May 13, 2008

Activism .. Actions Not Words

Students of Nayfeh school in Amman cross the street in front of their school after the area was made safer under an initiative by Hikmat Road Safety (Photo courtesy of Hikmat Road Safety)

"To be effective, I didn't come here for some billbords and words I came to make an action," this is how Mr. Maher Qadourah started his speach last weekend at the seminar conducted by Shoman Association titeled: " Road Accidents ... Order point".
He continued: "and we are doing it right now" ... "We need your support and participation" We need volunteers

The father of a victim of a car accident in Jordan want to make a change. Do we have to pay that big of a price for us to be a doers?

I believe this initiative is in the core goal of Amman Voice: " We need to start thinking about a campaign building the movement to re-imagine our streets as lively public places."

And it's happening now, Hikmat Road Safety are doing it.


AMMAN - (JT) In order to encourage the private sector to help
address traffic accidents, Hikmat Road Safety founders on Tuesday announced the
“Sponsor-a-Zone: Save-a-Life” initiative.
The Hikmat Road Safety organisation was established in memory of Hikmat Qadourah, who was killed in a hit-and-run car accident in January. The organisation began as a personal initiative by his father, Maher Qadourah, who refused to let his only son’s
death become just another statistic.



“Sponsor-a-Zone is a programme where individuals or organisations play vital roles in reducing accidents in the country,” Qadourah told The Jordan Times on Tuesday, adding that sponsors will be directed towards enhancing road safety in specific zones selected by stakeholders.
“We aim to make individuals realise their responsibilities towards ensuring better road safety and a safer environment,” Qadourah told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.
This initiative offers the opportunity to the private sector as well as individuals to participate in the campaign to ensure pedestrians safer roads, he added.
The initiative aims to enhance safety measures in at least 100 schools and 100 streets by the end of 2008, Qadourah said, stressing that the financial contributions made to the initiative will be directed towards reducing traffic speeds, creating safer home zones for children and guaranteeing pedestrian safety around schools.
For example, Qadourah said, 15 girls from Nayfeh school in the east Amman’s Al Hashimi Al Shamali neighbourhood have been victims of road accidents in the vicinity of their school over the past year.
“We have just finished renovations that should considerably reduce the frequency of the number of such accidents in that area,” the activist added.
He noted that students in Nayfeh school themselves made a symbolic contribution to the maintenance works to the roads,which cost a total of JD5,000.
“They paid 10 fils each. We wanted to make them feel that they share the responsibility,” Qadourah said.
According to Education Ministry’s statistics, over 4,800 accidents took place in the vicinity of schools in 2007, Qadourah pointed out, adding that his institution has targeted 15 other schools to be made pedestrian-safe areas before the end of March.

“Unless individuals understand the social responsibility of road safety and begin to act, the efforts to promote a safer environment will become increasingly more difficult,” he said.
In addition to schools, Qadourah said that the organisation has made a road safety
plan for Mecca Street, where his son was hit and killed, a street he believes
lacks minimum requirements of pedestrians safety measures.
“We will make our roads more pedestrian-friendly and according to world-class standards,” he added.
“Studies revealed that the average speed on that street is over 90km/h while it should not exceed 50-60km/hr,” he said, adding that today they will meet with officials from Greater Amman Municipality and the Public Security Department.
“If the design was adopted by the participants, we expect maintenance work on Mecca Street to be completed by June15,” he said.
According to Qadourah, the changes will include more speed bumps and guardrails to prevent pedestrians from crossing the street in places other than pedestrian crossings.


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would have joined this campaign.

but the whole concept that somehow the death of a rich kid Qaddourah allahyerhamou triggers a national movement when for years poor and average Jordanians were being killed and maimed by hit and run drivers is just a turn off for me. Something is awfully wrong with this country when the government acts soon as the rich or the connected are harmed but does not lift a finger for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

I would have joined this campaign.

but the whole concept that somehow the death of a rich kid Qaddourah allahyerhamou triggers a national movement when for years poor and average Jordanians were being killed and maimed by hit and run drivers is just a turn off for me. Something is awfully wrong with this country when the government acts soon as the rich or the connected are harmed but does not lift a finger for the rest of us.

Amman Voice said...

I agree with you but many other rich Kids were killed and nobody did anthing!

Why do we always expect the government do everything for us?

We should do it ourselves, be an activist, a volunteer, a leader in your city, in your community, or in your group.

Believe me, if you just reached the government and spoke to them in a mind of reason you will hear them listening to you.

It's an individual initiative of a person who sufferd and took it as a cause to live for it and not see another kid being killed or a parent to suffer like his.

You can see the new association picked schools of a poor neighbourhoods and they are working with the local community.

Everybody can do something, and be part in the development, rich or poor.

If it wasn't already inside us, it wont happen. I think it was inside Hikmat's father and it's God's wish to make him a leader in what's he's doing.

Kawthar said...

>>>> I think it was inside Hikmat's father and it's God's wish to make him a leader in what's he's doing.

you have got to be kidding me. now you know what god wants? it has nothing to do with god. it has plenty to do with money and connections. i refuse to give legitimacy to this perversion called wealth-driven justice. To do so is to cheapen the life of a loved one who was hit and run and not one radio or TV or police man lifted a finger to catch those who killed him. If it was up to me, I will start a campaign to call on people to boycott anything that is related to Qaddoura allayerhamu. When poor people perish simply because they are poor, and rich people get justice you know these are very bad times in Jordan. When poor young men who were robbing a trash dump get killed by the police and their families find no justice because they are poor you know there is something wrong in Jordan. We are edging towards a class war in jordan and I believe it to be a just one. If only King Hussain can see this disaster.

nasimjo© said...

Kawthar, 1st of all ... i agree with you regarding the "class-war" goin on in our community.

How ever, what you seemingly do not know that all those things are an initiative by the qadoura's. & if you'd have met Mr Qadoura, maybe you'd have changed ur mind.

The man is putting up his wealth for better pedestrian safety in jordan.

Ali Alhasani said...

I love what he did , Awesome effort.

Onzlo said...

I salute the man, out of his grief he is trying to make things better while others only point and complain and he deserves our support for that. Yes, it may be that his son's death got more attention than usual and it may partially be because he is wealthy, but he is not the first wealthy victim of car accidents. He got more attention because his death coincided with a spate of other accidents and because his family chose not to just lock themselves up and grieve in silence but to bring people's attention to the problem we are all suffering from.

Anonymous said...

Hikmat's parents are some of the most amazing people you can meet in the world. i knew hikmat, he was a close friend of mine, and i have always loved him, and just to point out a few things, Hikmats parents are sitting in their home in a fashionable neighbourhood, travelling around the world, meeting phsyciatrists to help them cope with what has happened to them - because you should know they are able to do so. instead, the Kaddoura family have chanelled all of their greife in a manner which will halp us all - what have they to earn out of what has happened? they have lost their most valuable possesion - their son. A younge gentelman, an outstanding studentwho respected evryone around him, and never does anyone any wrong.we should thank his parents for what they have done and for how much they have contributed to this society.. thank you so much ammo maher and anti randa...

Anonymous said...

i am sorry - o forgot to type a very improtant word - NOT. i meant to say
"Hikmats parents are NOT sitting in their home in a fashionable neighbourhood, travelling around the world, meeting phsychiatrists to help them cope with what has happened to them - because you should know they are able to do so." please note that, since it changes the whole point of i have said.