Sumaya bint El Hassan
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|Jordanian Royal Family|
Princess Sumaya of Jordan
|Reference style||Her Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Sumaya bint El Hassan is a leading advocate for science as a catalyst for change in the Arab World. The Princess has dedicated herself to fostering an environment in which home-grown solutions can be found for pressing issues facing Jordan and the region. Her focus on science in education, research and innovation is geared to encouraging sustainable development for the benefit of all sections of society. She believes that human capital is her country’s greatest asset and she is committed to maximising the potential of young talent through education and opportunity.
Princess Sumaya is the second daughter of Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Princess Sarvath El Hassan. She was born in Amman on 14 May 1971 and received her primary education in Jordan. Princess Sumaya later attended Sherborne School for Girls in Dorset, in the United Kingdom. She went on to graduate from the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London. Her interest in art history has combined with her passion for science in forging the Princess’s core belief that engagement with the world at hand while drawing from the experiences of the past is the key to building a creative and independent future.
Marriage and children
Princess Sumaya was married to Nasser Judeh, the son of Sami Judeh, Jordan's former Cabinet Minister. Nasser Judeh is the country's current Minister of Foreign Affairs. They divorced in 2007. They have four children:
- Tariq and Zein El Sharaf Judeh (born 1994)
- Ali Judeh (born 1996)
- Sukayna Judeh (born 1998)
Princess Sumaya chairs the Board of Trustees of the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), which was founded in 1991. She is actively involved in its day-to-day management and is dedicated to reinforcing PSUT’s commitment to excellence in education and to making the university a regional hub for IT research and development.
In October 2006, she was appointed President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) by her father, Prince El Hassan bin Talal. The Princess had previously sat on the Board of Trustees of the RSS, which is Jordan’s leading applied research institute. During her time as President, the Princess has spearheaded a restructuring programme for this historic body, which has led scientific research and technical application in Jordan for more than four decades. The Princess has successfully steered the organisation back to a sound fiscal footing and has ensured its continued importance to Jordan’s economic development and prosperity.
Princess Sumaya also sits as Deputy-Chair of the Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST), a government body that advises the State on public policy issues relating to science and technology.
Building on a heritage of research and application at the RSS and of high quality education at PSUT, Princess Sumaya has begun the task of merging the activities of these organisations, along with those of the HCST and the Queen Rania Centre for Entrepreneurship (QRCE), through her founding of El Hassan Science City (EHSC). EHSC was officially inaugurated by His Majesty King Abdullah II on 17 April 2007. This innovative new campus community will provide Jordan with its first integrated science park. EHSC aims to promote socio-economic development through investment in scientific education, research and innovation. In founding EHSC, Princess Sumaya builds on her father’s legacy of institution-building for the benefit of humanity under the banner of Science for Peace.
In recognition of the importance of information collation in dealing with future challenges, she has undertaken the Directorship and Chairmanship of the National Campaign for Public Awareness of the Drivers of Change, a Jordanian initiative that seeks to foster understanding of and debate on the factors that are driving change in the Kingdom. This two-year project was launched by HM The King in May 2010, as an initiative of EHSC. Under the Princess’s direction, the Campaign will identify actions for communities and Government to consider in reacting to challenges in modern Jordan. The Campaign will build knowledge through analysis and workshops involving a wide cross-section of Jordanian society.
In August, 2011, she was invited by the Director General of UNESCO to join her High Panel on Science, Technology, and Innovation for Development, while in November, 2011, she was elected President of the ESCWA Technology Centre which has its regional base in Amman.
In recognition of her support for the promotion of science, research, and technology for the common good, HRH has received numerous local, regional, and international awards including The Albert Einstein Medal for Distinguished Achievement (University of Ulm, Germany, 2009), and The Lazio ‘Between Europe and the Mediterranean’ Prize (Italy, 2009). In October 2008, HRH was invited to become a permanent Council Member of the Science & Technology in Society Forum (STS) Japan, becoming the first Jordanian to be so honoured. In 2006, HRH was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Star of Jordan (Wisam al-Kawkab al-Urdani) by HM King Abdullah II. The Princess has also received the Order of the Crown from HM Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands as well as awards from the governments of France and Sudan.
Princess Sumaya sits on the Board of Directors of the Amman Baccalaureate School, which she joined in 2005. She believes strongly in the importance of creative education not only at University level, but also at school level, and sees it as a key component for driving positive change to improve the quality of peoples’ lives in the region. In 2009, Princess Sumaya became a member of the Jordan Council of Higher Education.
She is an avid archaeologist and is closely involved with the work of the British Institute in Amman for Archaeological Research and the Council for British Research in the Levant. She is Patron of the Wadi Faynan project, an archaeological excavation in southern Jordan, and she has worked with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on several projects relating to the conservation and development of archaeological sites in Jordan. More recently, under the direction of Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Princess Sumaya was invited to become Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jordan National Museum, where she is overseeing the development of Jordan’s first national museum.
She also is on the Senior Advisory Board for Science & Diplomacy.
Princess Sumaya is the Honorary Patron of the Jordan Computer Society and of several charitable organizations. She also presides over the Jordan Handball Federation and is a member of the International Handball Federation.
- "Jordan's PM Reshuffles His Cabinet". Amman: Wikileaks. 24 February 2009. Retrieved 22 January 2013.