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Jordan Offers Cord Blood Bank for Your Newborn’s…Blood

Is it creepy or clever to peddle insurance against baby’s first diseases? Sure, new parents get showered with adorable gifts and well-intended advice, but then the downpour of unsolicited marketing arrives: for baby gear, for college saving plans, and now, in Jordan, for baby blood banking. An unusual building is rising in the desert outside Amman, […]

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Souk Jara is Amman’s Favorite Flea Market

People usually associate a flea market with old, dusty clothes and other “junk,” consider it a sort of yard sale collision.  In Amman, however, Souk Jara is deemed a flea market and is a far better cry than that notion. A sort of upscale summer flea market, Souk Jara lets guests feast their eyes on […]

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541 Jordan Trees Sacrificed for Dubai-esque Development Project

The privately-owned Abdali development company promises that the new 384,000 sqm commercial center in the heart of Jordan’s capital Amman will offer “lush inviting spaces that beckon and call for your attention.” “Notice the elements subtly woven into the new downtown’s [sic] environment,” their web marketing person gushed. “Delight in the blossoming urban forest close […]

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Jordan’s Crippled Water Resources Protected by Security

Jordan’s armed security forces have been enlisted to protect the Kingdom’s scarce water resources from recurring vandalism and theft. Jordan is dealing with an increase in water theft. Ironically, as I type, I am awaiting a water truck arrival to refill our new apartment’s tank: I’d jumped in the shower, turned the knobs, and was met […]

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Creative Urban Planning for Play Time in Jordan

My nephews are fortunate. They live on a verdant property called Hungrytown Hollow among enormous trees and bucolic rolling hills outside Charlottesville, Virginia. In the summertime the two boys splash around in a lake near their property and go on long hikes with their father. They chase chickens and plant seeds and are called upon to help […]

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Amman School Grows Tomorrow’s Activists

Graduation by Demonstration is a school assignment on steroids. Educators Michael Gohde and Molly Van Cleave dreamed up this novel project over three years ago as a means to exercise all the skills in an 8th grader’s backpack. Middle school lays the foundation for high school. Kids learn to write. Really write. They learn to […]

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Jordanian’s Nuclear Meltdown Resembles a Soap Opera

Jordan’s parliament voted last week to shelve the nation’s nuclear power program due to doubts over project financing.  The action stopped this divisive project viewed by some as a solution to the country’s dependence on imported energy, and by others as a reckless use of resources with unacceptable risks. The vote suspended construction of Jordan’s first […]

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Hey Jordan – How About Declaring Litter Independence?

Jordan’s Independence Day rolls around every May 25, celebrating when British command  over this land once called Transjordan ended back in 1946. So, last weekend in Amman, the streets dressed up in banners and flags and fireworks blazed in evening skies. Jordan’s party pretty much mirrors America’s July Fourth: less fun on the waterfront, but plenty of […]

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Enforcing Smoke-free Workplaces in Jordan

I just spit out my coffee. About to move house for the fifth time in as many years, I take a day to escape the cardboard box Himalayas towering in the living room.  Plus there’s heavy construction going on next door, and it sounds like all of Amman’s stray cats are in heat. I grab a laptop and […]

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Teenagers Use Abandoned Bus Lane for Safe Urban Cycling in Jordan

The bad news is that Jordan’s Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT) was suspended last year amid concerns about the associated cost and feasibility. Although the multimillion dollar project would have considerably reduced traffic and smog in capital Amman, details of the system conceived by the Greater Amman Municipality in 2009 are still being ironed out. […]

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Understanding Jordan’s Nuclear Ambitions

Begin with a 3-pronged disclaimer: I’m no engineer; I’m as political as a daisy; and since leaving university, my preferred way of learning is fairly chaotic. I bump into things. That draw me to other things. Thing One and Thing Two quickly lead to Thing Fifty-Three; and when I look up, blinking, discombobulated, I’m “sort of” knowledgeable about […]

Sexual Smoking Images in Jordan to Stop Smokers

Translated from a poster in Jordan: “Smoking for a long period of time affects marital relations.” I’m not “blowing smoke” when I rave about Amman. No need, because Amman generates enough smoke on its own. This city rivals onions in making eyes water. Blame diesel fuel. Trucks, cars, buses blast chewy plumes of black exhaust. […]

UN Office in Jordan Gets the Green Building Gold

The World Health Organization gets LEED Gold certification, a first for the Hashemite Kingdom. It’s like the Olympics, but in green building codes: The new Amman headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) just grabbed top kudos for green building: Certified Gold under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a world standard for green […]

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Jordan Railway Plans On The Right Track

Plans to expand the railway network in Jordan have been given the go-ahead after an assessment that it will cost JD2.8 million Seriously excited to hear that plans to expand the rail network in Jordan have been approved. According to news reports, the Amman-Zarqa light railway project has been announced by the transport minister who […]

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Jordan Green Building Council Announces Creative Design Contest

Join a design contest and network with Jordan’s LEED-minded professionals. Sometimes a simple link with like-minded souls can jump-start connection to fascinating places. As an American architect with a strong environmental bent, recently relocated from Dublin to Amman, it’s taking some time to find my professional sea-legs in Jordan. Idle Google-ing, fueled by cups of […]

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Jordan’s Ambitious Bus Plans Get Shelved

Announced with much fanfare, the plans to build an new bus transit in Jordan have been quietly shelved pending further review Back in early 2011, the Jordanian government announced that it would be building a new impressive bus transit aimed at reducing congestion along Amman’s busiest routes. The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plans entailed operating […]