Youth & Politics in Zarqa
Zarqa youth discuss political, economic participation with officials
The ‘EU Support to Jordanian Democratic Institutions and Development – EU-JDID’ programme organised a workshop on Wednesday, March 27th at Zarqa Youth Directorate, under the title ‘‘Youth Political and Economic Participation in Zarqa Govenorate’’.
Held in cooperation with the Parliamentary Youth and Sports Committee and local authorities, the event saw the attendance of over 70 local youth aged between 16 and 25 years old, who discussed a variety of topics related to political participation, unemployment and economic opportunities in the Zarqa Governorate.
In his opening remarks, Zarqa Governor, Dr. Mohammed Al-Smeeran, said: “It is important to create channels of dialogue with youth to discuss their economic and political problems and to promote their participation in political life in Jordan.’’
Highlighting poverty and unemployment as being ‘‘among the top priorities of the government’’, he added ‘‘youth must learn how to be productive and active to face these economic challenges.”
Topics tackled by the participants included ways to increase youth political participation and engagement and to decrease youth poverty and unemployment, with a specific focus on Zarqa’s youth.
Encouraging young participants to be “more involved in the political arena’’, MP Hmoud Al-Zawahreh said: “It is time for young people in Jordan to engage in political parties to achieve fair representation for youth in the decision-making process.”
“The Youth and Sports Committee of the HoR is dedicated to be a link between youth in Jordan and the HoR to give them the opportunity to express their political and economic concerns,” he pointed out.
During the discussion on economic challenges facing the youth, Batool Shamaylej expressed: “Most of the support the Government plans goes to the capital, and we, in Zarqa, have fewer opportunities to receive training in different fields to be able to face the economic challenges we have.”
Her remark was supported by participant Shadia Al-Zawahre, who stated: ‘‘The poor matching between the products of education and the needs of the market is one of the major reasons for unemployment of many youth in Jordan.”
On political participation, a number of attendees expressed their desire to be more involved in the country’s political life, lamenting the many obstacles they still face in joining parties or running for elections.
“There are many obstacles that young people who want to express their thoughts and opinions face. The lack of awareness in political parties and their nature is one of them.; and the lack of trust in the existing political parties and their programmes is also one reason for not being involved in parties and the political life in general,” stated Du’aa Khateeb.
The workshop came as part of a series of twelve sessions aimed at enhancing youth’s involvement in politics, which will be conducted across the Kingdom over the next few months.