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Smart Communities in Syria and Jordan


Damascus hosted a training workshop by UN-ESCWA on “Enterprise Support Schemes for the Smart Community Project (SCP)” that was followed by a study tour of community centers in Syria and Jordan. Held at the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) last month, the workshop was realized with the collaboration of both UNRWA and a SCP partner organization, the Syrian Fund for Development of Rural Areas (FIRDOS).


Participants gathered from Yemen, Syria and Lebanon to attend this training exercise, which provided them with the opportunity to review and discuss the status of the SCP in their respective countries as well as to share knowledge, strengthen partnerships, and look ahead to the initiation of enterprise support schemes. The 5-day training workshop consisted of lectures, presentations and discussions on accounting and budgeting skills, communication skills, and networking and enterprise support schemes. The lecturers engaged participants with practical case studies and examples. For its part, UN-ESCWA presented the Qusaybeh Smart Community Project website that will be the primary communication and networking tool for the participants. During the workshop, the participants undertook a study tour that included the Zabadani community center as well as the Qusaybeh SCP and the inauguration of its Agro-Food Production Unit. The inauguration was attended by local dignitaries, with the attendance of UN-ESCWA Regional Advisor on Information Technology and Communications Hratch Kouyoumjian.


The second leg of the study tour continued in Amman on 11 and 12 December. After a courtesy visit to the director of the Knowledge Station Project, Mr. Nasser Khalaf, the participants visited four knowledge stations in Hittine, Al-Zarka, Bal’ama, Irak Al-Amir in different settings where the director of each station gave a brief overview of its historical background and fielded questions.