KHF Outreach
Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein Celebrates Her Birthday on the 23rd of August
23rd August 2016

Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein celebrates her birthday on the 23rdof August

Upon her marriage to His Majesty King Hussein in 1978, Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Husseinembracedher role as a Jordanian public servant.She is also a global humanitarian and advocate for cross cultural understanding and conflict preventionand recovery issues such as refugees, missing persons, poverty alleviation, climate change and disarmament.Her peace-building work has focused on the Middle East, the Balkans, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Queen Noor’s work in Jordan and the Arab world has focused on national and regional human security in the areas of education, sustainable development, human rights and cross-cultural exchange. Since 1979, the initiatives of the Noor Al Hussein and the King Hussein Foundations which she founded and chairs have advanced development thinking in Jordan and the Middle East through pioneering best practice programs in the fields of education, poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, microfinance, health, and arts as a medium for social development and cross-cultural understanding. The Foundations provide training and capacity building expertise in these areas in the broader Arab and Asian regions.

The KHF, today, encompasses the Noor Al Hussein Foundationandeight specialized development institutions: the Jubilee Institute (JI), the Information and Research Center (IRC), the National Music Conservatory (NMC), the National Center for Culture and Arts (NCCA) and the initiatives of NHF: theInstitute for Family Health (IFH), the Community Development Program (CDP), Tamweelcom—the Jordan Micro Credit Company and most recently, the Islamic micro finance company, Ethmar.

The Jubilee Institutewas founded to promote excellence and innovation in public and private teacher and student education. The Institute includes theJubilee School, a pioneering independent coeducational secondary school launched in 1984 to develop the academic and leadership potential of outstanding scholarship students from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in the country and the regionthrough an emphasis on critical thinking, STEM, leadership, and community service.

The School, which offers the Jordanian national program, IGCSE and the International Baccalaureate curriculum, has been developing e-learning initiatives through teacher’s training and pioneering on-line courses. Through over 40 advanced elective coursesrc drone, graduation projects, research and innovation classes, interpersonal development skills, students are equipped to become critical thinkers, and engaged citizens.

TheJubilee Institute’sCenter for Excellence in Education’s (JCEE)impact has been evident this year in the success of young Jordanian teams in national and international competitions such as Jordanian Robotic team which won 2ndplace among teams from 80 countries in the 2016 Open European Championship held in Spain.Ayat Amer, the Jordanian university student who become the first Arab girl to win a NASA award and six month training program, credited the JCEE Robotics training program for nurturing her interest in the field during her high school years.

In addition, Basaer, the first ever visually impaired Robotics team in Jordan won Best Scientific Research at the 11th National Robotics Competition among 49 teams representing 29 education institutions from across Jordan.

Sondos al Najjar, created a "Baby protection device" in the 11th grade. Now, as a university student, she volunteers giving innovation courses to girls in a small IT training center in a poverty stricken neighborhood in eastern Amman.

The KHF promotes social equity and economic empowerment by providing access to work opportunities, loans, equity investments, and enterprise development. Since 1999 until mid-2016,Tamweelcom(Jordan Micro Credit Company) extended micro-financial services as well as social loans to nearly 583,740 potential and existing low-income entrepreneurs in Jordan.

During Queen Noor's recent visit to Tafileh branch, one among 32 other branches including a pioneering mobile branch, Queen Noor highlighted the importance of Tamweelcom's role in providing critical non-financial services thatimprove entire families’ standard of living,along with loans that allow for self-employment and economic opportunities for the so called “unbankable” population.

Tamweelcom has also expanded on the success of its youth empowerment initiatives - Fikrati, and Amal Al Shabab, by launching Youth Business Jordan (YBJ) in collaboration with Prince Charles’s Youth Business International, to provide seed money, business literacy, and mentoring to aspiring young entrepreneurs.

The KHF’s"Ethmar for Islamic Finance", Jordan's first micro-finance company developing Sharia compliant financial products and services was inaugurated under the patronage of Queen Noor in December 2015. Throughout its development process, Queen Noor has emphasized the importance of enhancing and broadening financial inclusion and Ethmar’s role as an innovative model for economic empowerment similar to the other pioneering programs launched by the foundation over the last three decades. In less than a year, Ethmar has utilizedtechnology and vendor’s locations to build an efficient new micro finance model, 90% of whose clients, are first time recipients of financial services.

Queen Noor launched theCommunity Development Program’s (CDP) latest micro-business development incubator in Tafilah earlier this summer to support establishing and developing market-oriented small scale businesses in the fields of tourism and food processing enterprises. The CDP is contributing partner to national efforts in poverty alleviation and capacity building of impoverished families and local community based organizations through its work in 7 poverty pockets areas throughout Jordan, and three additional business incubators in Irbid, Aqaba, Ajloun.

Queen Noor continues to emphasize KHF responsibility to uphold Jordan’s tradition of humanitarian support to the displaced of our region and to strengthen the resilience of Jordanian host communities.The CDP is expanding its outreach by introducing a livelihood program to potential and existing entrepreneurs’ female headed households among refugees in Azraq camp, in addition to supporting local entrepreneurs in the Azraq district. This is in addition to the KHFInstitute for Family Health’s (IFH)focus onfamily health needs in Jordan and the region. Currently, the IFH is offering its integrated medical and mental health services model, with a focus on children and women protection, to thousands of families and children with special needs, through the provision of medical services, counseling and specialized psychosocial interventions, and clinical treatment for survivors of rape and gender-based violence.These services are being provided through 19 clinics including 8 clinics in Syrian refugee camps, in partnership with U.N. agencies and other national and international NGOs with plans to expand to Karak and Azraq camp.

IFH in collaboration with the German Jordan University is developing training courses in the field of social work related to emergency humanitarian needs.In 2017, the university will offer a Professional Diploma Program, combining theory and practice at the IFH,covering topics that improve the wellbeing of vulnerable groups including victims of abuse and conflicts.

Since 2014,theIFH has beena regional training centerspecialized in psychosocial interventions, clinical treatment for survivors of rape, gender-based violence, and child protection for teams from Syria, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Gaza/West Bank, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt.

KHF’sInformation and Research Centerhas been providing critical information to policymakers and development advocates since 1996 onthe rights and aspirations of children and youth, gender discrimination and women’s rights. This past year, IRC has trained the Jordan Parliament’s Research Centre on gender mainstreaming, to ensure Parliamentarians receiving segregated gender data. IRC work on youth ‘born out of wedlock’, has led to less media stigmatizing and the potential for more tolerance and understanding.

Queen Noor’s appreciation for the role of culture and the arts in the formation of individual and national identity is reflected in a wide range of her national and international initiatives includingthe National Music Conservatory(NMC) and theNational Center for Culture and Arts (NCCA)established in 1986and 1987.Both institutions are focused on enhancing social development, tolerance, and cross-cultural understanding through the performing arts.

The NCCA has trained thousands of students and arts activists on interactive theater techniques to empower youth across Jordan on issues related to political engagement, civic responsibility, women in the workforce and social cohesion. Through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)Global Center of Excellence in Theatre Based Peer Education, the NCCA is introducing this approach to trainees from Arab states, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

The NMC, Jordan’s first academic music institution has promoted music appreciation throughout the country reaching over 3000 school children through music clubs and music classes including 300 students at public schools resulting in school musical ensembles in underprivileged areas. Young talented students at the NMC represented Jordan at Sen Remo singing festival for juniors in Italy, and at the World Youth Choir in Germany. Members of the Bahraini and Lebanese armies are also enrolled in the NMC music education program.

This year, Queen Noor’s pioneering youth initiative founded in 1980, the International Arab Youth Congress focused on “Innovation and Leadership”. Through creative and interactive sessions on leadership, communication skills and civic responsibility, along with a week of performing arts workshops, 130 young delegates from 15 countries culminated their stay in Amman with recommendations to national and international decision makers. The youth were vocal in their demands to protect women’s and children’s rights, save the environment, with special emphasis on reforming the educational system by embracing technology, reading classes and introducing cross cultural and interfaith modules.

Queen Noor has made environmental priorities an essential component of her work to promote human security and conflict resolution. Not long after her marriage, Queen Noor became patron of Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, the Middle East’s first environmental NGO. She chaired Jordan’s National Commission in 1990 which developed Jordan’s National Environment Strategy, the region’s first, and Jordan’s Environment Law which set standards for water use and quality, and specifications to measure and control air pollution. She is also Patron of IUCN, the oldest international conservation organization in the world, Founding President and Honorary President Emeritus of BirdLife International, trustee emeritus of Conservation International and a member of OceanElders.

Queen Noor has been overseeing the establishment of the KHF Solar Farm in Amman, which will be fully operational by end of this year. At the launching ceremony, Queen Noor said, “We at KHF are extremely proud to be a nonprofit pioneer by reducing our carbon footprint, and therefore contributing to Jordan’s strategic energy goals and the legacy of His Majesty King Hussein’s commitment to responsible, sustainable development.”

Queen Noor is also chair of King Hussein Foundation International which, since2001,has awarded the 'King Hussein Leadership Prize' to individuals, groups, or institutions that demonstrate inspiring leadership in their efforts to promote sustainable development, human rights, tolerance, social equity and peace.

A long-time advocate for a just Arab-Israeli peace and for Palestinian refugees, Queen Noor is a board member of Refugees International and an outspoken voice for the protection of civilians in conflict and displaced persons around the world.Her ongoing focus includes advocacy for Iraqis displaced in Iraq, Jordan, Syria and other countries after the 2003 Iraq conflict, and for the millions of Syrians displaced since the onset of the 2011 Syrian civil war.

Since 2001, Queen Noor has been a Commissioner of the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), created to promote reconciliation and conflict resolution after the Balkans war, inaugurated its new headquarters in The Hague in July. ICMP , in the Balkans, achieved the largest number of missing persons ever accounted for from armed conflict in history and today is the leading provider of DNA-assisted identifications to countries worldwide dealing with natural catastrophes, human rights abuses and conflict including in Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, and Syria.

Since 1995, Queen Noorhas been President of the United World Colleges(UWC), a network of 17equal-opportunity international IB colleges around the world which foster cross-cultural understanding and global peaceand has inaugurated schools in Norway, India, Costa Rica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Netherlands, China and soon in Thailand.

Queen Noor has been an advisor to, and global advocate for, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines since 1998, advocating for Jordan’s accession to the treaty as well as with governments in Central and Southeast Asia, the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, supporting NGOs, and land mine survivors struggling to recover and reclaim their lives.She is also a founding leader of Global Zero, an international movement working for the worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons and an advisor to Trust Women -the Thomson Reuters Foundation annual conference aiming to put the rule of law behind women's rights.

She has published two books, Hussein of Jordan, and Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life, a New York Times best seller published in 17 languages.

Her Majesty Queen Noor has four children, Their Royal Highnesses Princes Hamzah and Hashim and Princesses Iman and Raiyah and 9 grandchildren.

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