Queen Rania visits Al Koum Al Ahmar in Al Mafraq and meets with local residents

April 18, 2016
Queen Rania visits Al Koum Al Ahmar in Al Mafraq and meets with local residents

(Office of Her Majesty – Press Department – Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah visited Al Koum Al Ahmar village in Al Mafraq Governorate on Monday to check on its schools and meet with residents and local figures there, as part of her community outreach efforts. Her Majesty examined living conditions in the village, and listened to representatives from a local charity organization highlight the urgency for much-needed assistance.

The village, which is close to the border with Syria, has become home to hundreds of Syrian families who fled the war in Syria, and residents say this has added tremendous strain on its already poor and exhausted infrastructure.

Her Majesty dropped by Al Koum Al Ahmar Primary Mixed School and Al Akoum Al Ahmar Primary School for Girls. There, she met with the schools’ principals and students, and toured classrooms and school facilities.

The village has had to cope with scarce resources that barely brush the tip of its residents’ needs. The municipality rents two school buildings but both lack basic facilities and playgrounds. The schools also suffer from overcrowding and a shortage of teachers, leaving them unable to accommodate all children in the village.

Queen Rania also visited Al Koum Al Ahmar Chartable Society, where she conveyed His Majesty’s regards to residents of the village.

In a tent outside the charity’s building, Her Majesty met with around sixty local residents and prominent community leaders, including the village Sheikh KhalafSwei’ed , who delivered welcoming remarks thanking Her Majesty for her visit.

Her Majesty applauded the villagers’ generosity and resilience in facing tough living conditions that have been worsened by the Syrian refugee crisis.

Established in 1996 the charity supports local families with income-generating projects, vocational training programs, and financial aid.

During the meeting, society President Mr. Ali Al-Athamat explained the village’s need for better education and health services. He noted that the village has been neglected for decades by various officials and government organizations. Her Majesty’s visit brought joy to the residents and gave them hope, he added.

Al-Athamat also explained the urgent need to address the village’s water scarcity and other basic municipal services. He added that one of the challenges the village faces is the fact that a main highway passes through its center, endangering the lives of children who have to cross the road to get to school every day.

Mr. Hmoud Al-Athamat, who spoke on behalf of the health and education sectors, briefed Her Majesty the village’s poor healthcare services. Currently, one health center, which employs a general practitioner and a dentist, is the only health facility available to the village’s 7,000 residents.   

He appealed to Her Majesty for help in upgrading the facility to become a comprehensive health center with full-time doctors and medical staff.

Ms. Majd Shtiewy, who spoke on behalf of the women and youth sectors, underscored efforts by young residents in launching initiatives and holding workshops to support the residents of Al Koum Al Ahmar village.

She added that women in Al Koum Al Ahmar play an active role in reform and development and regularly attend workshops and classes at the charity to improve their knowledge and skills. She said that the Society also offers women seminars on family planning and women’s rights in order to instill confidence in them and prepare them to take on active roles within their community.

On her last stop in the village, Queen Rania visited the home of an underprivileged elderly woman to listen to her needs and offer support.

Al Koum Al Ahmar Village in Al Mafraq is located in the Northern Badiya Distrcit. Its population consists mostly of Al-Athamat and Masaeed families, who are of Bedouin descent.