Crown Prince visits Al Hussein bin Talal University, addresses students
His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, the Regent, on Monday delivered a speech to students at Al Hussein bin Talal University, during a visit to its campus in Maan Governorate.
Crown Prince Al Hussein said he is proud to be in Maan, “the city that received the vanguard of the Great Arab Revolt and witnessed major milestones in our Jordan’s history”.
In the speech, also attended by faculty, His Royal Highness stressed that “history stands as witness to Jordanians’ unmatched resolve”.
“It is your turn, now, to build, and contribute to Jordan’s prosperity and progress, but in your own way, and with the tools of your age, since every generation has its own identity, opportunities, and challenges,” the Crown Prince told the students.
Young Jordanians, His Royal Highness added, are the ones tasked with and qualified to take Jordan into the future, where opportunities are created through bold ambition, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Following is the full speech:
“In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,
Brothers and Sisters,
Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you,
I am proud to be today in Maan, the city that received the vanguard of the Great Arab Revolt and witnessed major milestones in our Jordan’s history. We pay tribute today to the great efforts that established and developed this academic landmark [Al Hussein bin Talal University]. On this occasion I would like to recall the saying: ‘Maan belongs to us, and we are there for you’.
I am delighted to meet with you today. I know the great challenges that have started to weigh on your shoulders even before you graduate. And I sense the conflicting emotions you are currently experiencing, a mixture of happiness, enthusiasm, and anxiety. For it is your turn, now, to build, and contribute to Jordan’s prosperity and progress, but in your own way, and with the tools of your age, since every generation has its own identity, opportunities, and challenges.
The challenges before our generation are numerous. On the one hand, we have a region troubled by bloody wars whose implications continue to impact our country. On the other hand, we have an economy burdened with crises. And we must not forget unemployment, a challenge facing many countries around the world and not unique to Jordan.
I do not claim that we have a magic wand to resolve all these complicated challenges. I am fully aware that we—you and me together—are at the very beginning of our journey. However, I also realise that we live in a world unlike anything that previous generations have witnessed.
I have recently completed an internship programme at a number of the world’s leading and most successful IT companies. I experienced first-hand how the world around us is rapidly changing at an unprecedented pace, pushed forward by constant progress—ideas that, as they quickly emerge and mature, are followed by dozens others, even more advanced.
I returned with two certainties. First, we live in an era of self-reliance. Today, there are no public sector jobs ready to absorb our generation. Opportunities are created by pioneers and entrepreneurs; there will be no waiting queues for job seekers in the future. Second, our generation is the one tasked with and qualified to take Jordan into the future, where opportunities are created through bold ambition, innovation, and entrepreneurship. And I know my fellow young Jordanians very well. We will not settle for lack of progress in Jordan.
It is our generation that will change things around. But fulfilling this future vision does not squarely lie on its shoulders; it is a joint responsibility; the private and public sectors, youth institutions, and our entire society all have a part and a place in the journey towards progress of our beloved Jordan.
We are not asking society or officials to create opportunities for us. All we want is that they provide the enabling ecosystem that allows opportunities to flourish, an environment that embraces entrepreneurship, nurtures innovation, and appreciates talents. What we need is the space to unleash our potential without restrictions or limitations; without words like ‘it will never work’, ‘why would you bother?’, ‘this is not acceptable’, or ‘go find a real job’.
Sometimes, the hardest obstacles are those self-imposed—ideological stereotypes, old ways, and prejudgements that clip our wings and undermine our self-confidence. We are proud of our past and heritage, and we owe so much to our parents and ancestors. However, if our generation remains trapped in a struggle between the traditions and mind-set of the past, and the ways and technologies of the current era, we will never move forward. If we do not change, adapt and develop, we will fall behind.
The most sustainable traditions and principles are those that evolve to keep up with the times. Therefore, we must nurture in our youth the values of change and renewal, not subordination; of openness, not closed-mindedness; of freedom of choice and creativity, not dependence. This is what my father, His Majesty, has taught me. And my father’s guidance has been important in what he says as much as what he does not say. He has never told me ‘this is not acceptable’, and he has never made me feel that my hands are tied with ‘what must be done’. He has not limited my prospects, nor forced anything on me. He has given me the space to experiment and choose. Whenever I am hesitant or unsure, he urges me to ‘try’ or ‘experiment’, realising that the lessons I would learn from failure are far more valuable than success, and that choice is a responsibility. He has taught me, like he has said before, never to take ‘tsk’ [no] for an answer.
My dear friends,
We have always heard that Jordan is poor in resources, and we have grown up proud to know that the people are our most precious asset. We are told that youth are the future, but we desperately need to believe in them and in their resolve. For example, over 23% of tech entrepreneurs in the Arab world are young Jordanians, although we make up only 3% of the region’s population.
Humility is good, but not when it comes to our potential and aspirations for our Jordan. History offers us many examples of countries like Singapore and South Korea that managed to relaunch their economies and surpass countries rich in natural resources, with a progressive vision, faith, and resolve. And history stands as witness to Jordanians’ unmatched resolve.
Beyond this campus lies an opportunity waiting for you to create it. Go forth from this university with a burning flame and a thirst to work in this fast-paced world. Do not let stereotypes and labels define you, and do not allow barriers to stop you; overcome them. Inertia is our ultimate enemy.
Jordan awaits your bright resolve and looks to you with pride—as do your parents—as its greatest achievements and its legacy. Believe in yourselves; believe in your dreams. Whenever you are hesitant or reluctant, remember these words: be bold; dare to try.
May God bless you; may God strengthen your resolve; and peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.”
Al Hussein bin Talal University President Najib Abou Karaki had delivered a speech to welcome His Royal Highness and highlight the university’s achievements in research and academic excellence.
The Crown Prince also toured an exhibition showcasing the specialties offered at the university, which was established in 1999 and includes nine faculties.
Royal Hashemite Court Chief Yousef Issawi, and Adviser to His Majesty and Director of the Office of His Majesty Manar Dabbas accompanied His Royal Highness on the visit.