Samar Dudin

Ashoka Fellow
Jordan,
Fellow Since 2009
Takween

Citation

This profile was prepared when Samar Dudin was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2009.
The New Idea
Samar empowers Arab youth to become active citizens in their communities, as she transforms youth’s sense of apathy, loss of identity, alienation, exclusion & prejudice into civic engagement. Samar breaks the barriers to youth's engagement and gets youth out of their ghettos using an unprecedented approach which considers youth as a heterogeneous group and addresses the particularity of their exclusion before working on breaking this exclusion. Samar divides youth into different groups then designs customized solutions to engage each group of youth, thereby rejecting commonly used one-size-fits-all solutions targeting youth civic engagement. Samar works with youth of all ages from the different ethnic groups and socio-cultural groups all over Jordan. She divides youth into four networks which she classifies based on their different types of exclusion, whether it is economic, ethnic or cultural exclusion, and provides them with the knowledge and tools they need to engage as active and aware citizens. Samar calls this set of knowledge and tools the missing content paradigm kit in citizenship education, she uses diverse tools compatible with the different groups such as discussions, debates, co-authorship and theatre. Samar also connects youth in these networks to activists who can collaborate with them on their different initiatives and who can advise them on civically responsible activism channels and connect them to legitimate channels whereby they can get the rights they have been denied due to prejudice and exclusion. Samar has thus developed a comprehensive system that allows youth to feel the uniqueness of their identity, be aware of their rights, and find an outlet to implement their gained knowledge and know-how. Existing initiatives in the region often perceive youth as a homogeneous group without addressing the different layers of exclusion and prejudice that they face in their communities. Such initiatives provide youth with abstract knowledge and sometimes try to impose their own ideologies on youth. Youth are thus unable to correlate and determine root causes and possible solutions for their own problems and their society's problems. Moreover, initiatives in the region seldom provide youth with a channel through which they can get their rights and participate in their societies. The result is frustration among youth as they are deprived of their basic rights as citizens and the chance to make a difference in the community, such frustration could sometimes lead to the disruption of harmony in the society. Samar's initiatives will result in mobilizing a civically engaged youth movement that will be apathy free and will proactively participate in the creation of a pluralistic society.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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