One of the highlights of the semester is "project week". A welcome change to the normal class routine, this week offers students opportunities to acquaint themselves with interesting topics related to hot political issues in Jordan and the Middle East.
Once again, students voted on the topics selected for the week. Project week this semester was packed with research, field trips (e.g. to one of the Syrian refugee camps, art galleries in Jordan, a Bedouin group outside of Amman), meetings and discussions (a meeting with leaders within the field of refugees assistance & humanitarian relief, discussions with a Bedouin poet, and Youth artists and activists).
Students chose between the following topics:
- Refugees in Jordan (two sub-groups)
- Jordanian Bedouin culture
- Youth culture
Below are the winning essays (unedited):
The Bedouin and the Jordanian Government; Changes in Bedouin Identity - Rebecca Watson (Middlebury College)
Palestinian Hip Hop and its Connection to Palestinian Poetry - Orelia Jonathan (Wesleyan University)
Analysis of Expressions of Frustration by Arab Youth in Music Using Sham Al-Yasmeen, a Song by Mashrou Leila - Carl D'Oleo-Lundgren (University of Connecticut)
EU Aid to Jordan for Syrian Refugees - Rafael Contreras (Brown University)
Impact of Syrian Refugees on Jordan - David Russell (Middlebury College)
In the spring of 2013 students chose between the following topics:
- Syrian refugees in Jordan;
- Energy issues in Jordan;
- The Palestinian Israeli conflict through the eyes of Palestinian hip-hoppers.
The week was packed with research on the topic, field trips (e.g. to one of the Syrian refugee camps, to the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission), meetings and discussions (e.g. a Skype meeting with a member of the first Palestinian hip-hop band "DAM", discussions with a member of the Jordanian Senate, Green Peace activists, and Syrian artists who fled their country). On the last day, the students shared the results of their projects in impressive presentations, and all students wrote a paper on a topic they chose within the scope of their project. One paper from each group was awarded a prize.
The students were extremely dedicated and had a lot of fun as well!
Below, we are posting the (unedited) papers of the three winners.