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Category: Newcomers’ Ambassador of the Year

This award is presented to an amazing Newcomers’ Ambassador team who emulates the ideal event format for newcomers.


2017 Winners: Sally Ibrahim and Ashraf Salman in Kuwait City

2017 Honorable Mention: Laura Staubli-Li in Shanghai


Why They Won

The InterNations Newcomers’ Events are often the first introduction to the InterNations Community for our members so they are a very important type of event.. They are available to large communities which enjoy a nearly constant influx of new members. InterNations Newcomers’ Events are smaller and more intimate than our official events so that our newest members have the opportunity for a no-pressure glimpse into what being a member is all about.

For this award, the Jury considered Newcomers’ Ambassadors who present the best first impression of their community: They incorporate an interactive event schedule, often with casual games and icebreakers to get the crowd talking. They also have prepared a speech to introduce themselves and welcome Consuls to take the floor and share their own activities.

This year’s winning team was the Kuwait City Newcomers’ Ambassadors, and one of our jury members explains why:

“Sally and Ashraf became Ambassadors in February 2016 and they have been helping new members to feel welcome ever since. Their great work ethic and amazing team spirit make the Newcomers’ Events in Kuwait City feel special every time. Even though they always follow a specific format, Sally and Ashraf manage to bring new venues and unexpected offers to our newest members. Not only are they doing a great job at being Newcomers’ Ambassadors, but they are also responsible for hosting one official event every month. This definitely shows their passion and commitment to InterNations and we couldn’t be prouder to have them representing us in the Kuwait City Community.”

What motivated you both to become Newcomers’ Ambassadors?

Kuwait City Newcomers’ Ambassador Team: In our daily lives we both enjoy traveling to different countries. Once you arrive, there are many experiences to encounter such as the new culture and new surroundings or places, as well as different people. We feel like we want to learn from the people who encouraged us to become Newcomers’ Ambassadors to help guide members and help them adjusted to their new surroundings.


What do you do at your events to make the newest members of the InterNations Kuwait City Community feel welcome?

Kuwait City Newcomers’ Ambassador Team: All members that attend the Newcomers’ Events are welcomed not as if they were new but like we had met them a long time ago. As they arrive at the venue, we introduce them to the other members and say which country they are from. We encourage them to mix and mingle with each other, asking questions about how long they have been in the country, where they work, what their interests are, and much more. We try to get the members from the same home country to sit together so that they feel more comfortable sharing similar experiences. We always try to make sure that nobody stands alone and that there are continuous conversations among the newcomers of the group.


How do you make your monthly Newcomers’ welcome speech memorable?

Kuwait City Newcomers’ Ambassador Team: Once most of the registered members have arrived, we introduce ourselves and our community. Throughout the evening, there are discussions about the different groups available to join and how to make more friends. We mention the advantages of upgrading to Albatross Membership, checking the calendar, and how to filter activities according to their interests. To encourage future attendance, we mention the upcoming activities and events. As they leave, we pass out a brochure with the many locations and phone numbers of important places in Kuwait City for their reference. There is a raffle draw presented by the venue which make the night and gathering more memorable, too.


Congratulations to Sally and Ashraf for being 2017’s Newcomers’ Ambassadors of the Year, as well as our honorable mention in Shanghai, Newcomers’ Ambassador Laura Staubli-Li. Thank you for providing InterNations’ newest members with the warmest welcome and the best first impression of your community!


About the winners: 

Sally Ibrahim moved from Toronto, Canada to Kuwait City in 2004. She has been an Ambassador for the Kuwait City Community since February 2016. She is also currently a Consul in three groups: the Café Lovers Group, Ladies Group, and the Movie Nights Group.

Originally from Palestine, Ashraf Salman moved to Kuwait City in 2006 in order to establish his own business in Logistics and Supply Chain management. He has been an Ambassador since February 2016 and is currently a Consul for nine groups: Sports and Adventure, Arts and Culture, Dinner and More, Smoke and Recreation, Party Zone and More, Camping and BBQ Enthusiasts, Professional Networking, Chocolate Temptations, and Dance and Fitness.

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