Jordan: Health and Community Development
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Carefully designed educational excursions provide students with the opportunity to learn, analyze, and assess Jordan’s modern health infrastructure and natural medical treatment resources while granting them the possibility to continue improving their research skills outside Amman. Excursions outside Jordan’s bustling capital also allow students to experience the sharp contrasts between urban and rural lifestyles.
Badia (Bedouin Community)
This excursion provides students with the opportunity to explore everyday life in Badia and assess healthcare resources available to Bedouin populations and alternative medical treatments used by local rural communities. Students also visit rural health centers and meet with doctors and nurses to discuss the main health challenges Bedouin populations face and the medical services available to them.
This excursion takes students to southern Jordan. Students visit local health centers and associations that provide health services to local communities. They also have the opportunity to experience everyday life in this part of Jordan and study some alternative medical treatments available to local communities. Highlights of this excursion include:
- The Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth and the most spectacular natural landscape in Jordan. It is also one of the world's richest sources of natural salts and an important site for skin care with therapeutic minerals.
- Dana Natural Reserve. The dynamic topography of the Dana Natural Reserve extends from the top of the Jordan Rift Valley to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba. Students will experience the reserve’s impressive mountains, the ancient ruins of Feinan, the cliffs of Wadi Dana, and the village Dana.
- Petra. Students spend a day visiting Petra, a treasure of the ancient world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum is among the most stunning desert landscapes in the world. In Wadi Rum, students experience the exceptional hospitality of the desert people and Bedouin tribes and discuss health issues and care systems available to local populations.
- Jerash. Students experience the extraordinary remains of the ancient city of Jerash, one of the most impressive and best preserved Roman cities outside of Italy, located a little less than 50 kilometers north of Amman. Read more about Jerash.
- Ajloun. Just northwest of Jerash is located the town of Ajloun, home to the Castle of Ajloun or Qalaat Errabadh (Arabic for "hilltop castle"). The fortress was built by Muslims from 1184–85 as a military fort and buffer to protect the region from invading Crusader forces. Students spend a night at the Ajloun Forest Lodge, which occupies a large grassy clearing, enclosed by oak, pistachio, and strawberry trees. The lodge offers beautiful views of the reserve; occasionally one can see as far away as Jebel Sheikh in Lebanon.
- Madaba and Mount Nebo. Madaba is best known for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of Palestine and the Nile delta located in the nineteenth-century St. George’s Greek Orthodox church. Students will visit the site and enjoy a smaller but still populous Jordanian city. Then, students travel to Mount Nebo, which, according to ancient tradition, is the mountain from which Moses saw the Promised Land.
Egypt (or alternatively, Turkey)
The program includes an excursion to Cairo, Egypt, where students gain additional regional insights into one of the biggest countries in the Middle East. In Cairo, students learn about the healthcare system in Egypt and the relationship between indicators such as modern urban lifestyle, poverty, pollution, diet, and chronic non-communicative diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
Students visit Cairo University, meet with students and faculty at the health department, and discuss healthcare reforms in Egypt and challenges faced by health professionals. Students also visit health centers and associations and learn about the services available to women and communities in disenfranchised neighborhoods.
In addition, students visit many historic sites, which include the Citadel, Muhammad Ali Mosque, Madrassah and Mosque of Sultan Hassan, Al-Rifai Mosque, Khan al Khalili Bazaar, the Great Pyramid and Sphinx at Giza, and the Egyptian National Museum.
Alternatively, the program goes on excursion to Istanbul, Turkey, a city that offers a unique blend of East and West. Turkey has emerged as a leading economic, political, and cultural power in the region and many countries in the Middle East look to the Turkish development paradigm as a suitable model to emulate.
In Istanbul, students learn about Turkey’s healthcare system and the health services available to the poor and minorities. Students also meet with health professionals and learn about the country’s innovations and challenges in the health sector and their implications on Turkey’s accession to the European Union. They also have the opportunity to compare the health systems in Turkey and in modernizing Jordan.
Students meet with peers from Istanbul University and visit Old Istanbul, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar, and Suleymaniye Library and Mosque. They also have the opportunity to enjoy a boat cruise on the Bosphorus and visit the eastern side of Istanbul.
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