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Wednesday, March 21, 2001

INJAZ students graduate Queen Rania graduates INJAZ students; pays tribute to their efforts to invest in themselves

(Office of Her Majesty, Press Department - Amman) Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah saluted the youth's drive to invest in themselves and their country and their efforts to become future leaders in their fields, in a Jordan that encourages initiative and innovation.

"I salute your promising outlook for the future, your awareness of the need to invest in yourselves, and your decision to join the [INJAZ] Program," Queen Rania said at the first graduation ceremony of INJAZ--an initiative that seeks to improve the skills of youth, with the aim of equipping them with the necessary tools to enter the local job market.

The Queen said that today's Jordan is one of initiatives, achievements, and efforts equipping Jordanians with the skills that will help them engage in an ever-changing world that presents both challenges and opportunities.

"INJAZ, through its motto 'Preparing the youth of Jordan today for a better tomorrow,' represents part of this chain," Queen Rania told an audience of approximately 3,000 students, parents, teachers, and representatives of Jordan's governmental and non-governmental organizations.

"Indeed, your program prepares youth who are capable of identifying their environment, duties, and rights...youth who recognize the needs of the local job market...youth who aspire to be leaders in their fields...youth who are able to create job opportunities for others... youth who epitomize the spirit of His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Al-Hussein's slogan, 'Think Big,'" the Queen said.

Queen Rania presented graduation certificates to students, and presented awards to the best teacher and private sector volunteer, in recognition of their efforts in training the participants.

Launched in November 1999 in Amman by Queen Rania and then-US First Lady Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton, INJAZ was established by Save the Children with the aim of providing 14-24 year-old youth with training courses to help them develop leadership skills and to expose them to financial issues, and the needs of the local market.

The Program also seeks to provide young Jordanians with the required skills to compete in the global market, and to breakdown prevalent stereotypes in society about jobs that are not highly regarded.

INJAZ presently offers courses to predominantly public schools in Amman, Zarqa, and Ma'an, and will soon expand to include other governorates of the Kingdom. Courses are also offered to students of the University of Jordan and Al Qadissiya College.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Director of the Program Mr. Ibrahim Osta said that INJAZ came about to help build Jordan's future with a generation of capable young Jordanians equipped with modern techniques to deal with the new global economy and to further the Kingdom's economic prosperity.

In view of the new global economy, the manifestation of financial competition is not only reflected locally, but can also be seen internationally."

For instance, said Mr. Osta, "a company in Sahab is not only competing on a national level, but is [also] competing with companies from across the globe."

INJAZ, which is funded by USAID, functions in partnership with the private sector and the education sector in Jordan. Minister of Education Dr. Khalid Toukan said that the Program completes the efforts of the Ministry, and is in line with the Ministry's policies, principles and programs seeking to unify the efforts of all national institutions towards achieving sustainable education.

Speaking on behalf of the volunteer teachers from the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Sabah Rousan Principal of Sukina Bint Al Hussein School for Girls in the governorate of Zarqa, asserted that the students enrolled in the courses gained exceptional skills such as leadership, self-expression, and the ability to plan ahead on the professional and personal levels.

As a result, she said, they are more aware of both their rights and duties. The Program also enlists the support of the private sector, in which employees of various companies and banks volunteer to teach the INJAZ training courses to the young participants enrolled in the Program.

Speaking on behalf of the private sector, Mr. Khattab Salman from One World Software Solutions, said that he sensed the eagerness of the students to learn in the hope of providing themselves with endless work opportunities in the future, when teaching the courses.

Mr. Salman urged the private sector to support such national initiatives. Director of Save the Children-Jordan Mr. Zaki Khouri explained that since its establishment in Jordan in 1985, Save the Children has initiated a number of projects and development programs focusing on children and women's issues