Ammon News, Culture & Society

Minister warns of dangers posed by rumors on society

[3/24/2019 3:39:16 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of State for Media Affairs, Jumana Ghunaimat, on Sunday warned of the risks posed by "rumors" on the society as they "negatively impact people's beliefs and harm values and principles". Deputizing for Prime Minister Omar Razzaz to launch an initiative dubbed "Tahqaq" (corroborate) at the University of Jordan, Ghunaimat, the government spokesperson said: "The failure to stand up to rumors will eventually harm the society's security and weaken cohesion," noting that the law criminalizes the fabrication and dissemination of rumors. "We seek to entrench an objective media that delivers the news quickly and accurately," she said, pointing out to the measures undertaken by the government to respond to rumors and limit their proliferation. She called upon the students to be part of this meaningful initiative so that it could be a platform to spread awareness and a tool to protect the society alongside other platforms that aim at tackling rumors.

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Queen Rania Celebrates Mother’s Day at Al Hussein Social Foundation for Orphans

[3/20/2019 4:37:58 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah visited Al Hussein Social Foundation for Orphans in Ashrafieh on Wednesday, where she joined orphaned children and their caregivers for a celebration to mark Mother’s Day. Accompanied by the foundation’s director, Naziha Al Shatarat, the Queen attended the Mother’s Day festivities with the foundation’s children and caregivers, which included face-painting activities and an exhibition of the children’s artworks. She also toured the facility to greet its staff and thank them for their hard work. During the visit, Her Majesty also met with a group of widowed and adoptive mothers and their children, each of whom have received educational scholarships from Al-Aman Fund for the Future of Orphans. Speaking at the meeting moderated by the fund’s director, Ibrahim Al Ahmad, the Queen noted the importance of standing with all those striving to develop themselves, and providing them with the security they need to do so, confirming His Majesty King Abdullah’s concern for the nation’s orphans and his ongoing support to help them achieve their ambitions. An initiative of the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF), Al-Aman Fund was established in 2003 to provide orphans and children of widowed parents with opportunities to obtain university and higher education degrees, attend community college, or receive vocational training. The fund offers scholarships to boarding orphans who have spent part or all of their childhood living in foster care centers and those living with family members below the poverty line. The Queen heard from a number of the fund’s beneficiaries, who thanked Her Majesty for recognizing their mothers on this special day, and for her ongoing solidarity and support. Several noted that they would not have been able to continue their education had it not been for Al-Aman Fund, whose scholarships have enabled them to pursue degrees in fields including engineering, medicine, and nursing. Founded in 1953, Al Hussein Social Foundation for Orphans is one of the largest integrated social welfare institutions in Jordan, with a capacity to house up to 150 orphans. The foundation currently provides accommodation, food, and clothing, as well as medical and educational services, to approximately 120 children, including children of unknown parentage, broken families, and victims of domestic violence.

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Jordan’s Syrian refugees are not going home anytime soon

[3/13/2019 4:59:51 PM]

AMMONNEWS - More than eight years after the Syrian refugees began pouring into Jordan and five months after a vital land border point was reopened between the kingdom and Syria, only a few thousand of the registered 600,000 have returned to Syria. On March 5, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi was quoted as saying that the number of Syrian refugees who have returned to Syria was no more than 13,000. He called on the international community to bear its responsibility toward Jordan as it continues to provide an “honorable life” to Syrian refugees despite the country's difficult economic situation. On March 7, Syria’s official news agency reported that the border point between Jordan and Syria had received 14,200 Syrian refugees since it was reopened Oct. 15. Jordan is hosting more than 1 million Syrian refugees, but only half are registered with the United Nations and not all the refugees live in camps. The government has said that hosting the refugees has burdened its budget and stretched its resources. At a meeting in Amman Feb. 20, donor countries and international organizations endorsed a $2.4 billion aid package for the Jordan Response Platform for the Syrian Crisis for 2019. “Of the funding requirements, $702.9 million is allocated for refugees, while $698.9 million is set to support host communities and the remaining $998.2 million is assigned for budget support,” The Jordan Times reported. Prime Minister Omar Razzaz was quoted as saying that “despite the tremendous impact the war in Syria had on Jordan, we have demonstrated our readiness to provide safety and dignified living conditions to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. We will continue doing so and count on your unwavering support as we redouble our efforts to strengthen our resilience.” But he also noted that since conditions for the return of the Syrian refugees to Syria are not clear, the refugees do not have “the desire to return anytime soon to their country.” Jordan is worried by two main factors: political impasse in Syria and donor fatigue. The longer it takes for a political settlement to the Syrian crisis to materialize, the longer the Syrian refugees will remain in the kingdom. Most Syrian refugees are hesitant to return to their country for fear of retribution by regime loyalists and the fact that the eight-year civil war in Syria has destroyed hundreds of villages and towns. Simply stated, many of the refugees have nowhere to go. One former minister, who requested anonymity, told Al-Monitor that Jordan is already feeling donor fatigue with regard to aid to support the Syrian refugees. He said that Jordan had hoped to get more than $4 billion in refugee aid for 2019. “With the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and elsewhere donors have many urgent priorities,” he said. But he believes that the Syrian refugees have helped the Jordanian economy grow, especially by increasing public consumption. He added that the presence of international aid agencies in the kingdom has provided jobs to hundreds of Jordanians. Syrians who do not live in refugee camps pay rent, use public services and run small businesses, he said. According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, 83% of Syrian refugees live in host communities in the kingdom compared to only 17% who live in refugee camps. In July 2018, the Ministry of Labor reported that it had issued 106,000 work permits for Syrian refugees so far, while the number of workers in the informal economy remains at an estimated 300,000. Khaled al-Zubaidi, business editor at Addustour daily, told Al-Monitor that the presence of about 1.3 million Syrians in Jordan had positive and negative consequences on the local economy. “The economy grew as a result of an increase in consumption and due to investments in factories and small businesses such as restaurants,” he said. “But our infrastructure has suffered especially in crowded schools and in providing health services.” Zubaidi said that eventually the refugees must return to Syria, which is in Jordan’s national interest since foreign aid does not cover all the expenses of hosting them. According to pollster Fares Braizat, a survey conducted by NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions in November 2018 found that 33% of Syrian refugees said that they “will never go back” and 24% said they “probably will not go back.” On Dec. 8, Braizat wrote in The Jordan Times that 87% of Jordanians polled believe that the Syrian refugees should return to Syria. Political commentator Omar Kullab told Al-Monitor that Jordan’s biggest concern is that the Syrian government is not serious about welcoming its refugees back at this stage. “We should resist any plan to settle these refugees in the kingdom either for a short period or longer,” he said. “Those living in camps can be dealt with through foreign agencies and by giving them incentives to return voluntarily to Syria, but what about the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have settled in various governorates and have found means to make a living?” In his view, those living outside the camps will become the core of a demographic crisis, especially as Jordanians continue to suffer from high unemployment and a sluggish economy. *Al-Monitor

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Students invited to apply for scholarships at Russian universities

[3/13/2019 7:14:45 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Russian Cultural Center in Amman has announced it will accept applications from students to compete in scholarships at Russian universities on: In a statement sent to "Petra," Interested candidates can submit their documents to the announced website. On Saturday, March 23, the center has set a date for interviews, asking the applicants to bring the original documents and copies of the passport, and a personal photo.

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PM: Gov't to compensate Jordan Valley farmers affected by floods

[3/11/2019 7:50:26 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Prime Minister Omar Razzaz Monday said the government will compensate farmers whose fields were recently flooded by water released from a nearby dam after heavy downpours. The King Talal Dam's spillway gates were fully opened in line with a management plan just after the dam level peaked after about 1.5 million cubic metres per hour of water gushed into the reservoir. In a meeting with farmers, the premier said he instructed the Jordan Valley Authority and the finance ministry to cooperate with an ad hoc committee tasked with assessing the damage in order to determine compensation. "The government is keen on providing all support and protection to the agricultural sector in a spirit of responsibility and partnership with this strategic sector", the premier told the meeting, which was attended by the agricultural minister and other officials. "We are further dedicated to meeting farmers and listening to their grievances and coming up with solutions to their problems", Razzaz said. The committee comprises representatives from the ministries of interior, water and irrigation and the Jordan Valley Farmers Union.

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UAE, Jordan parliaments agree to serve Arab interests

[2/23/2019 7:47:12 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The UAE and Jordan have agreed to increase their joint consultation and coordination and exchange views regarding issues of common interest and adopt a unified Arab stance that places Arab interests at top priority and defend and support them in international parliamentary meetings. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), in this respect was signed by Dr Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council, FNC, and Atef Tarawneh, Speaker of Jordan's House of Representatives, during talks in Abu Dhabi. The two sides stressed the importance of adopting, spreading and promoting the ''Declaration on Human Fraternity'' signed in Abu Dhabi early this month and which calls on people across the globe to unite to bring about inter-faith harmony and spread a vital message of peace and coexistence. Dr. Al Qubaisi and Tarawneh highlighted positions taken by the UAE and Jordan towards the Arab issues, including their active engagement in Arab and Islamic alliances against terrorism, extremism, violence and non-interference into internal affairs of other states as well as support for peaceful settlements to crises besetting some countries in the region and for respect for good neighbourliness. Tarawneh invited Dr. Al Qubaisi to attend the 29th meetings of the Arab Inter-parliamentary Union, AIPU, which Jordan will host on 3rd and 4th March, 2019. *WAM

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Spain begins resettlement of 600 Syrian refugees residing in Jordan

[2/20/2019 4:42:36 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The Spanish Embassy in Amman on Wednesday announced the start of a resettlement scheme for 662 Syrian refugees currently residing in Jordan, which already hosts 1.3 million Syrian refugees. In a statement, the embassy said a total of 180 Syria refugees will travel to Spain on Thursday while the rest of the group will be resettled in the EU nation over the next few months. The move comes after the Spanish government agreed in 2017 to resettle 1,000 refugees from the Middle East.

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