When I first told my friends back home I would be coming to Jordan to live for a year, I received mostly perplexed looks and questions such as but what’s there?, are you going to get married? and of course, is it safe?
Aside from knowing that in all, Jordan is an extremely safe country, and that no I am in fact not wife material just yet, I didn’t know much about the country I would be calling home for the next year.
At first sight Jordan doesn’t really impress. In the streets the most common businesses are restaurants, coffee shops and tiny stores packed with Chinese merchandise that seems like they could burst at the seams.
But like I said this is only the first impression you may get from this country. Jordan and especially it’s capital Amman currently face an enormous opportunity as the only Arab country that can still be visited and invested in with relative peace of mind.
Some groups, particularly within the younger population, have taken notice of the crossroads their country is facing and are mobilizing to take advantage of it. Among them is the Incitement Movement, which had its opening episode in the country on Friday. The movement is global and was first founded in Malaysia and has spread to over a dozen countries.
In sum the idea of the movement is to organize events where people who are looking to improve a part of their society, education or themselves can network and build connections that will help them achieve their goals.
In its opening chapter, more than 60 people attended the event, which was held predominately in Arabic. In my case with my limited language skills everything was a bit confusing. Nonetheless, the energy in the room was fantastic. The event opened with a talk by Dr. Odeh Al Jayyoussi who spoke about attaining added value, inspiration and the importance of sustainable development.
Following him were Jordanian entrepreneurs, which included: Big Bag Jordan, which organizes events and memorable expeditions around the country’s touristic treasures including retreat and education trips.
Then it was the turn of the ‘Nartaqe’ Initiative, which is composed of community based philanthropy projects where they address the needs of refugee camps, impoverished schools and other similar projects. Additionally she gave a talk of the life cycle of heroes and what it means to be one of them.
The speakers closed with Nader bikes an initiative that organizes trips to the Dead Sea and the different Wadis (deserts) having bikes as their only transportation. A particularly interesting project that hopes to spark a sport culture within the Jordanian society that is primarily sedentary.
All exposed how they came about founding their projects and how they are hoping to change and help the society they are living in through their initiatives. Throughout the presentations attendees chimed in with questions and comments on and about the projects, closing the event by exchanging numbers and emails and promises of future contributions. (Plus cookies and treats!) Brought by R Cakes in
In all it seemed like a promising start for Incitement Jordan, an initiative which is going to continue holding events such as these every month and start working on new initiatives to keep the positivity flowing. Additionally this may be only one of the many examples of that are popping around the capital of Jordan in hopes of pushing their country into a new era.