Man fights for human rights and equality
By Hani Obaidat
Photography by Hani Obaidat
Rakan Hiasat is an event manager and a Humanitarian who he seeks equal rights for men and women.
He believes everyone should be treated equally and deserves basic human rights.
“I started my first campaign at King Husain Cancer Center,” he said.
“We started a campaign called Al Karameh that helps Jordanian and Palestinian migrants living in camps, by providing the families food, clothes, and blankets for the winter, as well as for renovating houses.
“The challenges we face is we are having a hard time helping refugees that live in camps.”
There are more than 2 million registered Palestinian refugees living in Jordan. Most Palestinian refugees in Jordan – however not all – have full citizenship.
There are ten recognized Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, which accommodate nearly 370,000 Palestinian refugees – which is 18 percent of the country’s total population; Jordan hosts the largest number of Palestinian refugees.
“The things we struggle with most are that some of the families that we help don’t accept our help or the things that we provide for them,” Rakan said.
“Sometimes they feel offended.”
One of the problems the Jordanian and Palestinian families face within the camps was that they could not leave the camp from fear, lack of money to do so, or just the confusion of where to start.
Other campaigns that Rakan worked on was for women’s rights from 2007 until 2015.
He saw many women being mistreated, such as getting married at a young age against their own will, also being disrespected and getting raped by their own husbands.
According to a 2014 UNICEF report, over 700 million women were married when they were under 18, and of those, some 250 million were married before they were 15.
Around one in 10 – 120 million – girls worldwide have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives.
One of the violence Rakan witnessed includes two men on the streets trying to convince and bribe a woman into having intercourse with them.
A 2014 OECD statistic showed the percentage of attitudes towards violence for women in Jordan was 70 percent. According to a 2016 report from Action Aid, the vast majority of women across the globe have experienced violence on the streets of their cities with 89 percent of women in Brazil, 86 percent in Thailand, and 79 percent in India reporting harassment and abuse.
Things had not been easy for Rakan, constantly facing threats from people – including the government – until this day.
He is still conducting many campaigns to defend the right of those who deserve it and he said he would still like to support many other causes.
His goal is to open a school – from kindergarten to high school – for disabled children. He would like to educate them; teach them art, music, and other subjects to help them express their feeling and everything they had gone through.
“There is no such thing as women’s rights, civil rights, or refugees rights, there is only one right, which is human rights,” Rakan said.
“After all, we are all human, we are all equal.”
Rakan Hiasat is a local from Zarqa Al Balqa who studied computer information systems at Hashemite Univesity. He is currently working at Tammouz Cafe and at two event management companies, which are Amman Jazz festival as an event coordinator and at OrangeRed. He also works at two event management companies which are called @JoScene and @Jorzine. He is also active within the development sector, conducting many of his own humanitarian campaigns.