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Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

Thought, heritage, citizenship and identity… Reanaissance Journey for Youth concludes 1st day activities

ARDD

The Renaissance Journey for Youth kicked off on Tuesday ِAugust 7, 2018, with a number of activities that aim to broaden the horizons of young people in Jordan and acquaint them with the concepts and values of the Arab renaissance to help them navigate through challenges they are facing.

Fifteen youth from Mafraq, Zarqaa and Amman, in addition to a number of young ARDD volunteers, began the activities of the summer programme that will continue through September 22 with a lecture at ARDD headquarters in Amman, presented by Dr. Dhuqan Obeidat, who explained to the youth the main ideas of Arab Renaissance through which each and every one can seek positive change.

 Obeidat said that youth and women are the pillars of the renaissance and being part of the renaissance means "that i am able to answer any queries and seek knowledge".

he also said that the renaissance begins with the culture of change, and change is a means for innovation.

"We must always reverse granted and inherited concepts, so instead of saying 'youth protects the country', we should say 'the country protects the youth,’” Obeidat said.

The team moved next to the Amman Citadel, where they learned about the history and heritage of the ancient site, and the role culture and heritage play in strengthening the identities of communities.

The activities of the first day of the programme concluded at Shame El Balad, a restaurant situated in the heart of Jabal Amman neighborhood in an old and iconic Ammni building that serves food traditional to the region.

While enjoying the locally produced meals, the youth discussed with owner of Shams El Balad and former environment minister Hazim Malhas the concepts of citizenship and identity, an issue that Malhas described as being “foggy” in Jordan today.

Malhas shared his success story with the youth, and how decided to contribute to the local community and seek positive change.

Stressing that heritage is the basis for identity, Malhas said that identity must also be in harmony with modernity, and reviewed with the participants the history of Amman and its architecture. He encourage the youth to start working at an early age and depend on themselves and become productive and educated.

The young participants, aged between 15 and 25 years, expressed their own insights into the Arab renaissance, saying how their thoughts must not be constricted by the opinions of others, and how they must start by changing their own ideas and principles to effect change in the community and consequently achieve a cultural and intellectual renaissance.

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