Awards and competitions designed to fight social ills

Awards and competitions designed to fight social ills

By Fr. Rifat Bader

Not a single month elapsed last year without witnessing a plethora of multitudes heading to the airport to receive “a new hero” excelling in a certain field. A review of last year’s events includes major Jordanian achievements which made landmarks in the sphere of human achievements.

A reminder of the most important achievements serves to boost the excelling capacities of the new generations. The hero, Ahmad Abu Ghosh, won a gold medal at the Olympic Games, Ayat Amer was the first Jordanian and Arab to take part in the NASA contest, Mustafa Salameh and a Jordanian women's team took part in climbing Mera Peak Himalaya, the film “Dheeb” by Jordanian Director Naji Abu Nuwar was among the films that received widespread acclaim and had international premiere for the Oscar Awards, Ibrahim Nasrallah won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), while Jordanian Marwan Jweinat captured the first place in the international UCMAS (Universal Concepts of Mental Arithmetic System) Abacus and Mental Mathematics Competition, which has been held at Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.

Furthermore, the student Sulaf Abdul Nabi won a prize in the APEX International Competition, Sadim Qdaisat made a landmark achievement in a programme dealing with science, Ro’a Hammo ranked second in competition dealing with challenges related to reading, both of Tala Nasraween and Maher Maymoun were entitled to take part in the final phase of a Harvard competition, while Fares Assaf ranked second in a competition as the best trainer. The Restaurant of Mercy is also viewed as one of the achievements as it continues to provide free meals to several people and families under the supervision of Caritas Jordan.

Why do we recall all this? It is because we cannot dissociate these issues, despite being simple, from what is taking place in the world and in our region since:

First: When referring to the school curricula, to concomitant problems, and to the "cosmetic" surgery they underwent, it behooves us today to consider the extracurricular activities which rejuvenate the capacity of several students.

Second: We always enquire about how our children spend their leisure time at home especially during the long holidays in summer or winter. It is nice to discover and develop the talents of children since they are like a tree that is in constant need of attention and watering.

Third: This address motivates us to talk about the social ills taking place at present, particularly with regards to addiction to drugs, alcohol, and gambling which wreak havoc and need permanent treatment. However, the required solution is undertaking preemptive measures to protect the new generations form falling prey to different forms of addiction, as well as to crimes committed in our towns and villages that led to the loss of innocent citizens last year.

Fourth: Extremism and terrorism have become the major ills. They need a national plan and a comprehensive strategy to eradicate them. In this regard, we need in the first place to treat those who fall into the bleak and deadly pit of extremism. We, furthermore, need a protection and a sound guidance plan for the current and the future generations. It will definitely be costly as it needs money, planning, time and care. But it will be reflected on the image of society that we seek. Where are the public parks and libraries? Where are the sports clubs and institutions that teach art, music and extracurricular activities? It is a world in itself, but it certainly will be helpful as it will reflect on the image of the society abroad.

Fifth: Children look nowadays for creative ''models, to emulate. They might become fond of a singer or an artist. Yet, those qualified to play the role of this model are the parents and the elder brothers as well the teachers and educators at schools. Let us set a good example that attracts children towards creativity, not only in the field of arts, but rather in love and sublime humane relations in the first place.

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