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21 May

The Role of Youth in Countering Extremist Ideology

AMMAN, JORDAN: The Strong Cities Network in Jordan, and in collaboration with our implementing partner, the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute, held its first virtual seminar (Diwaneyeh) on Thursday, May 21, 2020, as part of the network’s newly launched series of virtual seminars: “Diwaneyat” initiative.

The session focused on highlighting the importance of the role higher education institutions and college students play in countering violent extremism on university campuses. The panel discussion focused on the following topics:

- Role of higher education institutions in promoting awareness among college students;
- Importance of self-awareness, knowledge, and culture in building a more contextually-aware and a more responsible generation;
- Importance of promoting values which encourage moderation, respect for others, and values that condemn and reject hate speech in all of its forms;
- Role of local prevention networks in supporting higher education institutions and college students in countering extremist ideology on university campuses.

Strong Cities Network Project Manager in Jordan, Ms. Alaa Mufleh initiated the Seminar by providing an overview of the Strong Cities Network and the work of the local prevention networks in Irbid, Karak, and Zarqa in designing programs that focus on preventing violent extremism over the past few years. The discussion was facilitated by Mr. Ismael al-Hawari, who is the Head of the Culture Preservation Unit at Irbid’s Greater Municipality, and currently serves as the Network’s Focal Point in Irbid. Mr. Mohammad al-Azzam, a local activist and a human development specialist and trainer who currently serves as the Local Prevention Network’s Media Officer in Irbid served as the lead speaker, and was joined by Mr. Barik Mhadeen; Senior Human Security Researcher at the WANA Institute.

The Diwaneyat initiative -a joint initiative by the Strong Cities Network in Jordan and the West Asia - North Africa Institute- is a series of seminars through which we aim to facilitate systematic sharing of knowledge, expertise and lessons learned on building social cohesion and community resilience to prevent violent extremism.  It should be noted that the Strong Cities Network, which is led by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and funded by the Dutch government, is the first ever global network of mayors, municipal-level policy makers and practitioners united in building social cohesion and community resilience to counter violent extremism in all its forms. In Jordan, the project is currently being implemented by the WANA Institute, which is a non-profit policy think tank based in Amman, Jordan, and chaired by His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal.
For inquiries about the Strong Cities Network in Jordan and to discuss ways to get involved, please contact SCN project Manager in Jordan, Ms. Alaa Mufleh at: Alaa.Mufleh@WANA.JO.

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