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Female students reflect on dormitory experiences during pandemic

By Joy Mazahreh - Jan 11,2022 - Last updated at Jan 11,2022

AMMAN — As the pandemic continues unabated, many female students choose dorm accommodations instead of commuting to their universities every day.

“Living in a dorm is not an easy experience,” said Marah Nimer, a third-year medical student at Mutah University, “especially since we all live away from our families and home”.

“It is somehow lonely living in a room on your own with other students in the building, with less social interaction due to COVID when all the students were asked to leave and only expats and international students were allowed to stay,” she added in an interview with The Jordan Times.

Nimer said that dorm supervisors are friendly and cooperative even though the facility has limited opening hours.

“Since the only facility we have at the building is our gym, we usually spend time there together because we do not have enough time to go to study lounges nearby before the dorm building closes its doors,” she added.

Dania, another third-year medical student at Mutah University who lives in the same dorm, stopped visiting the gym due to COVID. 

“Our dorm might be overpriced but it is one of the best in the area. Our supervisors have a round check every morning and the building is safe and secure,” she told The Jordan Times over the phone.

Dania, who preferred to go by her first name only, also referred to the limited closing hours of the dorm, which, according to her, closes at 8pm in the winter and 9pm in the summertime.

Shireen, a sixth-year medical student at the Jordanian University of Science and Technology, who lives in a dorm in Irbid, provided a suggestion to compromise with the same limited opening hours.

“It would be beneficial if the supervisors allowed deliveries and private transport services after opening hours,” she told The Jordan Times.

Deema, a fourth-year dental student in the same university, highlighted the importance of needed maintenance for lightning and shared areas like bathrooms and kitchens. 

Lujain, a fourth-year dental student, has not been to her dorm room for a year either. 

“I paid rent for a full year during quarantine without living in the dorm,” she told The Jordan Times.

Recent attention has been brought to students’ dormitory conditions after the passing of Salsabil Abu Shouk, a student at Al Hussein Bin Talal University. 

Abu Shouk suffered from pain in her chest and shortness of breath, but despite the attentiveness of the dorm supervisors who sent her to the nearest hospital, she later passed away.

While the university has initiated an investigation into the incident, students across the Kingdom are calling for establishing committees with representatives from different dormitories to report back to the universities the challenges students face inside these dorms.

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