A group of students passionate about the environment visited Friends of the Earth Middle East- Amman this past week to learn about Jordanian environmental issues and challenges. Eighteen students from the University of Minnesota met with FoEME staff to discuss the status of the Lower Jordan River, and to learn about our EcoPark.
A Good Water Neighbors staff member welcomed the students and gave a brief presentation about the organization. Afterwards, the students were introduced to FoEME’s projects and a discussion began with the students about the status of the Jordan River, the challenges that the river faces, and the work FoEME does to address these problems. The students responded with questions and comments, and fully engaged in the discussion, bringing some of their academic knowledge to the table.
Students also learned about the successes of the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh Eco-Park. FoEME staff described how we started the EcoPark in 2004 with the hope of rehabilitating the Ziglab Dam. Before FoEME was granted the land of what would become the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh Eco-Park, the ground was environmentally devastated and devoid from any biodiversity. This did not discourage FoEME, but motivated the organization to bring life back to the area. FoEME’s team gathered under the supervision of FoEME and worked days and nights to bring the eco-park to the way it looks like today: verdant and alive. The students were enthusiastic about visiting this successful park.
At the end of the presentations, the students filed out of the conference room, thanked staff members and said that they appreciated the chance to see how a real organization in the Middle East balanced the political, environmental and cultural realities when working towards rehabilitating and protecting nature in Jordan.