Withdrawal from the Hult Prize is an ethical responsibility — Abu Diyya

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Hundreds of Jordanian university students withdrew from this year's "Hult Prize" global competition after learning about the participation of Israeli universities.اضافة اعلان

The "Hult Prize" award, valued at one million US dollars, is a youth platform and global competition held in collaboration with the United Nations. It starts annually at universities for students, where a problem or challenge is presented each year. The competition's framework involves solving this problem by creating an idea for a startup company to win the one million US dollar prize in the final stage.

The Director of the Hult Prize campus at Al-Balqa Applied University - Polytechnic, Engineer Ahmed Abu Diyya, announced his withdrawal along with all teams from his university participating in the competition, totaling up to 250 students. He canceled all events and activities, converting them into a local and national competition.

The engineer emphasized that the complete student withdrawal is a national and ethical responsibility they didn't hesitate to uphold. It represents the free Jordanian voice rejecting normalization despite the temptations, prizes, and opportunities offered by the competition to students, including the grand prize of one million US dollars along with technical and academic support.

The engineer confirmed that the withdrawal was a unified collective decision between the national competition team in Jordan and all organizers from Jordanian universities, as well as all participating Arab countries from the Gulf to the Arab Maghreb.

He added that the boycott compels them to seek national and fair alternatives meeting students' aspirations and the nation's interests. Hence, several national, Arab, and regional initiatives were launched. The first was the "Project Two Market" innovative projects exhibition and competition, successfully held at Al-Balqa Applied University on March 5 as a national substitute for the Hult Prize competition for Al-Balqa students. Additionally, the Jordanian Entrepreneurship competition was organized by the former body of the national team for the Hult Prize competition in Jordan.

He further stated that the joint announcement of the withdrawal decision came after the global competition management insisted on involving Israeli occupation universities, including students who had previously served a compulsory enlistment in the occupation army. This completely contradicts the principles of students advocating for rejecting normalization in all its forms and names. Additionally, the participation of soldiers with hands stained with the blood of innocents in Palestine goes against the standards and principles of the competition itself.

The engineer called for intensified efforts and support from social institutions and companies for Jordanian university students in general. This could be achieved by integrating them into useful and national extracurricular activities with clear visions and goals.

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