Queen Rania visits Fab Lab, Offline Show in Irbid

AMMAN — Her Majesty Queen Rania on Wednesday visited Fab Lab Irbid and the latest Offline Show held at the Jordan University for Science and Technology, located 80km north of Amman.

At Fab Lab, the Queen was welcomed by EU Ambassador to Jordan Andrea Fontana, the founding partner and director of Fab Lab Irbid, Loay Malahmeh and the CEO of Luminus Group, Ibrahim Al Safadi, according to a statement from Her Majesty’s office.

Her Majesty took a tour of the laboratory’s facilities and met with entrepreneurs of several startups making use of the space. 

As part of the tour, Queen Rania stopped by the lab’s industrial area where hands-on manufacturing activities were conducted at the metal shop, wood shop and molding shop. 

She also passed by the clean area and browsed the facility’s technology-powered machinery, including the latest 3D printing devices. 

Fab Lab Irbid is a space dedicated to providing up-and-coming entrepreneurs with the latest modern technologies, knowledge and means for product innovation. Equipped with state-of-the art machinery, the laboratory is designed to help startups experiment with and build any product prototype from scratch. 

The lab is a constituent of the Shamal Start programme, which is funded by the EU, with the objective of developing the local economy and creating new job opportunities for the communities of Irbid and Mafraq. 

With a specific focus on the manufacturing and services industries, the programme aims to establish 90 startups and support another 60 micro, small and medium enterprises across Irbid and Mafraq.  

The programme is run by three Jordanian private sector institutions; Luminus Education, 3Dmena Social Innovation and the Royal Scientific Society’s iPark. 

Her Majesty later visited the Offline Show taking place at the Jordan University for Science and Technology, where she was greeted by the university’s President Omar Al Jarrah. 

Queen Rania joined around 170 students and members of staff at the university’s auditorium to watch the latest performance of the recurring interactive discussion show, ‘‘Offline Show’’. 

Her Majesty stressed how impressed she was with the performance, especially since it tackles social issues of great importance to all Jordanians. 

“Satirical art, the core of which are society’s woes and most pressing issues, greatly influences public opinion and helps change preconceived notions,” she said. 

The Queen told the audience that they are the future of Jordan.

“We have great hopes for you. We hope that you will be the generation that fosters constructive dialogue, the one that overcomes any notions of negativity passed on from generation to generation, and the one to solve your issues without casting blame,” she said. 

Her Majesty also encouraged the students to continue participating in important discussions like the one centred on educational reform and development, referencing the clarity of His Majesty’s mission regarding the need for reform in his Seventh Discussion Paper. 

The Offline Show, conceived by Jordanian social media activists and influencers Omar Zorba, Ahmad Srour, Mouath Omari and Odai Hijazi, is an ongoing interactive show that discusses complex and controversial issues and provides a safe space for the discussion of ethical problems and the rehearsal of real-life ethical choices. 

Different renditions of the show were previously performed at Al Ahliyya Amman University, Al Hussein Bin Talal University and Usama Al Mashini Theatre.

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