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International conference highlights family as ‘basis of our society’

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Sep 24,2018 - Last updated at Sep 24,2018

The National Council for Family Affairs on Sunday opens the first international Family And Societal Harmony Conference in partnership with the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Centre (Photo courtesy of NCFA)

AMMAN — The National Council for Family Affairs (NCFA) on Sunday opened the first international Family And Societal Harmony Conference in partnership with the Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Centre (JICRC).

The conference sought to exchange Jordanian, Arab and international experience in the field of family relations and their value within society. 

Established under the patronage of Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, the conference tackles topics such as family in religion, the challenges faced by the family unit, dialogue and communication within the family environment, and technology and social networking through the study of multi-disciplinary papers that shed light on the role of institutions in enhancing family values ​​and relations, according to organisers. 

The conference will last until Tuesday and see the participation of dozens of speakers and representatives of governmental and non-governmental institutions across Jordan, Palestine, Qatar, Malaysia, Lebanon, Sudan and the US. 

Representing the premier, Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Abdul Nasser Abul Bassal inaugurated the conference and stressed that “family is the strongest pillar in the face of the hurricanes that target the Arab society today”, adding that “family is our refuge, and the cornerstone for the advancement of our society and national state”.  

“Our Constitution makes it clear that family is the basis of our society based on religion, morality and patriotism,” the minister continued, adding that “the law preserves its legal entity and strengthens its ties and values”. 

“Today, in the midst of all the great challenges faced by the Arab families, we need to rehabilitate, educate, enlighten the next generation,” he concluded.

JICRC Executive Director Nabil Haddad elaborated on the origins of the conference during a visit to the Brigham Young University in 2015, explaining that “after witnessing the attention paid by the university and the international community to the value of the family, we [JICRC] decided to come together under one roof to emphasise the role of the family as the backbone of the social fabric”. 

“We aspire to lay the foundation for a practical and scientific process,” Haddad continued, stressing that “our society in the region and the world need to reaffirm the importance of family as a vital and fundamental unit for development”. 

Conveying his gratitude for the Prime Minister and Her Majesty Queen Rania for “putting NCFA into the right direction to preserve the family unit”, the council’s Acting Secretary General Mohammad Miqdadi noted the need to “overcome social issues and prevent the degradation of the role of the family with new objectives”, adding that “family is a means for social development and it must be taken into account in the development agenda for all countries”. 

“We at NCFA are keen to protect the family identity and integrity,” Miqdadi added, noting that the council has cooperated with civil society institutions to establish family counselling centres in several governorates across the Kingdom. 

The official explained that the NCFA started installing the centres in areas that lacked counselling resources in order to ensure that such services reach all families, women and children, adding that the centres were established in cooperation with national civil society institutions and associations with a focus on gender-based violence. 

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