Episode 5: Bothaina Qamar (UN Women) works in her native country of Jordan to increase women’s workforce participation and help educate fathers, mothers, and siblings on important gender issues

June 5, 2017

We may have not posted for a while, but now we are back with a very engaging interview! For our fifth episode of the podcast we speak with Bothaina Qamar, a Livelihoods Specialist for UN Women (a United Nations organization). Bothaina was born and raised in Irbid, Jordan, went to university in Jordan, and then went to graduate school in the USA for development.

We discuss Bothaina's unique, insider perspective (as compared to the foreigners that we have interviewed in previous podcasts) on the gender issues in Jordan with locals and refugees. Throughout her life she has experienced the gender impacts within her family, her friends network, and at previous jobs with organizations like CARE, Right to Play, Y-PEER, UNFPA, and more. We delve into the many cultural and logistical reasons why more women graduate university than men in Jordan, but far less enter the workforce, we touch on micro-finance opportunities, and we discuss the UN Womens' training of Jordanian women to work in the garment industry and the ways to educate their fathers to allow them to work. We also talk about Bothaina's personal life - like her experience moving away from her family to Amman, attending graduate school (Heller) as an Arab at Brandeis, which has one of the largest Jewish student populations in the United States, and her enjoyment of national parks in California. This podcast is longer than usual and it's completely worth it!

Please NOTE that Bothaina's interview represents her personal experiences and views, not the official stances of the UN or her previous organizations. For more information about the UN Women, please visit this link.

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Episode 4: Mei Hayashi (Tribalogy / Joria) trains and employs Jordanians and Syrians in embroidery and sewing techniques and sells their beautiful handmade items

April 28, 2017

For our fourth episode of the podcast, we take a slightly different look at the Syria crisis response by investigating the impact of directly training, employing, and empowering women from disadvantaged communities in social businesses. Our interview is with Mei Hayashi, a fashion designer from Japan who runs her own Tribalogy line that produces and sells beautiful bags, purses, homegoods, and clothing, often featuring handmade embroidery and/or Middle Eastern fabrics.

Mei also helps run a sister non-profit social business brand called Joria which aims to support vulnerable Jordanian and Syrian women on the psychosocial level through offering workshops and creating products. Mei has been living in Jordan for eight years now, four of which were in Petra as a tour guide, and has great stories of life in Jordan. We also discuss the country's changes over the years, Mei's fashion history with Armani, running booths at Amman's bazaars, and the intricacies of being an ex-pat. 

Please NOTE that Mei's interview represents her personal experiences and views, not the official stances of her organizations. For more information about the organizations, please visit the links above.

Additionally, Tribalogy is partnered with host Colin Campbell's social business apparel brand, called Herfa Heritage, and produces great handmade embroidered pocket and patch designs for Herfa shirts and hats. Visit Herfa here.

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Episode 3: Lorenz Wild (Mercy Corps) strategizes and helps facilitate economic & market development and livelihoods opportunities in Jordan

April 19, 2017

For our third episode of the podcast we have an engaging conversation with Lorenz Wild, the Director of Economic Opportunities and Market Development at the American-based INGO Mercy Corps. We talk about empowering entrepreneurs and small businesses, issues that stem from a dependence on imports and exports, funding needs, and business regulations in Jordan. Plus, we touch on hiking the variety of incredible wadis (ie valleys) of the country, the lack of games in bars, and life in Jordan vs. Ethiopia.

Please NOTE that Lorenz's interview represents his personal experiences and views, not the official stances of the Mercy Corps organization. For more information about the organization, please visit www.mercycorps.org.

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Episode 2: Maddie Ulanow (Reclaim Childhood) empowers refugee and local girls and women in Jordan to play sports, gain leadership skills, and receive psychosocial support

April 11, 2017

In our second episode we have a great conversation with Maddie Ulanow, the Jordan Country Director for Reclaim Childhood, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Amman, Jordan that seeks to empower refugee girls and local Jordanian women through sport and play. We talk about how Maddie came to Jordan, how much the RC girls love a unique of variety of sports including basketball, skateboarding, and squash, and we dissect life and traffic in Amman. We also delve into how funding cuts may affect her programs and how the new USA Syria refugees policy has impacted her coaches. Please NOTE that Maddie's interview represents her personal experiences and views, not the official views of the entire Reclaim Childhood organization. 

ABOUT RECLAIM CHILDHOOD
"We believe sport has the power to inspire confidence, hope and ambition in athletes. Team oriented games at all levels provide the psychosocial support necessary to improve self-esteem, strengthen peer relationships and foster leadership. Today, girls living in the Middle East have few opportunities to play sports. RC targets girls living in the most underserved communities in Jordan, including refugees from Syria, Iraq and Palestine." Reclaim Childhood operates regular after-school sports leagues and a month-long summer camp for girls ages 8 – 16, and coaching clinics for local adult women. Visit www.reclaimchildhood.org for more information or to donate to their programs.

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Episode 1: Matt Richard (UNHCR) helps coordinate aid from Jordan into Syria

April 10, 2017

For the inaugural episode of the Working a Refugee Crisis: Jordan we have a great conversation with Matt Richard from UNHCR (the United Nations' Refugee Agency). He is an Information Managment Officer for Syria Cross-Border. We discuss Matt's day to day work of coordinating different types of aid going to internally displaced people in Syria from Jordan. Plus, we talk about his previous work in Palestine, discovering a development career in England, and living life and raising a baby as an ex-pat in Jordan. Matt's interview represents his personal story and views and not the official views of the UN or his agency.

Please visit https://workingacrisis.podbean.com and email us at WorkingACrisis@gmail.com with questions, topic suggestions, or if you have friends you think we should interview in Jordan.

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An Introduction: What is this podcast all about?

April 6, 2017

We have authentic conversations with men and women living in Jordan working on the Syria Crisis response with refugees and locals for big and small development, aid, relief, and/or funding agencies. Our goal is to help people living the West understand more about the NGO world, the crisis, programs, funding, and life in the Middle East. www.workingacrisis.podbean.com

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