"Our dreams are very simple. To have a decent living that would allow us to be sufficient and not put out a hand to beg. We want people to look at us as humans, because we’re just like them."
Assem Abdallah, 20, is much like the typical university student in the United States—bright, eager to learn. He was forced to flee his home in Idlib three years ago because of the conflict that has torn his country apart.
The town of Al-Mafraq—"the crossroads" in Arabic—was a major intersection of civilizations throughout history. Today, with the conflict in Syria only 10 kilometers away, the town is at a new “crossroad” as it has received a large influx of Syrians fleeing violence. During the two years since the conflict began, Jordan opened its border to more than 540,000 Syrians—housing the majority in local communities rather than refugee camps—straining Jordan’s already limited natural and financial resources.
Like so many young people in Jordan and around the world, Murad Al Zaghal was in need of opportunities to express his creative voice in a way that contributed to his personal growth. By participating in USAID’s International Youth Day 2011, 19- year-old Al Zaghal got a boost to his confidence and abilities while pursuing his passion for design.
Seventy percent of Jordan’s population is under age 30, and nearly two-thirds of working-age youth are unemployed. The Government of Jordan has made the positive participation of youth in all aspects of life a high priority, and USAID recently initiated an integrated set of programs to address youth and poverty.
Zeinab Momani’s high school scores did not allow her to fulfill her life’s desire of attending university - but she did not stop seeking other options. 25-year-old Zeinab heard from her brother about a short business-management training program that teaches participants how to start their own business.
Last updated: November 23, 2015