way, those Spectacles on his face are cameras and he wears them all the time!

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