|For the record...
|Three new FM stations |
Joining the kingdom’s five public and private FM stations on the air, three newly licensed radios will start broadcasting soon. Audiovisual Commission (AVC) Director General Hussein Bani Hani, on Sunday signed three agreements granting the companies licenses to start broadcasting on the FM frequency. The first agreement was signed with the owner of AmmanNet, Daoud Kuttab; the second agreement was signed with Arab Media Network Company Director Tareq Abu Lughod, licensing the company’s radio station, Mazaj; Sawt Al Ghad (Voice of the Future) was the third new FM station, owned by the Jordan International Company for Transmission.
His Royal Highness Prince Faisal, the Regent, patronized on Monday the ceremony held by the Jordan Armed Forces to mark the 37th anniversary of the Karameh Battle. Prince Faisal reviewed the names of the martyrs and the units in the battle and listened to national songs that were performed by students. The Prince toured the military exhibition prepared by the Moral Guidance Department and was briefed on maps, books and photos in the exhibition and watched a documentary on the battle.
Royal Makruma database
Minister of Social Development Riyad Abu Karaki, president of the Royal Makruma Aid Committee, said he would start working on a database next week to identify families who are eligible for the Royal donations in each governorate. He said that the decision would facilitate the distribution of the aid and provide objectivity in choosing the families who would benefit from the donations.
Tarawneh to head JIC
A Royal Decree was issued on Monday appointing Basel Tarawneh as director general of the Jordan Information Center (JIC). Tarawneh has previously served as vice president of Muta University; adviser for the government spokesperson; director of the Human Rights Unit at the Prime Ministry; adviser for the Jordan Radio and Television Corporation; and director at several press institutions.
Healthcare centers in Maan
With the cost of JD 600,000, three healthcare centers opened in Maan Governorate on Monday. Maan Health Director Abdul Rahman Maani said the new centers, financed by the Socio-Economic Transformation Plan, would extend services in the fields of first aid, emergency, maternity and childhood.
Poor citizens get health insurance
Besides the 200,000 needy people who are already covered by the health insurance scheme, The Health Insurance Directorate said it is ready to include another 300,000 citizens from the Kingdom’s 20 poverty pockets under a free, full health insurance plan as of April 1, 2005. Residents of these impoverished areas, who earn less than JD150 monthly and do not fall under any other health insurance system, will be issued health insurance cards allowing them treatment at public medical centers and hospitals across the Kingdom.
His Royal Highness Prince Faisal, the Regent, on Sunday sent cables to the Supreme Leader for the Islamic Revolution in Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mohammad Khatami congratulating them on the occasion of Nawrouz, marking the beginning of the Persian Year.
Mother’s Day celebrated
Her Royal Highness Princess Basma, the honorary president of the Home and Garden Club, on Sunday participated in a ceremony organized by the club to mark Mother’s Day. The proceeds of the event, which included traditional dance performances, will go to charity. During the event, Princess Basma honored the club’s president Muna Bakhit.
Medical tests for foreign workers
Health Minister Saeed Darwazeh announced Sunday that foreign workers are required to undergo further medical tests—including malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis—in order to obtain a residency or a work permit in the Kingdom. The charges of the medical tests will go up from JD12 to JD20, a ministry official said. The decision was taken to eliminate the spread of diseases in the Kingdom. The minister asked the Public Security Department to inform the authorities at entry points to implement the new directive, saying the certificates should be endorsed by the health authorities in their countries of origin.
Lower rates to Arab countries
Jordan Telecom has lowered international call rates to Arab countries by 18 percent. Peak rates have dropped from 280 fils to 230 fils a minute, and from 196 fils to 160 fils during off-peak hours. Jordan Telecom Operational Marketing Director Dissa Jaimoukha said the new rates are a part of an offer to domestic and commercial customers. The discount rates do not apply to Palestine, which already has low rates.
Awqaf’s S. Korean grant
South Korean Charge d’Affaires in Amman Jae-Gook Yang on Monday presented two buses, several computers and photocopiers to the Awqaf Development Fund of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.
Budapest International Exhibition
Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Alia Hattough-Bouran on Sunday inaugurated the Jordanian pavilion in the Budapest International Exhibition held in Aqaba. Bouran held a meeting with Hungarian Minister of Economy Janos Koka during which she highlighted the tourism sector’s role in supporting the national economy. She also met with the Hungarian ministers of culture and national heritage, tourism and other officials.
Armouti wins JBA elections
Former President of the Jordan Bar Association (JBA) Saleh Armouti received 1,562 votes out of the 3,400 ballots, beating his opponent Ahmad Tbeishat by 170 votes for the association presidency. The elections were scheduled to be held a week earlier, but were postponed for lack of quorum. Among 29 lawyers who nominated themselves for the panel the four new council members are Fathi Nassar, Ibrahim Abu Gharbiyyeh, Nasser Nasser and Fathi Daradkeh, whereas Amin Khawaldeh, Adnan Rashdan, Shaher Karazon, Zuhdi Deissi, Samih Khreis and Ziad Khalifah were reelected from the previous council. The two women candidates, Manal Ouran and Maisoun Khuli, did not make it to the council. The only female member of the previous council, Samira Zeitoun, did not run in the elections, which are held once every two years.
King meets Rice
During his meeting Tuesday with US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice, His Majesty King Abdullah said a just and comprehensive settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict is the only way to strengthen peace and stability in the Middle East. The king stressed the US key role in pushing the peace process forward and urging the Palestinians and Israelis to speed up measures to implement the roadmap peace plan, leading to a viable independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.
King receives honorary doctorate
His Majesty King Abdullah received this week an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University in literature and human studies. In his speech delivered at a special function held at the university, the King declared that the greatest challenge of the 21st century development and reform is to provide people with confidence that the opportunity is available for all.
Counterfeit phones seized
A large shipment of more than 800 counterfeit Nokia phones was prevented by the Daman program from entering Jordanian markets this week. Representatives of Daman indicated that seizures were part of its commitment to “reducing the amount of counterfeit products reaching the Jordanian market and, in doing so, protecting customers from sub-standard and, in some cases, dangerous goods.” Although these phones are usually offered at competitive prices when compared with original phone prices, these phones lack original phones’ standards including quality, efficiency and warranty. “The Daman program proves to be competent in achieving its aims of preventing unsafe products getting into the Jordanian market, detecting counterfeit goods, implementing safety and quality standards for products that comply with quality standards and preventing dumping of inferior quality or sub-standard products,” read a statement by the Institute of Standards and Metrology.
Petra, Movenpick reception
Petra Holidays and Movenpick Hotel in Beirut held a reception at the Hyatt Hotel in Amman on Sunday March 20 in honor of their customers—diplomats, travel and tour operators, businessmen and journalists attended the event.
The Ministry of Education, together with Menhaj Educational Technologies and the Japanese PADECO Co, started the designing and processing of a national campaign for Education Reform for Knowledge Economy (ERKE) program. It is a three-year project to build the basis for the creation of a national consensus and awareness among stakeholders including professors, principals, government officers, private sector, civic organizations and others on the importance of developing a knowledge economy and its key role in the development and growth of Jordan. The ERKE is a comprehensive large-scale plan funded by the World Bank, the International Development Bank and several donor governments and funding organizations. The necessary consensus aimed at mobilizing the society in a campaign that includes quality of education, childhood and parent relationship, early education and emphasizes the importance of information technology in education. This project will take the advantage of synergies and will utilize the Japanese experience in this domain, in which education is not only the responsibility of schools, but also the family and the society at large. Jordanian company Menhaj is a leading IT education firm in the Middle East that received national awards and was recognized by world’s private IT companies and education consultancies. PADECO, meanwhile, has vast experience in developing teaching and educational programs and capacity building projects worldwide from multiples perspectives and approaches.
Women for Jerusalem
The Orthodox Club in Amman on Saturday embraced the launching of “Women For Jerusalem Association”. In her welcoming speech, Naelah Rashdan, secretary general of the association, pointed out that the association is a non-governmental civil institution which focuses on offering support for the people of Occupied Jerusalem who live under a series of challenges and laws aimed at reducing the number of Palestinians living in it.
Under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Basma the UN family in Jordan marked International Women’s Day under the theme, “Celebrating women 10 years after Beijing.” In her address, Princess Basma affirmed that the strong partnership formed between the Jordanian National Commission for Women and the women’s movement was a valuable asset in addressing the needs of the Jordanian women’s sector as a whole. Christian McNab, the UN’s resident coordinator in Jordan, outlined the picture of women’s situation in the past few years in the Arab world, noting that Arab states have endorsed new perspectives in developmental planning for women.
Business Edge in Amman
Hotel Le Royal in Amman hosted on Wednesday the launching of the international program of Business Edge, which is developed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC)—the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. The program encompasses 35 different topics in the fields of marketing, management, training, management consultants, SME developments agencies and others, aiming to enhance the skills of managers, specializing in small- to medium-sized businesses. The event was co-organized by its Jordanian stakeholders, the institute of Management Consultant of Jordan (IMC), the Euro-Jordanian Advanced Business Institute (EJABI) and the National Fund for Enterprise Development (NAFES).
On the occasion of Pakistan Day, Ambassador Arif Kamal held a reception Wednesday at the Radisson SAS hotel in Amman. Diplomats, businessmen, members of Pakistan Universities Graduates Club and journalists attended the event.