Ammon News, Panorama

Child born with two heads in Syrian city of Idlib


[5/27/2017 7:42:00 AM]

AMMONNEWS - On Thursday, a child was born with one body and two heads in the Syrian city of Idlib, which is a unique case. According to reports, the child has been transferred to Turkish hospitals due to the modest medical capabilities in Idlib. The Syrian Press Center posted on its Facebook page, photos of the new-born child. It is worth mentioning that Idlib has been constantly subjected to chemical attacks, which has caused civilians’ deaths and injuries. *Al-Arabiya

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Saudi Prince Muqrin shows Ivanka Trump the proper way to drink Arabic coffee


[5/20/2017 3:33:24 PM]

AMMONNEWS - A video of US President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, being shown by Saudi Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz on the proper etiquette of drinking Arabic coffee is being widely shared on social media. In Arab-Gulf tradition, coffee drinkers are meant to shake their cups to signal they are done drinking coffee and should not be served another cup. A similar video of Saudi King Salman showing Trump the same custom was also being shared online. Trump is currently in Riyadh in his first official overseas trip as president where he is expected to sign multiple deals with the Saudi Arabia. He is also expected to give a speech later on Sunday on the Islamic faith during a US-Arab Islamic Summit with nearly 50 other Muslim-majority country leaders. *Al Arabiya

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Come fly with me: Dutch king was guest KLM pilot for 21 years


[5/18/2017 4:46:57 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Some Dutch passengers on KLM flights might have recognized the co-pilot’s voice when he introduced himself on the airline’s Cityhopper services. It was not just their co-pilot telling them weather conditions and estimated time of arrival. It was their king. King Willem-Alexander told national newspaper De Telegraaf in an interview published Wednesday that he has ended his role as a regular “guest pilot” after 21 years on KLM’s fleet of Fokker 70 planes and before that on Dutch carrier Martinair. He will now retrain to fly Boeing 737s as the Fokkers are being phased out of service. While it is no secret that Willem-Alexander is a qualified pilot who sometimes flew KLM passenger flights, it was not clear how frequently it happened. De Telegraaf said he does it twice a month. As a guest flier, the king is always co-pilot. The 50-year-old father of three and monarch to 17 million Dutch citizens calls flying a “hobby” that lets him leave his royal duties on the ground and fully focus on something else. “You have an aircraft, passengers and crew. You have responsibility for them,” the king told De Telegraaf. “You can’t take your problems from the ground into the skies. You can completely disengage and concentrate on something else. That, for me, is the most relaxing part of flying.” Willem-Alexander said he is rarely recognized by passengers, especially since security was tightened on board planes in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. “Before Sept. 11, the cockpit door was open. People regularly came to have a look and thought it was nice or surprising that I was sitting there,” he said, adding that very few people recognize him as he walks through Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in KLM uniform and cap. And even when he makes announcements to passengers, Willem-Alexander says that as a co-pilot he doesn’t have to give his name. So while some people recognize his voice, it is far from all passengers. *AP

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Adventure travel conference opens at Dead Sea


[5/16/2017 5:03:33 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Deputising for His Majesty King Abdullah II, Prime Minister Hani Mulki Tuesday opened the adventure travel conference, which is organised by the Jordan Tourism Board and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). In opening remarks at the AdventureNEXT Near East (ANNE) conference, held on Dead Sea shores, Minister of Tourism and antiquities, Lina Annab, said hosting the conference in the region would help to present Jordan to the world "with its nature and social fabric that mixes ancient and modern times". "You can walk between the old Roman antiquities in Amman, Ajloun, Jerash and Umm Qais and then head to dive in Aqaba, climb at Wadi Rum and relax at the Dead Sea. Jordan surprises many of its visitors with the diversity it offers", she explained. Annab commended the ATTA for its choice of Jordan as the venue of the gathering that highlights adventure travel and discovers new travel routes in Jordan. She said the conference convenes at the lowest spot on earth and near the Baptism Site and Mount Nebo, noting that Jordan is home to about 100,000 tourist archaeological and historic sites spread over the Kingdom's various governorates. She said adventure travel had played a key role in the economic development of local communities as it creates jobs through small- and medium-sized enterprises that enhance investment and sustainable growth. The minister said tourism is one of the most importance sectors as it contributed by 11 per cent in GDP, stressing that the government will continue to provide incentives to direct and indirect local and foreign investment to attract visitors and generate jobs through launching tourism ventures. ATTA President Shannon Stowell said more than 200 people had come to Jordan to support the ongoing development of adventure travel in the Near East, which is an indication of rising demand on the region, noting the Tourism Promotion Board's role in taking the initiative to develop sustainable tourism.

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Iran punishes adulterer by making her ‘wash dead bodies’


[5/15/2017 9:51:19 AM]

AMMONNEWS - A court in Tehran court has sentenced a 35-year-old married woman to 74 to lashes and two years of washing dead bodies in a morgue. The 35-year-old woman initially denied the cheating charges but admitted her guilt after the prosecutors provided proof of her adultery, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA). The penal code in Iran views adultery among the highest of crimes, which may even carry capital punishment in case of multiple offenses. Under Iran’s interpretation of Islamic Sharia law in force since its 1979 revolution, adultery is punished by the stoning of convicted adulterers. In 2013, Iran amended its internationally condemned law on stoning convicted adulterers to death and now allow judges to impose different punishments as they see fit. In Islam, it is a requirement for Muslims to be bathed and washed before burial. *Al Arabiya

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Top Syrian comedian Najah Hafeez dies


[5/7/2017 4:48:13 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Syria’s state news agency says Najah Hafeez, one of the country’s top comedians, has died following a battle with illness. She was 84. The state news agency, SANA, said Hafeez passed away at the Ibn al-Nafees hospital in Damascus Saturday afternoon. The agency says Hafeez will be buried on Sunday without giving further details about her illness. Hafeez was also known by her acting name, Fatoum Hees Bees, and played major roles since the 1970s alongside Syria’s Duraid Lahham, one of the Arab world’s most prominent comedians. She shot to fame after her role in “Hotel Sah el-Nom,” a 1974 TV series, in which Lahham falls in love with her but fails to marry her. Hafeez was married but had no children. *AP

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Excavations overturn long-held beliefs about ancient Kingdom of Edom


[5/6/2017 4:13:26 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Excavations in the lowlands of Edom show conclusively that the Iron Age social complexity and emergence of the Kingdom of Edom, known from biblical texts, began 500-400 years earlier than previously thought, according to a Jordanian archaeologist. The Kingdom of Edom primarily comprised parts of modern day southern Jordan and Al Naqab Desert.The key for the emergence of this social complexity is in what happened in lowlands area Feynan, said Mohammad Najjar who received his PhD in art history and archaeology in 1981 from the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Science in Moscow. “The debate over the chronology of Iron Age Edom is part of the debate over the chronology of the Iron Age in the southern Levant, and hence the attention to the newly discovered chronological evidence from Khirbet en-Nahas in southern Jordan,” argued Najjar, adding that it is also part of the discussion on the historicity of the biblical texts, with their deep emotional and religious significance particularly to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The archaeologist highlighted the multi-disciplinary approach at the lecture”New Perspectives on Iron Age Edom” held recently at the German Protestant Institute of Archaeology. Najjar was part of Edom Lowland Regional Archaeological Project (ELRAP) which ran from 1997 to 2017 and combined classical archaeology with cyber archaeology. Cyber archaeology is a new multi-disciplinary method that combines engineering, computer science and physics, he elaborated, noting that ELRAP studied the copper production and its correlation with social, economic and political changes in the region. “The fact is that metalworking and exploitation of metal resources are strongly tied to political power and social infrastructure,” Najjar said. Moreover, metalworking can be used as a proxy for measuring the degree of social complexity of the communities involved in metal production, the scholar noted. Wadi Feynan is mentioned in ancient sources as an area well-known for its copper mines. “Being at the edge of the Arabian and African tectonic plates, the geology of the southern Levant is very complex,” he stated, explaining that Wadi Araba transforms, or runs parallel to, other major east-west fault systems including Dana and Qwaira, to shape the geology of the region. The crystalline basement rocks (Aqaba and Araba complexes) are overlain by a long sequence of sandstones, siltsones, shales and limestones; it is within the Salib Arkosic Sandstone, the Burj Dolomite-Shale and Umm Ishrin formations, that copper ore occurs, the archaeologist said. The C-14 (radiocarbon) dates from Feynan in southern Jordan clearly demonstrates that there were two peaks of copper production during the period between the end of the Late Bronze Age 1,200BC and the 9th century BC, Najjar underscored. The veteran archaeologist claimed that “this new data challenges previous assumptions about the Iron Age in Jordan, such as that the formation of the Iron Age kingdom of Edom only took place in the 7th and 6th centuries BC; and that no monumental building activities took place in Jordan during the 10th century BC. “Control of copper production and trade in copper at the very end of the Late Bronze Age, Iron I and Iron II periods was probably the main catalyst for the rise of social complexity in Iron Age Edom,” Najjar concluded. “This shows the centrality of archaeological research in southern Jordan for understanding the Iron Age of the Levant and for solving some of the fundamental controversies of historical archaeology in general,” the expert underlined. *JT

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