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