Tuesday 17th September 2013
On Tuesday morning, we visited the Al Aman Fund For The Future Of The Orphans, an institution founded in 2006 by her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah.
Initially, it felt rather daunting approaching a table full of strangers where there could be a potential language barrier and knowing the sensitivity of the issue.
However, once a conversation evolved discussing light topics about the differences between Jordan and the UK, we both sides became at ease when we realised we weren’t much different from each other.
The Al-Aman students watched the same American films as I did and were incredibly helpful and hospitable.
Personally, I found there was so much enthusiasm and positivity circulating around the room when everyone was comfortable talking with each other.
Despite avoiding talking about personal issues, it was clear the Al-Aman students had faced many challenges to reach their set goals. Many of the Al-Aman students are pursuing further education in subjects such as Civil Engineering and International Business.
I was overwhelmed by their passionate drive to succeed within education. I was even taught basic Arabic by a lovely student, Shamila, which only inspired me to pursue learning Arabic in the future.
Following this informal introduction, the Al-Aman students were invited to dine with us at the Fattoush Restaurant at the Millennium Hotel.
We were served a huge portion of rice and it almost felt like a catch-up lunch with friends rather than a simple introduction with foreign students. We exchanged Facebook links to stay in touch before we met again on Sunday.
During the evening, we had the pleasure of dining at Toshi restaurant alongside Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali, wife of Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan.
Before her marriage, Princess Rym worked with BBC and CNN and has an outstanding journalism career – something I am inspired by.
She has continued in the journalism field by taking the role of the Executive Commissioner of the Royal Film Commission – Jordan since 2006.
Princess Rym is also the founder of the Jordan Media Institute, a non-profit journalism education body whose aim is to excel in Middle Eastern journalism.
Dr Majid Al Sadi warmly welcomed Coventry University and discussed the importance of changing lives through many of his humanitarian programmes.
Following Dr Majid’s speech, Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali also welcomed us and showed her interest within developing a relationship with the students through the Jordan Media Institute, which was founded by Her Royal Highness in 2006.
We were able take photographs with the Royal Princess and it felt surreal to be meeting such a prestigious journalist. She was down-to-earth and humble about being a member of the Royal Family.