History of Rotary in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Rotary Club of Amman, first club of the country

A Part of Our History of
Rotary in West Asia

One of the Countries in District 2452

The Rotary Club of Amman was chartered on 13 April 1956 with club number 13395.
The second club, the Rotary Club of Amman Philadelphia was formed 24 years later on 19 September 1980.

The Rotary Club of Amman holds its meetings in English and has 57 regular members.


The Spark of Rotary in Jordan ! 

The idea of Rotary in Jordan came from the late Baz Kamel Kawar[1]” said PDG Mr. Raouf ABUJABER. PDG Raouf is the one of the most who can tell about this. It was a very interesting interview with him to find out “How did Rotary start in Jordan?” 

The late Baz came to Trans Jordan in 1923 on assignment from the Palestinian Government and he took the office of Post Master General when he was relieved from duty in 1940 he went back to Palestine. He got introduced to Rotary in Nazareth, Palestine after the 1948 Israeli occupation. He was a member and became a President of the club. He could not live with the occupation, and said once “our country is inhabitable” so he moved to Jordan in 1955 and started to gather prominent people to charter a new club in Amman

Amman was then a small city. In 1936 the population was 36000 and in 1946 it was almost 50,000. But, 25 members completed the charter and The Rotary Club of Amman was established in 1956[2]. Some of the charter members are the late: 

·         توفيق قطانTwafiq Qattan, a prominent businessman

·        محمد علي بديرMohammed Ali Bdeir, Chairman of Chamber of Commerce & founder of Electric Company in Amman

·        وصفي بسيسوWasfi Bseiso, Phosphate Co.

·        سامي حبيبيSami Habibi. Saba & Co.

·        أمين قعوارAmin Kawar, Phosphate co.

·        حيدر شكريHaidar Shukri, Othoman Bank

·        سعد النمريSa’d Al Nemri, Finance  Ministry  Secretary  General امين عام وزارة الماليه

·        جمال حمادJamal Hammad, Minister of Agriculture وزير الزراعه

·        شكري المهتديShukri Al Muhtadi, Minister of Finance وزير المالية

·        أحمد الخليلAhmad Al Khalil, a prominent attorney محامي معروف

·        فؤاد عطا اللهFuad Attalla,  a prominent attorney محامي معروف

·        فريد السعدFarid Al Saad, Chairman of the Jordan Tobacco Company شركة الدخان الاردنية

·         زهير عصفورZuhair Asfour,          a prominent         businessman  رجل أعمال معروف

·         حاتم الزعبيHatem Al Zubi,     Minister   of    National   economy وزير الاقتصاد الوطني

·          محمد البرادعي العباسيMohammed Al Baradea’ Al Abbasi,    judge & President     of       the        Arabian     Orphan      Committee  . قاضي ورئيس لجنة اليتيم العربيه

·        إسحق هلاليIshaq Halali, a prominent businessman رجل أعمال معروف


·         حاتم الزعبيHatem   Al Zubi,       Minister   of      National           economy وزير الاقتصاد الوطني

Some charter members suggested Raouf ABUJABER who was 31 years old and Tawiq Kawar who was 29 years old at that time. But the dominant members refused to have these young members to be Chartered members. But in 1960, Rotary Club of Amman accepted the application of these two businessmen who became the pillars of Rotary in Jordan.

Palestine, was in the Rotary District 83 in 1929[3] with Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan & Cyprus. Then Jordan joined the district because these countries were neighbors in the Middle East.

In 1961 [4]The Jerusalem Rotary Club was Chartered and late Anwar Nuseibeh was the first president. The late Antone Attallah, President of the Rotary Club of Jerusalem and then Governor for the district which became District 89. In 1966/1967[5] they had the District Conference in Jerusalem in the same year which had about 350 Rotarians attending the three day conference and the late Hatem Zubi was assigned as president for the conference.

The meetings of the Rotary Club of Amman were held at the famous Philadelphia Hotel, near the Roman Amphitheater. Unfortunately now it is just a playground and a parking lot ! 

Rotarian Raouf ABUJABER became District Governor 73/74.  The late Jamal Hammad became District Governor in 80/81, but death prevented him to complete the governorship, so PDG  Raouf ABUJABER became governor to complete the term of the late Jamal Hammad.

Thanks to PDG District Governor, who was keen to assist in all means for the success of Rotary in Jordan and for the information he provided here.

By: PP. Bashar ASFOUR


المحافظ السابق الدكتور رؤوف أبوجابر

Nazareth الناصره 

[1]  Mr. Baz Kawar founding member and first president of Rotary club of Nazareth (http://www.rotary-nazareth.org/eng-index.htm)

[2] The club was chartered at 13395 at 13/4/1956

[3]Jerusalem (Palestine) club was chartered 22/1/1929 (http://rotaryclubjerusalem.homestead.com/Calendar.html)

District 83 (1935-1949) renamed to 89 (1949-1970) renamed again 195(1970-1977) then 245 and 2450, then 2452 in 2013


[4]  Rotarian 3/1962 page 50: The divided city of Jerusalem, lying part in Israel and part in Jordan and linked only by the Mandelbaume Gate, has found a common ground in Rotary's world-wide fellowship. The Rotary club of Jerusalem, Israel, was chartered in 1929. Recently, RI president Joseph A. Abey presented the charter of the new Rotary club of Jerusalem, Jordan, to club president Anwar Nuseibeh.  Later in the evening he was awarded  Jordan's Indendence Medal  in ceremonies conducted by Prime Minister Bahjat Al-Thalhouni and Jerusalem Governor Daoud Abou Ghazaleh 


[5]  In 1966 Rotary Club of  Ramallah, Jordan Chartered at 6/9/1966,  both Ramallah and Jerusalem clubs freezed their activities after 1967 Six days War and then terminated at 30/6/1980 (Terminated Rotary Clubs list)


JordanPDG Mr. Raouf ABUJABER

المحافظ السابق الدكتور رؤوف أبوجابر



Nazareth الناصره



Nazareth الناصره



عمان – المدرج الروماني وفندق فيلادلفيا مقابله

Amman – Roman Amphitheater and Philadelphia Hotel near


acknowledgements to the Board, Clubs, Members and Webmaster of the District
posted by RGHF Webmaster Greg Barlow. September 2008. revised 21 July 2010 by Jack Selway

Our thanks to RGHF member Rtn. Mousa Michel Sindaha, Amman Jerash Rotary Club, District 2452, Zone 20b and RGHF Member PP. Bashar ASFOUR, ROTARY CLUB OF AMMAN WEST, D 2452, zone 20b

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