Asma Khader, human rights advocate, remembered

(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — It was the end of a long, rich, and impactful journey on Monday for Jordanian politician and human rights advocate Asma Khader, who passed away in Amman at the age of 69, leaving an honorable legacy as a leading human rights lawyer, civil society activist and advocate of women’s rights. اضافة اعلان

She was awarded the Jordanian Medal of Independence at the first degree and several other national and international awards and certificates of appreciation in the course of her long and diverse professional career in government, law, civil society, journalism, education, and volunteer work.

Khader was widely known and praised for her distinct passion for defending human rights, which was clearly manifested throughout her lifespan.

At the start of her professional life, she worked as an educator and later as a journalist before entering the justice system and serving as an attorney in Jordan and abroad. 

Khader established and headed several national organizations and held ministerial positions, including minister of state for media affairs and official government spokesperson and minister of culture, and assumed the role of vice-president of the Independent Election Commission, among other senior public positions.  She was appointed senator in 2013.

Khader’s death sparked wide reactions from Jordanians, who remembered her, not only for the many high-profile positions that she held but also for her big and generous heart. 

Nidal Mansour, president of the Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists, told Jordan News that despite being appointed in many senior positions, Khader was always distinguished for her passion for serving and defending human values and rights. “I knew Khader for more than 31 years. She remained the same person throughout her life; always kind-hearted and humble,” he said.

Asma Mustafa, a Jordanian actress, told Jordan News that Khader always believed in changing the world into a better place, “she was a strong woman that I will always remember and cherish. She was never defeated; even when she was sick, she was a real fighter”.

Mustafa remembered Khader for her distinguished love for all forms of arts and literature. “She believed in theatre and tried her best to support and use it to defend human rights, and specifically women’s rights,” she said, acknowledging “her efforts in showing the world the potentials of Jordanian women.”

 “I accompanied her on an artistic trip to Italy, and she was one of the most wonderful people. It was the first day of our acquaintance alone, and she was the one who asked me in the hotel without any personal knowledge — with a beautiful smile — to accompany her because of my knowledge of the place. We laughed a lot, we talked a lot, and we were walking long distances — we knew that we would meet more, and we will remain with lasting love and respect”, said Hilda Hiary, a Jordanian visual artist.

Artist Hilda Hiary recalled personal experiences with Khader as a good friend, who loved to chat and laugh, travel and take long walks.“How can you not love a woman who was well respected by everyone?”

Basel Al-Tarawneh, former government coordinator for human rights, told Jordan News, that “Khader’s name was synonymous with prestige, remarkable reputation and being an unforgettable person.”  

 “She was distinguished by her integrity and honesty, and this was projected in her work and life; leaving an imprint on people and places, wherever she worked and whoever she met,” he said.

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