Jordan’s Social and Oral History Program was launched by Al Urdun Al Jadid Research Center in 1996. The aims of the Program were to emphasize the important role of social movements in Jordan; to highlight the history of non-governmental organizations and municipalities, including educational, cultural and parliamentary institutions; and to fill in the gap of historical sources lacking political aspects of Jordan’s contemporary history.

This program highlights the roots of Jordanian civil society organizations, while examining their role in Jordan’s social and oral history. The program also paves the way for establishing a new field of historical studies, which in the past had suffered the absence of freedom and appropriate political environment. Hence, the release of historical publications would draw attention to the non-official historical facts from a comparative perspective vs. the official “Historical Evidence”.

The program sets sights on broadening the field of research to include important periods in Jordan’s history, and to illustrate their social reflections. Moreover, it seeks to shed the light on the role of various organizations that contributed to the formation, development, and character identification of the Jordanian society. The program also endeavors to focus on the social political history of important epochs in the Kingdom’s history, which have not been given enough attention by historical references.

Program Activities:

  • During the Year 2006

Jordan’s Social and Oral History Program (JSOHP) was able to execute a pioneer project on “Employing Tools and Techniques of Oral History in Documenting and Studying Women’s Actions and Jordanian Women’s Movements”.
The project held a Training Course on “Techniques and Skills of Oral History” on February 3-7, 2006 in Amman. Twenty-eight researchers of different specializations participated in this course, in addition to eight experts from Jordan and Palestine specialized in Oral History issues and Women’s work in Jordan.

The program also seeks to execute the rest of project’s activities during the course of 2007-2008, and as follows:

  1. Implementing interviews and oral meetings with 75 pioneer women of the Jordanian women’s movement.
  2. Holding the fourth international conference on Jordan’s Social and Oral history, which would revolve around identifying the significant role of oral history in highlighting women’s social work in Jordan.
  3. Publishing and distributing a group of prints that define oral history, and present autobiographies of the women who have been interviewed, and the outcomes of the fourth international conference.
  • During the Year 2005


During the course of 2005, JSOHP was able to execute a number of activities, as follows:

  1. Scanning press and historical resources citing the history of women’s work and women’s movements in Jordan.
  2. Scanning the publications released by women and women’s movements in Jordan. UJRC were the first to implement this task. Moreover, JSOHP executed a complete scanning procedure of the Jordanian and Palestinian newspapers published during the period (1921-1967), available in the libraries of Jordanian universities. Furthermore, the Program searched for information, reports and interviews written on women and pioneers of women’s work in Jordan. This scan included daily and weekly newspapers, and provides a valuable material of information which will form an essential resource for rewriting the history of Jordanian women’s movements.
  3. A Regional Seminar on “Oral History and Women’s Studies in Jordan”:
    The program held this first regional seminar in Amman on August 16-17, 2005, with the participation of eighty experts, academics and historians from Jordan, Palestine and United States, in addition to civil society and the women’s movements leaders and activists.
    Eighteen work papers were presented at the seminar covering eight main focal areas. The seminar began by with an introduction on social and oral history where Arab and international experiences were reviewed. Next was a pivot that dealt with the role of oral history in the procedure of writing social history, through the experiences of experts and Palestinian foundations. It also reviewed the Jordanian efforts in documenting history and employing oral history techniques in writing political history, autobiographies, translations, authenticating folk sayings and preparing drama work.
    The remaining pivots of the conference examined the status of women’s studies and women’s movements in Jordan, and analyzed resources that promote women’s studies in Jordan, such as press archives and oral history, with the help of documents available at private organizations and political parties.
    The seminar was concluded by holding a roundtable for proposing future plans of oral history, and the seminar came up with a group of recommendations. 


  • Conferences during the Years 1998- 2002.

The program conducts an international conference once every two years. The First International Conference on Jordan’s Social History was held on March 24-26, 1998, and the Second International Conference was held on July 3-5, 2000. The Third International Conference was held during on May 3-5, 2002.

  1. The First International Conference on Jordan’s Social History discussed the issues of: Family and Society at the end of the Nineteenth Century (1880-1921); the Formation of a State; Social History and Arts; Changes in the second half of the Twentieth Century; Regional and International Circumstances; the General Sphere; and the Identity and Democracy. As for the studied time periods, these were from mid 19th century to mid 20th century. The twenty six research papers presented at the conference were prepared by academicians, especially professors of History, Political Science and Sociology, half of whom represented British and American Universities known for their remarkable contribution to the writing of Jordan’s contemporary history.
  2. The Second International Conference on Jordan’s Social History comprised focusing on: Changes and Developments on Jordan’s Social Map during 1945-1970; the Eastern and Western Banks between the Wars of 1967 and 1948; Arts, Architects and Lifestyles of the 1950s and 1960s, the General Sphere in a Developing Civil Society; and Cities, Population Mobility and Migration. Twenty-nine research papers were presented at the conference, and the time period covered was from the end of the Second World War until 1970. The opening ceremony included honouring the Sheikh of Jordanian Historians Mr. Suleiman Al Musa with the participation of four Jordanian and British figures. The Close-out Statement of the Second International Conference Download.
    It is worth mentioning that the first international conference was held with the participation of well-known historians and academicians, while the second conference marked the involvement of new categories of participants who presented papers and observations at the conference. These categories comprised poets, writers, critics, journalists, politicians, professional associations and trade unions representatives; who contributed to encouraging the various intellectual groups to work towards enriching the JSOH Program and its record of researches.
  3. The Third International Conference on Jordan’s Social History gave special focus to autobiographies and memoirs as one source to read the Social History of Jordan. Other focuses within the conference were: new researches opposing Jordan’s Social History, and the Jordanian Media: its establishment and role in the public sphere. Twenty five papers were presented and discussed at this conference.


  • Seminars and Workshops during the Years 1996- 1999.

JSOH Program organized a number of seminars and workshops during 1996 and 1999, which focused on “The 80th Anniversary of the Great Arab Revolution” held on June 21-22, 1996 at the Royal Cultural Center in Amman, and “The Anniversary of Nabulsi’s Government 1956-1957” held on August 30-31, 1997 at the Royal Cultural Center. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary to the 1948 war, JSOH Program organized a seminar on “Jordan during the 1948 war and beyond” held on May 24, 1998, at The Royal Cultural Center in Amman. Finally, JOSH, in cooperation with three other Organizations, held a conference in Southern Jordan entitled “the First Conference on the Nabatines (Anbat) Researches and Studies”. This took place in Petra on June 21-22, 1999.


  1. Studies on Jordan’s Social History, Conference Proceedings, 2003, 872 pages.
  2. Life Notebooks, Papers from Journey of Life and Politics, Jamal Al Sha’er, 2002, 300 pages.
  3. The Jordanian Students Movements, Samer Khraino, 2000, 288 pages.
  4. The Perpetrators of Life, Contemplations of a Jordanian Soldier, Butros Hamarneh, 2000, 292 pages.
  5. The Government of Suleiman Nabulsi 1956-1957, Seminar Proceedings, Editors: Mahmoud Al Rimawi and Hussein Abu Rumman, 1999, 232 pages.
  6. Memoirs to my children, Dr. Munif Razzaz, 1995, 128 pages.

The Advisory Board of the Oral and Social History Program:

  1. Dr. Ibrahim Othman, Professor of Sociology, University of Jordan.
  2. Dr. Mohammed Al-Diqes, Professor of Sociology, University of Jordan.
  3. Dr. Hani Al-Amad, Professor of Arabic Language, University of Jordan.
  4. Dr. Ghaida Khazna Katby, Professor of History, University of Jordan.
  5. Dr. Mohammed Al-Masri, Professor of Political Sciences, Center of Strategic Studies.
  6. Reham Abu Roumi, MA in Women’s Studies, independent researcher.
  7. Sameh Al-Mahareeq, Journalist, Alghad Newspaper.
  8. Basem Al-Tweisy, Sociology, Al-Hussein Bin Talal University.
  9. Dr. Abdul Aziz Mahmoud, anthropologist, Aal-Albait University.
  10. Dr. Mohammad Mubaidin, Professor of History, Philadelphia University.
  11. Dr. Fathi Daradka, PhD in History, independent researcher.