December 29, 2007

Mechanisms to reduce traffic accidents

Police man in Jordan, Photo: Petra

The new PSD administration are taking the right steps toward enhancing the performance of the police department. This is what we mentioned in a previous post Police Security Department : " To be more effective, and have the competency to manage the developments and challenges in our country being more proactive than reactive." .... "We do need to see more police in every neighborhood and every street. In public places, parks, and Malls. If we need improvements in our country, it needs to come from here, from the police department. Their duties are beyond putting criminals in prison, they make sure that there is an order, and there is a law. Moreover, the PSD, and the GAM together with all other public services in the country need to be more connected working together."

AMMAN (Petra) - Public Security Department (PSD) Director Major General Mazen
Qadi said on Thursday that the PSD was working to implement plans designed to
reduce traffic accidents. Qadi made his remarks during a visit Thursday to the
Highway Patrol Department where he met with officials and experts to discuss
enhancing the department’s performance. Qadi issued instructions to provide the
department with qualified and well-trained personnel to control traffic movement
in the Kingdom. Also Thursday, Qadi said the PSD will continue plans to
establish highway patrol stations, noting that four new stations will be created
in the near future.

Related Posts:
Police Security Department

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December 27, 2007

Annaouncements Banners ...

The GAM is planning to install a dedicated locations for the citizens to post directions of locations for private announcements (weddings, funeral) on the traffic light posts instead of the current irregular postings.

This might sounds an interesting idea. However, we need to understand first why we have this problem?

It's because we lack a Location Based Services in the city to give us directions for different points of interests.

I've seen this in many developed cities. We need to promote for using technology and Maps in the growing city of Amman.

But one day we will have it, maybe soon :)

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December 25, 2007

Call 080022660 to report food and drug violations

Anybody knows the name of the restaurants?

If you have pictures of dirty Restaurants or any Violations. Send them to Amman Voice and we will post them here.

AMMAN (Petra) - The Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) has referred the owners of five restaurants to court for violating public health rules during the four-day Eid Al Adha holiday. JFDA teams, which conducted dozens of inspection rounds during the holiday, destroyed foodstuff found to be unfit for consumption. Director of JFDA office in Amman Mohammad Khreishah called on citizens to report any violation by calling the toll free 24-hour number 080022660.

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Income Generating Projects

Source: Petra

The picture above shows a workshop carried out by the Higher Council for Youth seeking to provide job opportunities for young women in the desert village, which has high unemployment rates. Beneficiaries are trained to manufacture handicrafts from available raw materials and sell them, thus generating a regular income. The project also seeks to activate the role of local civil and women’s societies and give the youth access to the labour market.

Building talents and producing a unique pieces of arts and crafts while generating income and developing the societies.

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Automobile Factory in Jordan

A JD200 million Chinese auto factory planned to be set up in Jordan will create around 500 job opportunities for Jordanians and this figure is expected to reach 2,000 upon the completion of the plant’s four phases. Moreover, a new academy will be established to produce a skilled labour force in the fields of electronics and mechanics.

Mohammad Qalam, director general of Chery Jordan Company Ltd., told The Jordan Times on Monday that the construction of the factory will start early 2008 and production is expected to start by the end of the year.

Other stakeholders include Al Hokair Holding Company and the Dallah Al Baraka Group.

Qalam added that the company will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Jordan Armed Forces (JAF) under which the military will become a partner in the plant, to be implemented in four phases.

The agreement was signed in October on the sidelines of a visit to China by His Majesty King Abdullah.

“The first stage of the project will be manufacturing around 700 medium- and large-size commuters,” said Qalam, adding the second phase will extend the plant’s capacity to produce commercial vehicles such as pickup and dump trucks.

A new academy will be established within the project’s third phase aiming to produce a skilled labour force in the fields of electronics and mechanics.

“This academy will represent a nucleus to provide regional markets, especially Gulf countries, with skilled Jordanian workforce in the fields of manufacturing and maintaining vehicles,” Qalam said.

The top executive pointed out that the last phase of the project will target the manufacture of fancy cars which will be marketed in local and regional markets.

“Our initial target is to hit the 1,000 mark during the first two years of production as we expect a continuous increase in demand for our product,” he added.

“Our product will effectively compete with other types in terms of price and quality. Besides, the product will focus on lowering fuel consumption through introducing an advanced technique of fuel combustion called Compressed Natural Gas,” he said.

According to Qalam, the plant will create around 500 job opportunities for Jordanians who will constitute 95 per cent of the plant’s manpower, adding that this figure is expected to reach 2,000 upon the completion of the plant’s four phases.

Chery Jordan Company Ltd. was established in 2004, in partnership with the Chinese SAIC Chery Automobile Company, as the exclusive supplier of automobile parts and their accessories for Chery vehicles.

December 22, 2007

Eid Mubarak

The Sheep " Sameen" the friend of the Poor, part of the Guerrilla Marketing by tkiyetumali-Ali Photo by: Emad Salameh

Towards a Jordan free of Hunger by 2015

"Tkiyet Um Ali is considered to be the first NGO in Jordan to serve hot meals and provide humanitarian aid on daily basis to the poor and needy from the Jordanian society in all locations. A genuine idea by her late Royal Majesty Queen Alia Al Hussein that derived its nobility from the Islamic concept of social responsibility
towards the less privileged. This tradition was kept in the Islamic and Ottoman eras for centuries till present date, Thus; sustaining and confirming on the direct relationship between praising and lending a helping hand to those who mostly need it.

Tkiyet Um Ali was founded as a memorial for her Late Majesty Queen Alia al Hussein, as a voice of hope for those who can not provide their daily basic needs for nutrition, and as a role model to all NGOs in the region and the Middle East; and to revive the feelings of social bonding in our society, therefore gradually eliminating the gap between different social classes."

December 18, 2007

Building affordable houses

Thats something we were all looking for: More affordable housing units. To be able to do so, we need to conduct a study to arrive at cost effective vernacular building styles. We can search our resources and give recommendations for a cost effective alternative construction methods and building materials. That include: The Land, Materials, and Man power.

Looking forward to see the study.

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The Landlord, Tenant, and Government Law

Housing for Limited income people bought by High income people.

Building what and why Amman?

Cabinet discusses apartment prices

AMMAN (Petra) - The Cabinet on Monday discussed the issue of the high prices of apartments, which makes it difficult for many citizens to own their own homes, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Nasser Judeh said. During yesterday’s session, the Council of Ministers examined different options for reducing monthly instalments for apartments. They also looked into conducting a study to arrive at cost-effective modern building styles. The Cabinet also entrusted Minister of Public Works and Housing Sahl Majali to carry out the necessary steps to build 5,000 apartments for public sector employees and another 2,000 for teachers.

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Slow Seasonal business ...Why?

Uhm Ali Charity Gorilla campaign, Sameen the friend of the Poor, Photo by: Emad Salameh

You can read below an interesting analysis for the drop in the seasonal sales. Yes, it's about the economics that I am not gonna talk about here, however, I see other factors need to be mentioned:

1) Psychology of the consumers: The city is becoming one of the most depressing cities in the world. You hardly can see someone smiling, laughing, or happy about his status. So, people don't have that motive to celebrate the holidays.

2) Alternative "new" Stores and Shopping Malls:
the increased number of shopping malls and discount stores is taking a large percentage of sales than the traditional street market stores especially in the winter season. Ex: City mall and Le Carrefour .

3) Traffic:
The increased city traffic congestion affects the purchasing power especially when shopping at major hubs like: Downtown, Jabal Hussein, and Swefieh.

4) Availability of parking spots:
Finding a parking spot is becoming a nightmare especially in street markets, while the malls have enough car parking comparing to the municipality that's not providing enough spots.

5) The Political instability of the surrounding countries like: Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq. Which makes us unwilling to celebrate the holidays.

6) Sales Strategy: Even this is the Season we can't see any real Sales. If it's the holiday season shouldn't the retail shops start thinking about making a real sales on the merchandises that coincide with the Holidays season? With low profit margins they can sell more.

And as mentioned, the increase in the prices of Sweets especially after the latest rise in the Sweets Bakery and Nuts.

We need to search for the real reasons behind our problems in order for us to find the right solutions.

I sound pessimistic, but, I have to be honest and say what I feel. There are some good initiatives in the country, but, I see other indications that need to be taken more seriously.

AMMAN (JT)- The holiday season, especially this year when Eid Al Adha is immediately followed by Christmas, was hoped to be the high season for various businesses, but shopkeepers say the situation is disheartening so far.

Garment, sweets, nuts, coffee and shoes vendors said Monday business was so much “below expectation”.

“We expected that the government’s decision to disburse salaries to civil servants and the army before Eid Al Adha would send the market thriving, but it is not happening,” said Zeid Abu Wazzan, a garment retail-shop owner in Jabal Hussein. Abu Wazzan, who also owns a wholesale store, attributes slow business to two major factors. “The prices of clothes are more expensive than they were before Eid Al Fitr [in October]. Plus, the weather is not stable and retailers are reluctant to buy from wholesale shops. Thus there is not much for people to buy anyway.“ A men’s clothes shopkeeper in downtown Amman said: “Our sales for Eid Al Adha are below 40 per cent of Eid Al Fitr sales.” In his view, the economic situation makes it hard for people to buy new clothes for family members for both occasions separated by 70 days, so they usually buy for Eid Al Fitr and keep the same clothes to use for Al Adha. The Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Monday that markets of second-hand clothes in Irbid were witnessing crowds of customers due to the unaffordable prices of brand-new items. Hard times do not haunt the garment business alone. A sales assistant at a nut and chocolate store in Sports City told The Jordan Times that there is decline in demand. “Usually, the few days before either eid, people buy coffee, chocolates and nuts to offer their guests, but for this eid, sales are down, compared to past years,” he said. “I think the drop in sales is due to the increase in prices of nuts by an average of 30 per cent, especially after imposing sales tax on some kinds of nuts. In addition, the price of milk almost doubled recently, which led to increases the prices of chocolates and consequently a reduction in sales,” the shop employee told The Jordan Times. Employees at sweets shops in Amman said they hope that Tuesday will change the trend, especially since people like to buy the eid sweet, mamoul, fresh. But so far, the season is not that favorable. Even beauty salons and hairstylists say that customers for this eid are smaller in number than they were in the previous eid. “Customers are not as many as we witness ahead of eids,” said Abu Walid, an owner of a barbershop in Abdali. He attributed the slow business partly to the cold weather and the economic situation. “When they have to choose between food and a haircut, they definitely go for food,” he said. Meanwhile, Samah Abdul Karim, a hairstylist at a hair salon in west Amman’s Seventh Circle area, said the saloon is already overcrowded with women and girls of different ages, yet business is not as thriving as it was in the days preceding Eid Al Fitr. For shoe stores, however, the case was different. Shopkeepers said that people in any case need to buy shoes for the cold season, so they tend to wait till the eid to do that. Eid Al Adha this year coincides with winter solstice, also known as midwinter, which occurs around December 21 or 22 each year in the northern hemisphere, marking what is known in the traditional culture as the marbaniyeh, or the coldest 40 days in the year.

December 16, 2007

Bloggers United - Blogging for Hope

Thousands of bloggers from around the world are performing acts of kindness right now so they can post their stories on December 17. Will you be one of them?

On Monday, December 17th, post about some act of kindness you performed — making a donation, helping someone move, volunteering your time, or even something as simple as paying someone an unexpected compliment — and then share your story with a post, photo, or video on your blog.

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Police Security Department

Looking forward for the change in the PSD administration. Improving their operations, not only increasing the number of the police patrols in the streets or just being the "Traditional Police" , but, also participate in being the actual representatives of our governments to implement the law. To be more effective, and have the competency to manage the developments and challenges in our country being more proactive than reactive.

We do need to see more police in every neighborhood and every street. In public places, parks, and Malls. If we need improvements in our country, it needs to come from here, from the police department. Their duties are beyond putting criminals in prison, they make sure that there is an order, and there is a law. Moreover, the PSD, and the GAM together with all other public services in the country need to be more connected working together.

PSD director outlines future goals

AMMAN (Petra) - During a meeting on Saturday with security leaders, police directors and field administrators, Director of the Public Security Department (PSD) Major General Mazen Qadi stressed the need to provide security services to citizens in a civilised and humane way on the basis of equality. Qadi underscored the importance of developing police performance to keep in pace with the latest development in the field and improve the level of training and human proficiencies. “Each director, within his area and jurisdiction, should develop plans and dispatch vehicle and on-foot patrols to highly populated areas to extend emergency services in record time,” Qadi said, also stressing the importance of coordination between the concerned departments in PSD in crime prevention.

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December 13, 2007

Jordan development Goals: Track, Learn, Suppot

Below is the millinium development goals (MDG) data. The data presented here is the latest latest available from the United Nations Statistics Division.

"MDG track progress in over 130 locations worldwide. The MDG Monitor shows how countries are progressing in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With the 2015 target date fast approaching, it is more important than ever to understand where the goals are on track, and where additional efforts and support are needed, both globally and at the country level.
The MDG Monitor is designed as a tool for policymakers, development practitioners,
journalists, students and others to:

TRACK progress through interactive maps and country-specific profiles

LEARN about
countries' challenges and achievements and get the latest news

SUPPORT organizations working on the MDGs around the world

Countdown: 7 years 50 days 12 hours

Total population (millions): 5.9
Population growth (annual %): 2.9
Surface area (sq. km): 89,342
GDP per capita (PPP US$): 5,988
GDP growth (annual %): 6.4
Inflation, GDP deflator (annual %): 4.8
Unemployment (% of total labor force): N/A
Life expectancy at birth (years): 71.3
Median age of total population (years): 21.1
Human Development Index (Rank 1 - 177): 86
Human Development Index Value: 0.8
Sex ratio at birth (males per 100 females): 105.0

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Population below PPP $1 per day (%): 2.0
Children under 5 who are moderately or severely underweight (%): 4.4
Population living below the national poverty line (%): 14.2

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Net enrolment ratio in primary education (% both sexes): 92.6
Percentage of pupils starting Grade 1 and reach Grade 5 (% both sexes): 95.4

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Gender parity Index in primary level enrolment (ratio of girls to boys): 1.0
Literacy rates of 15-24 years old (% both sexes): 99.0
Seats held by women in national parliament (%): 5.5

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
Mortality rate of children under 5 years old (per 1,000 live births): 26
1-year-old children immunized against measles (%): 95

Goal 5: Improve maternal health
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100,000 births): 41

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
People living with HIV,15-49 yrs old (%): 0.1
Prevalence of tuberculosis (per 100,000 people): 6

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
Land area covered by forest (%): 0.9
Carbon dioxide emissions per capita (metric tons): 3.0658
Access to improved drinking water sources (% of total population): 97

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development
Internet users (per 100 people): 13.7
Youth unemployment rate, ages 15-24, both sexes : 30.3

December 12, 2007

Ruwwad - Leading Jordan Development

Photo (Ruwwad)

Ruwwad is the first organization in Jordan to be funded solely by individuals and companies from the private sector and was initiated with the purpose of acting as a catalyst for members of marginalized communities to work together to meet the needs of their communities as identified and prioritized by themselves.


To get more information and volunteer go to
Jabal Nathif, photo (Ruwwad)
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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Building what and why Amman?

Watch out the Ceiling

More NGOs or more money makers

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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

This is an excellent book. It is probably the best book on TimeManagement and life-skills written to this day. StephenCovey re-introduces TheCharacterEthic, which he claims has fallen to the wayside, being replaced by ThePersonalityEthic of modern times.


Habit 1: Be Proactive
Are my actions based upon self-chosen values or upon mymoods, feelings, and circumstances?

Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind
Have I written a personal mission statement which providesmeaning, purpose, and direction to my life? Do my actionsflow from my mission?

Habit 3: Put First Things First
Am I able to say no to the unimportant, no matter howurgent, and yes to the important?

Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Do I seek mutual benefit in all interdependent relationships?

Habit 5: Seek First To Understand, Then Seek To Be Understood
Do I avoid autobiographical responses and instead faith-fully reflect my understanding of the other person beforeseeking to be understood?

Habit 6: Synergize
Do I value different opinions, viewpoints, and perspectivesof others when seeking solutions?

Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw
Am I engaged in continuous improvement in the physical,mental, spiritual, and social/emotional dimensions of my life?

Seven Habits Revisited: Seven Unique Human Endowments
Stephen R. Covey
November 1991

I see seven unique human endowments or capabilities associated with The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

One way to revisit The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is to identify the unique human capability or endowment associated with each habit.

Those associated with Habits 1, 2 and 3 are primary human endowments. And if those endowments are well exercised, secondary endowments are bequeathed to the person through the exercise of Habits 4, 5, and 6. And the endowment associated with Habit 7 renew the process of growth and development. Primary Endowments

The primary human endowments are 1) self-awareness or self-knowledge; 2) imagination and conscience; and 3) volition or will power. And the secondary endowments are 4) an abundance mentality; 5) courage and consideration; and 6) creativity. The seventh endowment is self-renewal. These are all unique human endowments; animals don't possess any of them, but they are all on a continuum of low to high levels.

Associated with Habit 1:
Be Proactive is the endowment of self-knowledge or self-awareness - an ability to choose your response (response-ability). At the low end of the continuum are the ineffective people who transfer responsibility by blaming themselves or others or their environment anything or anybody "out there," so that they are not responsible for results. If I blame you, in effect I have empowered you. I have given my power to your weakness. Then I can create evidence that supports my perception that you are the problem.

At the upper end of the continuum toward increasing effectiveness is self-awareness: "I know my tendencies; I know the scripts or programs that are in me; but I am not those scripts. I can rewrite my scripts." You are aware that you are the creative force of your life. You are not the victim of conditions or conditioning. You can choose your response to any situation, to any person. Between what happens to you and your response is a degree of freedom. And the more you exercise that freedom, the larger it will become. As you work in your circle of influence and exercise that freedom, gradually you will stop being a "hot reactor" (meaning there's little separation between stimulus and response) and start being a cool, responsible chooser no matter what your genetic makeup may be, no matter how you were raised, no matter what your childhood experiences were, or what the environment is. In your freedom to choose your response lies the power to achieve growth and happiness.

Imagine what might happen if you could get every person inside a company to willingly act on the belief: "Quality begins with me, and I need to make my own decisions based on carefully selected principles and values." Proactivity cultivates this freedom. It subordinates your feelings to your values. You accept your feelings, "I'm frustrated, I'm angry, I'm upset. I accept those feelings; I don't deny or repress them. Now I know what needs to be done. I am responsible." That's the principle: "I am response-able."

So on the continuum, you go from being a victim to self-determining creative power through self-awareness of the power to choose your response to any condition or conditioning.

Associated with Habit 2:
Begin With the End In Mind is the endowment of imagination and conscience. If you are the programmer, write the program. Decide what you're going to do with the time, talent, and tools you have to work with: "Within my small circle of influence, I'm going to decide."

At the low end of the continuum is the sense of futility about goals, purposes, and improvement efforts. After all, if you are totally a victim, if you are a product of what has happened to you, then what can you realistically do about anything? So you wander through life hoping things will turn out well, that the environment may be positive, so you can have your daily bread and maybe some positive fruits.

At the other end is a sense of hope and purpose: "I have created the future in my mind. I can see it, and I can imagine what it will be like." Animals can't do that. They may instinctively gather nuts for the winter, but they can't create a nut-making machine, nor do they ask the question, "Why do I do nuts? Why don't I get someone else to gather nuts for me?" Only humans examine such questions. Only people have the capability to imagine a new course of action and pursue it conscientiously.

Why conscience? Because to be highly effective, your conscience must monitor all that you imagine, envision, and engineer. Those who attempt to exercise creativity without conscience inevitably create the unconscionable. Or, at the very least, they exchange their creative talents for "canned goods," using their creativity, their applied imagination and visual affirmations, to win material things or social rewards. And then they become hopelessly imbalanced. They may speak the lines of the life balance script, but in reality their constitutions are written on the fleshy tablets of their spleen.

It is reaffirming to me to see that winners of the Academy Awards, for the most part, exhibit creativity with conscience. For example, Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves made a beautiful statement about native Americans. The Academy knows that the film industry has enormous influence, and with that creative power must come conscientious social responsibility.

Practice using these two unique human capacities: First, see yourself going to the office this afternoon, or home tonight, and finding it in a terrible situation. The house is a total disaster. No one has done his or her job; all the commitments made have been unfulfilled. And you're tired and beat up.

Now, imagine yourself responding to that reality in a mature, wise, self-controlled manner. See the effect that has on someone else. You didn't confess their sins. You started to pitch in. You were cheerful, helpful, pleasant. And your behavior will prick the conscience of others and allow the consequences agreed upon to happen.

You just used two unique human capacities: imagination and conscience. You didn't rely on memory; if you had relied on memory or history, you might have lost your cool, made judgments of other people, and exacerbated conditions. Memory is built into your past responses to the same or similar stimuli. Memory ties you to your past. Imagination points you to your future. Your potential is unlimited, but to potentiate is to actualize your capabilities no matter what the conditions are.

In the book Man's Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychiatrist imprisoned in the death camps of Nazi Germany in World War II, tells how he exercised the power to choose his response to his terrible conditions. One day he was subjected to experiments on his body and he discovered, "I have the power to choose." And he looked for meaning. He believed that if you have a meaning (purpose or cause), if you have a why, you can live with any what.

The development of his professional life came out of that one insight. He was raised in the Freudian tradition of psychic determinism. He learned it was a lie. It wasn't based on science. It came from the study of sick people, neurotics, and psychotics, not from the study of healthy, creative, effective people. He didn't go to his memory; he went to his imagination and conscience. You, too, can progress along the continuum from futility and old habits to faith, hope, and inner security through the exercise of conscience and imagination.

Associated with Habit 3:
Put First Things First is the endowment of willpower. At the low end of the continuum is the ineffective, flaky life of floating and coasting, avoiding responsibility and taking the easy way out, exercising little initiative or willpower. And at the top end is a highly disciplined life that focuses heavily on the highly important but not necessarily urgent activities of life. It's a life of leverage and influence.

You go from victim to creative resource, from futility to hope and anchorage, and from flaky to disciplined Habits 1, 2 and 3. One draws on self-awareness or self-knowledge; two draws on conscience and imagination; and three draws on willpower. These are unique human endowments that animals don't possess. On the continuum, you go from being driven by crises and having can't and won't power to being focused on the important but not necessarily urgent matters of your life and having the willpower to realize them.

From Primary to Secondary Endowments
The exercise of primary human endowments empowers you to use the secondary endowments more effectively.

Associated with Habit 4:
Think Win-Win is the endowment of an abundance mentality. Why? Because your security comes from principles. Everything is seen through principles. When your wife makes a mistake, you're not accusatory. Why? Your security does not come from your wife living up to your expectations. If your son, your husband, your friend, or your boss makes a mistake, you don't become accusatory, you look with compassion. Why? Your security does not come from them. It comes from within yourself. You're principle-centered.

As people become increasingly principle-centered, they love to share recognition and power. Why? It's not a limited pie. It's an ever-enlarging pie. The basic paradigm and assumption about limited resources is flawed. The great capabilities of people are hardly even tapped. The abundance mentality produces more profit, power, and recognition for everybody.

On the continuum, you go from a scarcity to an abundance mentality through feelings of intrinsic self-worth and a benevolent desire for mutual benefit.

Associated with Habit 5:
Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood is the endowment of courage balanced with consideration. Does it take courage and consideration to not be understood first? Think about it. Think about the problems you face. You tend to think, "You need to understand me, but you don't understand. I understand you, but you don't understand me. So let me tell you my story first, and then you can say what you want." And the other person says, "Okay, I'll try to understand." But the whole time they're "listening," they're preparing their reply. They are just pretending to listen, selective listening. When you show your home movies or tell some chapter of you autobiography "let me tell you my experience," the other person is tuned out unless he feels understood.

What happens when you truly listen to another person? The whole relationship is transformed: "Someone started listening to me and they seemed to savor my words. They didn't agree or disagree, they just were listening and I felt as if they were seeing how I saw the world. And in that process, I found myself listening to myself. I started to feel a worth in myself."

The root cause of almost all people problems is the basic communication problem: people do not listen with empathy. They listen from within their autobiography. They lack the skill and attitude of empathy. They need approval; they lack courage. Within their frame of reference, they say, "What can I do to please that person. He has this high need for control. Wait a minute, I'm the manager in control. I didn't come to listen I came to tell. When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you." The ability to listen first requires restraint, respect, and reverence. And the ability to make yourself understood requires courage and consideration. On the continuum, you go from fight and flight instincts to mature two-way communication where courage is balanced with consideration.

Associated with Habit 6:
Synergize is the endowment of creativity the creation of something. How? By yourself? No, through two respectful minds communicating, producing solutions that are far better than what either originally proposed. Most negotiation is positional bargaining and results at best in compromise. But when you get into synergistic communication, you leave position. You understand basic underlying needs and interests and find solutions to satisfy them both.

Two Harvard professors, Roger Fisher and William Ury, in their book Getting to Yes outline a whole new approach to negotiation. Instead of assuming two opposing positions ("I want that window open." "No, closed." "No, open.") with occasional compromise half open half the time they saw the possibility of synergy. "Why do you want it open?" "Well, I like the fresh air." "Why do you want it closed?" "I don't like the draft." "What can we do that would give the fresh air without the draft."

Now, two creative people who have respect for each other and who understand each other's needs might say, "Let's open the window in the next room. Let's rearrange the furniture. Let's open the top part of the window. Let's turn on the air conditioning."

They seek new alternatives because they are not defending positions. Whenever there's a difference, they say, "Let's go for a synergistic win-win. Let's listen to each other. What is your need?" "Well, I'm in just the mood for this kind of a movie. What would you like?" Maybe you can find a movie or some other activity that would satisfy both. And you get people thinking. And if you get the spirit of teamwork, you start to build a very powerful bond, an emotional bank account, and people are willing to subordinate their immediate wants for long-term relationships.

One of the most important commitments in a family or a business is never to badmouth. Always be loyal to those who are absent if you want to retain those who are present. And if you have problems, you go directly to the person to resolve them. If you refuse to badmouth someone behind their back to another person, what does that person know? When somebody badmouths him behind his back, you won't join in.

For example, during times of death, divorce, and remarriages, there are typically many strained feelings in families over the settlements. Family members who feel slighted or cheated often say nasty things about other family members. Think how much pain and anguish might be spared if members of the family would adhere to two basic principles: 1) People and relationships in our family are more important than things (people on their deathbed never talk about spending more time at the office, they talk about relationships); and 2) When we have any difficulty or difference, we will go directly to the person. We are responsible for our own attitudes and behaviors, and we can choose our responses to this circumstance.

With courage and consideration, we will communicate openly with each other and try to create win-win solutions. On the continuum, you go from defensive communication to compromise transactions to synergistic and creative alternatives and transformations.

Associated with Habit 7:
Sharpen the Saw is the unique endowment of continuous improvement or self-renewal to overcome entropy. If you don't constantly improve and renew yourself, you'll fall into entropy, closed systems and styles. At one end of the continuum is entropy (everything breaks down), and the other end is continuous improvement, innovation, and refinement. On the continuum, you go from a condition of entropy to a condition of continuous renewal, improvement, innovation, and refinement.

My hope in revisiting the Seven Habits is that you will use the seven unique human endowments associated with them to bless and benefit the lives of many other people.

Forest enhancement in Jordan

Honorary Consul of Ireland in Amman Ramzi Khoury and Al Shajarah Foundation Vice Chairman Hazem Malhas sign a grant agreement in the presence of HRH Prince Hamzah, honorary chairman of the Al Shajarah Foundation, on Tuesday (Petra photo)

Related Posts:
A 1000 car Campaign Or a 1000 tree to remember 9/11?
We need Amman to be environmentaly sustainable and green

AMMAN (JT) - HRH Prince Hamzah, the honorary chairman of the Al Shajarah
Foundation, on Tuesday received the foundation’s first donation for its future
The 24,000-euro donation was presented to the Prince by
Honorary Consul of Ireland in Amman Ramzi Khoury, from Ireland’s In-Country
Micro-Project Scheme, according to statement released by the foundation.
Al Shajarah board members as well as the foundation’s director, Fuad Srouji,
attended the event at Wild Jordan, celebrating the beginning of pilot programmes
in forest enhancement in Jordan.
The foundation was established in June 2006 under the guidance and chairmanship of Prince Hamzah with the vision of becoming an advocate for strategies, policies, plans and programmes aimed at increasing and enhancing areas covered by trees and forests in Jordan.
The foundation’s mission is to promote the acknowledgement of trees as living entities, critical to the ecological balance and attainment of sustainable socio-economic development, and to advocate for national policies, strategies, laws and
regulations to conserve and increase this natural green cover.
To this end, the foundation will inaugurate this season by initiating a project to reforest an area of 15 hectares in Jerash with the support of Zain Company and the
Forestry Directorate, according to the statement.
It will also contact several private sector firms to fund reforestation efforts in all governorates, and conduct awareness campaigns among public, private and educational sectors to advocate the preservation of forests, the planting and maintenance of trees and minimising tree cutting for firewood by promoting the use of dried jiffit blocks (olive pomace) as an alternative.

December 11, 2007

Amman Streets by Abu-Mahjoob

Unbelievable, it's one of the master pieces of Emad Hajjaj.

King calls for swift implementation of energy conservation projects

His Majesty King Abdullah meets with HRH Prince Hamzah, who chairs a Royal committee to revise and
modernise the national energy strategy, and several ministers on Sunday (Photo by Yousef Allan)

His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday stressed the need to start implementing projects designed to meet the Kingdom’s energy demands and to increase reliance on alternative and renewable energy sources.

With his leadership HM shows us the importance of such projects. I am not aware of any projects been done, or any guidelines and directions been enforced to rely on the alternative energy and control energy consumption.

What we can do here is start thinking about creating a rating system for each project been implemented and listed as an environmentally healthy and sustainable.

Other ways of using alternative energy resources can be done by implementing more effective transportation system and rely more on transportation alternatives from Pedestrian, bicycles, Trains, Busses, and last of them cars.Green Transportation Hierarchy
Related Posts:

Promoting for transportation alternatives in Amman City
We need Amman to be environmentaly sustainable and green
Regarding the new GAM Interim Strategy
Amman City Streets
Building what and why Amman?
Opening of the complex travel north and the conversion of Abdali into Garden

December 10, 2007

Jordanian Disability Act - Symposium

Great news for the future of accessibility for disables. Hopefully we see Amman more democratic, giving the rights for everybody to enjoy the city: It's streets, parks, neighborhoods, and buildings.

Related Posts:

Symposium to highlight building codes

By Dalya Dajani

AMMAN - A new effort aimed at revitalising an important yet largely inactive law ensuring people with disabilities (PWD) a more accessible public environment will get under way in the capital today.

The two-day symposium, led by the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) and the Higher Council for the Affairs of People with Disabilities, is designed to help raise the profile and enforcement of special building codes across the country.

The Special Buildings Code Law, which obligates responsible entities to ensure specific designs for buildings for PWD, came into force in 1993 under the Law for the Welfare of Disabled Persons.

The law states that all public buildings and spaces should incorporate the necessary modifications to render them accessible for PWD.

This falls under Article 3 of the law, which stipulates the right of PWD into a suitable environment that allows them freedom of movement and transportation in a safe and secure manner.

The law supports the key basis behind the legislation, which calls for the integration of PWD into mainstream society by guaranteeing their rights to education, employment, rehabilitation, medical treatment and care.

Those responsible include municipalities, the Jordanian Construction Contractors Association (JCCA) and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing. Authorities at GAM and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing have made some changes to both existing and new infrastructure over the past few years such as roads, major traffic junctions and parks. Some buildings and hotels have also followed building requirements or modified existing structures to meet these needs.

The Ministry of Transport has also introduced buses that have a certain number of seats designated and specifically designed for physically challenged persons.

While these steps are positive, the general environment for PWD still remains weak.

Director of the special buildings code at GAM, Rana Haddadin, said ensuring an accessible and socially cohesive environment for PWD requires greater awareness and a stronger mechanism for enforcement.

“Despite the positive strides taken, enforcement of the law and implementation of these standards on a comprehensive scale has not happened,” said Haddadin.

“We need to bring all relevant authorities on board, raise awareness on the law and ensure that a mechanism is in place for enforcement,” she added.

Haddadin told The Jordan Times that the objective of today’s meeting is to actively engage partners, which include GAM, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, representatives of other ministries, the JCCA and municipalities.

She said the latter is considered an important partner at a time when these changes are almost nonexistent in areas outside the capital where a large population of PWD still struggle to participate in society.

The Higher Council for the Affairs of People with Disabilities, the key authority on all issues related to PWD, is currently the main force in seeing these rights translated on the ground.

Enforcement of special buildings codes is among a number of issues set for implementation on the council’s action plan next year, which is essential for PWD to integrate into public life and to enjoy other rights guaranteed under the law such as employment and recreation.

Haddadin said while changing existing infrastructure is important, priorities are for new buildings and infrastructure.

“The action plan will address the needs for changes to both existing and new infrastructure, but the focus will be on new buildings, as implementation and enforcement will be be easier for those,” said Haddadin.

The complexities of modifying existing infrastructure include mechanisms and decisions as to who will finance the modification costs.

Some positive examples cited by the GAM official include the rehabilitation of Abu Huraira Street in east Amman, Al Taj road by Al Bashir Hospital and Shatt Al Arab and King Faisal roads in Um Uthaina. Others include the Zaha Centre in Tlaa Al Ali and King Hussein Park, which have been made accessible by GAM.

Haddadin said the two-day forum will include discussions on the current situation of infrastructure and the law’s requirements, while various entities will present working papers on their experiences in application of special building codes.

These include GAM, the Public Transport Regulatory Commission and the Local Building Council at the Ministry of Public Works and Housing. The ministries of municipal affairs, social development, education and tourism will also present their experiences in embracing the needs of PWD.

The participants are expected to present their recommendations at the end of the symposium.

Haddadin said she believed such important input and participation would pave the way for a new direction next year.

“Had the law been implemented properly in 1993, the Kingdom’s infrastructure would have looked very different today,” she said.

“However, I’m confident that these recommendations will be a starting point for new action next year,” she added.

Public Event : Exploring the Built Environment

Know who lives in your backyard?

Wanna know who was left behind in the new Amman planning strategy. Watch this video!

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December 8, 2007

Watch out the Ceiling

This is a public announcement to all our lovely children to watch out the ceiling it might falls down on your head. So, stop watching your teacher and look at the ceiling it might falls down on your head too.

I was just making some calculations for how much a Child in the west will be compensate it from an accident like this one? Maybe a couple of 100 thousands of dollars plus media attention, sponsorships, etc.

So this way, who ever is responsible of this accident will make sure it never happen again.

Poor kid, hope he/she get better soon.

Read below:

Student sustains minor head injury from falling plaster

ZARQA (Petra) - A sixth grade public school student sustained a minor head injury when part of the ceiling plaster in the corridor fell on her. Director of the Zarqa Education Department Fawzi Jarrar said the girl was sent to Zarqa Public Hospital where she received the necessary medical assistance. Upon the directives of Education Minister Tayseer Nueimi, a technical committee was formed to look into the reasons behind the incident, Jarrar said, adding that the ministry will carry out the necessary maintenance work in the school. The director of the Zarqa Public Hospital said there was no evidence of any fractures, adding that the girl is in good condition and will remain under observation for 24 hours.

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Amman is not appreciated

A new book "Amman is not appreciated" by Myriam Ababsa, talks about Amman launched earlier this week written in French, and since Je parle francais un peu, I will be waiting for the Arabic or Englich book copy in 2008.

By Maria Font de Matas

AMMAN - “Amman est malaimée” (in English: Amman is not appreciated), according to a new book on the capital launched earlier this week, because it does not respond either to the traditional model of an Arab city, such as millenary Damascus or Jerusalem, or to the high-tech pattern of Dubai.

The book, however, goes on to pay tribute to the capital, describing Amman as “a city of migrants, city-refuge, haven of peace as attractive and complex as the Middle East”.

Myriam Ababsa, a French-Algerian researcher based in Jordan, authored the book, entitled “Amman de pierre et de paix” (“Amman of stone and peace”).

“Amman is a real symbol of the region,” said Ababsa.

Through the testimonies of 27 individuals from all sectors of society who were interviewed by the author, the book reveals the inside of a burgeoning city often disregarded by the tourism industry.

“Tour operators in Jordan usually plan a one-day stay in Amman, just enough time to visit the Citadel and the souq in downtown,” the author said.

A group of prominent Jordanians residing in the capital relate their personal stories and diverse professional careers that all share a common element: The city of Amman.

They include former director of the University of Jordan’s Centre for Strategic Studies Mustafa Hamarneh, architect Jaafar Touqan, cartoonist Emad Hajjaj, women’s activist Emily Naffaa, oud player and co-founder of the Nawazen group Elia Khoury, Agence France-Presse Director for Jordan Randa Habib and many other key driving forces in Jordan.

Commenting on her encounters with the interviewees, Ababsa said she was “particularly touched by their passion and sense of community”.

“Amman of stone and peace” is the 26th volume of “Cities in Motion”, a collection of worldwide city-portraits launched by the Paris-based publishing house Autrement.

After Algiers and Casablanca, Amman is the third Arab city to be featured. French photographer Fabien Calcavechia of the Cartier Foundation matched photos to the text.

French Ambassador in Amman Denys Gauer and Amman Mayor Omar Maani acted as patrons at the book launch on Monday.

Written and published in French, and to be translated into Arabic in 2008, the book will be soon be available at the Librairie de Paris in Jabal Luweibdeh, and at Books@Cafe in Jabal Amman.

December 6, 2007

The Landlord, Tenant, and Government Law

We all probably heard about this, but, how is it cooking? God knows and as we say God forbids" allah Yustor."

How many people will be thrown out of their houses, and shops to the streets? We Hope nobody.
How many alternative housing units will be provided? Maybe 100 of thousands.

How much shall the Landlords and tenants compromise? Alot

Are you with this law or not?

Well, it's a fair proposal but how to implement it is challenging.

How to make everybody happy?

My suggestion is to create an account where the Tenant pays the extra rent to the Landlord taken as a percentage of increase in rents depending on the Tenant Credit history: Financial statements, or taxes, or Wages, or whatever credit the Tenant holds.
Oops, I forgot we don't have credit history in this country, other than your political history.


Maybe we start by "First things First" and start thinking /about thinking/ of creating a social security and credit history for every citizen. Then we start talking about the wealth distribution.

OR, we just throw the tenants out and just care about the richer getting richer.

Note: It's understandable that it's ridiculous to pay a 100JD to rent a shop in West Amman!!! However, the mistake from the beginning was made because of the law and who put that law is to be taken the responsibility and not the citizen. If "The Law" to be changed the three parties should be involved:

The Tenant: Whose paying a ridiculous amount of money but covered with a contract.
The Landlord: Where the value of the property is much higher than the payments received. The Government: Who's changing the law

Hence, the three parties involved need to have a fair settlement

AMMAN - Lawyers and human rights activists foresee “social upheaval” and a legal hubbub when a controversial provision in the Landlords and Tenants Law will leave all property lease contracts null and void.

They expect thousands of traded lawsuits between tenants and landlords to flood the already overburdened courts.

Article 5 of the regulation, which was passed by Parliament in 2000, stipulates that all property rent contracts will be null and void on December 31, 2010. The provision gave the renters 10 years to look for alternatives.

“Where shall I go?” exclaimed father of seven Abu Ahmad, 48, who has lived in a leased flat in Jabal Nasr neighbourhood in Amman for almost 30 years. He works in the Central Vegetable and Fruit Market for JD10 a day and pays JD80 monthly for rent.

“The landlord has already informed us, that by 2011 we will have to leave,” he said. At present, Abu Ahmad, like thousands of renters in the country, cannot afford to find another apartment, particularly with the increasing rent rates and prices of housing units.

"I will not leave just like that,” he said.

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A flat of 150 square metres in a middle-class area in Amman costs around JD60,000-70,000, and a minimum of JD200 monthly rent. With a $2,540 per capita income this year and an inflation rate expected to rise higher above the six per cent registered last year, the cost will be too high for people like Abu Ahmad to afford.

“I will be thrown in the street with my family and I just cannot allow that,” he said with a threatening stern look on his face.

There are thousands of tenants who share Abu Ahmad’s attitude, said Issam Sharif, a lawyer who conducted a study released this week on the impact of the controversial law in cooperation with Al Ahd Party and the Law Group for Human Rights (MIZAN).

MIZAN’s director, Eva Abu Halaweh, said trouble is a strong possibility: Landlords will be filing lawsuits to kick tenants out and tenants will try to find any reason to hold on to the places where they live. Violence is not a far possibility, she said.

The Department of Statistics did not have updated figures on the number of leaseholders or landlords.

Al Ahd Party’s Secretary General Khaldoun Nasser estimated that there are 1.5-2.0 million real estate renting contracts.

He said these contracts include private and public schools, bakeries, groceries, pharmacies and light industries that might go out of business in 2011.

For their part, landlords argue that renters have benefited enough from properties at low rates for long and it’s high time they left.

Nabil Abdeh, formerly a United States resident, said his late father leased the first floor of the family house in the affluent Sweifieh neighbourhood for JD100 in 1980. The tenant would not leave now, while the real estate prices in this area are skyrocketing, the son said. The landlord pays the water and electricity bills under the original contract, Abdeh said, adding that the rent value is hardly enough to cover these utilities.

“This is unfair,” Abdeh said, noting “if the law is going to fail in protecting our rights, what justice can we expect?”

“A complicated issue,” said Nasser. “But the solution is not shifting the burden from the owners’ shoulders to the lessees.”

Activists say that landlords lobbied for the law seven years ago because they would make millions if their tenants were out.

The lobbying started mid-1990s, Sharif said in his research, following the issuance of the older version of the law in 1994.

Property owners demanded amendments to that law and their efforts paid off as the 13th Parliament endorsed the amendments in 2000, Sharif said.

In the 14th Parliament, 64 deputies proposed changes to the 2000 law, but the motion remained in “the drawers of the legal committee”, according to Abu Halaweh.

His Majesty King Abdullah brought up the issue again in the Speech from the Throne at the opening of the 15th Parliament this week.

The King said: “From this democratic forum, I call on the legislative and executive authorities to start a positive dialogue on the Landlords and Tenants Law to come up with practical solutions that take into consideration the realisation of social security, justice and the interests of all, whether they are landlords or tenants.”

In the speech, as on other occasions, he instructed the authorities to work on providing housing for those with limited income at affordable prices, and declared 2008 as “year of housing”.

Related Posts:

Housing for Limited income people bought by High income people.

December 3, 2007

Send your suggestions to GAM

Let's make a difference. let's be part of shaping the future of Amman, be proactive and share your recommendations and opinions comments on the Amman master plan and other projects GAM intend to implement.

Go to and send your comments and suggestions to Mr. Maani, The Mayor of Amman City.

GAM invites public to e-mail opinions, suggestions

AMMAN (Petra) - The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) on Saturday called on the public to take part in roundtable discussions on the future of Amman through e-mails to GAM’s website. Citizens are invited to send their recommendations and opinions on the Amman Master Plan and other projects GAM intends to implement. Last month, GAM held weekly roundtable discussions, in which Amman Mayor Omar Maani and experts from both the private and the public sectors participated. Maani said such meetings aim to open the door for discussions and dialogue between various members of society to exchange ideas and views, adding that GAM believes in dialogue as a cornerstone for developing communities and economies.

Related Posts:

Amman City Parade

Volunteer in Amman

November 30, 2007

More NGOs or more money makers

Regional organizations maps, map by Aris Katsaris

With our limited resource in Jordan, funds to support projects for development by humanitarian aids can be supported by the regional and World NGOs. The majority of our citizens don't live in Towers, and gated communities they are living in poverty and they need support, and humanitarian aid. We market for Jordan to investors showing proposals of High Rise buildings, Malls, hotels, and compounds, instead of marketing for the world NGOs (non governmental organizations). These real estate investments will give it's benefits to the rich real estate brokers "developers" in Jordan expanding the gap of the rich and poor.
We need to reach more NGOs to invest in Jordan, by showing the areas that needs development and not showing High rises investments that will only bring to us business men and will push the NGOs away. We need to market for building Factories, and Farms, marketing for getting more Jobs to the country.

Abdali Project, photo by: Emad Salameh
In Russia, they have 400,000 NGOS, and in India estimated to have between: 1 to 2 million.
How many NGOs do we have in Jordan? Please send me the list if you have it.

More Abdali high rise buildings and more money

The New Abdali Model, photo by: Emad Salameh

Abdali project came as a project to lead the transformation of the New Ammaan. It introduced some high rise buildings in the heart of Amman. The location of the project was criticized by many consultants due to it's location and size, and how it's transforming Amman besides problems in traffic and congesstions.
The model shows more high rise buildings being added to the project. There are many surprises that's shapping our city Amman and it's future.
Is everything being already planned and bought?
I see the motive behind these new high rises is to gain more money since the price of the land with a high rise have more value than without. The new expansion strategy of Amman came to regulate the location of high rise buildings in Amman especially after seeing Jordan gate at the 6th circle, but, I have doubts now that the new planning strategy were targeted to our citizens and not to the foreign investors who can buy and build anything, anywhere.
Is that true? I hope not
The new expansion strategy did not help us in re-imagining the Amman. It was just a proposal for the real estate brokers in this country to buy more lands and get richer.
If we need to develop Amman we need to start from what's already been done, fix it, make it more livable before we expand.
Related Posts:

Introducing the new Downtown Amman

New Downtown Amman, Photo by: Emad Salameh

This is the model of the new Downtown Amman, presented at Cityscape Dubai 2007 by Mawared. The project is loated between the downtown Roman theater toward east covering Raghadan area and beyond.

This project was described by the GAM consultant Mr. Jaime "a sustainable city advocate", who presented his experience to GAM early this month as a "Great Project" during his speach about sustainability.

If this model was only for presentation, it was a bad propaganda for Amman, it's history, present, and future. This design proposal, and it's model presentation didn't meet the standrads of projects being presented to the world of investors, and developers at one of the most important real estate expo, Cityscape.

A disaster! We have great consultants architects and planners in Jordan who are qualified up to the international standards to design, and plan the city, but, when it comes to the most important decisions and projects we don't see them getting involved, or maybe get involved but we don't see this implemented on the ground.

Why? Shouldn't the architects and planners raise their voices higher? Are they making enough to educate and participate in shapping the city?

If the decision makers don't have the knowledge to understand the city Urban planning and development. Shouldn't the architects become more proactive, and stand up for what they see as right or wrong?

Our architects and Urban planners need to be more involved, and have more power participating in the the decision making process. Then we see more mature projects than this one, or Jordan Gate, or Abdali, or Ras El-Ein, or Rainbow street, or Wakalat, or the new expansion strategy .
Then, we re-imagine Amman with more parks, and pedestrian and less cars, we see Amman with streeets as civic places, more trees, less pollution and noise.

Related Posts:
We need Amman to be environmentaly sustainable and green
Regarding the new GAM Interim Strategy
Amman City Streets
Building what and why Amman?
Opening of the complex travel north and the conversion of Abdali into Garden
Promoting for transportation alternatives in Amman City

November 23, 2007

Housing for Limited income people bought by High income people.

Saraya Aqaba, 1 villa cost JD1.5 million which also buy 75 housing units at Al-Majd affordable Housing project, photo by Emad Salameh

"Construction work on the $350 million Madinat Al Majd project in Zarqa, which entails the creation of 18,500 residential units targeting limited-income people, began on Wednesday.

The residential city, to be created over 2 million square metres and accommodate some 50,000 inhabitants, will include houses of different sizes that will be sold at “affordable” prices starting from JD18,000 per apartment.

Madinat Al Majd also house a large mosque, schools, a medical community, cultural and shopping centres.

The first phase of the project, which will see the construction of some 500 housing units, will be completed in one year, adding that the project will help meet the increasing demand for small-sized apartments.

A recent study on civil servants conducted by HUDC indicated the demand for such apartments exceeds 60,000 while the total demand for housing in the Kingdom currently stands at 200,000 units.

Madinat Al Majd, the first housing project to be developed for the limited-income segment, will be a significant architectural landmark in Jordan. It would provide the wider community with the chance to own homes in a healthy environment for a monthly payment similar to what they would pay in rent.

Noting that the project is the result of cooperation between the public and private sectors, and it it has received the full support of the government.

Over the next six months, Tameer will announce a series of projects to be implemented in the Kingdom, including the construction of a residential city for high-income earning individuals, as well as towers, malls and commercial buildings.

Four residential cities will be built in the near future: One in Amman called “Ahl Alazm”, and three in the Balqa, Irbid and Aqaba governorates."

When I saw this project being marketed at Cityscape Dubai in Oct 2007, the first phase of the project with the 500 units were SOLD OUT during the first exhibition day for about 20,000 JD a unit, but, who bought them and for whom it was marketed at Cityscape Dubai 2007, the irony it was for the real estate brokers and the business buyers.

This project got the cooperation from the public and private sectors and the support and the blessing of the government as the first "affordable" housing project targeting the limited income, so we assume that the buyer is the limited income citizen.

When you position yourself as a limited income housing you need to make sure that the buyer is the limited income buyer and before you get the payments you need to ask for the bank statements and proofs that the buyer is in need for an affordable house, meeting your based targets.

Did this happen?

Maybe this goes to "lessons learned" category which we hear it often these days. However, in the next "Affordable" projects I wish this will be in forced.

Or it might go to the category of: " Investors incentives", "Special strategical planning", etc, etc

Related Posts:

We need Amman to be environmentaly sustainable and green

Regarding the new GAM Interim Strategy

Smoking in Public

Amman City Streets

Building what and why Amman?

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November 22, 2007

Our citizen

مسكين هذا المواطن ، المحني كعود ثقاب ، البسيط كسيجارة ، المهموم كمطارد، المنسي كشهيد ، ذو اللحية الشوكية و الشعر المموج ،ذو السعلة الحادة ،والصوت المخدوش بكلمة ، صاحب الضحكة المبتسرة ، والأسنان المثلمة ، والشفاه الزرقاء ، المحروم من كل شيء .ذلك العائد الى بيته بساقين نحيلتين ملتفتين فوق رصيف يومي لا تتغير ملامحه ولا تزداد أناته ، مسكين هذا المواطن.. لقد أصبح مثل (رسالة سلمى) كل يقرأه على هواه ..

المرشح يراه (صوتاً) يمشي على الأرض، كنترول الباص يراه (بريزة) ، وسائق الشاحنة يراه (قطة) ، وشرطي النجدة يراه (شبهة)، الغني يراه (صدقه) ،الخباز يراه (رغيفاً) ، الشحاذ يراه(رديفاً) ، الزوجة تراه (قسمة) ،والأولاد يرونه (صرافاً الياً) ،المؤجر يراه (شهراً) ، الحكومة تراه (رقماً)، ديوان الخدمة يراه (عبئاً) ، الليل يراه (جرذاً) ، أمريكا تراه (رصاصة) ،الأونروا تراه (قصاصة) ، الصليب الأحمر يراه (جرحاً)..وملك الموت يراه (زبوناً) مملاً..

*** ذات يوم وأثناء عودته ، توقف في منتصف الطريق ، دخل استديو عتيق ،التفت خائفاً ، ثم جلس على كرسي التصوير ، طلب صورة شخصية ليتأكد ( أي الأشياء هو ) ..لمع ضوء فضي على ملامحه الممسوحة، حرك المصور كرت الصورة ألف مره حتى جف اللون ثم ناولها للزبون الغريب ..تأملها الرجل جيداً، رفعها باتجاه الضوء الخافت ، ثم ضحك طويلاً... و... مات ...

أحمد حسن الزعبي

I was just hoping at the end of the poem when he looked at the picture that he WOKE UP!

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November 20, 2007

Elections Today ... Now and Then

Jordanian artist Wissam Shadid works on a 60 square metre piece of graffiti in Amman as part of a campaign led by the Jordan Media Strengthening Programme, an IREX media initiative, and other civil society organisations, aimed at stimulating more public participation in the November 20 parliamentary polls.
Hopefully we see more of these beautiful Graffiti after the elections. I hope that the same effort and enthusiasm will continue in promoting for awareness, volunteering, education, development, etc.
Many of our limited resources were spent on these campaigns. Will anyone be interested to spend as much money as they did in the last month to support a cause?
I heard that a single campaign cost about a $1 million. Not sure how much money were spent in total, add to that the lost opportunities of time and effort spent in campaigning. Will the same people be as much excited and aggressive in working for Amman city and Jordan? I wish it will be worth the effort to get the right people the right positions, so we say we do have an effective democracy.
In these coming years, Jordan is facing great opportunities if not challenges to stand as one of the best developing places in the region. This can be done if we have an effective leaders who have the competency to change and develop.
lets hope they will. But, I don't know yet who deserve my vote and whom I will be voting for!!!
Maybe I need another round in the streets of Amman to understand these banners, and ofcourse they were posted in the streets of the city targetting drivers since our lovely public spaces are streets made for people driving their cars.
So I wounder, after 4 years .... to be continued!This is something to talk about in my next post, like what most people say: After The Elections!

November 19, 2007

Jordan and the world On-line

"Recognize this planet? if your business is online, it's where your potential customers live."

Other countries:

Jordan %11.7 ( 0.63 million)
US %70
Israel %55
Sweden %77
Germany %61
China %10 (144 million)
UAE %35 ( 1.3 million)

In other data shows the following:

The percentage of internet penetration in the Arabic world is 2% from the world percentage
the average world growth is %250, and the Arabic world growth is %450, the highest in the world.

Other maps might show rates of poverty, diseases and health, forests and deserts, or growing trade and economy. I love maps, I will be searching for more maps and post them here, but unfortunately, in our nations we lack the availability of data and we think maps are only used for the Army or in a geography class. Woke up people! Not anymore...

November 14, 2007


I got this from a Friend and I wanted to share it with the "Ammanies" posting it in Amman Voice Blog:


The Italian cities represent a worldwide patrimony of Mankind, and for the Italian Nation, an un-valuable richness.
Their skyline reflects a true millennial civilization and an un-beatable trademark. The edifices that arise higher than the urban fabric always express the community values:the church, the public palace, the Municipal Building, the Town Hall, the Government, etc.

The alarm spread all over the world by the media on the risks caused by the proposed new skyscrapers in Turin reveals a severe menace for both the un-matchable skyline of the city and the Italian's reputation in the world.
Not only do the proposed skyscrapers express in their box-like aesthetic a sad and banal nostalgia for the building catastrophes of the 1950s and 1960s, but they introduce too a huge alteration of the democratic and economic principles of a modern civilized society.
Either every citizen holds the right to build a skyscraper -as it happens in a few areas of American cities such as Up-town and Mid-town Manhattan- or nobody does it -like in the Village at New York City, in Washington DC, Paris, etc.
A Vision of Europe and the Fondation pour l'Architecture do strongly recommend your intervention in order to avoid the aggression to the elegant skyline of the Italian cities, protect the architectural heritage of the Italian cities, promote a new policy of sustainable Urban Renaissance. A truly innovative one after the many dysasters of the 1950s and 1970s. A policy which will be respectful of the great Classical tradition of Italy.


If you want to support A Vision of Europe International Campaign, you will find HERE the letter ( ENGL ) . It would be great if you can print it, sign it in, and send it to both authorities with an e-mail copy to: and .
Many thanks for your help for the beautiful city that we all love ! Se vuoi dare il

mail address:
della Repubblica Italiana
Presidenza della Repubblica
Palazzo del Quirinale, Piazza del Quirinale
del Comune di Torino
Palazzo Civico
Piazza Palazzo di Città, 1
10122 Torino email , FAX: Comune di Torino
Ufficio Stampa del Consiglio Comunale
Tel: +39.011.4422526
Fax: +39.011.4423360

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