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The Guardian: Knights of Change

Jordan's increasingly young population must be encouraged to succeed, or it risks creating a lost generation. “I make more mezze for them than for my mother,” Isaiah, 15, points through the steam emanating from his sizzling pot of chickpeas, lime and spice, to a line of garment boutiques in down-town Amman. The vibrant souks of King Talal Street in the foreground reflect back in his hopeful eyes. They are Isaiah’s battleground for money, to feed himself and his ailing mother. The irony is not lost on him: “To feed us, I must feed others first.” Young people are the creative lifeblood and future of the developing world. Jordan’s current Head of state, King Abdullah II, addressed his nation’s youth as “the knights of change” in his speech on the country’s 61st anniversary of independence in 2007. The words echo through the chaotic capital today, where a shrewd-faced Isaiah senses opportunity.

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