Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Jordanian Prince Calls for Dialogue

Jordanian prince El-Hassan bin Talal discussed globalization and the increasing need for international dialogue during a speech Wednesday in ICC Auditorium.

“I think we are countries in transition, all of us, and the future is what we collectively wish it to be,” El-Hassan said.

El-Hassan is the uncle of King Abdullah of Jordan, who visited Georgetown in March, and a 42nd-generation direct descendant of the prophet Muhammad.

Michael Hudson, a Georgetown professor and director of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, introduced El-Hassan, calling him “an example of a citizen of the world who offers great hope, peace and understanding in both his own nation and the Middle East as a whole.”

El-Hassan promoted the use of international dialogue as the means to end international conflict. He suggested nations join to discuss a code of conduct regarding biological and chemical weapons and criticized government organizations for their tendency to act as separate entities and ignore their shared goals. Collective responsibility, El-Hassan said, is the sole means of averting “a major disaster.”

“What are we? Are we really an Arab world? Or are we a loose federation of people who share the same culture and heritage?,” El-Hassan asked.

El-Hassan cited the need to create 35 million job opportunities over the next decade. He added that the most privileged fraction of Jordan’s potential workforce attends schools outside of Jordan and often chooses not to return.

“They want their achievements to be recognized. On the other hand, if the doors are not opened, clearly mediocrity will continue to rule our region, exclusion will continue to tear us apart and inclusion will be that much more difficult,” El-Hassan said.

He cited academia as the source for finding common ground in international dialogue and praised Georgetown students and faculty for promoting regional studies. He also said that he hoped for an alliance in the future between academia and the media and was critical of the media for emphasizing the suffering of the settlers in the Gaza Strip while providing little coverage of the plight of the Palestinian people.

El-Hassan also suggested building relationships through an international relief fund or a non-denominational peace corps. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, El-Hassan praised relief efforts, but questioned what he said was a lack of international assistance after last year’s tsunami tragedy.

El-Hassan urged students to work toward “a partnership across the pond” by finding common ground in international discourses and by emphasizing the need for less focus on monologue and more on dialogue.

The speech was sponsored by the Lecture Fund, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

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