The Open Society Foundations’ Arab Regional Office supports a diverse group of civil society organizations, research centers, universities, and media organizations across the Arab region. Based in Amman, Jordan, and with a satellite office in Tunisia, it works to strengthen civil society in its efforts to build vibrant and tolerant societies where governments are accountable to their citizens. It currently supports the work of civil society in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, and Tunisia across five programmatic areas:
- rights and governance
- women’s rights
- higher education
- media and information
- arts and culture
Grant making supports efforts to improve government transparency, the rule of law, and human rights, as well as those to empower women and to foster independent media and the arts. The office also engages with governments and regional bodies to support judicial reform and the reform of higher education, and to promote human rights.
Current and recently supported projects and initiatives include monitoring the Tunisian parliament; documenting and exposing human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; investigative journalism training for reporters; providing access to legal aid for migrant and indigent communities in Jordan; and supporting music, theater, cinema, visual arts, and literature through the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture. The Arab Regional Office is currently spearheading a regional initiative to increase civil society engagement on human rights at the League of Arab States, and is developing new programming to address the question of food security in North Africa.
The Arab Regional Office combines grant making with support for capacity building, technical assistance, and networking to strengthen the effectiveness, impact, and sustainability of partner organizations. We support civil society actors dedicated to building free and just societies based on human rights, and aim to orient support toward civil society according to the priorities identified and pursued by local organizations and thought leaders.