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Prince Hassan celebrates 72nd birthday today

By JT - Mar 19,2019 - Last updated at Mar 19,2019

HRH Prince Hassan celebrates his 72nd birthday today. Prince Hassan has continued to work in encouraging international cooperation and communication over the past year among those of various fields and sectors (Petra photo)

AMMAN — HRH Prince Hassan celebrates his 72nd birthday today.

Over the past year, Prince Hassan has continued to work in encouraging international cooperation and communication and remains dedicated to the cause of human dignity and positive progress for humanity across the globe. 

Prince Hassan continues to champion the inspiring research of his institutions, working closely with the Royal Scientific Society, of which his daughter HRH Princess Sumaya is president; The Arab Thought Forum, The Higher Council for Science and Technology, The Royal Institute of Interfaith Studies and The West Asia/North Africa Institute (WANA). Through the work of these institutions, the prince continues to pledge his ongoing commitment to Jordan and the region as a whole.

Prince Hassan is especially committed to helping young people. With one of the largest populations under 30 in the world, Jordan’s youth has faced many challenges in recent times and Prince Hassan has continued to be one of their greatest advocates, a statement sent to The Jordan Times said. He continues to champion the El Hassan Youth Award for empowering young people and providing them with life skills and citizenship values, as well as the El Hassan Award for Excellence in the field of science. He has worked closely with ESCWA and WANA on youth projects to encourage youth participation in public affairs, and other initiatives focusing on youth employment opportunities in the Levant. Through this and his other ongoing work, the prince continues to support the youth of our society in helping them forge the Jordan of tomorrow.

Human dignity has always been a central focus for the prince’s work. He continues to be a voice for the voiceless, working closely with the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation, UNRWA, UNICEF and other NGOs, whilst continuing to help the large numbers of refugees that seek safety and shelter in Jordan.

Prince Hassan has supported WANA’s work, forging a countering violent extremism policy lab in the region and encouraging policymakers and practitioners to discuss and develop policy recommendations. He attended conferences at the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue. On the 70thanniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, the prince spoke of the importance of finding our own authentic regional voice, of using the challenges of water and energy in the human environment as a catalyst for positive change as well as posing the question: “Can we now wage peace, instead of war?”

Prince Hassan has been instrumental in launching the Zero Hunger Report last December, through his work with the World Food Organisation, the Higher Council for Science and Technology and the National Centre for Research and Development. Whilst Jordan has made significant progress in reducing food insecurity, drought and malnutrition, much work is still required before the region can enjoy the true prosperity and stability it deserves, the statement said.

Calling on the help of our friends and allies is a matter of great importance for Prince Hassan and he has worked on projects with the UNHCR and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, on sustaining peace and enhancing dialogue in the WANA region.

The prince has also launched the Global Observatory for Water and Peace at the Fifth Arab Water Week in March this year. This new initiative followed work by the Global High Level Panel on water and peace, aiming to transform water issues into instruments for cooperation as a means for peace in our region.

Prince Hassan continues to cooperate with international organisations through WANA on the Moving Energy Initiatives meeting, aiming to support Jordan’s sustainable energy. Following previous meetings, this workshop developed the Green Affordable Homes proposal, as well as the use of solar energy to power the water heating system at the Mafraq Hospital, aiming to use new technology to make real, tangible difference in the lives of thousands of Jordanians.

Even whilst innovation and technology take us forward, Prince Hassan continues to emphasise the importance of history and heritage in the country. He maintains a keen interest in ongoing archaeology projects. Most recently, the prince spoke at the 14th International Conference on the History and Archaeology of Jordan, stressing the importance of academic cooperation in order to share a wider history with the world, one where walls and isolationism do not exist.

He has led intellectual discussion groups at the Arab Thought Forum and inaugurated many conferences and workshops throughout the year, particularly the conference on the Four Pillars of the Umma which involved Arabs, Kurds, Turks and Persians, calling for wisdom, dialogue and a cultural project to restore the region’s shared cultural heritage.

The importance of faith, cooperation and the protection of the Holy City of Jerusalem remain close to the prince’s heart and the past year has seen many events addressing these themes. Energised by the belief that we can only challenge hatred based on ignorance, fear and extremism by embracing diversity and pluralism, Prince Hassan has worked closely with the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies in Amman, and patronised and spoken at many events to encourage temporal and spiritual leaders to work together.

The prince attended an international conference with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue from the Vatican City to speak about the importance of human dignity for Muslims and Christians alike, as well as attending an international conference to discuss access to the Holy City of Jerusalem. He continues to support and inspire the work of other international groups such as the Anna Lindh Foundation, the Arab group for Muslim Christian Dialogue and the Jordan Hashemite Charity Foundation, amongst many others, according to the statement.

The prince has established the El Hassan Bin Talal Centre for Jerusalem Studies at Al Quds University in Jerusalem, for research at a post-doctoral level with the aim of promoting the themes of cultural fluency based on mutual respect and common understanding.

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