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About Us


Introduction

Al-Urdun Al-Jadid Research Center (UJRC) is an independent non-governmental organization (NGO) working for sustainable development in Jordan and the Arab World, through developing scientific research, administering discussions and dialogues, organizing conferences and workshops, and exchanging expertise and experience with other regional and international organizations.

UJRC pursues its objectives through forums for dialogue and discussion, especially on issues of democratic development, and by developing general policies and legislations, through workshops, brainstorming sessions, conferences, and seminars. The Center also publishes the proceedings of these activities, including research papers sponsored or prepared by the Center, in a wide-ranging series of publications.

The Center was established in 1990 as an extension to the quarterly Al-Urdun Al-Jadid magazine (1984-1990). UJRC began working in 1993 with a license from the Department of Press and Publication (Ministry of Information) in conformity with Law Number 10 issued in 1993.

The Center is a founding member of, and a participant in, a number of regional networks and umbrella groups, such as the Arab Social Sciences Research (ASSR) and the Arab Institute for Studies and Communication (AISC). It heads the Arab Network for Democratic Development (ANDD) and is also a member in the European-Mediterranean Network for Human Rights (EMHRN), and the World Movement for Democracy. The Center contributes to government and municipal projects and is a member of many governmental and non-governmental committees; such as the Jordan Scenarios 2020 project.

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Our Philosophy

The Center was set up amid extraordinary local, regional, and international conditions that left a distinctive mark on its mission and objectives. It coincided with the launching of the democratization process, the legalization of political pluralism, and the resumption of the electoral parliamentary life in the Kingdom. The launching of the peace process in the Middle East, the spread of the third wave of democracy in the world, and the end of the Cold War, were among the events that also took place in the early years of the Center’s establishment This was just before the pace of globalization, economic openness, and liberalization began to accelerate, and when awareness of the importance of the role of civil society in Jordan, the region, and the world at large was increasing.

Through its various activities, UJRC aims at consolidating the role of civil society as an effective partner in democratic development and at upholding the values of human rights, citizenship, and equality. The Center also encourages dialogue, reconciliation, and respect for other viewpoints, while rejecting violence, extremism, and hatred.

In fulfilling its mission, the Center uses scientific methodology in preparing studies and research papers, and in organizing awareness campaigns. It also upgrades policies and launches national initiatives for democratic transformation and for achieving deep economic and political reforms to qualify Jordan for the international economic sphere, and to enhance its progress towards democracy, openness, and modernization.

In line with this philosophy, the Center’s objectives are to:

  • Help to achieve sustainable democracy;

  • Operate as a national think-tank;

  • Prepare and publish scientific research papers;

  • Provide a forum for dialogue;

  • Build databases;

  • Provide opportunities for training, rehabilitation, and the exchange of expertise and experience.

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Organization Structure

The UJRC is comprised of the following departments:

  • Programs and Projects Department - conducts planning and following up of the various programs and projects at UJRC.

  • Information and Documentation Department - It includes databases, indexes, the library and the newspaper archive.

  • Publishing Department - supervises UJRC publications of books, reports, working papers, newsletters, magazines and bulletins.

  • Administration and Finance Department - responsible for internal administrative and financial operations of the administration, distributing publications, marketing and circulation.


UJRC’s Board of Directors is made up of the Director General, the Deputy Director General, and the Executive Director. UJRC also has an Intermediary Board of Executives that includes the directors of the various departments and programs. Most UJRC programs have advisory committees that suggest projects and follow up their execution. UJRC also has a Board of Trustees formed in 1993 whose membership is renewed periodically.

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UJRC Staff

Several employees currently work at UJRC. A number of researchers, translators, lawyers and experts also cooperate with the Center. UJRC also has legal and financial advisors. The following list contains the full-time employees.

  • Mr. Hani Hourani: Founder and Director General of UJRC. Since 1971, Hourani has published numerous studies, research papers and articles on Jordanian issues, especially on Jordan’s political, social and economic history. Prior to his return to Jordan in 1989, he worked in a number of research and planning centers, as well as on various newspapers. In 1984, he established Al-Urdun Al-Jadid magazine in Cyprus, which was published regularly until 1990. In 1991, Hourani was appointed Director of the Scientific Center of Abdul Hamid Shuman Foundation, and in 1992 became chief editor of Al-Ufuq weekly magazine. He has published several books, notably, The Socio-Economic Structure of Transjordan 1921-1950, The History of Parliamentary Life in Jordan 1928-1957, and The State of Jordan Labour Movement 1948-1988. He has also supervises the editing of a number of UJRC publications.



  • Mr. Hussein Abu Rumman: Executive Director of UJRC. A press writer, and a researcher on Jordanian issues, he worked as chief editor of Al-Urdun Al-Jadid magazine (1986-1990) and General Director for Al-Ahali weekly newspaper (1992-1994). Abu Rumman also worked as an editor and Publishing Director at UJRC (1995-1998). Many of his studies and research papers on political parties, labour unions and professional associations have been published. Currently, he is the editor of many of UJRC publications, and a columnist in Al-Rai daily newspaper.

  • Ms. Mona Khalaf: Executive Assistant. Khalaf is the focal person of the ACE Regional Electoral Network. Holds a BA degree in Business Administration, with vast experience in regional and international organisations.



  • Mr. Salah Eldeen Taher. Information and Archive Officer. Works on the Civil Society Issues magazine. Holds a BA degree in Sociology.



Several additional people work at UJRC as part-time researchers, translators, graphic designers, typists, and administrative staff:

  • Ms. Reem Hourani

  • Mr. Hassan Basiuny

  • Mr. Ma’rouf Hassan

  • Mr. Bassam Hamdan

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Board of Trustees*

  • Mr. Taher Al-Masri, former Prime Minister and former Lower House Speaker.

  • Dr. Ali Mahafzah, professor at the University of Jordan, former president of Yarmouk University and Mu'tah University.

  • Dr. Eid Dhyyat, former president of Mu'tah University, and former Minister of Higher Education.

  • Lawyer Walid Abdel Hadi, former president of the Bar Association.

  • Lawyer Asma Khader, former Minister of Culture, Head of the Law Group for Human Rights (Mizan).

  • Engineer Awny Al-Saket, president of the Arab Contractors' Association, member of the Jordanian Businessmen Association.

  • Dr. Saeed Al-Tal, former Minister of Higher Education.

  • Ms. Laila Sharaf, member of the Upper House, former Minister and the head of the Philadelphia University Board of Trustees.

  • Dr. Mamduh Al Abbadi, former Minister of Health, former Mayor of Greater Amman.


* The Board of Trustees will shortly be reorganized within the course of 2006, as some members will leave and others will join.

Website Team:

A team of translators, typists, and graphic designers helped in preparing material for this website.
 

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