URI MENA
Albadiya for Intercultural Dialogue 

Conducting intercultural programs with international volunteers

"Our purpose is to promote intercultural understanding and global common action for global equal citizenship, respecting human rights, and building peace across the globe."

Al Badiya for intercultural dialogue CC (Al Badiya Center for Awareness and Voluntary Work) is a none profit organization aims at empowering Bedwen communities through capacity building programs and enhancing their interaction with other Jordanian communities and foreigners. It is based in Jordanian South Badiya (semi desert area) in Province of Ma'an, South Jordan. It was founded in 2012 by Mr. Khalid Al-Jazi, active social worker, in cooperation with a number of civic society activists in the neighboring cities and villages. The CC succeeded in fostering the intercultural understanding and cooperation between foreigners and Badiya communities. In a nutshell, the CC introduces people to Badiya Culture and empowering the people of Badiya. This is so important given the tough nature of Al-Badiya where the people only live on livestock (the soil are not suitable for crops growing), and people have limited resources and poor infrastructure (including schools and public services). The "international volunteers program", is the flagship program of Al Badiya CC, where volunteers from overseas (mostly American students who would like to volunteer abroad) are attracted to provide services to local communities such as teaching children English language, entertain orphans, cleaning environment, helping the needy and the elder, etc. The foreigner in return can learn some Arabic language and culture. Moreover, Al Badiya CC organize workshops for local communities on startup projects, women rights, etc. Finally, it worth mention that Al Badiya CC managed to introduce other faiths to Al Badiya which is mainly Muslim Sunni, so its people became more aware of other religions in the world.

Al Badiya CC breaks the walls between Bedwen Muslims and other Muslims on one hand, and between Muslim and Christians on the other hand. They build relationships based on respect and cooperation instead of deepening stereotypes and highlighting differences.

 

Action Areas: Environment, Health and Social Services, Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation, Youth

Traditions: Muslim, Christian

Sub-Tradition: Muslim Sunni, Christian Greek Orthodox, Christian Roman Catholic, Bedwen tribes.

Number of Members: 25

Location: South Badiya, Ma'an, Jordan

Joined URI Network: December 2013

 

An Al-Badiya Member: “After years of hosting American volunteers, I can see the positive changes in my people attitudes toward foreigners in general and Christians in particular. Many stereotypes about western people and culture have been broken down. For example, people in Badiya used to think that western people are self-centered only care about themselves. Also, western people are atheist and do not respect Islam. After such unique experiences, they change such stereotype and have become more open to other cultures and religious traditions. Now they respect differences and appreciate diversity.

I would like to share a nice personal experience happened with one of the American volunteers who volunteered to help a widow in taking care of her livestock and teach her children English language (for a month). The widow burst out crying when the volunteer was saying goodbye to her. She told me "he is like my son and I get used to him, he is so helpful and kind, please ask him to stay longer".”

 

Desert Bloom

"We promote cross cultural understanding and cooperation between people of different cultures and faiths".We develop people’s capacity to understand global and intercultural issues”.

Our purposes: To reinforce global competencies and universal morality to prepare people for an inclusive and sustainable world. Also, we keen to build community and youth capacity to enable all community’s members, including the most disadvantaged and marginalized, to take greater control of their own lives and to actively engage in confronting economic, political, social and environmental challenges.

We inspire future global leaders to work together to bring about innovative solutions to our common challenges.

We are keen to contribute to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The history of Desert Bloom’s funders goes back to around the end of the second millennium, when they established the “Self-Improvement & Community Service” initiative at the University of Jordan Alumni Club in February 2000. The initiative aimed at improving graduates' life and professional skills. The repercussions of world Trade Center tragedy in 2001 incited the group to do something. Hence, they established "Quested Peace Initiative" in February 2003 to restore trust and confront the growing hatred and misunderstanding between Western and Arab worlds. To enhance its global reach, Quested Peace joined the United Religions Initiative (URI) as a URI Cooperation Circle in January 2004. On July 7th, 2018, Quested Peace changed its name to Desert Bloom and the name was officially registered as a nonprofit organization in Jordan.

Established in February 2003 and joined URI Network in Jan 2004.

Number of Members: 24

Action Areas:  Youth, Cross Cultural Understanding, Community Capacity Building, Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation, Civic Engagement, Community Service

Traditions: Islam and Christianity

Sub-Traditions: Sunni, Eastern Orthodox and Catholic

Location: Amman, Jordan

 

Gathering for Happiness

Together we feel better

"Our purpose is to help people become more positive and constructive."

Traditions: Christianity, Islam, Spirituality

Sub-Traditions: Druze

Number of Members: 7

Location: Al-Jubaiha, Jordan

Joined URI Network: November 2012

 

This group consists of Sunni Muslims, Christians and Druze. Members have been meeting informally together for some time, often sharing their love for the practice of yoga. Their experience has been that when people of varying faiths come together, individuals feel less isolated. When they reflected upon one of URI’s principles - the importance of respecting the wisdom inherent in each tradition - they decided to form a Cooperation Circle (CC). They hope to help others understand the necessity of cultivating respect for one other at the deepest level.

 Recent activities: Money and clothes were raised for injured Gazans in the Hussein Medical Centre, Amman and collecting food and money to donate to the underprivileged during Ramadan.  To celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week a hike was organized around Amman and blankets were collected for Syrian refugees in Jordan. For the International Day of Peace an entertainment program was conducted for 165 children who have hearing or visual impairments.

 

Humanity Group

Loving each other as human beings

"Our purpose is to live together in peace and harmony, loving each another."

Action Areas: Youth

Traditions: Christianity, Islam

Sub-Traditions: Orthodox, Catholic

Number of Members: 23

Location: Amman, Jordan

Joined URI Network: April 2007

 

Humanity Group Cooperation Circle (CC) in Jordan wants to instill in people that they are human beings regardless of their beliefs, origins, and traditions.

 Activities:

  • Project of the living skills, this project has many fields, which are:

1- General Relationship 

2- The field of the identity

3- The field of the economic behavior

  • The Environmental & Health Project, 
  • Mother’s Day
  • Alkarma day

 

Iris WoMen

Promoting the rights of women on a national and international level

"Our purpose is to mobilize women for their rights and social leadership for a positive change in society and peace building."

We are looking to build bridges of love and mutual understanding between all nations, we want to reach out to each other, we want to be friends, it would be a greater freedom to stop hiding behind our arms and bravely stretch out a hand and offer an open heart.

We should raise above all differences and see our spiritual oneness, we should learn to love each other and to appreciate the nice things that people do, if we keep talking about the good things, we will forget all the superficial differences that divided us.

If we go a little deeper, where is the black and where is the white? Where is the Muslim, Jew or Christian? The spirit has no white or black, Muslim, Christian or Jew? This is the real spiritual life: talking in terms of spirit, love in terms of spirit, this is the real union of communication; we cannot communicate with GOD without having communication with our fellow beings.

We believe that we can't change the whole world, but we are ambitious to make a little difference in people's lives, we love, encourage, support, and hope for them, we must be the living example of God’s kindness by our smile and warm greetings.

Who we are: We are a group of Jordanian women locally rooted in our commitment to help our community and globally connected in our endeavor; to promote world peace and intercultural understanding started our first steps on March 2005.

We respect the differences among faiths and traditions as we also appreciate elders and youth from different walks of life, different faiths, share the same goals and aspirations, voluntarily willing to work hard for making our world better place.

Why Iris: The Black Iris of Jordan, a flower unique to this country, is a symbol of growth and renewal. We have chosen the black iris for its logo, to represent our values: Innovation, Respect , Inspiration, Social services .

 Goals & Objectives:

  • Promote the rights of women on national & international level by providing them with a strong voice. This voice achieved through the formation of committees where educated females learn   how to train and hold workshops for less educated women regarding human rights, issues of gender & problem solving
  • Strengthen women’s self-groups through capacity building.
  • Help Youth to maximize their potentials by networking & helping each other to grow personally & professionally, to build a strong membership base of women from different walks of life.
  • Showing appreciations to elders by Raising the awareness of local people in order to encourage their participation in community
  • Promote a development ethos that is based of social justice, self-reliance, gender equality & good governance

Action Areas: Women, Youth

Traditions: Islam, Taoism, Christianity

Sub-Traditions: Sunni, Sufi, Orthodox

Number of Members: 8

Location: Amman, Jordan

Joined URI Network: January 2006

 

Jordan Interfaith Action (Youth Spirit Center)

“Our purpose it to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue and social work and promote their concepts and importance through the community. JIA believes in the culture of Peace and non-violence as language for dialogue and understanding. JIA also helping in building bridges of understanding between youth from different cultural, economic, educational and religious backgrounds, to break stereotypes and to promote the Jordanian example on coexistence and diversity."

Action Areas: Human Rights, Interfaith Dialogue, Peace-building, Youth, Intercultural Dialogue and Community Service

Traditions: Muslim, Christianity

Sub-Traditions: Spiritual, Sunni (Ethnicity Cherkees), Sunni, Sufi, Catholic

Number of Members: 12

Location: Amman, Jordan

Joined URI Network: 2002

 

MASAR

Removing all religious, cultural, and socio-economic barriers among citizens worldwide

"Our purpose is to introduce interfaith dialogue to the Jordanian community and utilize our regional networks to create understanding and communication between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the region."

Masar Cooperation Circle (CC) is an organization composed of mainly youth that works in the fields of peace, co-existence and dialogue between Jews and Arabs. Members believe that religion can play a constructive role in creating communication and understanding among different peoples of the Middle East. This CC took part in the URI International Conference held in Jordan in September 2003, and since then has held many smaller meetings for Jordanian members of their network. Members organize meetings both for Jordanians and other activists to build on their current projects and initiatives.

Action Areas: Youth

Traditions: Christianity, Islam

Number of Members: 30

Location: Amman, Jordan

Joined URI Network: November 2003

 

Mercy

Serving youth with a spirit of mutual respect and empowerment regardless of background

"Our purpose is to to improve the quality of life and find a better future for the local community through the comprehensive social development”

Mercy Cooperation Circle (CC) is a group of adults and youth that share the same goals and aspirations. Members are dedicated to relieving human suffering, developing the community and engaging in volunteer work to make their world a better place. They are willing to stand by the less fortunate youth and empower them through non-formal education, vocational training and creating hope for a better future. This CC serves youth with the spirit of mutual respect despite race, social class or belief. Their past activities include a football game competition for over 100 youth of all different ages and an Easter Egg Competition for school children to improve their painting talent, which members arranged at Schniller School with the help of volunteers.

Action Areas: Community Building, Youth

Traditions: Christianity, Islam

Sub-Traditions: Catholic, Sunni, Shi'a, Maronite, Orthodox

Number of Members: 10

Location: Amman, Jordan

Joined URI Network: July 2007

 

Orphans & Widows Care

Jordanian Association for Orphans & Widows Care CC

Empowering the women and orphans of Mafraq

"Our purpose is to empower women in the province of Mafraq—particularly the villages around the city of Mafaraq and other rural communities—and to take care of the orphans and widows in these areas."

Jordan Association for Orphans and Widows Care Cooperation Circle (CC) is formed by a group of ladies who help their community by empowering women through socio-economic and cultural development. They help women start and build their own business, secure job opportunities, and encourage creativity and taking initiative. Members have traveled to Petra to encourage women and orphans to contribute to voting. They also hold orientation workshops about health care. This CC has secured vocational training for 30 orphans in cooperation with the National Program for Vocational Training to increase their job opportunities. Members also hold training workshops for physically challenged people to teach and train them on how to be positive and active in their communities and how to face their obstacles. They also organize Ramadan charity campaigns. This CC invited 30 families—native and Syrian refugees—to the association premises and distributed clothes, household appliances, blankets, bags, and children toys collected from several donors.

Action Areas: Humanitarian Aid, Community Building, Women, Children

Traditions: Christianity, Islam

Sub-Traditions: Orthodox, Sunni, Catholic

Number of Members: 34

Location: Mafraq, Jordan

Joined URI Network: April 2007

 

Jordan Seeds of Peace

Nurturing lasting relationships for peace

"Our purpose is to spread the idea of peace in the world, in our families, friends, and the region."

Jordan Seeds of Peace Cooperation Circle (CC) dreams of going beyond international agreements and treaties. Members strive to see the human face of the enemy and nurture lasting friendships as basic steps for mutual understanding and respect.

Seeds of Peace sends teenagers (seeds) and delegation leaders (for each session) to Seeds of Peace Camps. The program is aiming at bringing Arab and Israeli teenagers together before fear, mistrust and prejudice blind them from seeing the human face of each others. By training these young leaders in conflict resolution skills, Seeds of Peace helps them become the seeds from which an enduring peace will grow. Furthermore, Ramadani Iftar for orphans and food distribution for the needy people where organized as well as workshops for Seeds of Peace delegation leaders and Seeds.

Action Areas: Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation, Youth

Traditions: Christianity, Islam

Sub-Traditions: Maronite, Catholic, Orthodox, Sunni

Number of Members: 56

Location: Amman, Jordan

Joined URI Network: November 2006