The Children’s Museum Jordan Annual Report

The Children’s Museum Jordan
Annual Report
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Our Place
Our Inspiration
Our Story
Our Year In Numbers
Our Reviews
Our Heroes
Our Leadership
Our Next Steps
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“Imagination is more
important than
Albert Einstein 1879 - 1955
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Our Place
The Children’s Museum is a unique learning space that offers
children, families and schools interactive learning opportunities
within its beautiful location in the King Hussein Gardens Park.
Registered as a charitable association under Jordanian Law, the
Children’s Museum is one of Her Majesty Queen Rania al Abdullah’s
educational initiatives.
Since opening in 2007, the Children’s Museum has welcomed over
400,000 visitors into its colorful, spacious, modern and interactive
Exhibit Hall, art studio, library, multipurpose hall, outdoor theatre
and supporting facilities that now include a new restaurant and
birthday room.
Our Mission
The Children’s Museum Jordan is dedicated to providing stimulating
experiences that spark curiosity, imagination and love for learning
in children ages 2 – 12, delivered primarily through highly engaging,
exploratory, play-based, interactive exhibits, programs and events
as well as exceptional multimedia resources. The Museum is also
dedicated to positively nurturing children’s sense of identity, civic
knowledge and national pride.
Our Vision
To become a unique and memorable Jordanian “growing up
experience” and to become a national and regional leader in the
field and an exemplary international success story.
Front Exterior of the Children's Museum Jordan
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“I hear, and I forget. I
see, and I remember. I
do, and I understand.”
Confucius 551 BC – 479BC
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Our Inspiration
“The voyage of discovery is as much
ours as it is our children’s.”
HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah
The famous French novelist, Proust, once said, the voyage of discovery is
not in seeking new landscapes but in finding new eyes. The ticket you hold
as you enter Jordan’s Children’s Museum (CMJ) is a pass to this kind of
discovery, where the elation of learning comes from seeing our world in a
new light.
For our children, the museum is a portal: with one step they can leap into
the expanse of space and with the next delve into the wonders of nature.
Through hands-on experiments, they become an engineer for a moment,
grappling with the fundamentals of physics as they play and build their
understanding of gravity. Interactive displays transform our young ones
into scientists then athletes then musicians. Puppetry, singing, and art
classes stir their creativity, inspiring the artist within.
With every viewpoint, every twist and turn through the exhibit hall, auditorium,
and garden, the changing surroundings are vibrant and exciting. The value
of the voyage, though, is not just in the rich number of landscapes, but in
the enriched mindscape our visitors’ experience, simultaneously stoking
their curiosity and embedding a life-long love of learning.
It is our mission to stimulate this blossoming of understanding: instilling
a need to explore the unknown; fulfilling the belief that your imagination
holds no bounds. For at the heart of the museum is the premise that
education is less about teaching a child to know, and more about teaching
a child to think. This principle is a cornerstone for any generation to drive
society forward, because, in short, knowledge is static, thinking dynamic. In
partnership with the Ministry of Education, I am confident we are equipping
our children with the imagination and determination to establish Jordan as
a place of ingenuity and innovation.
The voyage of discovery is as much ours as it is our children’s. In 2009,
we were greatly encouraged by CMJ’s fast-growing popularity, with stats
on visitor and outreach soaring. Our volunteer program has taken off, too,
providing Jordanians with valuable inputs for their careers and outlets for
their civic energy.
HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah playing with children at the Children’s Museum Jordan
It is only together that we can continue to strive for ever-better exhibits,
performances, displays, and projects. Which is why I want to thank all
members of the CMJ family for their support, from the parents and teachers
who proudly parade through the entrance, to the staff and sponsors who
define and finance the museum’s future; your dedication is our most valued
As a new decade unfolds, I know we can reach more children, put on more
shows, find more donors, and enlist more volunteers. To succeed, we need
your unflagging commitment. We need you to help us keep exposing our
children to new landscapes. That way, they can return to their homes and
schools with new eyes, and a new-found instinct to explore and discover.
Rania Al Abdullah
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“Almost all creativity
involves purposeful
Abraham Maslow 1908 – 1970
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Our Story
Dear Friends,
As we write this report, we reflect on the year that has just come to a close
and attempt to ask ourselves some difficult questions. How well have we, at
the Children’s Museum, served our community? Have we increased both the
number and diversity of our visitors? Have we maintained and built on our
reputation of providing truly inspiring, creative and high-quality educational
programs and activities that bring the community – children, families and
schools – together?
With the knowledge that the road before us is long and winding, we’re
happy to report that in 2009, the Children’s Museum reached several notable
milestones. With the strain of the global credit crunch that took grip of the
world and Jordan, as well as the swine flu epidemic and associated anxieties,
we are even more thankful for the positive results we have to share with you.
In 2009, with the unwavering help of our supporters, the Children’s Museum
welcomed more visitors, increased family and corporate memberships and
boosted public access of children from underserved communities. A record
169,610 visitors walked through our doors throughout the year to explore
the Exhibit Hall and take part in the vast variety of programming, activities
and celebrations that took place.
Over the past year, we worked really hard on opening our doors even wider
to the community around us. Believing that as a community we can make
a big difference together, our donors, partners and corporate supporters
enabled us to tap into new parts of the community, increasing public access
through public school visitations, after school enrichment programs for
underserved children and providing discounted or free admission rates to
families. Over 60,742 visitors benefitted from sponsored admission rates or
entered the Museum free of charge in 2009.
More than ever, our work at the Children’s Museum is guided by our belief
that early experiences and learning opportunities can shape a child’s future,
and that one moment of wonder can shape their choices for a lifetime.
This conviction has been reflected in the wide-range of programming,
activities, events and celebrations that the Children’s Museum has brought
to the community this year. The road before us is long, but we’re edging
confidently towards our vision of becoming a national learning space that
engages children, spurs their imagination and sparks their curiosity.
We recognize that it is our supporters who drive our continuous progress and
we are committed to justifying their confidence in the Children’s Museum
by continuing to deliver high-quality learning experiences and effective,
inclusive programming.
A big THANK YOU goes out to our valuable partners, generous donors,
sponsors and dedicated team of staff and volunteers, all of whom continue
to believe in the Children’s Museum’s vision and who work together to
create a better future for all children in Jordan.
Khalid Nahhas
Chairman of the Board
Nissreen Haram
Executive Director
One of the Museum's exciting outdoor exhibits
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Our Story
The Exhibit Experience
Our exciting, action-packed Exhibit Hall continued to draw children
and their families out in their thousands in 2009, and remained
the cornerstone of our interactive, exciting and energetic learning
“Our learning philosophy is hinged on allowing
curious children to learn through play, discovery
and exploration. It’s a novel approach, but one that
we can see taking hold among our visitors”
We know that the future awaiting our children is more complicated
and more demanding. Over the past year, we’ve continued to
leverage our exhibits to support school-based learning and to create
transformative early experiences that we strongly believe have a
major impact in the lives of children well beyond their visit to the
Children’s Museum.
We’re very proud of our newest addition to the Exhibit Hall - the
Wonders of the Red Sea Exhibit. Designed to showcase the rich
aquatic life found just off the shores of Aqaba, the exhibit exposes
children to the natural ecosystem around them and encourages its
Throughout the year, our Exhibit Hall reflected the changing of
the seasons from spring to summer, autumn to winter, each with
its own characteristic set of themes and the introduction of new
mini exhibits. For our Seaside Adventures theme this summer, a
pirate’s boat found its way into our Exhibit Hall, while in our Winter
Wonderland season, our winter snow area compensated for the lack
of snow outside!
While a record number of visitors explored the Exhibit Hall in 2009,
we recognize that a great many children in Jordan have yet to
experience our exciting exhibits. We are preparing to include more
exciting exhibits into our collection, characterized by increased
interactivity, accessibility and durability. In the meantime, we’ve
worked on maximizing the overall experience within the Exhibit Hall
by animating it with a variety of novel, imaginative and engaging
daily activities.
Another big sign of progress this year has been the overall increase
in the level of independent interaction we’ve noted among children
and their families. Our learning philosophy is hinged on allowing
curious children to learn through play, discovery and exploration.
It’s a novel approach, but one that we can see taking hold among
our visitors and in the required balance that ensures responsible
interactivity whilst preserving the exhibits from unjustified disrepair.
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Ancient Times Exhibit
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Getting groceries in the Marketplace Exhibit.
Building bridges in our Construction Site Exhibit.
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Exploring the human body.
Learning about road safety and traffic rules.
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Our Story
Programs and Events
Over the last year, the Children’s Museum put together the most
exciting combination of programs, activities and events. Each was
an opportunity for the whole community to come together -children,
families and schools – in a spirit of renewed excitement for learning.
Every program is designed with specific learning objectives in mind,
ranging from scientific aptitude to encouraging creativity, promoting
civic competence, appreciation for cultural diversity as well as
increasing children’s awareness of their bodies and movement.
Events and Special Programs
Sing Along
Second Art Exhibition
Mural Exchange Program - USA
Bubble Mania Science Performance - USA
Summer of Wonders Camp
Dr. Bunhead Explosive Energy Performance - UK Nov
Daily Activities
Hikayat Simsim
We supplement our interactive Exhibit Hall with daily animations,
activities and demonstrations that are designed to pique children’s
curiosity and really get them into exploration mode. These include
exhibit-based demonstrations meant to enhance particular
learning objectives as well as activities that encourage children’s
participation with temporary exhibits, props or activity tables
scattered throughout the Exhibit Hall.
White Wonderland Art Camp
Special Feature Programs
Throughout the year, a huge number of programs focused on
engaging the whole family in the interactive learning process. This is
because we firmly believe that families need to spend more quality
time together and that parents must be involved in the interaction,
fun and hands-on experiences offered within the Museum. In 2009,
the Children’s Museum featured the popular Hikayat SimSim, which
interacted with children, schools and families through a wide range
of activities that focused on several key learning objectives through
creative, imaginative sessions.
Top to bottom: White Wonderland Art Camp; Dr. Bunhead
Explosive Energy Performance; Hikayat Simsim.
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Our Story
Programs and Events
Science Shows
In 2009, the Children’s Museum offered children thrilling programs,
events and performances that are designed to expose children to
the exciting side of science and innovation, promote inquiry-based
learning and increase scientific aptitude in a way that’s fun and
engaging. Blockbuster performances in the past year have included
Dr. Bunhead and the world renowned Bubblemania! performance.
Events and Special Programs
Mother’s Day Celebration
Labor Day Celebration
Independence Day Celebration
Carnival of the Magic Kingdom
Cultural Performances
Ramadan Weekend Celebration
Aug - Sep
During the year, we remained committed to bringing the best of the
world’s cultural performances to Jordan. This reflects our efforts in
helping to raise children that are exposed to all types of dramatic
art, creative theatre set-up, costume creativity as well as staging
and theatrics. This year, we welcomed the Boston Children’s Choir
and the Red Balloon Play.
Eid Al Fitr Celebration
Eid Al Adha Celebration
White Wonderland Christmas Party
Art in the Children’s Museum
The Children’s Museum continued to be a busy, bustling hub
of creativity over the last year, with a wide-range of activities
that promote children’s expressiveness, creativity, imagination
and confidence. Daily activities within our Art Studio focused on
allowing children to explore their expressive, creative side of their
personalities through a mix of drop-in and participatory sessions,
and especially through our Winter Art Camp. In January, we hosted
our Second Art Exhibition and Competition, showcasing the talent
that was unleashed by our young artists within our Art Studio.
Top to bottom: Mother’s Day Celebration; Eid Al Adha
Celebration; White Wonderland Christmas Party.
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Our Story
Programs and Events
Our Celebrations in 2009 reflected our efforts to bring children,
families and schools together to celebrate what connects us as
Jordanians. Our spectacular performances and events in this
category celebrate the familiar in the most magical ways. Usually
coinciding on national occasions, we especially celebrate Jordan’s
Independence Day, as well as Ramadan, the Eids and Christmas. We
also mark Labor Day by encouraging children to dream about what
they want to be when they grow up and instilling a sense of work
ethic and value in a way that children can engage with. In all, our
Celebrations are designed to inspire national pride among our young
citizens and nurture a sense of community belonging.
Magic Carpet - Celebrating Cultural Diversity
Events and Special Programs
ASEAN Cultural Day
Thai Puppet Theatre
Armenian Dance Group
Boston Children’s Chorus
Land Ho! Pirates Circus Show
Semi Spooky Halloween
Red Balloon Puppet Play - Lebanon
Our commitment to helping raise children who are exposed,
appreciative and respectful of world cultures is reflected through
this set of programs. Through a mix of performances, events,
activities and International Days, we introduce children to the
cultural diversity around the globe through art, dress, performances,
traditions and food.
Day Camps
The Children’s Museum embraces the characteristics of the seasons
and reflects this through its programming. In 2009, our Seaside
Adventures Summer program lets the spirit of summer shine
through by focusing on the outdoors and on physical activity. Our
Winter Wonderland season focused on the richness of the holiday
season with a range of winter activities and creative art. At the
heart of our summer and winter programs are the Summer of
Wonders and Winter Wonderland Day Camps.
Top to bottom: Thai Puppet Theatre; Red Balloon Puppet
Play; Semi Spooky Halloween.
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The messier the better in the Art Studio.
Storytelling and adventures in the Library
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Roman soldier celebrating Jordan's Independence Day.
Land Ho! Pirate Circus Show
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Our Story
Our Working Spirit
Museum Memberships
While the combination of the upkeep of our Exhibit Hall, designing
and delivering high-caliber, engaging programming, events and
activities as well as increasing public access to the Museum is a
huge responsibility, our aspirations to impact the learning lives of
children are even bigger.
Museum memberships at the Children’s Museum
are also on the upside in 2009, especially Family
Memberships and Private School Memberships.
These schemes are designed to increase
affordability and access to the Museum, whilst
ensuring that our members feel they are
getting value-for-money through the use of the
Museum’s resources, daily programs, sessions
and activities affordably.
The backstage efforts of our wonderful staff of dedicated, creative
and inspired individuals are what make it all possible. More and
more, each of our team members embodies the spirit the of the
Children’s Museum – that of bringing engaging learning experiences
through play and delivering their talent within constrained
resources. Their innovation, creativity, imagination and their own
love for play are all reflected in the experiences the Museum offers
the community.
Helping Hands - Our Volunteer Program
As a community-based learning space, the Children’s Museum
depends on the spirit, energy and dedication of young individuals
who volunteer their time and creativity to making a difference in the
lives of children as they grow into learning adults. We’re so proud
of our volunteers program and of the win-win situation it presents.
Volunteers, for their part, have reported that they feel like they’re
part of something special – a community that believes that the
memories children make at a young age shape their future.
Supplemenary Services
In 2009, the Children’s Museum continued to
work on increasing its supplementary revenue
streams through non-educational services
including birthdays, rentals and catering. The
provision of these services also vitally increases
the Museum’s exposure to the public.
Key milestones in 2009 include finalizing our
Restaurant and upgrading our birthday facilities,
both key drivers behind what we hope will be
increased earned revenue in years to come.
Our volunteer program is one of our most successful initiatives,
in both numbers and impact. By the end of 2009, our team of
volunteers swelled to over 250 dedicated individuals who all
recognized their role in helping to create a brighter future for our
children and for us all. At the end of the year, a graduation and
awards ceremony was held to show our appreciation of this special
group of young people.
Multi-purpose Hall - An ideal location for rentals
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“Curiosity in children
is but an appetite for
John Locke 1623-1704
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Our Year in Numbers
Key Visitor Statistics
49,487 Public Schools
29,839 Private Schools and Preschools
13,963 Other Groups
69,899 Individuals
4,794 Workshops & Performances
A Place For Everyone
In 2009, we continued with our efforts, through our programs,
policies and initiatives, to be an inclusive space, dedicated to
serving all children and their families throughout Jordan. Our visitor
statistics and the feel we get from the community around us makes
us believe that this year, we’ve touched the hearts and minds of
more children, their parents, teachers and the wider community
from all backgrounds and from all across Jordan.
A Museum for All: Commitment to
Public Access
Our commitment to raising public access to the
Museum and removing all financial, physical and
other barriers to access manifested itself through
our A Museum for All initiative. This initiative
included our public school visitation program
in coordination with the Ministry of Education,
resulting in over 49,487 public school children
visiting the Museum for free in 2009 .
Additionally, in association with the Ministry of
Social Development, our afterschool enrichment
programs continued to target children from
underserved communities with sessions that
introduce interactive critical learning skills on a
wide range of topics.
We’ve also offered private sector donors,
supporters and corporate sponsors the
opportunity to sponsor group visits of children
and their families who, without such support,
may be unable to visit the Museum.
Through A Museum for All, over 60,742 visitors
visited the Museum at discounted rates or for
free in 2009 alone.
Our commitment to increasing public access to the Children’s
Museum has remained a guiding force in all of our programming,
events, marketing and procedural efforts. Through various initiatives
in 2009, 60,742 children benefitted from sponsored admission fees
or entered the Museum for free.
Our dedication to inclusiveness is evident in the subsidization of our
nominal fees, and in our efforts to price world-class performances
and events at rates that ensure accessibility to the larger
community. We also allot a substantial number of seating and space
for children and families from underserved communities at each of
our events and performances.
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Top to bottom: An NGO visit for children with disabilities;
Afterschool enrichment program.
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Our Year in Numbers
Visitors Profile
Statement of Activities
Operating Revenue
Admissions and Memberships
Programs and Events
Gift Shop
Birthdays and Rentals
Bank Interest
Support Revenue
Individuals Vs. Groups
Institutional Visits
Individuals 45%
Schools and Groups 55%
Public Schools 53%
Private Schools and Preschools 32%
Other Groups 15%
Public School Visits by Governorate
Amman 36%
Southern Governoates 11%
Northern Governoates 26%
Middle Governoates 27 %
NB: Available, accurate statistics pertaining to the
geographic spread of our visitors is limited at this
time to only public school visitations.
Admission Fee Structure
Full Admission 39.6%
Full Fee Waiver 33.2%
Supported Admission 27.1%
Total Revenue
Non Cash
Donations and Sponsorships
Non Cash
Pre-operating Expenses
Salaries and Benefits
Programs and Events
Facilities and Operations
Management and Administration
Communications and Fundraising
Cost of Sales
(Losses) from Disposal of Fixed Assets
Total Expenses
Increase/(Decrease) in Net Assets
Salaries and Benefits (include all staff compensation, social security, health and life insurance)
Programs and Events (include all programs material and services fees).
Facilities and Operations (include all maintenance materials and services, utilities, housekeeping
and logistical support).
The figures of the previous year have been reclassified to correspond with the current year presentation.
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“The important thing is
not so much that every
child should be taught,
as that every child
should be given the
wish to learn.”
John Lubbock 1834-1913
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Our Reviews
In The Press
The Children’s Museum received a great deal of exposure in local,
regional and international media outlets in 2009, with over 165
According to our indicators, our tactical advertising and marketing
efforts positively contributed to increasing visitation traffic to the
Children’s Museum generally and to our specific marketed programs
and events.
A recent national survey found that 34% of those surveyed had
heard of the Children’s Museum, and that a further 38% had visited
the Museum. This gives us a clear starting point for launching our
promotional campaign in 2010, which aims to increase national
awareness of the Children’s Museum, its mission and its philosophy
of interactive, hands-on, play-based learning.
Press Highlights:
Jordan Tourism Board TV Advert for first half of 2009 (on MBC2, MBC4,
Dubai One among others)
Expose of Children’s Museum on Radio Monte Carlo International
Feature article in Jordan Business magazine, October Issue
Feature article in Royal Wings magazine, Nov/Dec Issue
“I love the Museum because we make our own
imagination there. I go there to have fun and I
did a lot of things at the Museum, like magic
things, art [and] space. It is not like all [the
other] places‘.”
Salma Atout
Six years old visitor
“We got glue, cardboard, wheels, a straw, a
stick, a battery and a motor… We glued them
together and made a car.”
Anas Ahmad
Fikra participant child
“As always the Museum surprises me!
Everything was organized and the
facilitators were amazing.”
Parent of a Wonder Friend (Winter Camp participant)
“It is important to travel, to find new land and
to meet new people. We carry the smiles and
the questions of the children of Jordan with
us and we feel very privileged to have met so
many warm and curious children.”
Sandra Pasini
Actress, Artistic director of Teatret OM
“Amazing performance, and very interesting
subject for the kids to learn and enjoy beautiful music and sound effects. My kids and
I enjoyed it very much. Thank you!”
Jumana Khoury
Performance attendee
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“Every child is an
artist. The problem is
how to remain an artist
once we grow up.”
Pablo Picasso 1881 - 1973
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Our Heroes
Our Founding Partners
Our Annual Supporters
Our founding partners beleived in our vision since the very beginning and helped us turn it into a reality.
The support we receive from our dedicated group of partners,
contributors and friends helps us deliver on our mission every day.
Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation
Greater Amman Municipality
USAID / Siyaha 2
Capital Bank
Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA)
Union Bank
Bank of Jordan
National Resources Investment & Development Cooperation (Mawared)
Scientific Medical Supplies (SMS)
Johnson Diversy-Jordan
Ahli Bank
Talal Abu Ghazaleh Organization
Yousef Nader & Sons
Royal Jordanian
Zain Al-Maha & Nujoud Oweiss
Nestle Middle East
Sheikh Abdullah Saleh Kamel
British Council
International Business Legal Associates
Al Nisr Al Arabi Insurance
Petra Tours
Mr. Waddah Barkawi
Kasih Food Production Company
French Embassy
British Ladies of Amman (BLA)
Gulf Beauty
Salbashian Group (Kodak)
Karajah & Associates Law Firm
Faris and Faris Architects
Program Partners:
Ministry of Social Development
Ministry of Education- School Visitations Program
Jordan Pioneers Multimedia Production Co.
Jordan Media City
Mrs. Sanaa Muasher
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Royal Thai Embassy
Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Media Sponsors:
Al Ghad
Al Faridah Group
Al Kawn Advertising
Al Marji’ Publications (Family Flavours)
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“We must teach our
children to dream with
their eyes open.”
Harry Edwards 1942 – present
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Our Leadership
Board of Trustees
Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah
Mayor of Amman, Omar Ma’ani
Vice Chair
Chairman, Emaar Properties PJSC
Vice President and Director of Middle East and North Africa Region,
Motorola, Inc.
Chairman and CEO, Nestle Middle East
CEO, Zain
Mr. Akram Abu Hamdan
Dr. Basem Awadallah
Mrs. Samar Dudin
Mr. Khalid Nahhas
Mr. Ghassan Nuqul
Mrs. Abla Zureikat
Board of Directors
Mr. Khalid Nahhas
Chairman of the board
Mrs. Samar Dudin
Vice Chair
Our Next Steps
One of the most important responsibilities the Children’s Museum has as
a non-profit institution is to decide how our current and future successes
will be defined. As a national learning institution, it’s not just about what
we do, but how much of an impact we have on the lives of children, their
learning process and community engagement.
In the coming years, we’ll measure our success by looking at three key
dimensions: how many children we serve, how well we serve them and
the diversity of the children we serve.
While we are proud of the big steps we’ve taken in 2009, we’re even
more determined to grow, to increase our presence within the Jordanian
community and to provide a solid foundation for our children to regain
a sense of wonder and excitement about learning. Our commitment to
increasing public access to the Children’s Museum and widening our doors
to bigger swathes of the community will continue to one of our primary
strategic goals.
We regard the Exhibit Hall as the cornerstone of the learning experience on
offer, and have major plans for exhibit enhancement in the next few years.
We are also geared up to offering a more ambitious programs and events
calendar for 2010 whilst maintaining the Children’s Museum’s reputation
as a high quality service provider.
We are grateful to our supporters, donors, friends, staff and volunteers for
their continued support and applaud their foresight and vision to create a
better future for our children NOW.
Mayor or Amman, Omar Ma’ani
Mr. Akram Abu Hamdan
Mrs. Suzanne Afaneh
Mrs. Reem Atalla
Mrs. Randa Ayoubi
Mr. Raja Gargour
Dr. Safwan Masri
Mrs. Samia Salfiti
Mrs. Abla Zureikat
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