Monday, July 19, 2004

Youth of Jordan: Express Yourselves!

Around 120 Jordanian youth met senior officials and business leaders this week to explore ways of enhancing their engagement in the country's social, economic and political life. Addressing concerns raised by the youth at the end of their two-day forum in the Dead Sea, King Abdullah of Jordan told students they should express themselves freely at all times and encouraged university students to continue expressing their views and concerns to government officials without fear or reservation.
Students say they are hesitant in arguing with their university professors for fear of getting a low grade or being “humiliated” or “told off.”
“The King said we have to do away with these fears, follow our own track and freely express ourselves,” said Abdullah Tayfour, a 4th year computer engineering student at the Hashemite University. “I believe that our contribution to such national dialogue was important and the extent of freedom to which we have been able to express ourselves was a great leap,” he added.
The students called for ensuring a “safer and more secure environment” to foster their participation in the country's political life, efforts to eliminate fanaticism, greater involvement in higher educational reforms, providing incentives to empower women.
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