KHF Outreach
Jubilee Students Organize Youth Forum to Tackle Social & Economic Reform in Jordan
22nd March 2012
 
Dr. Amjad Aryan speaking at 5th Annual Youth Economic Forum
 
Eighty students from the Jubilee School and several other private and public schools joined forces on Saturday, March 17, 2012 to tackle the issue of economic and social reform in Jordan.  The fifth annual "Youth Economic Forum" invited ninth and tenth graders to brainstorm and dialogue about a wide range of issues facing Jordan including poverty, social violence, and popular movements.  The official theme for this year's discussion was "Economic and Social Priorities for Development in Jordan".

 

17-year old student organizer Nada Kamona says the most memorable part of the event for her was the motivational speech delivered by forum sponsor, Dr. Amjad Aryan, CEO and Founder of Pharmacy 1.

 

 

Kamona explains that Aryan's story of turning the negative forces that surrounded him into a motivational tool to succeed really resonated with her:

 

"Everyone has his or her own dreams they want to fulfill," said the 11th grader, "I will not be afraid to fulfill my dreams just because people tell me I cannot do that."

 

Kamona says the forum also provided her with the opportunity to prove her organizational skills to teachers, friends and family.  She adds that part of her motivation to participate in the event stemmed from her desire to learn how students from other schools think in regards to the topics addressed during the forum.
 
Student Participants in Economic Forum
 
The event also provided the young participants with the rare opportunity to hear directly from key leaders in the areas of business, economics, and politics.

 

Economist Dr. Yusuf Mansur, General Manager of the Envision Consulting Group says he spoke with the students about the need to gear Jordan's economic policy toward job creation in the private sector.  He also talked with the participants about the importance of employing women and youth in the current labor force.  Mansour, who also attended one of the workshops says he was impressed with the type of debate the students were engaging in:
 
"This should be a national discussion," Mansur remarked, "these kids were trying to come up with an economic policy framework for Jordan, this was one session."
 
Economist Dr. Khalid Al Wazani, CEO for "Issnaad Consulting" also spoke to the students about the priorities of economic reform, which he said should include a review of Jordan's income tax system.
 
Forum Supervisor Farouq Omari says the student participants indicated it was imperative to reorder economic priorities in Jordan beginning with financial reform by reducing the budget deficit and curtailing government spending, while creating sustainable sources of income through investments.  He adds the students also stressed the need to divest from tribal connections when tackling personal and family conflicts.
 
MP Reem Badran with Student Organizers
 
Students also asked Reem Badran, a Member of Parliament, questions about how corruption cases are and the need for young students to read and gain knowledge and information in order to formulate their own opinions on important issues.

 

"They should be active in the political life because that's part of democracy and as Jordanians, they should be involved," noted Badran. 

 

When asked about the aptitude of the students she engaged with on Saturday, Badran described them as informed and confident:

 

"We will have good leaders in the future," said Badran, "to me that's what counts at the end of the day."

 

While this is her first year participating in the Economic Forum, Badran says she hopes to return next year.

 

The all day event was organized by the Jubilee School which strives to address topical global, regional, and local issues it its forums, while at the same time inspiring students to engage in the art of dialogue with key decision makers and leaders in Jordan.

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