Jordan's Social and
Oral History Program (JSOHP)
Advisory Board of Oral History and Women Studies
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
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
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
The program also seeks to execute the rest of
project’s activities during the course of 2007-2008,
and as follows:
interviews and oral meetings with 75 pioneer
women of the Jordanian women’s movement.
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
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 course of 2005, JSOHP was able to execute
a number of activities, as follows:
and historical resources citing the history of
women’s work and women’s movements in Jordan.
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.
Seminar on “Oral History and Women’s Studies in
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
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
The seminar was concluded by holding a
roundtable for proposing future plans of oral
history, and the seminar came up with a group of
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Jordan's Social History, Conference Proceedings,
2003, 872 pages.
Papers from Journey of Life and Politics, Jamal
Al Sha'er, 2002, 300 pages.
Students Movements, Samer Khraino, 2000, 288
Perpetrators of Life, Contemplations of a
Jordanian Soldier, Butros Hamarneh, 2000, 292
of Suleiman Nabulsi 1956-1957, Seminar
Proceedings, Editors: Mahmoud Al Rimawi and
Hussein Abu Rumman, 1999, 232 pages.
Memoirs to my
children, Dr. Munif Razzaz, 1995, 128 pages.
Advisory Board of the Oral and Social History
Othman, Professor of Sociology, University of
Al-Diqes, Professor of Sociology, University of
Al-Amad, Professor of Arabic Language,
University of Jordan.
Khazna Katby, Professor of History, University
Al-Masri, Professor of Political Sciences,
Center of Strategic Studies.
Roumi, MA in Women’s Studies, independent
Al-Mahareeq, Journalist, Alghad Newspaper.
Al-Tweisy, Sociology, Al-Hussein Bin Talal
Dr. Abdul Aziz
Mahmoud, anthropologist, Aal-Albait University.
Mubaidin, Professor of History, Philadelphia
Daradka, PhD in History, independent researcher.