“I love taking pictures,” says Mohammad, a shy smile sweeping across his face. “If someone was taking pictures for the first time, I would tell them to take one of a girl and a boy playing, because this represents gender equality and it’s beautiful.” The 14-year-old boy has been learning about gender equality through The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s “Generation Amazing” leadership-building, Football for Development program for the past year.
The program’s coaches, who are trained in Right To Play’s play-based learning and development approach, use football to teach teamwork, acceptance, inclusion and gender equality.
Mohammad’s also learning how to take pictures. As a part of the Generation Amazing program, he and a group of his peers are participating in the “Amazing Voices” photography workshop where they are learning how to use digital cameras so that they can capture their opinions and emotions about gender equality in photographs.
“It’s an important subject, because girls can have the same rights as boys and girls can be as skilled as boys and vice versa,” says Mohammad. “I was happy to participate in this workshop so that I can learn how to represent gender equality in a picture.”
Mastering how to use their cameras is the first portion of the workshop. Once the children feel confident in their new skills, the program’s coaches guide them through a group discussion where they identify one shared message that they want to use as the inspiration for their photographs. Mohammad and the group choose: girls and boys have the same capabilities, as their theme. This gives the young people a clear focus for their photography. Next, they look to capture symbols, real-life moments, their environment and anything else that they feel embodies this message.
“At first, I had challenges taking the photos, because most of mine were of the same thing: a photo of a building, men working in a shop or a car,” says Mohammad. “They didn’t tell a story.”
Growing up in the conservative, traditional environment of Jordan’s Al Baqa’a refugee camp hasn’t always provided strong examples of gender equality for Mohammad, who, like his parents and grandparents has lived there his entire life.
But having the freedom to express himself combined with the workshop’s guidance that there are no “wrong” photos” empowered him to be creative. Leaning on his newly learned training, Mohammad took matters into his own hands, directing some of his peers to pose in his photographs to get the shots he wanted.
“I asked some of my girl and boy friends to stand together, to show one boy sitting and one girl standing, and also to play football,” says Mohammad. “Girls being with boys is gender equality. It shows that boys can do girls things and girls can do boys things.” Being creative and finding different ways to express himself is part of the photography process. It’s an extension of the communication skills Mohammad has been learning through the program.
Now, he’s able to explore and think about gender equality in a new way, unlocking a deeper awareness about himself, the environment and the impact his environment has on his behaviour.
“I think girls and boys are the same,” says Mohammad. “Girls play football like boys, they can work, and they can study. The best photo I took is a picture of boys and girls working as a team.”
Story by Adriana Ermter
Photography by Paul Bettings
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) will deliver all infrastructure and host country planning and operations required for Qatar to host an amazing and historic FIFA World Cup™. Generation Amazing is the SC’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme. It uses the opportunity created by Qatar’s hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ to empower and educate people in Qatar, the region and across the globe. Outside Qatar, the programme has been operational in Jordan and Pakistan with Right to Play. In Nepal, it is managed by Right to Play and delivered by Mercy Corps.