YouthPower in Jordan: Working Toward a More Sustainable Future

Green Buildings to Protect the Environment

Shahed Al-Khateeb, 24 and originally from Jordan, has always been passionate about the environment and finding sustainable architectural solutions to protect it. After graduating from high school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where her family resided, she applied for the Faculty of Architecture at Al Zaytoonah University in Jordan since this specialization in Saudi Arabia was limited to Saudi nationals only. But when her father refused to let her study abroad alone, she enrolled in a university in Saudi Arabia and majored in Information Technology.

Shahed’s desire to study architecture remained, and after a year and a half of continuous efforts to persuade her father, she was finally able to convince him to travel back to Jordan and study the major of her dreams.

At university, Shahed joined several university clubs that enabled her to interact with people and familiarize herself with her new community and its needs. She worked on projects within the scope of her specialization and was recognized with many awards.

In the realm of architecture, Shahed developed a special interest toward “Green Buildings” and focused her creativity into coming up with design ideas for environmentally friendly structures. She and a group of her colleagues founded an initiative aimed at recycling plastic waste to help preserve the environment.

Shahed remained devoted to developing her knowledge and expertise in this field, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was not able to enroll in any new trainings to support this. Luckily, USAID YouthPower presented her with the opportunity to join the “Green Schools” online training which provided her with information on how to design and build environmentally friendly school buildings.

The most prominent feature of this training is that it is not limited to teaching how to build green buildings, but also how to convert existing buildings and schools into green ones, which makes the transformation process faster and easier.

“Despite the great knowledge I have received throughout my university career, YouthPower offered me valuable information I did not have before” says Shahed.