Second Essay Contest 2019/20

The winning submission in the second essay contest (January 2020) was "In a Suit and a Keffiyeh: King Hussein as a Hybrid Leader," by Niv Sagi, class of 2021. Niv chose to donate the 1,000 shekel prize to the Lotan's Way organization. The full essay (in Hebrew) is available at the bottom of the page.


Here are some words from Niv about his essay and about the "Lotan's Way" organization:

In my essay, "In a Suit and a Keffiyeh: King Hussein as a Hybrid Leader," I explore the unique combination that characterized King Hussein bin Talal's official attire: a three-piece suit and an Arab keffiyeh (shemagh). I claim that this combination symbolized the mixed values in light of which Jordanian nationalism was constructed: traditionalism and modernism. Throughout the discussion, I draw a direct line between the face of the leader and the face of the nation. I argue that King Hussein shaped Jordanian nationality in relation to his own character, constantly hopping between the two aforementioned poles, and eventually creating a new local identity that has a little of both.

"Lotan's Way" is a non-profit organization that carries out educational-therapeutic survival journeys in the desert for at-risk adolescents. The journeys confront the youths with personal and group challenges, thus providing them with tools to overcome their everyday difficulties. I decided that the donation should go to this organization since I believe that nature shapes people profoundly and affects their perception throughout the challenges that it introduces in every experience. For me, going "outside" has always been an opportunity to learn, to grow, and later – to educate. My hope is that the youths with whom "Lotan's Way" is concerned also benefit from this empowering opportunity.


Thank you to the judging committee - Yakov Garbuzenko (class of 2020), Nitzat Einat (class of 2021), and Maor Cohen (class of 2020) - and to the contest organizer, Orielle Levy (class of 2020)!