February 25, 2008

Rainbow Street Completed

We were waiting for the Rainbow street and now it's been completed. I visited the street recently but honestly i didn't find alot of changes other than the annoying "street stone", some benches, light fixtures, and other things mentioned below. Whats really weired is creating a Rainbow sculpture, but using this name in English, branding, has a different meaning, maybe adding some rainbow flags all over the street and we can have something like London, San Francisco, or christopher street in NYC!

An ugly cladding for the cinema and something I wasn't pleased to hear about. My lovely school, Bishops School, being bought by some investors, I think AQARIYA or AQARKOM and will be closed to join it's sister school CMS! And nobody oppose it or even talk about it?

I will post about the topic for sure, but please share me any information that you know about this deal?

This whole Area of the rainbow street is full of Schools, calling some: Bishops School, CMS, Advantnest, Atfaal El-Ahliyah School, Darrar ibn Alazwar School (not sure about the name), and another two school i don't remember the names and the British Council. All are located in the Rainbow street. Now, after this decision about transforming the street into a shopping Strip, or actually a night clubs, coffee shops street and a hang out for some hippies, shouldn't we protect those schools from being lost? Or it's over?

How can you impose a development into a street and change it's character and use without being sensitive to the use and history of the whole area?

Before I blame the GAM, I do blame the residents of the area for allowing this to happen which shows that they are only after increasing the value of their properties. Why don't we develop a neighborhood by increasing the living urban standards of the residents and not by attracting an outside investors to buy and build more commercial properties, above our schools and priceless old houses?

And for those who might not know yet, the whole Jabal Amman is being bought by some investors? And downtown Amman too, which is now under studies for transformations and god knows whats gonna happen there?

More about Rainbow street you can find it Here

AMMAN (JT) - The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) on Sunday said it has completed renovation work on Rainbow Street in Jabal Amman.

Work on the JD2 million development project started in March last year, and was implemented in three phases.

The renovation is part of GAM’s plan to “rebuild old districts and preserve the city’s spirit”, according to Adel Rosan, the director of the works department at GAM.

The 1.4-kilometre street, featuring diverse architectural styles, represents the capital’s heritage.

As part of the project, GAM constructed a public park in addition to car parks, Rosan said.

“There are two parking plots; the first is situated halfway down the street with a capacity for 40 vehicles, while the second is near Rainbow Garden and can accommodate 20 cars,” he added.

A large outdoor screen has been installed near Rainbow Cinema hall, and seats are available for shoppers, he said.

The project also included renovation work on some traditional sites, like the wall of Arwa Bint Al Hareth School, Rosan added.

In addition, the street itself was paved with basalt tiles, sidewalks were widened and trees planted, while storefronts and billboards were redesigned.

Meanwhile, a pyramid-like structure reflecting the colours of the rainbow was constructed on an empty plot of land at the 1st Circle, Rosan said, adding that the street is now an attractive tourist destination within the capital.

Related Posts:

Rainbow street transformed to a shopping hub
Introducing the new Downtown Amman
Building what and why Amman?
From an out of place architecture to an out of place identities.
"The Transformers"
Amman City Streets

February 24, 2008

GAM FM radio station HAWA

AMMAN (JT) - The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) on Saturday said it signed an agreement with the Audiovisual Commission to establish its “Hawa FM” radio station.

The new radio station, which will start pilot broadcasts in April, will air at 105.9 MHz on the FM frequency, according to the GAM press centre.

“It is important for GAM to have its own radio station,” Deputy Amman Mayor Amer Bashir said after signing the agreement with Audiovisual Commission Director General Hussein Bani Hani.

Hawa FM will focus on GAM projects across the capital and their effect on the local community, Bashir added.

The station will also air public service announcements to raise awareness, he said.

“GAM’s desire to establish a specialised radio station reflects an understanding of the need to maintain a dialogue with the local community and follow up on their concerns,” Bani Hani said.

The station’s studios and offices will be located in the Housing Bank building, according to the GAM press centre.

“The location is in the centre of Amman and one of the capital’s highest points, making it suitable for radio transmission,” the press centre said.

The station will air various types of programmes, including news and social pieces focusing on issues of public interest, the centre added.

One of the main features of the station will be a live talk show focusing on the problems and difficulties facing the capital’s residents.

Related Posts:

A son of a blind father killed by a car accident

Photo by Petra

Mourners stand at the fresh grave of Huthaifa Salaheen, the only son of a blind father, who was hit by a speeding car in the first week of February in the town of Yarqa, near Salt, while accompanying his father, a schoolteacher, to the mosque. He was proclaimed dead Thursday morning after 17 days in a coma. The tragic death of Huthaifa fuelled a public outcry against road accidents that killed more than 7,000 people and injured 175,000 in the past decade

February 22, 2008

Streetfilms featuring Swefieh

Amman Voice streetfilms featuring Swefieh

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A "Polish" library in Anjara!

Is this a Jordanian Library or a Polish idiological one? Who will teach and What will they teach? What's the content of the books? Is it a neighbourhood library? A community Library? or a Latin library? Will the Anjarah residence speak polish now, or become Latin? Why don't the Polish minstry of exterior fund the ministry of education instead of funding an organization? and why saying: " the institution serves children of different faiths" instead of just saying serving the community? Do we have a plan for education and library distribution areas in Jordan?

AMMAN - (JT) Anjara children will now have a place to read and learn, under a
new pilot project initiated by the Polish government.

Under a programme
entitled “Maktabti,” or my library, a learning centre was established adjacent
to the Latin School in Anjara, which hosts 200 students between the ages of 6
and 16.

The new children’s library is financed by a $35,000 grant by the Polish ministry of foreign affairs and implemented by the Family International Community Services (FICS).

“We feel strongly that this programme will benefit schools and communities by providing books so that children can experience the excitement and benefits of learning through reading,” Polish Ambassador in Amman Andrzej Biera said at a press conference yesterday to announce the project.

Thousands of children’s books in both English and Arabic, including 2,500 of the latest titles from the Beirut Arab book fair, will adorn the library, which will also be open to the public.

The library’s computer centre will provide students with e-learning tools, through three computers equipped with Internet access and other multimedia learning programmes.

Father Hanna Keidani, headmaster of the Latin School, said the institution serves children of different faiths, stressing that the library will be for the wider community of the greater Ajloun area.

“Children are our future and it is important that we take care of our future,” Keidani noted.

FICS official Mark Thamm said Anjara was chosen as it was designated by the government as a poverty pocket and expressed hope that it will be the first of many such libraries in limited-income areas.

“Opening a book broadens a child’s horizons and allows them to accomplish their dreams. Every child in every region should be able to enjoy this,” Thamm told The Jordan Times.

FICS is a nonprofit organisation that offers counselling, material and practical assistance to orphanages, refugee camps, schools and hospitals.

Working in Jordan since 1993, FICS has worked on projects with organisations such as the Haya Cultural Centre, and Al Hussein Cancer Centre Society for the Physically Challenged.

The Anjara children’s library will be unveiled in a ceremony on Friday.

Related Posts:
New Schools to be built in Jordan next year

Amman Featured at Metro Newspaper in Canada

A nice written article from the free lance writer and travel junkie Julia Dimon at Metro newspapaer canada about Amman. Perfect blend of trend, tradition. Sharing girl talk with young women in Amman.

Canada, (Metro)In a popular hangout in Amman, a group of young Jordanian women
share cross-cultural girl talk with Julia Dimon.
Trolling the streets, looking for cool young Jordanians to interview for my column on happening spots in Jordan I spot four attractive young women sitting outside a popular ice cream hangout. I’m drawn in by their confidence and their clothing. They wear skin-tight jeans, stiletto heels and Islamic head scarves — the perfect blend of
trend and tradition.

A minute after introducing myself, I’m handed a bowl of ice cream and invited to join the group. Over a malteser-flavoured dessert our conversation quickly moves away from hip hangouts to the good stuff — the life and loves of young women in Jordan.

Do you date, I ask the girls. They tell me they have close relationships with their
mothers and are allowed to date openly. It’s not the case with all parents from
an older generation, as tradition and family values are still strong undercurrents, but things are changing.

One girl is engaged, the other has just broken up after an eight-year relationship, the youngest is smitten with her new cute boyfriend and the last is single and on the prowl. “A good man is hard to find,” she confesses. “Tell me about it,” I joke. I guess that’s a universal problem women bear in all parts of the world.

Sharing cross-cultural girl talk I’m told virginity before marriage is revered and
expected. Picking up people at the bar is uncommon. One-night stands are as rare
as tuna tartare. Sex is still a bit of a cultural taboo and those who do “do it,” don’t talk about it.

I bring up the stereotypes that plague Islamic culture. I tell them many people in Canada think life as a Muslim woman in the Middle East means you’re oppressed, you can’t go to school and you are forced to cover your body. A resounding “Nooooo!” comes from the girls. In their experience, women and men have equal opportunity. The girls are all university educated, each studying in a different field: Computer engineering, fashion and physical education. Life in Amman is one of freedom, peace and political

“This is not Iraq. Jordan is perfectly safe.” Life is normal, “we eat, we laugh, we pray.”

Like many young people in Amman, they honour the principles of Islam and don’t drink alcohol. They spend their weekends meeting friends for coffee, smoking the argileh and gossiping over sherbet.

I ask about the head scarf. Some girls wear them, some girls don’t — it’s a personal choice based on their individual religious beliefs.

“A few years ago, when I travelled to the U.K., people stared and made fun of me for wearing the hijab,” one of the girls admits. She says people judged her and seemed almost frightened. “I don’t understand why they stare? It’s my choice and I wear the hijab proudly,” she concludes.

The girls have personalized their head scarves by tying them in unusual ways and
decorating them with flowers. After a remarkably candid and fun conversation, we snap a few photos, share e-mail addresses and say goodbye.

I’m moved by the realization that our similarities far outweigh our differences.
Watch Julia’s exploration of Jordan’s happening capital city tonight on Word Travels at 10 on OLN.

Julia Dimon

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Amman Featured in NY Times

February 15, 2008

New Schools to be built in Jordan next year

If building a school in Jordan cost about 1 million JD and in an earlier post it was mentioned that the new Twin Towers in Abdoun cost about 300 million JD, then we could have build 300 Schools in Jordan to teach 300,000 students?
This is a quick comparative advantage for the lost scarase resources we are using in the development of our economy. Do I prefer education over stones? I say YES. Do I look into development from other perspective than what's been planning for. YES. We need to look at the development from the BOTTOM UP, and not from the TOP DOWN. As an example, Schools will bring towers, will Towers bring Schools?

AMMAN (Petra) - Minister of Education Tayseer Nueimi said on Thursday the ministry will float tenders for establishment of 42 new schools across the Kingdom this year in an effort to provide students with a better educational environment. Nueimi made his remarks yesterday during the inauguration of three new schools in Amman which were established at a cost of JD2.5 million. The minister added that the ministry established 38 new schools this year. Nueimi said the three new schools, established according to international standards and equipped with advanced laboratories, will receive around 3,000 students.

Related Posts:

Limiting Chain Stores in Amman
Slow Seasonal business ...Why?
Building what and why Amman?
Discount Stores, Le Carrefour opening in Amman - transforming our cities:
Rainbow street transformed to a shopping hub
From an out of place architecture to an out of place identities.
Starbucks VS Tsch Tsch
Boycott Restuarants in Amman

February 14, 2008

The tallest building in Amman to be constructed in Abdoun

This is the first announced towers to be constructed at the new planned master plan in Abdoun and the second twin towers after Jordan gate which is still under construction. Do you think that this is a success to the Master Plan? What other measures do we need to look at?

AMMAN (JT) - A major United Arab Emirates real estate firm on Wednesday launched its operations in Amman, announcing the construction of twin towers in Abdoun.

The $300 million project, to be completed in three years, includes two high-rises housing 600 apartments, Limitless CEO Saeed Ahmad Saeed said at a press conference yesterday to announce the launch of the company’s investment activities in the Kingdom.

This is the second twin tower project in Amman, after Jordan Gate, which is under construction near the 6th Circle.

The 200-metre-high 60-storey towers will include a 1,000-square-metre indoor area designated for retail and entertainment outlets, Saeed told reporters yesterday.

The towers will be surrounded by 5,600 square metres of land as external space, which characterises all of the company’s projects, he noted.

Amman Mayor Omar Maani said this comprehensive project proves that the Amman Master Plan is a success.

Initiated in June 2006 as a response to the tremendous growth the capital has witnessed over the past several years, the Amman Master Plan seeks to provide a clear direction for sustainable development of the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) over the next 20 years in accordance with new planning legislation.

Last year, GAM announced four phases of the Master Plan: The tower, corridor intensification, industrial land policy and the interim rural residential policy.

The Limitless twin towers will be located in Abdoun, one of the four areas designated for high-rises in the capital, according to the GAM press centre.

“The project location was selected after accurately studying the required infrastructure, roads and green areas,” Maani said, during yesterday’s press conference.

The towers will be the highest structures in Jordan, and among the tallest in the Middle East, GAM Press Centre Director Taha Abu Redin told The Jordan Times.

Also yesterday, the GAM council approved an agreement between the municipality and Limitless, under which the company will buy a plot of land in Abdoun estimated at JD6.715 million, according to a GAM statement released yesterday.

Limitless, the “global master development arm” of Dubai World, was established in July 2005, with the key objective of diversifying and globalising Dubai’s portfolio of development companies by leveraging the know-how and exposure gained by Dubai World’s real estate initiatives through the “Nakheel” project.

The company is currently implementing projects in Saudi Arabia, India, Vietnam, Malaysia and the UAE, with more to come in Europe, South Asia and the Gulf region.

February 8, 2008

Amman City Street Block Celebration

Car free events are catching on around the world
Imagine Amman City without cars?

When the cars are away, kids will play, people will know each other more, and live their city. Every Sunday, more than a million people crowd the streets of Bogotá, Colombia to bike, walk, skate and celebrate. Starting shortly after dawn, residents and visitors have the run of a 70 mile network of streets that span the city. There are activities for people of all ages and inclinations; everything from a two hundred person cardio session to food vendors hawking savory treats. What is it? It's called Ciclovía, and it's catching on around the world.

More and more, cities are embracing Ciclovía-style temporary street closures as a simple way to make public spaces and communities amenable to healthy lifestyles and happy neighbors. And Amman is missing alot!

We need to introduced car-free days on some areas in Amman. To have a tradition to continue with a Ciclovía-style street. To have an event that will attract many new community partners, sparked excitement in the neighborhood, and can shape up to be a huge success for the city.

Also, introduce a Street Block celebration to bring a whole new kind of life to streets around the city. In addition to allowing neighbors to get to know one another and enjoy their street car-free. Street Block celebration in Amman City will help residents imagine what a safer, greener, more livable block might look like, and then tell them how they can make it a reality.

We need to start an initiative that comes from the neighbors and communities supported by higher authorities, community associations, or GAM itself to arrange some pilot Street Block celebration in Amman City.

If you have ideas for other car-free programming, or are interested in helping out with these types of events lets talk, email Emad Salameh @ emadsalameh@gmail.com

Street closed in San Francisco

February 7, 2008

Another classroom Collapse

An advice to our students: "Instead of paying attension to your teacher you need to watch out the ceiling so it might collpase on your head."

This is the second time Amman Voice post a classroom ceiling collapse in Jordan. Many public schools need major renovations especially the rented old rusted buildings. A survey need to be made for the existing conditions of the public schools in Jordan and create a plan for renovating or evacuating those buildings.

Moreover, we need to create new codes for school building types and insure it's sustainability so our kids can get the best education in the best healthy environment.

Students evacuated after classroom roof collapse

MAFRAQ (Petra) - Authorities on Wednesday evacuated 250 students from the Abdullah Ben Rawaha Elementary School after the roof of one classroom partially collapsed. Ahmad Mathani, an education official in the governorate, said the evacuation decision was taken to ensure the safety of students. He said the rented building was old and maintenance work conducted on it did not address the problems entirely.

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February 6, 2008

Collapse at a Real Estate Company offices

Will you expect this!

A collapse at the canopy of a Real Estate Development company. Thats funny!!! and it's weired that they didn't remove it yet!!!

We say: "Bab El-Najjar Mkhala3" ... "the door of the carpenter is broken"

February 5, 2008

Street collapse in Abdoun

A street collapsed in Abdoun during last week storm in Jordan. The collapse happend at the street edge of the under construction TAG Mall. Now the road is closed and it doesn't look it's gonna open any time soon. There were no casualities or accidents that I heard of, but something interesting can be seen from the photo below.
This project never had a sign posted other than the insurance company that said: " TAG project is fully insured with ***** " , a very unusual sign! But, alas, the sign of the insurance company is no longer there. I wonder what happend?

Education and Economy in Jordan reform

According to a report released yesterday by the World Bank, Jordan is ranked on the top of the MENA region(Middle East North Africa)in educational reforms. However, we will see development in our countries if we invest more in Education and provide people with the necessary skills to be competitive.

Part of the problem we face is the the wrong mix of competencies produced by our education systems. Our Human Capital need to be allocated properly to compete at the international labour market.

In a keynote address, World Bank senior vice president for external affairs, Marwan Muasher, said:
“The quality of education in the region has not kept up with the needs of the economy; education systems do not support adequately the development by girls and boys of analytical skills, problem solving skills, critical thinking and innovation. It is time to pay greater attention to these skills to reach, if not exceed, the level of attention given to illiteracy and school enrolment.”

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