Ammon News, View Points

E-learning, the digital and higher education

[6/24/2020 4:24:05 PM]

AMMONNEWS - By Dr. Yousef Ibrahim Daradkeh - We are currently witnessing big changes in the world. The current financial crisis due to recession and the facing of new challenges everywhere, resulting due to increase of educated people and better access to information. The idea of more people being educated has raised the expectations of educated youth which has brought great opportunities for human development. As a result of this new knowledge is required to cope with such challenges. And Universities are among those universities that need to address and adjust to this “new and brave world”. As much of the change has been mediated by digital technology we need to consider every forms of electronic mediation as the case of e-learning. From a more traditional view point this places University in the centre as a house of knowledge. We need to further enhance University roles to address the need to train not only young people but also to recycle and harness the knowledge of experienced professionals. This is more of a need rather than the result of an increase in complexity and global competition that places every school and institution global education map and not just from our local perspective (being a city, a region or even a nation). What is on the stake is our ability to address challenges of training people with an updated knowhow to perform work in worldwide standards and maintain cultural identity. The issue of culture and historical identity is becoming even more crucial in order to address not just the values but provide a unique perspective that can have added value and become useful for the changing attitude of the masses. The importance of groups and the collective must be fuelled by the involvement of each individual, their training and knowledge enhancement can be an opportunity for the society – higher education can do it and make the way to get better and more educated people for advancement of society. As a result of this digital mediation can be an excellent tool to reach and promote each university with its own qualities and provide people with new channels to interact. Those e-learning channels can be explored in three main modalities: (1) in e-learning pure interaction should take place, where the unique contact between those who study (students) and the university staff (professors) is made by electronic means, normally Web based communications; (2) B-learning where b comes from blended which means that e-learning facilities are used both as an alternative and complement presentation classes, mixing the ability to have remotely present study with the traditional way of interaction between students and professors; and the last alternative is (3) Using e-learning to complement presently classes where some sort of digital facilities are used to organize and get together to further consult, communicate and later access to past activity. In the context of University, e-learning places some challenge which are independent of the e-learning modalities adopted (or mix of them). It is true that we have new connections to students and provide more alternatives to deal with travel costs, time restrictions and provide more ways to reuse and distribute content – been those some of the advertised advantages of using e-learning. But there is also a but …, we need to prepare and make a rubric to introduce e-learning. A number of issues must be placed on the table for discussion like the quality and existence of an Internet infrastructure, servers and Internet access, the cost and availability of personal Internet access and the widespread availability of computers, and more recently mobile devices. These are the requirements of hardware and we have seen huge advances in the last decades due to globalization and recent growth of android devices like tablets that provide ways to a more easy and cheap access to technology. Although the so called hardware conditions are important, they are not the unique ones to consider. The challenge of using e-learning is more related with the need to address pedagogic strategies for using digital content and turning on the relationship between students and professors, more independently as the need to rely on student self learning abilities rather in the traditional process of the professor oriented flow for learning. As a result, existent context must be transformed and some new strategies must be placed to explore e-learning possibilities (that need also to consider the growing number of mobile devices and its use). As a result of growing number of mobile devices in higher education there is an idea of mobile learning. The challenge is that, with such ideas also comes the need to get more individual responsibility for each student and this is a considerable change in the teaching and learning process. We can expect the explosion of the digital content as well the growing availability and use of mobile devices will force some changes in the way Universities are giving their classes and the way in which we interact (students and professors). This can be the best way to see e-learning as a real, but challenging opportunity to improve learning and a thrust to reach and educate more people for our dynamic world.

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COVID-19 places globalisation at a crossroads

[6/14/2020 1:06:32 AM]

AMMONNEWS - By Sameh Al-Hindawi - Rampaging throughout the world, COVID-19 does not abide by the world’s border regulations and is still spreading relentlessly around the globe. Governments have found themselves placed between a rock and a hard place; trying to minimise the dire consequences of the virus while not affecting the economic growth. Globalisation was put to the test by COVID-19 and so far the virus was able to unravel several aspects of globalisation that were not implemented correctly, as some might say: the mask of globalisation has dropped. However, the global failure was not due to the globalisation ideology, it is due to the profound miscalculation of it. Globalisation reflects positively on whoever implements it correctly by increasing the cross-border flow of goods, people and integration which eventually results in the creation of opportunities. COVID-19 single-handedly has been stress testing the ideology of globalisation by chopping off its wings. Policymakers and businesses realised how fragile the global economy is, and how national economies were exposed due to being fully dependant on globalisation. Globalisation as an ideology is considered positive and beneficial, however, the implementation of such ideology varies between nations. Moreover, the World Health Organisation, which is supposed to be the basis of international cooperation in such times of crisis, became a source of dispute. As several sources stated: “The world health organisation (WHO) is supposed to be the world’s early warning system for pandemics”. The WHO lacked in the decision making department. It clearly made a substantial mistake by the delay of declaring the phases of the virus from outbreak to epidemic to pandemic. Globalisation is based on human unity, nation support and integration among governments, people, companies and industries in order to live in a more resourceful and efficient circumstances. The world is heading towards a crossroads and globalisation is leading the way towards it, how will globalisation recover after witnessing a significant rise in unemployment rates, lack of resources, travel restrictions and what could be one of the greatest recessions. With globalisation, global entities spread their production lines globally, taking advantage of low tax rate and cheap labor. Nowadays policymakers and businesses are questioning if the risks of globalised production outweigh its benefits. Certainly, globalisation reduces costs, which makes products affordable. However, will that still be an option while COVID-19 limits the growth of the global economy? Moreover, even prior to the current crisis, there were discussions about the future of globalisation due to the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China. Globalisation obviously assumes a cooperative and peaceful international political order. It appears that the political steadiness between countries is also vulnerable to shocks of such magnitude. In the meantime, countries’ fight over world’s limited supply of critical personal protection equipment remains. Several countries banned exports of gloves, medical equipment, face masks and ventilators, which resulted in confrontations between states. Also the European Union, which was portrayed as the role model of international cooperation, failed to synchronize government efforts to fight the pandemic. To conclude, it is fair to say that COVID-19 poses a challenge to globalisation as we know it. In the post pandemic world, we may see a relative concentration of production to specific locations and nation-states gaining more power as opposed to multinational organisations and corporations.

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COVID 19, Who owes to Compensate the World?

[5/5/2020 8:22:09 AM]

AMMONNEWS - By Lawyer Isra Ibrahim - Nowadays, questions have been posed about the possibility of China and WHO liability and filing cases against it whether at national or international levels owing to the outbreak and contagion of coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, that resulted in around three and half million of infected people and around 239 thousand of dead people around the world , further, smashing insofar, the economy, health and social life of many states. Ostensibly, the first roots of this pandemic had been in "China – Wuhan City " hence, fingers started to be pointed at china, the claims commenced to indict China as being violating international law. Hereinafter I will illustrate the validity and the possibility of this obit through available info repertoire. On November 17, 2019, China had its first case of COVID-19 , and only on December 31, 2019, China notified the World Health Organization (“WHO”) about several cases of unusual pneumonia in Wuhan . Herein, exploring the first legal foundation for China's responsibility because of the delay for more than a month to notify WHO, noting that article (6) of International Health Regulations (2005) clearly provided that the notification time shall be within (24) hours. The WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also postponed declaring it as a public health emergency until January 30, 2020 , irrespective of the speed and transboundary of contagion, besides the large number of deaths and infected people. Hence, the month was sufficient for the outbreak of the virus throughout the world contextually. I would like here to reaffirm on the statement made by Taro ASO, "The Deputy Prime Minister of Japan”, that the role of the WHO head that was lax . Moreover, the resignation of WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus became a demand because this battle must have confronted by spending extraordinary fast effort, taking deliberate steps this emergency needed. Feeble awareness and lack of health and food supervision and the neglect from the Chinese side and laxity in declaration from WHO as well, caused the world, starting from China, thousands of dead bodies , and till the date of this article, around three million and half of infected people who suffered from this outbreak, in addition to the exhaustion of the medical sector, the economic suffering for both private and public sectors which could be quantified in Trillions of USD, and the depletion of the social sector of the infected states for the reason that this virus requires exceptional effort and funds that states and people cannot afford at this stage. Both China and WHO did not pursue the international obligation nor International Health Regulations "IHR" which unequivocally condemns them. From my perspective, I predict that this should qualify as gross negligence which should not be a cost-free especially that as per international law, the negligent parties owe the harmed states a compensation. Some critics may imprimatur that the IHR did not include a sanction or consequences in case of breach, but from my part, I would say that responsibility exists under various international legal rules and customary international law including the "Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts 200" issued by the United Nations, notably that one of the United Nations Security Council permanent membership is China; moreover, the Council rules which includes maintaining international peace and security, the permanent membership may, hopefully not, affect the mentioned rules but what if China step aside! It will constitute a more comfortable image of integrity which is necessary nowadays to maintain international peace and security. Further, the Statute of the International Court of Justice would be a resort; for instance; article (36/2/c and d) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice "ICJ” explicitly states: "2. The states parties to the present Statute may at any time declare that they recognize as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, concerning any other State accepting the same obligation, the jurisdiction of the Court in all legal disputes concerning: c. the existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute a breach of an international obligation; d. the nature or extent of the reparation to be made for the breach of an international obligation”. Interpretation will be emanated and for example the interpretation of article (7/k) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court clarifies the jurisdiction of the Court on "(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or mental or physical health." It could also apply for the infected people and victims' families from the COVID-19. But worthwhile noting that China has not signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, some researchers refer to the Afghanistan inquiry as a precedent of ICC despite that USA did not sign the above statute; hence, it worth to note that the inquiry was in Afghanistan, which is party of the mentioned statute. The above illustrates the right of reparation; moreover, the Court will be hearing cases for compensation that would further create precedents. But what about filling cases in the national level! Some may call about the possibility of suing China if the national law provided that, but from my part, I believe that it confronts with the immunity of the states that cannot be sued from national court in particular when we tackle the absolute immunity doctrine that leads to the last resort which is the international courts. Preferably, some international terminology shall be changed, such as; the health and environment, because they do not only affect the territory of the states in question, but they are transboundary. Hopefully, this pandemic taught us a lesson about the re-concerning of some matters including cross-borders environment and health. I have referenced a book called "One Health" edited by Ronald M. Atlas and Tanley Maloy which included (people, animals, and environment), that mightily the international community needs to be aware about such aspects related health, and environment. Legally speaking, International Law is quite clear that states are obliged to respect and abide by it. There is no time to show sympathy, but demanding to tackle the dilemma by swapping roles and eventually someone will bear the international legal responsibility for the pandemic and should pay for it. Optimistically, the panacea will be developed, hence the distraction will be faded, the international relation would move towards a new phase and the ramifications could be exorbitant. However; whomever made us suffer must be held accountable, actions have consequences.

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International Workers’ Day* Revisited

[5/1/2020 12:56:13 PM]

AMMONNEWS - By Madeleine Mezagopian - Today, we welcome the International Workers’ day with these words, which infrequently accompany such occasions in general, given its current surrounding environment is exceptional if not unusual with the world at large afflicted with a pandemic impacting if not threatening all aspects of peoples’ lives including and foremost workers’ daily life. Spiritual opening of this international occasion, which was originally initiated to promote the mundane rights of the workers, gains relevance given the current emotionally overloaded circumstances of the workers lives generate both worldly and spiritual outcomes and attention. On May 5, 1986, labor demonstrations took place at Haymarket square in Chicago demanding eight-hour work day. In 1894, the USA federal civil holiday Labor Day was established to recognize the hard work, sacrifices and contributions of works albeit on the first Monday of September. In 1904, the sixth conference of the Second International Socialist Congress adopted the May Day in commemoration of the Haymarket affair. In 1918, May 1 became an important public holiday, known as the Day of the International Solidarity of Workers in the Soviet Union. In 1955, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1 was introduced by Pope Pius XII that also serves as Labor Day as an alternative to the worldwide Communist-sponsored May Day celebrations. It honors workers and highlights the dignity of human work. In 1992 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian parliament retained the holiday as Spring and Labor Day. While USA and Canada have their Labor Day on the first Monday of September, more than 80 countries celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1. Throughout the years, much have been accomplished towards enhancing workers’ rights. Conservatives, liberals, socialists, communists, in addition to religious people, all met in advocating the rights of workers and improving workers’ working milieu. Today, workers’ day celebration already assumed globally with different “thank you” gestures by peoples in lockdown who expressed their appreciation, gratitude and respect for the health sector workers (all the staff of health institutions: nurses, doctors, hygiene workers, inter alia), security and military personnel. However, this celebration was preceded by and followed with daily sacrifices with their own lives by the members of the health sector. The sufferings of the patients, of the isolated people and those of the families of the deceased are rendering extra dimension to today’s celebration. Fear, agony and panic of the unknown by heavy laden people warrant physical, emotional and spiritual attention, despite big number of members of different churches and theology institutions worldwide are enriching peoples’ spiritual lives and providing comfort. The tortured families of the members of the health sector who attend to the needs of their patients in an environment threatening their own lives, the priests who provide spiritual services while jeopardizing their own lives with many already deceased, all the workers of different professions who suffer either out of fear of layoffs or due to isolated working milieu will surely leave long run impact on the history of Labor Day worldwide. It will lead to yet another historical insight into the road map of workers’ rights and dignity. On September 14, 1981, in his encyclical Laborem Exercens, Pope John Paul II stated The Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to help to guide [social] changes so as to ensure authentic progress by man and society. Today, it is our major task to revisit many aspects of workers’ rights and dignity and put forward some key questions as follows: Were the safety rights and requirements of the working victims of today’s pandemic intact and satisfactory? Are the emotional needs and pressures of these workers adequately attended? Were their invisible dignity and rights violated? Is there an urgent need for social and professional changes where spiritual, emotional and material rights are equally served thus securing authentic and comprehensive progress in international workers’ law: rights and obligations? In the light of the above mentioned, a new demanding and urgent stage in the workers’ history of achievements is awaiting for us to assume.

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Abu Ghazaleh : The World after Corona

[4/28/2020 11:00:14 AM]

AMMONNEWS - By Talal Abu Ghazaleh -Alexander the Great, conqueror of the old world, was struck down by a bacterium that took him to his death bed on which he expressed his final wishes: "I want my open coffin to be carried by the human arms of the best doctors who failed to save me, then all the treasures that I have acquired (silver, gold, precious stones…) are scattered all the way to my grave, and that my hands remain in the open air, swaying outside the coffin in the sight of all so people can see that with empty hands we arrive in this world and with empty hands we leave, while the most precious treasures of all are Legacy and Time". This is reminiscent of today’s concerns about time and timely measures. Time is perhaps the most precious value given to us, imposing on us an injunction to be ready when the need comes to face the inevitability of fate. Never in human memory has a virus so quickly destabilized so many sectors of human society as the current corona pandemic. Time was of the essence before proper measures were imposed, and the swift development of a vaccine is of paramount importance. All attempts by the “big powers" to reach the remedy have proved heretofore ineffective. Our world leaders, like Alexander, are scurrying to build more empires and accumulate more wealth to achieve leadership. Yet, in their neoliberal system to attain such supremacy, our mother Earth, geared by its Creator to protect itself, sent them a tiny virus of a few microns that succeeded in stopping the effects of their devilish machines on their environment. According to the satellite images provided by NASA, a drastic reduction in pollution over China and the USA is now apparent, partly due to the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus. Researchers at the space agency attributed this to the closure of factories and asking people to stay home, which led to a sharp drop in the consumption of fossil fuels, one of the main causes of the climate crises, among other pollutants. My earlier predictions: When I predicted and announced back in 2017 that 2020 would be a year of crises, I was taken aback by many whose opinion I respect. I will continue to tell what I believe to be the truth because I carry a believable message. Telling the truth is not pessimism, as knowing the facts is the right road to pursue proper treatment. I always addressed the elite knowing that they possess knowledge and truth because they are charting the future. I forgave those who insulted me and respected those in disagreement with me. Yet, I always declared that the Chinese economy, based on the PPP, is the greatest economy in the world. I had discovered the importance of China for more than three decades during which our working relationship with China was explicit and exceptional. It is true America has led the world for seven decades, but even truer, before the pandemic, that China was manufacturing and the world was buying. How China Plans to Recover from the Pandemic: China was hard hit by the coronavirus peak that now does not seem to have passed. In early March, Chinese authorities were quick to report that cases of contamination were starting to decrease as of March 12. Chinese media portrayed Xi Jinping’s tour as an "inspection tour," meeting doctors, some patients and local politicians. He visited, in particular, the prefabricated hospital built in ten days On March 11, declaring that “After two months of stopping, reviving the Chinese economy is an imperative necessity, and now comes the time to accelerate the establishment of an economic and social order compatible with the control and the prevention of the pandemic." For the moment, the Chinese authorities are highlighting this in and outside China. They sent experts carrying 250,000 masks to Iran, and disease screening kits to Pakistan and Italy. Nine Chinese doctors and technicians who fought the coronavirus are now in Rome. Despite the Confinement, Fractures are still present: We know that confinement is the only therapy - apart from a possible vaccine or even the resurrection of an old drug to prevent the progression of the virus. History reports cases of illustrious men forced into confinement such as Isaac Newton and Albert Camus who worked in their homes during times of epidemics. It was a good example to unite society. It may have caused the “herd instinct” to resurface. It is for the moment the withdrawal that makes everyone reorganize and contemplate. There were several scenarios regarding this pandemic. We would not only be individuals wandering in our rooms with haggard eyes, we are experiencing something new and unifying. We have seen videos of the Italian people singing on their balconies while their country, quarantined by its fellow European partners, suffers fatalities by the thousands as their voices of national cohesion filled the space. Yet, it also exposes the appearance of another societal fracture: the fundamental divide between people who are in confinement and those who are not. In the “steps”, we can cite the employees of Amazon, supermarket cashiers, among social employees within the same company where executives can work from home and workers come to work. It is as if this virus, far from bringing us together, intensified our consciousness of social inequalities. The beginning of an ongoing destabilization: Countries around the world are taking drastic measures to contain the pandemic. Will the virus bring the neoliberal system and the oligarchy to its knees? The economy and finance are already severely affected worldwide, and things are certainly still in their infancy. Thursday, March 12 witnessed a historic stock market crash; should we already think of stimulus policies? And what are the related social issues? Are we witnessing the collapse of the world or the emergence of a totally different new one? While several European countries, including Germany, are at a standstill, both economically and socially, the question of collapse arises. For more than half a century, we have been told that our system is not sustainable. The 1972 Meadows model put forward the danger for the planetary environment of the demographic and economic growth of humanity. Small disturbances create small social changes; the big ones change life for good. If our near future resembles what is currently happening in Italy, with complete closure of all business, except for food shops and pharmacies, then it is an exceptional break from the normality awaiting us. Practically, all activities involving or facilitating physical human interactions seem to be in the middle of a debacle. Universities, now with their empty campuses, had never before deployed distance education to such an extent. To a degree, we have the answer: the current daily virus grind. The pandemic will kill people, strip economies and scuttle habits, but it will pass. There are, however, real reasons to believe that things will not return to the normalcy we experienced just two months before writing these words. The Beginning of the Expected World: The West, headed by the USA, aiming to be an unsurpassable trailblazer sensed the decline after having exhausted all questionable methods to keep planetary supremacy. It all started with the Bretton Woods agreements which allowed the American Dollar to format the world economies. This succeeded wonderfully for the American Empire and its European partners for a period of thirty years. In France, the name given to this period of growth and prosperity was the "glorious thirty” during which France enjoyed 30 years of prosperity mainly within the tourism industry. With the fall of the Soviet Empire, the American Empire surged to what it believed would be for eternity. Yet cracks were felt during 2019 with the main reason being the relinquishing of NATO by President Trump. The planet became leaderless and something else had to be found to maintain supremacy in a multipolar world with a neoliberal economy running out of steam. Some Pentagon ideologues proposed a new strategy: PNAC or Program for American New Century, supported by Condoleeza Rice. Chaos reshaped the Middle East to the advantage of Israel to gradually dissolve the Palestinian issue and ultimately redraw new borders to replace the century old Sykes - Picot agreements. Then came the misdeeds of globalization rolling mill transforming the Arab Middle East into Nation-States consumers. This coincides with an American Empire swaying economically first with the subprime crisis of 2008. The negative effects or misdeeds of globalization-rolling mill added fuel to the fire, creating Nation-States without cap, but potential consumers holding the ingredients of a new chaos, which gave respite to the short lived neoliberal system. Corona and the defenders of globalization: Despite this convulsion, the neoliberal system has always had its supporters. These devil's advocates are mostly found among the needy and the destitute. Yet globalization software continued unabashed spreading its rolling mill to capture consumers. The gap widened between the producer who owns all the initiatives and the consumer who lost them all. The pandemic surged to create havoc to globalization and exposed it to unprecedented and timely criticisms. Certainly, the opening of borders for people, goods and capital has had positive consequences: with the epidemic underway, globalization became bad for health and economy! With this new situation, people looked for a correction, the only answer being more harmonious global growth including the developing countries to create a deeper international cooperation that should be widened beyond trade policies to include taxations, regulations and infrastructure. This won’t be a de-globalization but, on the contrary, more of a globalization that takes another form based on international cooperation. The promoters of such neo-globalization that benefits everyone would be humanity’s concern following the Corona demise. Socialism versus capitalism: Capitalism proved to be the best way to manage risk, stimulate innovation and spur productivity. However, these systems are not perfect. In the United States and the United Kingdom, the gap between rich and poor created social instability resulting in mass demonstrations. Brexit created an ever-increasing polarization striking the doors of capitalist economies, and is now throwing much past progress into jeopardy. Contemporary socialism is difficult to define besides being the total ownership of capital by the state. In Europe, social democracy refers to the nationalization of many economic sectors and a very generous welfare state. Inaccessible services are becoming more and more available and are changing the very nature of work, often for the better. It’s the capitalist systems that produced such gains, because they encourage invention to make the cake bigger. These opportunities never really mesh with the promises of the “American Dream” unless instabilities are stemmed and where political and economic leaders ensure that everyone has at least a chance to win the lottery. A historic opportunity to change: It is hoped that solidarity will be “reborn” in our social relationships, our behaviors, our collective conscience, our society and values. When the pandemic has disappeared, the period of containment lifted, drastic change will happen in all societies. This is truly a historic moment when the time of confinement will force us to change: this crisis comes with an important context denoting that societies have never been as divided as they are today which constitutes the foremost political stake. People at the moment, question themselves from different perspectives that is up to us to keep this unity going after the crisis. This experience will profoundly change the pattern of their thinking. The period of confinement is shared by everyone and this is where common ties are forged, mostly through social media. This provides immense opportunity for future innovation, to learn to understand ourselves and focus on the essentials for the future. It is our opportunity to move from speech and words to facts and to question ourselves. It is a societal introspection resulting from confinement and presents an opportunity for once to take our time with the means available to us. The output of this planetary ordeal: History teaches us that humanity only evolves significantly when it is really in fear. Today, nothing is more urgent than to control the health and economic catastrophes, which have befallen the world. Each major pandemic, for the past thousand years, has led to essential changes in the political organization of nations, and in culture that underpinned this organization. For example, we can say that the Great Plague of the 14th century, (which we know reduced by a third the population of Europe) participated in the radical questioning, on the old continent, to readopt religious feelings and the establishment of the police, as an effective form to protect people's lives. In modern states endowed with scientific spirit, they are beset by both religious and political authorities incapable of saving lives, and even of giving meaning to fate. The same was true at the end of the 18th century, when the doctor replaced the policeman as the best bulwark against death. We have therefore moved in a few centuries from an authority based on faith, to a more effective authority based on respect of science and the rule of law. Such a situation could definitely tip our civilizations into the height of individualism, of the savage struggle for life. In the cracks of these threatening catastrophes, we notice some indications of a possible better world. The most important actions are clearly visible: on the one hand, act massively on the most direct elements of the crisis: we need more individual and collective hygiene; more doctors, nurses, hospital equipment, intensive care facilities; more means of basic and applied research. Finally, we need to regulate the financial systems and undo the crazy debt pyramids that have taken us where we are today. On the other hand, to make the most of the new practices that this crisis, whatever its severity, will have imposed on us: respect ourselves, wash ourselves, watch ourselves; spend more time with family, friends, and nature; cook and spend time at the table; select the most useful trips; discover the virtues of teleworking; really use these new technologies to listen to music, to inform, to teach and diagnose. It did not take long for Wall Street to group some of these companies into a new index, the so-called Stay Home index, where we find, alongside Netflix, 33 US companies directly benefiting from this crisis, this will teach us to take seriously the only thing in the world that is really as rare as Alexander said: Time. The good time of our lives that should not be lost in futile activities, but extended by devoting more resources to it. How about our Arab world? The Arab world must overcome the coronavirus crisis in the face of a drastic drop in oil prices. This is an example of how the pandemic is moving from a natural disaster to a planetary war. This crisis is set to last till 2021. The shaken Arab world will never be as it was before with its impact on the whole world. Petrodollar countries will not rush to help their destitute “brothers” as they did previously. We must all unite and contribute more than ever to repair the link that unites us as much as we can. If the pandemic rises in its phase three, millions of Arabs will not be able to access care and famine is likely to spread, particularly in remote areas. Until now, most people protect themselves and those around them by strictly following the instructions of the health authorities. The pandemic is there to remind us that we are all inhabitants of a single planet and that we all share the same fate. We must thank heaven for this sacred Union facing danger. We will all go up the slope together and all our ambitions and dreams will come true in the end. The last word: After accounting for all human and economic losses, we are surely heading towards a reconstruction. The world before Corona has lived despite all dire attempts but nothing will be as it was before except our heritage. It is now disintegrating in front of a tiny microbe that is more fearful than the long-term climate changes. Maybe this time we could get out of energy intoxication and engage in a new globalization on a gentle slope. Despite the futility we experienced in our neoliberalism which ignores human dignity, let us arm ourselves to save our civilization as we have known it, from quickly disappearing.

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The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Syrian refugees, Jordan's health sector and WB Group Debts on Jordan

[4/28/2020 10:57:21 AM]

AMMONNEWS - By Professor Mujalli Mhailan - Since the war in Syria began, more than a million Syrian refugees have come to Jordan. Jordan shares history, culture, and a long open border with Syria. Jordan provides access to preventative and curative services to Syrian refugees. Over 70% of Syrian refugees are residing among host Jordanian communities. Only 30% of the Syrian refugees reside in camps, which started in early 2012; the largest camp is Zaateri, with an estimated population of 120 000. In the camps, UNHCR and other partners, with the support of the Jordanian Ministry of Health (MOH), provide health and humanitarian support. However, for the larger proportion of refugees outside the camps, not all needs can be adequately addressed. The Jordanian MOH provides full access to health services for the Syrians outside camps along with the local Jordanian population. Additionally, some non-governmental organizations and private sector practitioners also deliver services to Syrian refugees outside the camps. Most of the refugees' demand is located in the four northern governorates, and in Amman where specialty care can be found. Thanks to the Jordanian MOH's vigilance and support from WHO, UNICEF, and other partners, to date no major infectious disease epidemics have occurred, but outbreaks appeared and risks are increasing (1). At the present COVID-19 Pandemic, the Jordanian Government, Military, Police, Civil Defense, Security Forces and the MOH are doing their best to defeat this monster, from the beginning of the pandemic till now there is only about 400 cases and 5 deaths only, with no cases in the refugee camps. Without additional support to respond to this COVID-19 Pandemic, Jordan's health sector will suffer not just the immediate loss of life and health among Syrians and Jordanians, but will also see a major erosion of the gains Jordan has made over decades of investment in health and health systems. The people and Government of Jordan are committed to assisting Syrians. We need support from the international community to respond to the many and additional health and living needs of Syrian refugees. Jordan is committed to continuing to care for refugees from Syria and other countries, but the system is dangerously overstretched. Excessive demands on our health system pose risks to our health status and social stability. We are committed to the health of both Syrians and Jordanians. We invite the international community to join us and assist in this effort particularly during this COVID-19 Pandemic. Jordan debt to the World Bank Group is about 42 Billion $, on the other hand the Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ) , is greatly and negatively affected by the curfew and the total shutdown of all the Tourist facilities and sites in Jordan as Petra , Jarash, Jadara , Jordan River , and others during this COVID-19 Pandemic crisis . As a good percentage of Jordan debt to the World Bank Group is related to waves of refugees, from nearby places Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and lastly Syria. And, also because of the present COVID-19 Pandemic crisis .It is suggested that World Bank Group waives all Jordan debts. Finally, this step is needed urgently, and should be supported by all humanity loving people.

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King : It’s time to return to globalization. But this time let’s do it right.

[4/27/2020 7:26:11 PM]

AMMONNEWS - By King Abdullah II - I can’t remember the precise context, but I was recently taken aback when an aide mentioned I had become the longest-serving Arab leader. The sheer pace and density of events in the past 21 years — wars, terrorist attacks, regional conflicts, waves of refugees, financial crises — had caused the years to blur together. Just when I thought I could give myself permission to start saying I’d seen it all, along came the novel coronavirus. I cannot recall a time when every leader on the planet had the exact same item at the top of his or her agenda. This captures how truly surreal this moment in history is. But common concern does not necessarily translate into coordinated action. It has been reassuring to see the global medical community working to share information as doctors and researchers hunt for a cure. Yet there is no denying that this border-blind enemy appeared just when the term “de-globalization” was entering our lexicon — thanks to the rise of nationalism, protectionism and general skepticism about cross-border cooperation of all kinds. Yes, we’ve seen moments in the past two decades when humanity rallied together in common grief, fear or outrage. We all distinctly recall that dark day when the planes struck the twin towers in New York, launching a new age of terrorist insanity. Many countries have their own experiences of trauma seared into their memories: hotels in Amman, an arena in Manchester, a girls’ school in Nigeria, a concert in Paris, mosques in New Zealand, churches in Sri Lanka, synagogues in the United States, and many others. No matter how far away each incident was, the grief always felt personal. Yet the moments of unity inspired by these events — and the financial crises and natural disasters we’ve also faced over the years — have never lasted long enough to push us to fundamentally rethink the systems we have in place. More often than not, our responses have done little more than plug holes, falling far short of what could be achieved with modern technology. In the Middle East, we realized that we had to take a different approach in the fight against terrorism. We knew that our only hope for defeating it depended on breaking down barriers — both among nations as well as among the institutions within them. Jordan understood the need for a joint platform to enhance coordination among regional and international stakeholders, and so we launched the Aqaba Process to enable all partners to counter extremism and terrorism by leveraging resources, sharing information, identifying gaps and avoiding redundancies. Today, our world has decided to turn warning sign to siren. Unlike previous threats, this one is hitting us all, and all at once. This crisis has thrown a harsh light on the gaps in our global order — gaps caused by social injustice, income inequality, poverty and misgovernance. Many are optimistic we will simply rebuild after this pandemic. But rebuilding is not enough. We should focus instead on creating something new, something better. Instead of “de-globalization” — as some are advocating — I see us all benefiting from a “re-globalization.” This time, though, we must concentrate on getting it right, aiming for a renewed integration of our world that centers on the well-being of its people. A re-globalization that strengthens and builds capacities within our countries and ushers in true cooperation rather than competition. A re-globalization that recognizes that a single country, acting alone, cannot succeed. One country’s failure is every country’s failure. That means recalibrating our world and its systems. We need to reconfigure international institutions and build new ones where needed. We need to create and sustain new organizations that draw on the skills and resources of different sectors, across national boundaries. Jordan is ready to build on its experience with the Aqaba Process to help in any way it can. Threats do not come in silos, and the solutions cannot be in silos. This rings especially true in my corner of the world. As Arab nations, we have no choice but to act together to mitigate the impact on us all. The natural resources we had relied on to shield us are no longer enough. We must set aside our differences and recognize that yesterday’s rivalries are meaningless against this shared threat. We need to leverage the strengths and resources of each of our countries to create a regional safety net that protects our collective future. Unemployment, famine and poverty lie ahead if we do not act. We must address the global opportunity gap, including access to health care, and rethink the models and metrics employed by international financial agencies in emerging markets to better tell the whole story. Covid-19 is a threat that confronts every leader. But if we wish to defeat it, we must do what seems counterintuitive: Put politics and popularity aside. We must also do the exact opposite of what the doctor ordered: Come together and get to work. To face this single threat, we must have singular focus — the survival and well-being of human lives everywhere.

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