Young people have something to say

By Fr. Rif’at Bader

During a meeting between His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal with the students of the American University of Madaba (which is affiliated with the Latin Patriarchate), an interesting dialogue took place where the Prince answered their questions.

The students referred to the library and internet to get acquainted with the “views” of His Royal Highness the Prince. They, consequently, came out with well-framed questions in the English language reflecting the youths’ eagerness to map out a ray or rather rays of hope for the future.

The dialogue in the first place was about extremism, fanaticism, violence and terrorism, and what young people can do to reduce this stifling and pervasive phenomena against humanity. Secondly, the discussion also dealt with the environment, especially about water and the measures to be adopted to make it serve as a source of cooperation among the peoples and the leaders of the region rather than being a cause for disputes and wars.

Thirdly, questions were raised about citizenship in the homeland and whether there is "full citizenship" with regards to full equality among all citizens without discrimination, exclusion and marginalization.

Fourthly, from within the university in our country, there was a dialogue about the role universities play nowadays in influencing the mindsets and culture of peoples, by causing them not to just become satisfied with the flow of information and with every conceivable thought.

The fifth point that the students focused on is the dialogue among followers of religions, and how to promote the values of love, brotherhood and cooperation among them. What is more important is that religion nowadays is subjected to a wave of accusations at a time when religion has nothing to do with them. This point has been dealt with in detail as the students wanted to promote and disseminate the Jordanian initiatives to all parts of the world by calling for attaining mutual respect, peaceful common life and proper use of religion in the service of justice, peace, basic human rights, and the enhancement of universal freedoms foremost of which are the freedom of expression and religious freedom.

We are all aware of the sublime and vast thoughts of His Highness the Prince. There is no room here to mention the detailed answers that His Highness used to ingrain in their minds the spirit of enthusiasm, courage and seriousness in the "educated generation of tomorrow."

Yet, he was keen to show the youths how to "emulate" influential personalities, influential in history, past and present, and to serve as a "model" for continuity and the establishment of a noble human civilization. It is also an invitation to all those who shoulder the responsibility to serve as a role models in their life, speech and views. There is a quote which says, "Tell me who your role model is, so that I can tell you who you are. Really, the young people have their own views, and we only have to listen to them...

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