"Thanks to Progetto Mediterraneo, my dream of studying Economics has come true and maybe, one day, I will start my own business". With these words, Jasmine, 20 years old, first-year student in the Bachelor’s degree program in Business Administration, remarks on his experience in the programm that LUISS, in collaboration with Fondazione Terzo Pilastro - Internazionale, has launched this year in Jordan with the University of Petra.
Now back from Jordan, the LUISS delegation has brought home ideas and stories to tell from their intense days in Amman where they met academic staff of the University of Petra, the University's partner in the initiative, and 17 young students from Jordan, Palestine and Syria who are participating in Progetto Mediterraneo.
LUISS Executive Vice President Luigi Serra declares: "The University of Petra welcomed us and showed a great collaborative spirit. It was so exciting to meet the students and learn about their dreams and projects. This mission is the first step of a program to educate and integrate, with a wide and long-lasting scope, to strengthen the friendship between Italy and other Mediterranean countries. Our hope is to offer a better future to young people (Syrian and Palestinian refugees, or in other difficult economic conditions), that are otherwise uprooted and without many other opportunities. We would also like to contribute to the formation of a new generation, a possible future leading class, of cross-border youth, with a a mindset that is open, international and inclusive in both society and in life".
Alongside the Executive Vice President, LUISS General Manager Giovanni Lo Storto and the Director of Teaching, Research and Employability Federica Capone met President of the University of Petra, Marwan Muwalla, the Director of the Faculty of Administrative & Financial Sciences, Saheer Al-Jaghou, who were happy and excited to officially celebrate the commencement of the project that will allow their students to have a challenging experience on both sides of the Mediterranean.
"Since our establishment, our university has created an innovative environment, both in research and education. For this reason, we have chosen to create a strong partnership with Fondazione Terzo Pilastro - Internazionale and a prestigious university such as LUISS. Our young people must knock on the doors of the world without fear and without borders to build their future in an international context of intercultural exchange and dialogue", commented Marwan M. Muwalla, President of the University of Petra.
Progetto Mediterraneo sees the participation of 17 university students, including 10 Jordanians and 7 Syrians and Palestinians living under international protection, selected for both merit and need, who have received scholarships to cover the entirety of their studies from Fondazione Terzo Pilastro - Internazionale, led by Professor Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele, which has heavily invested in the education of young people in difficulty from around the Mediterranean: "This initiative, unique on both the Italian and European levels, aims to be a privileged access to young people who otherwise would have never been able to invest in their futures", explains President Emanuele, who adds: "Poverty prevents people from being free to follow their callings. Our mission is to help those in particularly difficult situations, in both Italy and elsewhere, and to promote quality degree programs with a strong impact in terms of development and social justice. Thus, I am very proud to have supported Progetto Mediterraneo, launched by a prestigious university like LUISS in partnership with the University of Petra in Amman".
Miriam and Alaa, like their classmates, feel lucky to have been chosen to participate in Progetto Mediterraneo, and will land in Italy in September. In addition to eight Jordanian colleagues, their dreams and new opportunities, the students will spend an entire year on the LUISS campus. Alongside their new Italian classmates, the students wil study international economics, finance and mathematics, all courses from the Bachelor’s degree program in Economics and Business. Over the next academic year, the young Jordanians will study Italian: "We're going to learn a third language", they remarked. Several of the participants dream of becoming managers within large businesses or to own their own companies. There is also a student, Fatima, who hopes to become a university professor.
The other participants, mostly from Syria and Palestine, who live in Amman under international protection, will stay at the University of Petra to study statistics, microeconomics and financial mathematics with visiting LUISS professors, thanks to an agreement with the Faculty of Admnistrative & Financial Sciences of the Jordanian university. The lessons, taught by famous economics, including Pietro Reichlin and Fausto Gozzi, will also be held throughout the 2018-2019 academic year.
"We care greatly about Progetto Mediterraneo and we have worked passionately on its fruition" has states LUISS General Manager Giovanni Lo Storto. "In a world of crumbing certainties and fear of what the future brings, during our mission in Jordan we saw young people rising to the occasion with energy and optimism, which for LUISS is the first and foremost objective of this project: a broad education with both theoretical and practical elements that can transforms lives and open unimaginable possibilities".