I recently returned from my mission to Jordan.
On the first day of my visit, I went to The Citadel, one of the UNESCO World Heritage. The preservation of cultural sites is important because it allows future generations to learn about their heritage & history. I also met with the UN Country Team in Jordan, this was not only an occasion to meet with the United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes in the country, but also the opportunity for a productive discussion on the implementation of the #Youth2030 Strategy in Jordan.
During my time there, I had the opportunity to meet the young people in Jordan. The first dialogue was hosted by UNICEF Jordan. In the discussion, we discussed how young people are handling challenges such as youth marginalization and unemployment. I was very humbled to hear their stories and always impressed by young people’s optimism & resilience.
I then joined young gender advocates and UN Women Jordan for an interactive dialogue. Very glad to have an open discussion on stereotypes, stigma, and taboo on women’s rights with a dynamic group of young people in the youth-friendly Liwan Space – which is co-founded by ActionAid Arab Region, Tammey for Human Development and active young people in the public and civic sphere in Jordan.
I also visited the bustling Weibde with UNFPA Jordan where I had the chance to visit cool youth-focused spaces and enterprises. This project has so many activities: from providing space that equips young people with creative economy skills at C-HUB by iDare, to mobilizing young people to build social solidarity and economic support through shared meals at Ezizwitti, and using art and music as a way to connect and engage young people through shared-culture at Beit Al Nay.
On my second day in Jordan, I was honored to meet with HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II and also had the opportunity to see the work of مؤسسة ولي العهد – Crown Prince Foundation! I learned so much about their ambitious leadership progamme for technical & applied education that support more young people to be in #STEM industry. Afterward, I met with Jordan’s National Coalition for YPS 2250. So proud to see how young people are taking the lead in decision-making processes for the Coalition.
I also met with cool and creative young people at Zain Innovation Campus – ZINC open workspace! The collaboration of ZINC Jordan and UNDP Jordanis a great example of how public-private partnership empowers young people to drive social change through technology, innovation, and creativity.
On my 3rd day in Jordan, I visited the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan. The camp has hosted 500.000 refugees and 56% of them are under the age of 18. Young people between 18-29 make up 18.5% of the population in the camp, and I had the opportunity to meet them.
I went to the Makani Center UNICEF_jordan that allows young people to engage in sports, music and asocial innovation challenges. I met the young refugees engaged in the programs as both facilitators & beneficiaries and receive feedback on how the United Nations can support them better.
I also visited the UNHCR Jordan youth center where young people can learn formal education through online curriculums. They also learn skills like tailoring, making handicrafts, perfume and soap making, painting and so much more. I then met with the Za’atari Youth Task Force and the youth volunteers Questscope. We got together and discussed the #YouthCompact. The Compact provides guidelines on working with & for young people in humanitarian work, our discussion focused on the Global Compact’s Local Implementation.
Finally, I went to NAYA Center in Zarqa. Having dedicated, youth lead, accessible, safe spaces for young people to meet -like this center- is so important. Especially outside the capital & big cities! Before the day ended, I participated in a youth Townhall meeting with UNICEF_jordan and Generations For Peace – Jordan to hear the challenges and aspirations of young people. I’m in awe of how well young Jordanians understand the issues they are facing in their lives, and of their capabilities to find solutions to those issues!
On my last day at the Ministry of Youth of Jordan, I had the pleasure of meeting with H.E. Minister Mohammed Suleiman Aburman, Jordan’s Minister responsible for youth. It was great to discuss the priorities of the upcoming National Youth Policy and collaboration between the Ministry and the UN Jordan team.
I also met with the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Jordan. We discussed means to remove age restrictions in running for office, increasing youth participation in political parties, and ending gender-based discrimination in politics. Happy to see that we are all for #NotTooYoungToRun. 🙌🏽
This trip has been eyeopening. I will take back the inspiration that I got from the young people and the youth-supporters that I met! #Youth2030