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Academics design projects to serve wider community

By Dana Al Emam - Dec 22,2014 - Last updated at Dec 22,2014

AMMAN — Local academics showcased projects on Monday that they designed to address problems affecting the daily lives of Jordanians, as part of their social responsibility and within a competition launched recently.

The “Scientists and Social Initiatives” competition seeks to encourage social entrepreneurship among academics, increasing their contribution to building a better society and promoting themes of acceptance and tolerance, said Rana Dajani, founder of the Taghyeer (change) organisation, which organised the competition.

“The role of professors and instructors should not be limited to teaching at educational institutions,” Dajani said at a ceremony to announce and honour winners in the competition, which was held for the first time this year.

Three out of the five projects submitted to the competition were successful in achieving its goal, according to the jury, which consisted of three professors. 

One of the winning projects by Rawan Ejeilat, an assistant professor at the Hashemite University’s pharmacology faculty, seeks to hold workshops for students at universities and schools to educate them on issues that may cause discrimination, such as religious or ethnic backgrounds. 

Another winning project by Odeh Al Jayyousi, professor at Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II School of International Studies at the University of Jordan, seeks to develop a discourse at mosques on the sustainability of water and energy resources.

The third winning project by Najlaa Fleih, an assistant professor at Jadara University’s law faculty, aims to organise young people in groups and train them on the use of social media tools in promoting tolerance and coexistence.

Each winner will receive a $1,000 award, said Dajani, adding that Taghyeer will link all applicants and winners with donors who can fund their projects.

She added that the competition will be held annually, calling on academics to submit their projects next year.

Taghyeer is a nonprofit organisation registered at the Culture Ministry and offers programmes that encourage science, reading and social entrepreneurship, according to its members.

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