Nahed Hattar – A Short Biography

A Jordanian journalist, intellectual and political activist born in Amman 1/4/1960.

Held a Bachelor`s degree in Sociology from The University of Jordan (1982) and a Master`s degree in Contemporary Islamic Movements from the Philosophy Department in The University of Jordan.

Worked in the Jordanian and Arabic press as an editor in the Jordanian newspaper “ Sawt Alshaeb” and the Lebanese newspaper “ As-Safir”, editing manager for “ Akher Khabar” newspaper and “ Al-Ufuq” Jordanian magazine, and editor in chief of “ Al-Methaq” weekly newspaper ( The voice of the Jordanian national movement 1996-1997) and the monthly “ Al-Muqtabas” magazine ( 2000). He was a columnist in the daily “Al-Arab Al-Yawm” Jordanian newspaper ( 1999-2008) and a writer in the “ Al-Akhbar” Lebanese newspaper ( 2007-2015). He was the founder of “All of Jordan” and “ Maysaloon”  websites.

Hattar was imprisoned and sent to court several times because of his writings and political activities, the first was in the summer of 1978 and then in the spring of 1979 for participating in student and youth activities. He was forbidden to work or travel until 1989. He was imprisoned again in 1996 for supporting the uprising in the south of Jordan due to rising prices and difficult living situations.

He was subject to an assassination attempt in 1998, which caused him serious injuries requiring a number of surgical procedures. Hattar continued his dissenting political and intellectual activism, prompting the authorities in Jordan to forbid him from writing in the local press from 2008 until the day of his assassination.

Hattar has several intellectual contributions to the criticism of political Islam, national thought and the Arab Marxist experience. Nahed Hattar is considered the theorist of Jordanian national identity and a pioneer of Jordanian national movement. In his studies, books and essays he presented an analysis of the social, cultural and political structure of Jordanian society. Hattar defended Jordan against the Zionist project, embodied by the notion of ` the alternative homeland` and the liquidation of the Palestinian issue at the expense of Jordan and Palestine alike. He stood against the liberal policies and the comprador who sought to destroy the state institutions and the middle class. He also worked towards renewing the narratives of the national and social liberation movement, and rediscovering the centrality of the nation state and the notions of development, counter-democracy, eastern culture and resistance against colonialist projects and their religious extremist apparatuses in the region, especially in Syria.

Activities and Struggle

  • A member of the Jordan Youth Democratic Union – an organization of the Jordanian Communist Party
  • Founder of the Socialist Thought Forum 1993
  • A participant in the establishment of the new Jordanian National Movement 1994
  • A Cultural consultant at the foundation of ` Ahluna` ( Ahli Bank) 1999-2008 , during which he worked on reprinting most of the literary and intellectual works of the Jordanian pioneers
  • A participant in the establishment of the Jordanian Social Left Movement 2007
  • Founder of the Jordanian Social Forum 2004
  • Founder of the Jordanian-Syrian Brotherhood Association 2008
  • A leader in the Jordanian popular movement 2011-2012
  • Launching the `Almashriqia` initiative 2013
  • Participant in the conference for the defense of Syria 2013
  • A member of the Association Against Zionism and Racism