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Seven Jordanians nominated for prestigious TOYP award

By Elizabeth Turnbull - Aug 06,2019 - Last updated at Aug 06,2019

Clockwise from top left: Nisreen Khashman, Maher Maymoun, Malak Al Akiely, Sami Hourani, Hala Mahfouz, Sadeem Qdaisat, Mohammad Sammour (Photo courtesy of JCI Jordan Facebook page)

AMMAN — As of early August, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Jordan has nominated seven Jordanians for the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) award, according to the organisation.

“Being selected among candidates across the world, as JCI is affiliated in about 120 countries, is a real success,” Rania Bader, 2019 JCI Jordan  National President, told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

Carried out annually, JCI  internationally honours 10 young active citizens under 40, who are viewed by the organisation as “exemplifying the spirit of the JCI Mission and providing commendable service to their communities”, according to the JCI.

The final decision will be announced in late August, during which the top 10 candidates will be chosen. Over 300 individuals from 57 nations have been honoured with the TOYP award since 1983, including John F. Kennedy, Jackie Chan, Henry Kissinger, Elvis Presley and Wayne Gretzky, among others, according to the organisation. 

This year, JCI Jordan’s nominees include a disability rights activist, a 28-year-old who has won awards for his cancer research and a business owner who has aspirations of one day becoming the first female Prime Minister of Jordan, according to the JCI.

Of those who have been selected in the past, “many have gone on to even greater achievements [and] all have continued to serve humanity and create impact in a great variety of ways,” according to the organisation.

Among the nominees is Mohammad Sammour, awarded as one of the top 100 young entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa by the US Department of State, and known for co-founding a social venture that focuses on the role of culture and art in advocating human rights, according to his JCI description.

In addition to being a Jordanian scientist, environmental leader, innovator, and entrepreneur, nominee Maher Maymoun has worked as a certified trainer and consultant with the World Bank, the UNDP, and the EU on environmental issues and green entrepreneurship, and is known for having invented a method of solar panel self-cleaning that does not use water, according to the JCI.

The third nominee, Sami Hourani, is a medical doctor and the founding CEO of the website “for9a.com” which serves as an educational platform as well as CEO of the website “souqfann.com”, a major online portal for handicrafts and local art products. Hourani has his MD from the University of Jordan, and works as a consultant in Middle East politics and electoral laws and serves on the board of directors of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, among other things, according to his JCI profile.

Sadeem Qdaisat, a 28-year-old scientist, has won awards for his research on bone marrow cultures in chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and has been involved in ground-breaking research on non-invasive prenatal testing for foetal cells in maternal circulation. He is currently working on treating and detecting hard-to-treat cancers, among many other things, according to his JCI bio.

Hala Mahfouz was awarded under the “humanitarian and voluntary leadership” category for her contributions in disability rights as she has worked to promote the equal participation of people with disabilities in society, according to JCI information.

Malak Al Akiely is the founder and managing director of Golden Wheat for Grain Trading Ltd., the only female owner of a company like this in the MENA region. She aims to pursue a PhD in agriculture economics and rural development and is working towards one day becoming Jordan’s first female prime minister, according to the profile provided by the JCI and her Linkedin profile.

Nisreen Khashman obtained a BA in rehabilitation science in orthotics and prosthetics at Jordan University where she is a lab supervisor, and in 2018 she received the first “Online Impact Award” from the World Peace Initiative and will compete under the “contribution to children, world peace and human rights” category, according to the JCI.

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