2016-04-25

From Crisis Communication to Roman Ruins: Euromed PPRD Workshop in Jordan

My long experience in facilitating courses and workshops has taught me that no two audiences are alike, much less when you are moving into an entirely new country and culture.
The EUROMED PPRD SOUTH II program landed this past week in Jordan. A country rich in history tradition, sunshine but most of all in warmth from its people. As a Lebanese, I can assert that there is a special bond that always connects us Levantines with each other. We have shared history, geography, climate, traditions, family ties not to mention woes and troubles.
Jordan has always been one of the most welcoming places I have visited and I was extremely enthusiastic to be back there again, this time with the PPRD team.
In case you have not caught wind of what our workshops are about, they are part of a bigger effort to prepare mediterranean countries to face crisis and disasters. Our team addresses Communication in times of Crisis more specifically and helps countries create the awareness needed to build their communication teams and apply the right communication strategy for those difficult times.

The audience in Amman was similar in structure to what we had noticed in Beirut, in the sense that attendance extended beyond the Civil Defense forces to include members of various ministries and official bodies. We did however have members of the (official) press present with us like in Algiers.

Excellent Workshop with my Colleagues Laurent Vibert & Veronique Ruggirello


The Jordanian hosts' enthusiasm for the learning process was no less than their counterparts in previous workshops. Although hesitant at first, and not sure what to expect  from this workshop, they quickly got into the motion, with some taking-on leading roles among the group in various exercises, such as the simulated TV interview or the Social Media Crisis simulation.

The Civil Defense members extended their hospitality further by offering us an amazing trip into the ancient but well preserved ruins of Jarash, located roughly 45 minutes north of the capital. This trip was extremely exciting for me personally, as I am a big fan of historical sites. My previous shorter visits to the country had not left me enough time to go admire such beautiful pieces of history.

In our free time, we also managed to uncover beautiful parts of a city that is friendly, safe, vibrant and with a great potential for more achievements.
We left hoping that our visit helped bring valuable insights to the brave men and women of the civil defense and other public protection services with whom we managed to build friendship and camaraderie ties.

As for me, I can only say one thing: See you soon Jordan!!