In Memoriam: Sameer Jarrah, Pioneering Jordanian Advocate for Rule of Law

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The world of human rights and rule of law advocacy mourns the loss of Sameer Jarrah, a distinguished Jordanian lawyer, educator, and unwavering champion for justice, who died on May 20, 2024. Jarrah was a critical ally and partner to Street Law, Inc. and a leading force in designing and implementing numerous rule of law education projects across Jordan.   

Jarrah founded the Arab World Center for Democratic Development (UNIHRD). The Amman-based civil society organization’s mission is to enhance and promote the concepts of democracy and human rights throughout Jordan and beyond. The organization remains active today.  

Street Law first connected with Jarrah 20 years ago on a project that brought together secular and Muslim leaders to develop a text about the connections between the tenets of Islam and the principles of democracy. The text was used to educate communities throughout the Middle East, with Jarrah playing an essential role in facilitating key conversations about civil society and Arab culture across diverse groups.  

In 2007, Street Law, Inc. recognized Jarrah with its annual Advocate of the Year Award for the significant role he played in the Connecting Islam and Democracy text and project.   

Street Law’s close collaboration with Jarrah continued throughout the 2010s to develop the Rule of Law Matters curriculum, a set of lessons about rule of law principles, customized to the law and culture of Jordan and relevant to the lives of Jordanian young people. Street Law once again relied on Jarrah’s expertise and role as a respected unifier to train schoolteachers, youth center staff, and community organization leaders to teach the lessons to their constituents. 

Most recently, Jarrah and Street Law joined forces to build the capacity of both government officials and youth changemakers to work together to address rule of law challenges in their communities. Jarrah’s invaluable contribution to this initiative resulted in increased engagement and deeper understanding of rule of law among Jordanians.  

The fields of human rights, rule of law, and democracy education have suffered a great loss, and Street Law has lost a friend. “We are saddened by the untimely demise of Sameer Jarrah. A great leader and a champion of Street Law in Jordan for many years, he is leaving a legacy in the country,” said Street Law, Inc. CEO Ashok Regmi. “On behalf of Street Law, let me extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family and to UNIHRD.”


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