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
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
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.
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;
Provide opportunities for training,
rehabilitation, and the exchange of expertise and
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
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
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.
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
Ms. Mona Khalaf:
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
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
Dr. Eid Dhyyat, former president of Mu'tah
University, and former Minister of Higher Education.
Lawyer Walid Abdel Hadi, former president of the
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
Dr. Saeed Al-Tal, former Minister of Higher
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.
A team of translators, typists, and graphic
designers helped in preparing material for this