Synergos’ Arab World Social Innovators were featured in an article in Frontlines magazine put out in print and online by the US Agency for International Development, which helps support our program:
At first glance, harvesting tomatoes with local farmers in the rural expanse bordering the Dead Sea may not seem like the most ideal way for Jordanian youngsters to spend a weekend.
But for a group of youth from Amman, participating in “exchange tourism” activities to interact with the local community in Ghor al Mazra´a is a way to share experiences and break ethnic stereotypes in a country marked by pronounced socioeconomic divides.
Social innovator Rabee Zureikat launched the Zikra Initiative in 2007, and this new model of exchange tourism to address social problems in Jordan and to support economic development. Funds from the tours are re-invested into microloans and workshops for entrepreneurs, mostly women, to start small businesses while preserving local traditions.