Veranstaltungsberichte

“Violence at Jordanian Universities: Reasons and Solutions”

von Daniella Engelhardt , Otmar Oehring , Muna Sukhni
Jordan has recently witnessed a growing number of violent conflicts among its youth. To prevent a spiral of violence, trigger and causes of the increasing phenomena of violence must be identified. Therefore, KAS Jordan Office organized in cooperation with Scoopat the seminar “Violence at Jordanian Universities: Reasons and Solutions” on the 19th of June 2014 in Mafraq to develop strategies and measures to prevent a further progress of violence.

Date, Place: 19th of June, 2014; Mafraq - Jordan

Organization: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Jordan Office (KAS), First Media Company (Scoopat)

Program

Welcome Speeches

Mr. Maher Madieh

Director

First Media Company - Scoopat

Amman - Jordan

Ms. Nidaa Al Shraideh

On behalf of Dr. Otmar Oehring, Resident Representative of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Jordan Office

Project Manager

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

Jordan Office

Mr. Sadam Al Khawaldeh

Al Mafraq-Coordinator

All Jordan Youth Commission

Al Mafraq - Jordan

Mr. Iyad Al Russan

On behalf of the Governor of Mafraq H.E. Mr. Qasim Mhidat

Deputy Governor of Mafraq

Al Mafraq - Jordan

Session 1: The Role of Legislation and Law in Reducing University Violence

H.E. Dr. Reem Abu Dalbuh

Member of the Jordanian Parliament

Amman – Jordan

Discussion

Session 2: The Role of Student Affairs Department in Reducing University Violence

Dr. Ismaiel Aloon

Vice Dean of Student Affairs Department

Al-Albayt University

Al Mafraq - Jordan

Discussion

Session 3: Interacting Relations between Civil Society Organizations and Higher Education Institutions in Reducing University Violence

Mr. Suliman Al Kawaldeh

Director of Mossawah Center for Civil Society Development

Mafraq – Jordan

Discussion

Closing Session and Recommendations

Introduction

Jordan has recently witnessed a growing number of violent conflicts among its youth, a phenomenon occurring particularly in Jordans’ universities. These acts of violence manifest in different ways, ranging from vandalism to verbal abuse and physical assault. To prevent a spiral of violence, trigger and causes of the increasing phenomena of violence must be identified. Therefore, KAS Jordan Office in cooperation with Scoopat decided to organize three seminars, entitled “Violence at Jordanian Universities: Reasons and Solutions” to develop strategies and measures to prevent a further progress of violence. These seminars aim at reducing the use of violence by raising awareness of its inability to adequately solve problems by helping to cope with the general pressure all students face. The seminars provide alternative ways of stress release and work on recommendations for a long-term plan to fight this unpleasant phenomenon which proves to be among the most dangerous problems academics are facing in Jordanian universities. The first workshop took place on the 28th of May in Zarqa and was followed by the second workshop on the 12th of June 2014 in Karak. The last workshop took place on the 19th of June 2014 in Mafraq under the Patronage of the Governor of Mafraq HE. Mr. Qasim Mhidat.

Welcome Speeches

Mr. Maher Madieh, Director of Scoopat, emphasized that the seminars take up the function as dialogue forums to discuss the recent increase of societal violence in Jordan, in order to develop means of reducing this current phenomena. Especially the influence of the media has to be discussed in this regard, to raise a growing awareness among the Jordanian society. In this context, he thanked the participants, as well as KAS Jordan Office, for its continuous support of their work.

Ms. Nidaa Al Shraideh, project manager at KAS Jordan Office thanked all participants for their contributions and thus advancing the topic. Ms. Al Shraideh stressed the relevance of the seminars as violence in Jordanian universities has experienced a serious turn in the recent time. Therefore KAS is cooperating continuously with various sectors and institutions of the local community in order to build bridges of communication and cooperation among young people. The three seminars should enable the determination of the phenomenon, the identification of its reasons and the development of solutions and recommendations. In this context, she highlighted the importance of the successful cooperation with Scoopat in this crucial topic.

Mr. Sadam Al Khawaldeh, Al Mafraq Coordinator of the All Jordan Youth Commission, stated that violence at Jordan universities can not be separated from social violence and that it is the researcher’s duty to identify the reasons for violent behaviour of citizens and students. Mr. Sadam Al Khawaldeh calls on all concerned parties to study the violence phenomena well and find solutions for eliminating or reducing it.

Mr. Iyad Al Russan, Deputy Governor of Al Mafraq, said that one of the main reasons for students’ violence is the gap in their psychological, social and cultural life. He calls on the university’s administrations to offer their students extracurricular activities in which students can engage in a hobby and which raise their individual competences and awareness.

Session 1: The Role of Legislation and Law in Reducing University Violence

H.E. Dr. Reem Abu Dalbuh, Member of the Jordanian Parliament, said that all universities have regulations, laws and legislation when it comes to disciplinary procedures related to students who act against the university’s system. However these sanctions are being abolished or reduced due to external pressure on universities’ administrations. Therefore she assures that if universities would refer more strictly to their regulations and laws and implement the sanctions, violence will be reduced.

Session 2: The Role of Student Affairs Department in Reducing University Violence

Dr. Ismaiel Aloon, Dean of Student Affairs Department at the Al Albayt University in Mafraq, talked about the role of sanctions being taken against violent students. If these sanctions would not be lifted due to “wasta” (clouts) or external interventions, violence at universities would strongly be reduced, he assures. He emphasized the necessity of student activities at universities and extracurricular lectures that create spirit of friendships and mutual understanding among students.

Session 3: Interacting Relations between Civil Society Organizations and Higher Education Institutions in Reducing University Violence

Mr. Suliman Al Kawaldeh, Director of Mossawah Center for Civil Society Development, emphasized the importance of civil society organizations that play a big role in reducing the violence phenomena. He added that the various seminars in cooperation with KAS and Scoopat should raise awareness and reduce these negative phenomena.

Conclusion

The participants of the three seminars had the chance to come together and exchange their opinions and their experiences about violence at Jordanian universities. They developed strategies and measures to prevent a further progress of violence and developed recommendations to fight this unpleasant phenomenon. These recommendations will be followed up by KAS in cooperation with its partners.

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