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Festival promotes curiosity, entrepreneurship among young people

By Suzanna Goussous - Aug 23,2015 - Last updated at Aug 23,2015

Participants attend Fikristan’s activities at King Hussein Park in Amman on Sunday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — More than 40 organisations participated in “spreading new ideas” and raising awareness about empowering young people, women and children in a festival that concluded Sunday, according to organisers.

Over the past two days, the NewThink Festival “Fikristan” (The Land of Ideas), held at the Cultural Village at King Hussein Park, offered workshops and activities to promote positivity, curiosity and entrepreneurship, and highlight success stories.

“Human beings are born with the instinct of curiosity. From the age of three, children ask 100 questions on average every day,” said Maher Kaddoura, founder of the newthink initiative, which regularly holds theatres and festivals. 

“Later in life, schools, TVs, parents and friends work on reducing the number of questions that people ask, but questioning is an indication of curiosity,” Kaddoura added.

“This festival and the whole initiative aim to bring back curiosity into our narrative,” he told The Jordan Times.

This year, Fikristan, according to Kaddoura, focused more on the empowerment of women and children.

“Jordan will not become something unless we empower women. In my experience, Jordanian women tend to be more serious than men because they want to prove themselves,” he added. 

“It is very important to give both women and children the opportunity and to support and empower them.” 

Lina Khalifeh, founder of SheFighter for martial arts and self-defence training, who was also a speaker at the festival, told The Jordan Times that university students should be guided and empowered in order to achieve success. 

“Empowerment starts from within, not from the outside world. Young people need empowerment to reach their goals and be self-confident, decisive leaders and business owners,” Khalifeh added.

Organisers invited around 4,000 people from each governorate to attend Fikristan to promote diversity, according to Arafat Awad, one of the organisers.

The festival, according to Awad, included more activities this year involving children in educational and mind-challenging games held at the Children’s Museum Jordan. 

“Activities included programmes about leadership, entrepreneurship, culture and arts, health, and technology,” Awad added.


Kaddoura said the festival is for all walks of life and all segments of society from all over the Kingdom. They are all people who want to learn.

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