"The journey of knowledge is longer than the journey of life…"
Ms. Nayfah AlKhateeb, 66 years old from Jordan
Ms. Nayfah, a 66-year-old woman was working as a teacher in various Arabic countries until she quit in 2002 to take care of her children. After her husband has passed away 16 years ago, it was never easy to raise 8 children on her own; especially that she did not receive enough support from those around her at that time.
Ms. Nayfah says: “My children grew up to be very busy in their lives, particularly with studying and marriage, I became bored and lonely as I did not have the opportunity to have social relationships due to my busy schedule in the past along with my continuous travels from one country to another. The death of my husband has contributed significantly to my sense of loneliness.
It felt as if all days were the same to me, I wasn’t even able to recognize which day it was - boredom penetrated my life.
Shortly after that, I received an invitation from Noor Al-Hussein Foundation/Institute for Family Health to enroll in a number of training sessions within “Rehlat Omor/Life Journey” project, which is funded by HelpAge International in Jordan. At the beginning I was hesitant to attend until I decided to attend wishing it might bring change to my daily life routine.
I have received two trainings along with a group of older people about life skills, stress and trauma management. It was a new experience for me, especially that I have never been interested in these kinds of activities in the past, but frankly speaking the activities have energized me and helped me break the routine I was living. I was very happy to have received this training with a group of my peers; as this has given me the opportunity to make new friendships with new people that I can communicate with on all levels.
After we finished the training, I was very happy to obtain the opportunity to give a paid training to a group of university students about stress and trauma management. This made me realise that I still have the energy and the capacity to give, and thus re-gained a feeling of self-worth that I did not have before. I do not exaggerate when I say that my psychological condition is much better now, and I am now able to invest my time preparing for the training sessions and it feels great to be busy and feel useful.
Activities of this kind are in my opinion a 100% necessary for older people for its positive impact on our psychological condition. This reflects on our daily living, in addition to sharing experiences with others, as there is no stage in life where we reach complete knowledge. And as long as we are on earth, we should strive to improve our knowledge and experiences, for the journey of knowledge is longer than the journey of life.
I have believed that one should always set specific goals for each stage in their lives, and in the coming stage of my life my goals are to communicate with different universities, organizations and concerned stakeholders to help provide students with the same trainings I have received. I also wish to enroll myself in other trainings that can contribute to promoting my experiences, and thus continue with the journey of giving, and never go back to my previous life routine.