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 Jordan
■Marhaba! (Hello in Arabic language) (2007/12/28)
View of Fuheis. You can find crosses
here and there in Fuheis.

My name is Atsuko. I am a project coordinator of KnK Jordan. It has been about two months since we started activities here in Jordan and this is the first report on our activities. Jordan is one of the Middle Eastern countries and the furthest country from Japan among the countries where KnK is currently operating. Therefore, Jordan might not be familiar to the majority of people in Japan.

Over the past years, many Iraqi people have been forced to leave their country for one of the neighboring country, Jordan, due to the security situation in Iraq. According the statistics from the UNCHR as of September 2007, the number of such population has reportedly amounted to 500,000 to 750,000. Children and youth make up a considerable portion among the displaced population.

Some Iraqi children cannot go to school because their families do not have enough money to send them to schools. Other children can go to school, however, they may not be able to join the grades which are appropriate to their ages, since they have already lost some schooling years. There are also Iraqi children who have experienced difficulties such as, losing family members or relatives while they were in Iraq or even after they came to Jordan, or missing relatives or friends who they used to play with back in Iraq.

A road leading to Azraq and Iraq.
All surrounded by the desert.

On the other hand, Jordan is in a position to cope with the changes in its society which have occurred by accepting many Iraqi people as a host country. Therefore, there is a need to promote understandings among Jordanian people on the situations that Iraqi people have gone through and to cooperate with them to assist Iraqi population in Jordan.

Considering these circumstances, KnK started a project which aims to help Iraqi children and youth, and also aims to promote understandings and friendship between Jordanian and Iraqi children and youth through activities such as sports, music, English, and computer courses.

Our project is currently being executed in two sites. One is Fuheis, a town 15 km away from Amman, a capital of Jordan. In Fuheis, we offer English, sports and music courses for girls at Al Fuheis Girls Youth Center and about 80 girls aged from 10 to 25 years old are currently enrolled in these courses.

Many Jordanian and Iraqi kids came
to the youth club on the registration
day.
“Friendship without Borders” is the
slogan of the club.

Day of a placement test in Fuheis.
The English course is popular among
girls.
Mr. Tahssen, our football coach who
used to play as a professional football
player back in Iraq.

Boys are full of energy even after the
football training!

Computer class is also popular
at the club. So serious while learning
computer skills!



The other is Azraq, a town 100 km away from Amman. In Azraq, we offer football and computer courses at Azraq Youth Sports Club and about 110 boys aged 8 to 18 years old participate in these courses. An opening ceremony was held at Al Fuheis Girls Youth Center on December 2, 2007 and at the Azraq Youth Club on December, 10, 2007. The purpose to hold such an event is to promote understanding on a project executed by KnK among government officials of Jordan, Iraq and Japan as well as among people in community of Fuheis and Azraq, and to seek cooperation from them so that our project will be successful. His Excellency, Dr. Atef Odibat, President of Higher Council for Youth, His Excellency Mr. Kato Shigenobu, Ambassador of Japan to Jordan, and Mr. Ala’a Al Douri, Counselor of the Embassy of Iraq to Jordan, kindly attended the ceremony in Fuheis. As for the ceremony in Azraq, the distinguished guests included Mr. Mohammed Al Moqdadi, Governor of Azraq, Mr. Yoichi Nakashima, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, and Mr. Amer Al Issawi, First Secretary of the Embassy of Iraq.

An opening ceremony of our project
in Fuheis. Right in the middle are
our three main guests, President
Al Odibat, Ambassador Kato, and
Counselor Al Douri
Behind is a slogan for the youth
center in Fuheis, “Al Fuheis Youth
Center,
where youth have hope,
where friendship is born.”



The opening ceremonies included speeches by these guests and introductory presentation of KnK as well as its project in Jordan, followed by traditional dance and music performance by girls who are enrolled in the music and dance course at Al Fuheis Girls Youth Center. The performance enthralled the audience, despite of the limited time that the girls had for preparation for the ceremonies. Not only children and youth who come to the center or the club, but their families also gathered at this occasion, thus about 200 people at each site enjoyed sharing pastime. Afterwards, we have gotten feedbacks appreciating such occasions from many families and community members. It must have been an unforgettable experience for children and youth, too.

Girls at the youth center in Fuheis
performed dance and music.
This type of dance is locally called
Dabke.
At the end of an opening ceremony
in Fuheis.
An opening ceremony in Azraq. With
our patron,
Mr. Al Moqdadi, Governor of Azraq.
Naughty boys are behaving
themselves in the ceremony.
Everyone loves music and dance!
An Arabic logo on the T-shirt reads
“Jordan, Iraq, Japan Friendship
Project”.



On December 17th, KnK provided direct assistance to the families with children and youth in Azraq, such as food, blankets, or heating units. One of the findings from our surveys is that most Iraqi families do not have these items which are necessities for winter. The winter in Azraq is especially severe, since Azraq is surrounded by the desert. Therefore, we decided to provide such assistance, hoping that children and youth can have enough food, maintain good health, and study well. The beneficiaries were especially glad to receive the assistance, because the timing was just before the celebration of Eid Al Adha, an Islamic holiday.

Food items for assistance for Iraqi
families. Olive oil, rice, flour, pasta,
canned faba beans, canned tomatoes,
canned tunas, cheeses etc are
included in the package.
An Iraqi family in Azraq who received
assistance.



Children in Fuheis with Santa Clause!
What’s inside the present?

On December 24, Christmas Eve, KnK delivered Christmas gifts for Iraqi children at church in Fuheis after the mass. While most people in Azraq have faith in Islam, most people in Fuheis have faith in Christianity. Christmas Eve is thus a day which children in Fuheis is also looking forward to. Children were delighted to receive the presents given by Santa Clause after waiting for him for a year. We wished with our whole heart that the coming new year will be filled with joys and hopes for Iraqi children.

There are a lot more things that I would like to report from Jordan, but I should stop here now. Our project in Jordan just started. We are determined to make utmost efforts to live up to the expectations of Jordanian and Iraqi children, youth, and families in community of Fuheis and Azraq. We would greatly appreciate your continues support for our project!

A little boy, Hussein from Iraq.
The funniest boy in Azraq enjoys
football training at the club.
A little boy, Ghaith from Iraq with his three young brothers. He is also a football player.

 

Reported by Atsuko Nishimoto
Project Coordinator in Jordan
 
 
 
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