Austrian envoy honors Jordanian Puppets World

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(Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — Austrian Ambassador Oskar Wüstinger honored the Jordanian organization “Puppets World” for winning the Intercultural Achievement Award (IAA) in the category Technology.اضافة اعلان

The honoring came at a reception held the ambassador’s Amman residence on Monday.

Only seven winning projects were selected among more than 180 submissions worldwide, namely from France, India, Jordan, Morocco, Austria, and South Africa.

Puppets World, is the first mobile live puppet theater in the Kingdom.

It aims to educate children, school students and refugees through various plays, which discuss important issues that affect them, and contribute to building their personalities. The topics include bullying, children’s rights, personal hygiene, the importance of water, accepting other people, protecting the environment, among others.

Wüstinger said that the IAA “honors successful and innovative civil society projects in the field of intercultural and interreligious dialogue, both in Austria, and on a global scale”.

IAA is a key project of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and rewards those who successfully break new ground in intercultural dialogue.

The winners are usually organizations, or individuals who have mastered a specific challenge through intercultural action, and who promote the dialogue of cultures, and religions through their media presence.

The ambassador emphasized that the award “is really important to both the embassy and the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, since we try to enforce cultur-al co-existing and interreligious dialogue”.

Puppet World’s Co-founder Rami Bader received the award in Vienna last October.

At the ambassador’s residence, he pointed out in a speech at the reception the important val-ues his organization conveys to children.

“The puppets have always been my tool to teach children about coexistence and accepting dif-ferences, regardless of gender, social class, color, religion, and culture,” he said.

“The IAA award will help us continue our work with passion and love”, he added.

At the reception, which was attended by Minister of Education Azmi Al-Mahafzah, the Austrian Ambassador congratulated the team of Puppets World, and voiced appreciation for its work.

“Your admirable work and innovative approach is putting smiles on children’s faces,” the envoy said.

Ban Zaineb, one of the co-founders of Puppets world, said that the organization started as a community initiative before it was licensed as a Jordanian establishment.

“Our goal is to raise the children’s awareness of social, behavioral, emotional, and cultural issues, regardless of their social background or geographical origin,” she told Jordan News.

She said: “Puppets World also focuses on integration, and teaching values such as tolerance and compassion in a playful and entertaining way”.

Zaineb explained that the organization “is the first mobile puppet show in Jordan, and all the scripts are approved and evaluated by the Ministry of Education”.

“Puppets are really popular for children, and the beauty of it is that the characters stay in the children’s minds forever”, she added.

She pointed out that they have performed in all Jordan governorates, as well as refugee camps, for more than 20 nationalities both in Arabic and English.

Jenin Aboushi, a storyteller at Puppets world, told Jordan News that the storyteller acts as a “link between the children and puppets, and explains the main messages of the show to them”.

Puppets World is the first show that includes sign language translation alongside the show.

Saif Saleh, sign language translator at Puppets World, told Jordan News that this addition “is important in order to include all children with different disabilities to enjoy the show and inter-act with it.”

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