October 30, 2007

I need an answer for this picture?

Taken by Anonymous...

This picture was taken for Jamal Abdel Nassir Circle and I want someone to answer me these questions:

1) Why nobody is using the bridge?
2) Who decided to build this bridge or other non functional bridges ?
3) Did the bridges or tunnel solve the increasing traffic congestion problems?
4) Will I go to prison asking these questions?
5)( ) fill in the blanks

*Small note: Funny picture looking at the empty pedestrians and someone is trying to cross the street running.

If we continue planning our streets for cars and traffic, we will get more cars and traffic; conversely, if we start planning our cities for people and places, we will get more people and places.

Read more at : Amman Streets

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Wakalat street

I wanna share you some pictures with comments from the Wakalat street. I took it the month after they opened it.I love this project and my expectations were much higher than the results but I still say it's a very innovative concept for the city of Amman. If there were some mistakes we can learn from them and we shall all cooperate in building and developing our city. I know that many good people were behind this project and I hope they continue in this direction maybe one day we see all Amman streets as pedestrians, and parks celebrating it's people and cultures.

Time to abandon the Facebook Ship

Both Facebook and MySpace lost millions of users between August and September, according to recent numbers from Nielsen Online.

Facebook was supposed to become the Google of social networking. It’s not going to happen. Facebook is over the hill and has reached the social networking implosion point.

Opening up Facebook to non-students and third party apps has not increased the value of the platform; it has diminished Facebook’s usefulness.
A Facebook application may deliver eyeballs, but the value of those users is questionable. Development time and energy may be more wisely spent on widgets that can be plugged into any network.

Mark Zuckerberg’s time to cash in is running out. This week something is up at Facebook, as Valleywag and Caroline McCarthy have reported.

"Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo -- as well as a host of freelance moneybags -- continue to press their offers to shower Facebook, the hot social network, with dollars and ads. And last Wednesday at San Francisco's Web 2.0 Summit, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said his company was close to clinching a deal."

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October 29, 2007

WiFi and Free at Wakalat Street....but Why?

GAM with collaboration from Omniah launched a free WIFI service at the Wakalat street. So you can now access the internet and for free....Cool right? We do need this service in all over Amman, but, do we really need it at the Wakalat Street. So now we know there is a free WiFi but who will use it and how?

We know also that Wakalat street is a shopping or a Mall-ish street. So if you want to use your laptop, you need first a place to sit down and second, you need electricity to hook your laptop too. This might be provided at either Starbucks or maybe one of those few coffee shops, but, don't they already offer an internet service there too.

I don't wanna discourage having a FREE service like this one, but I am afraid it's only an accessory or a marketing tool to be provided in the wakalat street.

Don't we need this free service at our universities, schools, and libraries?

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GAM to launch private radio station

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Mobile Cultures

Below is a list of books distributors in Jordan and I thought of sharing it with you.

But, I am proposing here an interesting project(s) maybe someone will make it happen. Since most of us here don't visit: Libraries, Museums, and galleries lets bring it to them?

We can have a mobile library traveling all over Jordan selling and buying books or just open it's doors for people to rent them or just browsing them, then maybe later on the concept will have a bigger impact and end up to build a Library.

We can have a Mobile Museum, traveling the city, going to schools, parks and neighborhoods. It can hold samples from the new Hussein Museum to let us know what can we see or expect to see in it.

We can have Mobile concerts for different musicians, mobile galleries for different artists, or mobile awareness campaigns. Like: Campaign for recycling awareness, non-smoking, breast cancer, carbon emission...etc.

Maybe someone will like the idea and support it to make it happen. Then we start seeing more of our culture in the streets of Amman. We get more encouraged to read more, educate ourselves about our arts and get some awareness.

Maybe one day...but, development comes step by step. Isn't it?

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Book publishers in Jordan:

Mrs. Rajaa Deweri Academic Centre For College Textbooks 962 6 5332330/5340383 962 6 5337187
Mrs. Lamis Al Husseini Al Bustan Lil Kutub 962 6 5654270 962 6 5654271
Mr. Bishara Naber Al Kashkool Bookshop 00962 6 5683256 00962 6 5622209
Mr. Madian Al Jazerah Books@cafe 962 6 4650457 962 6 4650457
Mr. M. Al Borini E Tec International 962 6 5827281 962 6 5827283
Mr. Rawan Barakat Jordan Book Centre Co. Ltd 5151 882 515 2016
Mr. Eyad Mohammad Jordan Distribution Agency - ARAMEX Media 962 6 5358855 962 6 5337733
Mr. Muhammad Al-Majdubah Modern Educational Systems 962 6 565-0360 , 565-0363 962 6 5650355
Ms. Shatha Al Qasem/Tamara Hakouz Philadelphia Book Gallery 962 6 5515861 / 5534238 962 6 5510649
Mr. Ala Mohammad Specialty Academic Book Centre (9626)5531464 962 6 5531468
Mr. Safa Hijazeen The Good Book shop 962 6 461 3939 962 6 461 3938
Mr. Mazen K Kutob University Bookshop 962 6 5330211 962 6 5357638
Mr. Osama Qasem/Ms.Majdolen Dalo Universiy Book Centers Company 962 6 5346746 962 6 5346740

October 27, 2007


Parking building in Swifieh

New parking building in Swifieh is now under construction. It will be owned and operated by a private company for 25 yeas till the GAM take it back. The drivers will be charged to park their cars, not sure how much, and the revenue will go to the company. Another parking building will be constructed near Al-Wakalat street.

These projects might help in solving growing demand for parking in Amman. Currently, available free parking can be found at the alternative street side parking, but, not for too long. In the near future I see that we will start paying for these free street parking.

We can see this happening at Uhm-Uthaena Souq "the jewelry stores" where you will be charged to park in the street.

This will increase the cost of living and will increase traffic since most of the drivers will still cruise the streets trying to find an empty free parking spot. Not to forget also the effect on the environment.

Accommodating parking and driving is a problem, instead of accommodating car driving we need to look at transportation alternatives as better means for commuting in the city. I will mention again the effect of the new GAM planning strategy on traffic and parking. Increasing the density of population will increase the traffic problem unless we improved our pedestrian and streets network and adopted the mixed approach so we will be able to walk instead of driving.

Will building parking in Amman solve the increasing parking problems? Will you pay to get a parking spot? Won't you prefer walking, taking public transit (if we have any!!!), or taking a taxi and drop you wherever you want?

I mentioned this too in many previous posts:

Regarding the new GAM Interim Strategy

Amman City Streets

Promoting for transportation alternatives and bicycle lanes in Amman City

Amman Mini-Metro from the 1st circle to the 8th circle?

Opening of the complex travel north and the conversion of Abdali into Garden

GAM uses GIS to enhance performance

Creating digital maps and maps content for Jordan

October 24, 2007

Jordanian Disability Act

Could this happen ... Maybe one day.

I always wonder why we don't see any disables in our streets, and one major reason is our urban streets and buildings that is not friendly to disables.

I read in the news today that there are some discussions to apply building codes designed to facilitate the movement of people with disabilities and ensure that all institutions adhere to such codes. HRH Prince Raad, the Chief Chamberlain and the Minister of Public Works and Housing Hosni Abu Gheida, head of the Jordanian National Construction Council discussed plans to construct a permanent headquarters to host the higher council.

These acts have been implemented since a long time in other countries. It's purpose is to prohibit discrimination on the basics of disability by public accommodations and requires places of public accommodation and commercial facilities to be designed, constructed, and altered in compliance with the accessibility standards established by this act.

It's such an important initiative to build such codes, however, we all know that movements in our streets need to be facilitated not only for disables but for pedestrians in general.

Moreover, some challenges might be faced in implementing the codes especially for existing constructions. Focusing on public facilities like ministries, Schools, Museums, and parks might be the first step for implementation.

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October 7, 2007

Noise Pollution in Amman city

It's 6:00am and I just woke up, well, not because I slept enough or I set up my personal alarm to get up early to my 9:00 work but because I woke up on the neighborhood alarm that comes from the construction noise in my street. This is becoming contagious that I rarely sleep these days the way I want, with peace and calm. It's not a healthy living to start your week like this nervous and stressed out.

The noise comes from different sources but the most annoying to me is the construction work. In my neighborhood they finished last month a one year project of a reconstructed Villa to 4 floors residential project a block from my house, then another one just finished, with the same story, a villa reconstructed to 4 floors residential project. Only last month they destroyed an old 3 floors building in my block and now it's under construction. The noise and dust that comes from these projects are over the ordinary level that a human can handle.

Moreover, noise will continue after finishing these projects since the population density will increase.

Is construction more important than us Humans!

The biggest noise that is polluting my neighborhood is the one that comes from the Jordan gate towers which have 24 hour shifts, apparently to meet their deadlines. Even I live about 700 meters away and I still hear the noisy hammers that never stops.

Construction is not not the only source of pollution. Here is the school bus honking at 6:10am to pick up the school kids. Then later the home gas distributor will drive by with his annoying boring melody with it's high volume pitch, then later the famous truck will shout: elly 3endo talagat, ghasalat, nashafat 3ate2a lalbea3 ( Who have an old washer, dryer, refrigerator for sale?)And don't forget the garbage tanks.

Any solution is beyond my handle. Maybe, I move to a different neighborhood, but which neighborhood if the same construction noise pollution happens everywhere? or might happen?

Don't we need to start thinking about controlling noise and construction pollution? To set up: Amman city noise code?

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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?

October 4, 2007

Boycott Restuarants in Amman

I read yesterday a post in Arab observer blog about boycotting restaurants in Amman with cover charges. I like to be proactive rather than reactive, I feel most of the times boycotting is an action taken from a hopeless, like when we boycott Israel, Denmark, or the US. However, for those who take boycotting as a hopeless strategy I scratched my head about another reason to "boycott" the restaurants and cafe's in Amman:

Only for families "3a2ellat". We all know what it means, single men are not allowed to enter the restaurant or cafe without bringing girls. So single men, you either go back to your guys only place or bring a girl just to get in.

Maybe it's a hopeless dream not to be sexiest in this country because everybody will say: We need a social reform. If the guys are not welcomed to enjoy their city how will those guys become the leaders of the social reforms?

We can list the restaurants in Amman that are sexiest who refuse our single men to enter just because they are men and write a complaining letter to our ministry of tourism, who all the time promote for "Local Tourism" and publish it on-line.

Single men: Don't you hate it when this happens to you?

October 2, 2007

Jordan Environmental Performance Index

Black iris - A rare specious preserved in Jordan

Jordan ranked 64 among 133 countries in the 2006 pilot Environment Performance Index, a survey ranking nations in pollution control and natural resource management.

This track record should not be impressing at all and the country could have done better in rankings because Jordan is not an industrial country with heavy polluting industries. The Ministry of Environment last year created the Environmental Police Department to inspect factories, industrial zones and picnic areas and to track down violators, but, the development in Jordan is done without regards to the impact on the environment and the sustainable development.

The Environment Performance Index (EPI) centers on two broad environmental protection objectives: 1) reducing environmental stresses on human health and 2) protecting ecosystem vitality gauged in six policy categories, including environmental health, air quality, water resources, productive natural resources, biodiversity and habitat, and sustainable energy. The report placed Jordan among countries characterized with good management of biodiversity and natural resources, making the Kingdom the only Arab country named for preserving biodiversity and environmental regulations.

In countries where deserts constitute over 50 per cent of the total area, Jordan ranked fifth.

This category, according to the report, takes into consideration the unique ecological challenges these countries face and subsequent water management and ecosystem vulnerability issues that arise.

Lets take more serious acts in Jordan toward sustainable development.
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