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Youth-focused policies for young nation offer voice, better future for Kingdom


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — In a country with a considerably young population, His Majesty King Abdullah has put a lot of emphasis on the youth-focused policies during the two decades since his accession to the throne to help young people lead the Kingdom to a better future, experts and youth sector representatives said.
In a phone interview, CEO of the All Jordan Youth Commission Abdul Raheem Zawahreh said that His Majesty has launched many Royal initiatives focused on the youth and education sectors.
The All Jordan Youth Commission initiative was established in 2006 to communicate with young people, build on their capabilities and give them a chance to take the lead in their communities and do volunteer work, Zawahreh said.
The King also worked on establishing sports cities in various governorates, giving young people a space to spend their energy, practice their hobbies and train their bodies and minds, Zawahreh said, noting that many young people visit these cities as part of their daily routines to play different kinds of sports in the various facilities.
His Majesty also established youth centres with a special focus on remote areas in order to involve young people in the Kingdom’s development and innovation process, Zawahreh added.
In his speeches and discussion papers, which are considered a roadmap for the government and public institutions working with the youth, the King stressed the role of young people and their abilities for change, Zawahreh said, noting that the King described young Jordanians in May 2007, during a speech delivered on Jordan’s Independence Day, as “Knights of Change”.
His Majesty constantly conducts meetings and discussions with the Jordanian youth to learn about their educational needs and discuss different ideas with them, to ensure a better learning environment and make the education inputs compatible with the labour market’s needs.
The All Jordan Youth Commission was established following such a political, social and economic dialogue that continued for three days with over 1,700 young people, after which His Majesty instructed then-prime minister Marouf Bakhit to launch the project.
The King also gives young people a chance to learn from foreign youth sectors and how they operate as they accompany him on his visits abroad.
Young Jordanians are also often given the opportunity to represent Jordan’s youth sector in other countries through their participation in meetings and events around the world.
The efforts of HRH Crown Prince Hussein and the creation of the Crown Prince Foundation (CPF) are also manifestations of His Majesty’s vision to invest in the youth.
The CPF has worked on establishing Al Hussein Technical University to focus on the digital shift in the world as well as vocational training, encouraging innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.
Regarding the commission’s current status, Zawahreh said that it has 13 branches around the Kingdom, each of which comes with a “knowledge station” that trains young people to innovate and create through various programmes and volunteering campaigns.
Around 1,455,883 people have benefited from the commission’s activities since its establishment until the end of last year, according to Zawahreh.
Ahmad Al Karaki, a young Jordanian activist, told The Jordan Times that he sees the adoption of the UN Security Council of Resolution 2250 in December of 2015 at the initiative of Jordan as one of the biggest achievements for the youth, expressing pride in being part of it.
The resolution deals with the issues of young people from a perspective of international peace and security, which Jordan called for in 2015 when it was a member of the Security Council.
Jordan prepared for a conference that gathered 3,000 young activists from around the world during December 2015 ahead of the vote on the resolution.
Karaki says that although he lives in the remote south of Karak Governorate, he works in the field of media and is able to participate in the activities of the All Jordan Youth Commission, making his voice heard “the same as anyone in the capital”.
Moreover, Karaki stressed how the King Abdullah II Fund for Development and the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development help finance young people to start their businesses and travel abroad to represent Jordan, as part of His Majesty’s visions to support youth participating in international conferences.
Another young activist, Samer Al Marashdeh said that His Majesty has given young people a louder voice in the decision-making process, citing youth’s representation in parliaments, the decentralised governorate councils and municipalities.

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