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Two Women Represent Hawaiʻi at World Expo 2020 Dubai

World Expo 2020 Dubai Youth Ambassadors
Adam Landes Photography
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U.S.A Youth Ambassadors for the World Expo 2020 in Dubai. Miller (first row, fifth from left) and Claerbout (fourth row, second from right) are from Hawaiʻi.

The Eiffel Tower. The Ferris wheel. Live TV. These are just some of the historical innovations that have debuted at the World Expo over the years.

Also known as the World’s Fair, the World Expo is a six-month celebration of international accomplishments in technology, food, the arts, and more.

Over 190 countries will be participating — each with its own building.

Two women from Hawaiʻi will be working for the USA Pavilion as one of its 75 youth ambassadors.

Hanna Claerbout from Maui says youth ambassadors are the face of the pavilion.

"On any given day, I could be standing outside in 100-degree weather in a Lady Liberty costume welcoming visitors, or I could be inside talking about one of the exhibits."

"We are a large part of the pavilion, and what’s really important is that we’ll be participating in what’s called citizen diplomacy. For some of these people, we might be the first Americans that they meet. So it’s really exciting for us to have that responsibility," explains Claerbout.

Each country will construct a pavilion designed by an architect from their country. There, they will put their innovations and culture on display.

The festival grounds are divided into three themes — opportunity, mobility, and sustainability. The U.S.A pavilion will be located in the opportunity area, with a moving walkway that will guide visitors through its exhibits.

Sydney Millerd is a youth ambassador from West Oʻahu. She says Hawaiʻi can learn from this global meetup.

"We have our own challenges in the islands. For example, importing our food is definitely a major problem, right? But there’s other countries here who have things that are regarding food security. We can take ideas from other countries and possibly implement them at home," Millerd tells HPR.

Both Claerbout and Millerd learned about the opportunity through an advertisement on Instagram. They sent their applications to the nonprofit organization, Global Ties U.S.

After a year's delay, Expo 2020 Dubai will be starting on Oct. 1. This is the first time the exposition will take place in the Middle East after 170 years.

The Expo will feature more than 200 food and beverage outlets. There will be daily musical performances from all over the world.

Visitors must show proof of vaccination to enter fair grounds. Those who are not vaccinated can receive a free rapid PCR exam in a facility next to the Expo 2020 site.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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