I should admit I’m getting more used to women gatherings. I said this before but I was never a gender advocate until I recently started to enjoy women-to-women empowerment and mentorship. This time it wasn’t only the women or the place – as great as they are, to be honest, it was my curiosity that got me on the road to Madaba on a rainy day.
Whether through friends and contacts, media or news; I knew very little about King’s Academy. It was the case until King’s Academy entered the international community as the host for the Global Forum for Youth, Peace and Security in August 2015 under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II. With the special coverage by Roya TV, Jordanians got to know and see more of this great school. Listening to the student who joined King’s Academy from and UNRWA school made the case for a new perception.
Yesterday, I couldn’t resist the temptation to go and here we are: a group of the Business and Professional Women Association – Amman (BPWa) welcomed at Beit Al Mudeer by a group of women who turned out to be a source of light and inspiration.
Upon arrival, warm welcome remarks by our host fellow member Reem Masri and then short but to the point remarks by her colleagues were enough to trigger dozens of questions in our heads. The spontaneous and genuine staff members spoke with unbeatable passion about what King’s Academy is all about. They were kind enough to take our many questions and provide answers on various aspects including students’ selection and admission, management, discipline, staff development programs, etc. We knew that King’s Academy is targeting outstanding students from all over Jordan and from various schools to invite them and their parents to see the school and learn more about the application process. King’s Academy is doing a lot of fundraising to be able to support those who can’t afford the fees but deserve to be in such a life-changing experience. We also learned that students are treated equally and that they are requested to implement programs with the surrounding community in Madaba. And I couldn’t hide my wide smile and great admiration when I found out that the whole campus is strictly smoke-free.
After the good talk – which by the way showed that the staff and students do speak Arabic, we wanted to see and experience things on campus. The tour in the campus was quite refreshing. The natural green space and well designed buildings and facilities put you in a different mood. Intruding into a classroom during a Physics class enabled us to meet a teacher and some students trying to solve a problem through practical use of instruments. Since this was a course that all students should take, the class had students from different ages which we thought might add value to the learning process.
Moving on to the dining hall, each of us was seated on a table to join a normal daily lunch. Before anyone is allowed to sit down, a prayer was said by a teacher quoting a Hadith Sharif ” الحمدلله الذي أطعمني هذا الطعام ورزقنيه من غير حول لي ولا قوة ” and then translating it to English. Everyone was listening and then we took our seats. Two of the students on each table were bringing the food to the table and helping the assigned teacher serve food for everyone. We all waited till everyone got their share and then started eating. I really hoped to have more time to speak to the students but it was clear they were tired and just wanted a break J
After we finished eating, the same students who brought the food collected the empty plates and cleaned remaining food. There was enough food but not too much, something I highly appreciate from an ethical and sustainable behavior perspective. The meal was very modest and consisted from salad, chicken, fried potatoes and water.
The next stop was the Spiritual Center. King Abdullah II Spiritual Center, a multi-faith house of prayer and meditation is located on campus to accommodate the spiritual needs of a diverse religious community. King’s Academy also arranges weekly visits for those students wishing to attend prayers and services at local mosques or churches. I only saw this before during my travel to the US and the UK in places like Georgetown University where there is a prayers room in the basement. Knowing that King’s Academy has the majority of its students from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, USA and Korea makes me so proud to see such respect for diversity, a real Islamic value.
His Majesty King Abdullah II vision for King’s Academy to be a school of peace and transformation is guiding everyone’s effort and belief in young people as our greatest resource – and hope – for the future. If you are a student at King’s, be sure that Jordan is counting a lot on leaders like you to be role models, transformers and real humans.
Thanks to BPWa for making this possible. Thank you Reem, Monica and all the great King’s Academy team for giving the visit such a special flavor.
To be continued……