URI MENA
ALBADIYA FOR INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE INITIATIVE (AIDI)
 
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 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 three 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".”
 
 
 
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 CC
 
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 CC

 
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."
 
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
 
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 with out 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 a 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 net working & 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
 
Projects and Activities:
 
Brainstorming meeting
Beirut , July 12, 2008
The meeting included the "youth for change" open forum, which Arab Thought Foundation conducted as part of its cooperation with TakingITGlobal and Bibliotheca Alexandrina. This Open forum discussed how youth can be an active community of change in their societies, while highlighting the challenges that Arab youth are facing in there communities, and trying to create new ideas and solutions to overcome these challenges and be part of the change.
 
Christmas Session Project
The project was composed of two parts:
Part I:
In cooperation with Christian Association called (Shabebet Safout ) , five young ladies from IRIS C.C ,got hosted at the coordinator's house with her 3 lovely kids children , wrapped and decorated around
35 gifts to be distributed through the church to the needy children on Christmas eve. 
Part II: 
We bought new cloths for 21 children (boys & girls)between 6-13 years old, with the assistance of apriest, we offered these clothes to poor and needy children as a gift on Christmas eve, as we also visited 7 needy families at their houses to exchange Feast greetings and share them the Christmas spirit.
 
IrisWomen Jordan Handbook
IrisWomen Jordan Circle was invited by PEACE X PEACE Global Network to participate in the Women's Global Initiative project by creating our own version of a handbook that lists best practices for cross-cultural communication and to be Facilitator's Handbook: Bridging the Gap between the U.S. and Muslim-majority. 
 
Palestinian and Lebanese people Aid Campaign
On July 25, 2006 members of IrisWomen CC Participated in campaign Organized by Jordan River Foundation (JRF was established in 1995 and Chaired by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah) this aid campaign was for the Palestinian and Lebanese people to support them overcome the difficult days of suffering as a result of the continuous Israeli aggression.
We helped in packaging and arranging the materials (medicines, food , Clothes & Sleeping bags) to be shipped by 3 trucks one to Gaza and two for Lebanon .
 
International Day of Peace project
We received a wonderful and precious gift from our sister Anne Roth form San Francisco , “it’s a 12 black Iris Flowers”, we gathered in the International day of Peace to create our own garden from Iris Flowers, we planted the flowers together to be symbol of hope, love & peace.
Our prayers started in Jordan and we dreamed that our voices will be heard in San Francisco. 
This garden will be a special memorial for us to remember this day, we prayed for all suffering people in the earth… 
 
Ramadan Campaign Activities
This project is a joint one between IrisWomen & Quested Peace CC
Our anti-poverty campaign started with distribution of Food Packages to poor and needy families in a small village called “AL-Jafer”, one of Ma’an’s small villages in the southern Jordanian desert that rarely received support. We chose such a remote area as we decided to reach the un-reached and helped the neglected.
Hand by hand, 22 members of Quested Peace and IrisWoMen CC’s distributed 53 to families in very poor &needy conditions. It was a very hot day when the road took us around 3 hours from Amman to reach "Al-Jafer". Notwithstanding being fasting and the hot day, none of the volunteers felt hungry or thirsty because of love and care we felt when distributing the food packages for these families and because we all believe that life is not just to live, it is to live for others, helping others in their grieve and sorrow, this is the real soul of humanity.
Most of the families we met are suffering from deep poverty, they were living in tents, no infrastructure, services or electricity and most of them have not gotten the proper education.
We had the opportunity to discuss many matters with these families related to their circumstances with the hope to help in making their voices louder to be heard.
 
IrisWomen Jordanian Kitchen Guide
We worked on this project with our sister S.A.R.A.H. from U.S.A, they suggested to make something special together to express our cultures, so we decided to create a cook book of recipes from our diverse cultural backgrounds. Each recipe would be accompanied by a story or memory to add a cultural Richness to the recipe. They are planning to publish this book and donate the proceeds to the U.R.I. and other organizations. 
IrisWomen contributed in this project with a simple guide for the Jordanian Kitchen which included the most common dishes in Jordan, Deserts, Jordanian Spices, Fasting and Food in both Christianity and Islam and Glossary of some Arabic Cuisine. We described each subject in simple way that will be a worth part from S.A.R.A.H Cook Book Project.
 
European Mediterranean youth platform in Egypt & Malta
One of the Iris Women’s objects is to play an important role in youths’ activities, that’s why we always make sure to participate in national and international events.
And once we believe in the power of youths’ changing our world to a better one, we have participated in two important meetings that concern the European Mediterranean youth platform.
The attendance was under the topic of ” National Youth Federation initiative”, the first meeting was held in Alexandria/Egypt between the period of 13th-16th of December 2007 and the second one took place in Malta between the 4th-8th of June 2008 
In these two platforms some Mediterranean countries (both from Europe and the Arab world) have participated in this gathering such as Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia ,Algeria ,Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Israel, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta in addition to Jordan.
That variety of European and Arab countries provided us a good space to express ourselves, thoughts and beliefs in a free, healthy and a democratic atmosphere.
The second meeting in Malta was a good follow up of what each country had already started and it was kind of brainstorming for new ideas which were really useful.
As on the organization basis, “The Iris Women” made sure to express our thoughts, ideas and beliefs that we are working on (social beliefs & activities) and the importance of women’s role in societies, especially in the eastern ones. 
Moreover we have stressed on the importance of youths’ role in societies and on the importance of growing in a healthy and a dynamic atmosphere in order to give them the right space of expressing themselves.
Finally , having that variety of Europeans and Arabs opened the chance to get to know more about the heritage of each participant’s country , exchange the knowledge of cultures and traditions , that was clearly experienced in the “cultural night” in which Iris Women have represented -our beloved country- Jordan
 
 
 
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, economical, 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 CC
 
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."
 
Action Areas: Youth
Traditions: Christianity, Islam
Number of Members: 30
Location: Amman, Jordan
Joined URI Network: November 2003
 
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.
 
 
 
MERCY CC
 
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”
 
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
 
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.
 
 
 
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."
 
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 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.
 
 
 
SEEDS OF PEACE
 
Jordan Seeds of Peace CC
Nurturing lasting relationships for peace
 
"Our purpose is to spread the idea of peace in the world, in our families, friends, and the region."
 
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
 
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.