30 October, 2007

A Couple of folkloric romanian nights, this weekend in Amman

The Romanian Embassy along with the European Union commission will be holding a romanian folkloric night this Thursday and Friday at Al-Hussein Cultural Center, at The City Hall in Ras Al-Ein.

The folkloric night will be performed by one of romania's biggest folkloric ensembles, VLASCA, from Giurgiu in southern Romania.

The performance will be starting at 8 PM, and entrance is free.

on Thursday's performance, his excellency the Romanian ambassador will be also declaring the lunch of the Jordanian Romanian Forum for Culture.

See you there

More here

16 October, 2007

Where are Jordanian Radio stations standing....? A Comparison

Since I've been earlier this month to Romania and the Czech republic, I really wanna make a comparison between the radio scene out there in eastern Europe and Jordan. And want also to include in this comparison the Turkish radio scene since i know that pretty well, and since my trip included a transit in Istanbul this year as well.

Please not that what I'll be mentioning in this post are comparison's and critiques based on facts. Also please note that this post can be printed on at least 5 A4 pages, and you cannot judge on it only by reading a fragment of 2. In case you don't accept the critique or don't have time to read it all. Close the browser!

1st of all, one thing i mentioned, is that some guy that we get to hear on jingles on Beat FM here in Amman can be heard in jingles in romania on Radio 21 as well as on Radio Expres in Prague :) and on all of those he says this phrase: “The number one hit music station”. The ironic thing is that both Radio 21 and Radio Expres rank as number one in their countries' capitals, while Beat FM isn't here in Amman!

So lets get down to business, lets see, Prague, Bucharest, Istanbul, Amman.

Istanbul is for sure the biggest audio media scene among all 4. in istabul the radio stations are so jammed so that you'd sometimes find only a 0.2 Mhz gap between 2 stations, and the 0.5 Mhz gap is impossible to find.

In Istanbul, also, you'll get to find the biggest variety of radio stations, news, turkish modern music, turkish classical music, even types of turkish classical tarab music, talk show radios, hit music stations, Qura'an and islamic radio stations... and the thing among all of them, they're all talking radios! All of them! You'd never hear a radio station that is transmitting for over 15-20 minutes without having someone talking!!! in turkish of course.

In Bucharest, as well as in Prague, most of the radio stations are hit-music-station style radio stations, playing mainly western music side by side with local pop hit music (radio stations differ between the music geners they play though, some play more oldies, some more rock, some more junk, some more hip hop and RnB... etc). And with romanian/czech DJs TALKING between the tracks in their OWN language, and with the news at the top of the hours.

In romania, there are several radio stations topping the scene all over romania, those are mainly Radio 21 (Nr 1 in bucharest), Kiss FM (Nr 1 hit music station in romania), Europa FM (The most listened radio station in romania, and the one with the biggest coverage, and most trusted news and traffic news), PRO FM and their sister radio station info-PRO.

Despite the fact that the music played by those stations, which is being mostly new hit music (except Europa FM whose music goes by the theme of 80s, 90s, and Todays best hits), despite the fact that most of this music is redundant all day long, and that Jordanian radio stations have a newer and more vary western music playlist, but listening to those radio stations is way more enjoyable, the reason is nothing more, and nothing less than the DJs which are arranging the music, talking each and every now and then useful, or maybe funny, or maybe serious stuff, as well as telling us what is the next show, all done in romanian! And there are also those 2 couple of guys every morning on Kiss FM that make fun out of politicians and so, and they use western hit singles context even as well as romanian hit music to get their message clear. All the other local radio stations go the same, and even the Iasi patriarchy radio station in north eastern romania has a similar style while airing the prayers, versus from the bible, or folkloric music from that region! Yes! Even priests make good DJs!

One thing i liked in Bucharest also is something called: Students FM .... 3ogbalna! And its so well done by the way! And their music is the most varied among all other stations, but they donot transmit outside bucharest.

In Prague, things go absolutely the same, stations playing western music, with czech DJs talking in czech... some of them play even western only, some only czech, and some a music mixture of both, all with czech DJs talking in czech!
The only English tongue you can hear in prague is an american DJ on radio Expres doing a morning show, and the BBC English news and radio shows. Nothing more, nothing less!
Even prague's rock radio, Radio Beat, has czech headbangers talking on air, and even the classical music radio station have czech symphonic DJs!

So we get back to Amman and see!
Or rather hear .... hear what!!

lets see:
(1st bunch)
Melody FM 91.1
Beat FM 102.5
Nojoum FM 93.7
Ahlen FM 97.1
Radio Sawa 98.1

All of those above are mute radio station! Totally mute, with NO ONE talking live on the air!
Nothing more, nothing less than an MP3 Player, at least in an MP3 player i can guarantee i wouldn't have poor transmission coverage as some of those radio stations have, and music to my own taste, not to some hidden people's tastes, nor to computers tastes!
2 out of those above, Beat FM and Ahlen FM do have radio shows which are recorded ... ah, sorry, Beat FM has one ENTIRE show live on the air .... and they have that jingle (the only station that listens to you in Jordan!) not obvious at all! At all!
And if Ahlen FM's went by the theme of a no-talk radio, and if they provide track names through an RDS-RT service, why is it that they air radio shows from MTV RTL and America Top 40! confusing! Its either this or that guys!

(2nd Bunch)
Play 99.6
Mood FM 92.0
Mazaj FM 95.3
Radio Fann 104.2 (and their other frequencies)
Radio Rotana 99.9
(and Beat FM 102.5 ... since they might got mad for being in the 1st bunch)

All of those in this bunch are radio station that play music and do their radio job professionally, regardless of the music genre they oriented in, all of them play us a good variety and enjoyable collection of their music, and always the latest hits of the music they're specialized in.. and all of them have pretty high ranking rates... BUT!
Again, all of them have at most 3 live radio shows, they are almost mute! The music keeps playing and playing and playing! But! What's next! Anyone around there to give us some little attention and talk to us! TALK!
You know, using a mouth and a microphone!
All of those stations have at most 6 hours during working days of live DJ shows, which is not enough! And most of them (including Sawt Al-Ghad on 101.5 FM to be added here) have even ZERO live DJ shows during weekends! Hello! It weekend! I must sit at home, you must talk!! this is why you get payed by commercials! isn't it!?
I mean, just look at Mood FM's themed music periods, The golden hits of the 80s' launch break, Nostalgia, Late night love ... etc. I love those themed periods, but why cant there be some identity for the person putting on those set of music, and to hear him/her talking to us.. telling us why (s)he chose this, why (s)he has chosen that... some lil' talk wont heart! It will even encourage me to listen more!

(3rd Bunch)
Sawt Al-Ghad 101.5 FM
Radio Rotana 99.9 FM
Radio Fann 104.2 FM
Play 99.6
Beat FM 102.5
Mood FM 92.0

All of those radio stations mentioned in this bunch use foreign DJs to present their shows! Play, Beat and Mood have English DJs, while the other arab stations depend on Lebanese DJs.
Now why is that! Why on earth don't the turks get foreigners, why don't the Romanians get foreigners, why don't the Czech get foreigners, well, the American DJ is a single case, and he is not on air all the time, nor all the days... for example, why don't Czech radio stations get DJs from Slovakia since both countries have the same language! Like we get Lebanese DJs in our radio stations!
As things go for English speaking DJs, we do have good English speaking Jordanians, a proof on that is getting down the streets and malls of western Amman, or getting through Jordanian Universities, or even getting through Jordanians on facebook! Another proof is Radio Jordan 96.3 FM, where there always was, and still, Jordanian DJs and radio announcers doing the shows and reading the news, and some of them are even professionals that were exported abroad in the gulf region, and even to the states!

While as arabic speaking DJs are concerned, and with all respect to the Lebanese people in the Jordanian radio industry, and some of them have been in this industry for over 10 years ... but i don't think you guys are really getting your Jordanian listeners! Plus, can't we in here speak arabic, we can speak it with our own language even! And local professionals can be made in the industry if those stations really care, one quite a strong example is Radio Sawt Al-Madina, which gathered a whole bunch of Jordanian youth and made professional entertainers out of them. And Radio Amman Net, which gathered another bunch of Jordanian youth before that and made professional journalists and community radio professionals out of them! It's not hard to be done if you want so!

(4th Bunch)
Radio Jordan Broadcasting Corporation's FM radios, including
Radio Jordan 96.3 FM
RFJ 90.0 FM
Amman FM 99.0
Sawt Al-Ghad 101.5 FM

The problem in those radio stations are the orientation! Or the lack of it precisely, especially when talking about Radio Jordan Broadcasting Corporation's FM radio stations. Examples are playing arabic music on RJ FM and RFJ, which are supposed to be the English service and the French service of Radio Jordan Broadcasting! And not stations to play arabic music to compete with other specialized radio stations in this domain, just because that person behind the microphone wants so!
Which opens another problem very apparent in those 2 radio stations, mainly RJ FM, which is individuality, since there is not orientation, then each and every person getting to be a DJ does what ever he or she likes on the air without having a main objective or orientation that would be a reference for all of them. Quite a couple of examples are the contrasts between RJ FM's very popular, LC-Listener's Choice, which also makes a competitor for the other western music playing radio stations in town, and, on the other side, the shows hosted by someone who goes by the name of Ghada Shaqdee7, who plays only whatever she likes, and sometimes asks the people not to ask for something other than arabic music, simply because she wants so!! and her show is mainly a family and friends show! Not to forget another DJ who goes for turkish, greek, and the other nations around and about, calling it an international show!

On the other hand, an orientation problem in music is also available in Radio Amman FM, where this orientation is more concentrated in music, being it very easy to have a song for 3omar el-3abdallat, followed by 3abd el 7aleem 7afeth, and with nancy 3ajram right mixed with 3abd el-7aleem's! The music doesnt happen to be period specific at all on this radio station. One ironic thing, is that the same Ghada Shaqdee7 mentioned above has a show in here as well, this time with English music only!

Sawt al-ghad's problem also happens to be in the music orientation, mainly in having western and arabic music side by side, as it is very usual to hear a non-clean eminem song followed by Majida Al-Roomee! And yes, them playing un-clean Rap songs is yet another issue!

(5th Bunch)
Radio Amman Net 92.4
Play 99.6
Beat FM 102.5
Mood FM 92.0
Sawt Amman 105.1
Mazaj FM 95.3
RMC 97.4 FM

All of those stations mentioned in this bunch suffer from transmission coverage issues inside their licensed area of coverage! That is, the Greater Amman Area. All of those will give u a headache while roaming around the city while trying to receipt them in your cars radio. Radio Amman Net has reception problems in western Amman in general, and cannot be even found in north western Amman! Play and Sawt Amman have problems in reaching western and south western Amman. RMC has a problem in reaching the city's suburbs from almost from all sides of the city, and Beat, Mood and Mazaj have problems in reaching northern Amman, west north Amman, and east north Amman. And after all of this, you hear Play saying (all over the kingdom on 99.6 FM), and Beat saying (Across Jordan on 102.5 FM) when they for example cannot be receipted in sweileh at all! just 3 KMs away from their transmission antenna!

Ain't the AVC giving you licenses for up to 3 KW of transmission! Can't you utilize that license! I guess none of the above are Neighborhood radio stations, are they!

I guess there are a lot more glitches, but those mentioned now are more than enough, one last thing for radio stations broadcasting news. what is it with those news bulletins at +15, +20, +30, and +40 mins from the top of the hour.
Well, lets say that +30 is ok .....
but still, news bulletins and headlines were made to be on the top of the hour.
When its the top of the hour, where ever i'd be in this would, i'd expect to have some station identity. And news at the top of the hour, not at 10, 15 or 20 minutes past the hour!

Not to forget also, the lack of quality in shows and arrangements in some stations, the lack of transmission and/or sound quality in others.....

Now, just to mention, a bunch of radio shows that i think they are ON STANDARDS, excluding from the list the shows on Radio Panorama and RMC, Which are pan-arab radio stations but broadcasting in Jordan, and which have several, if which not most of their shows on standard.
The list is, in random order:

The Big breakfast show with orange, by Lee McGrath on Play 99.6
The Morning shake and the morning mesh-mash shows on Radio Jordan 96.3 FM by Nada Sa'aideh and Mike Derdrian respectively. (when were available)
LC – Listener's Choice on Radio Jordan 96.3 FM. By Safana Bustami.
Jnoon 3al Afternoon with Taleen Qarrash on Radio Rotana.
Shabab 101 on Radio Sawt Al-Madina.
Mazzika with Macadi, by Macadi Nahhas on Radio Amman Net.
Besaraha with Al-Wakeel, on Radio Fann. By Mohammad Al-Wakeel.
Ebtada El-Meshwar on Watan FM, by Yusor Hassan.
The Afternoon drive show with Dani. On Mood 92 FM.
The Live shows on Hayatt FM.. and even the other recorded programs on Hayatt FM... they are pretty much on standard, and comply with the station's main objective and mission.

14 October, 2007

Radio Guide Update: Nojoum FM on 93.7 FM

After being there for a while, the radio station transmitting on 93.7 FM in Amman Greater Area, is still apparently test transmitting non-stop arabic music without any identity jingles or programs. But it has now an RDS name that goes as “Nojoum FM”.

Radio Guide Update: Sawt Amman on 105.1 FM

The classic music radio station transmitting on 105.1 FM started to air an identity jingle that goes like this: “Sawt Amman, soon on 105.1”.

This identity jingle, which is being said with a typical English accent since it is done by Dan Harper from Play 99.6, has been 1st played on 105.1 at the beginning of September, but suddenly didn't any more, and now its been back on air for the past week or so.

The station doesn't have an RDS name yet.

The station's name got me confused, weather this station will gonna be the Greater Amman Municipality radio station. Because it went on soon after the GAM announced it will be opening a radio station, and at the same time, i know that this station is owned by Modern Media Corp (Play 99.6's owner company), and they are the ones who bought its license!

Anyway, in case it will be GAM's radio station, they must note that the transmission range is pretty poor, and that the transmission when started should be in Arabic not in English! It can be bilingual, but Arabic should be involved in that!
If Not, I guess I'm enjoying the classical music being aired in there, but the playlist should be updated as i got to know what shall be the next piece even!

Radio Guide Update: Yarmouk FM on 105.7 FM goes 24/7

Yarmouk FM, which was launched a year ago by the Yarmouk University in Irbid on 105.7 FM. Evolved from a 2 hours a day transmission to a 24/7 transmission with all sorts of programs being broadcasted on its airwaves.

& by the way, this evolution is turning Yarmouk FM into the THIRD community radio in jordan after Radio Amman Net and Sawt Ma'an... not the 1st as those at "Internews" claim.

and by the way, this station was a joint effort between Al-Yarmouk University and Internews" .

But I wonder why did they put some Ads on the streets of Amman!!!!!!!!!!

11 October, 2007

HM Queen Rania seen to donate for Play's Toys of Hope @ C U Soon Supermarket

Yes, Her Majesty Queen Rania was seen yesterday at "C U Soon" Supermarket, dropping off toys for Play 99.6's Toys Of Hope.

She also called Play 99.6's Orange Big Breakfast show earlier this morning around 7.35 - 7.40 AM.

I go to C U Soon often! especially for Ice-cream :P I never saw her majesty :(
hehe ... kidding, Good morning everyone. Good Morning your majesty, U got awake before me apparently :)

07 October, 2007

Java ♥s U

tribute to Java U

Arab Bank - Jordan employees are looking for prostitutes at the Raghadan Bus Terminal!

Dear Arab Bank PLC employees in Jordan...

My blog is not what you think...

Dear Arab Bank Management, your employees want prostitutes in Raghadan Bus Terminal, please try to invent a sort of a, lets say, "Prostitutes loan!"

This visit I got to my blog says it all!

Referring Link http://www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&safe=active&q=prostitute RAGHADAN BUS TERMINAL Amman&meta=
Host Name
IP Address [Label IP Address]
Country Jordan
Region 'amman
City Amman
ISP Arab Bank Plc
Returning Visits 0
Visit Length 0 seconds
Browser MSIE 6.0
Operating System Windows XP
Resolution 1024x768
Javascript Enabled

Navigation Path

Date Time WebPage
4th October 200716:49:44www.google.co.in/search?hl=en&safe=active&q=prostitute RAGHADAN BUS TERMINAL Amman&meta=

02 October, 2007

ATV is Back!!!!!!!

وافقت هيئة الإعلام المرئي والمسموع لتلفزيون ATV المملوك للشركة الأردنية المتحدة للبث التلفزيوني على البث الفضائي اعتبارا من اليوم حسب قول مدير الهيئة حسين بني هاني.
وكان مدير عام الشركة زيد الرشدان وجه كتابا أمس إلى الهيئة يطلب فيه السماح بالبث الفضائي مشيرا إلى أن الشركة مع ذلك ليست جاهزة الان للقيام بعملية البث لاسباب مالية.
وقال الرشدان في كتابه انه سيعلم الهيئة لاحقا عن موعد البث الجديد حسب الاصول علاوة على ان البث الارضي ولذات الاسباب سيتاخر حتى تتمكن الشركة الجديدة من تصويب اوضاعها المالية وفقا للمعطيات الادارية والمالية الجديدة للشركة.
واضاف ان الادارة الجديدة للشركة التي امتلكت محطة تلفزيون ATV بعد شرائها كامل حصة مالكها السابق محمد عليان ستقوم بتسوية جميع الامور العالقة مع مؤسسة الاذاعة والتلفزيون الاردني وهيئة تنظيم قطاع الاتصالات.
وكان بث تلفزيون ATV تعثر عدة مرات منذ ان اعلن عن بدء العمل فيه قبل سنتين لاسباب عديدة الى ان قامت هيئة المرئي والمسموع قبل شهرين بالطلب من مالكيه توفيق اوضاعهم حيث تبع ذلك قيام مالكها السابق ببيع حصته في المحطة الى شركة العجائب التي اصبحت الان المالك الوحيد للشركة الاردنية المتحدة للبث التلفزيوني

...كما جاءنا من المصدر


Well, for those who don't know, I wasn't in town during the 1st half of September, I was on vacation to Romania, as well as a business trip to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

And since i have other posts across my blog about Romania in the archives, lets go and Czech out baby :)

My non-business related business in prague was actually related to Project BiSCA, me and my other 2 colleagues, ehab and fayez participated in a conference entitled “Transtec”, this is an international conference that cares about the evolution of transportation technologies in general, including green cars, human machine interaction, intelligent traffic system, or intelligent transportation systems. And Transtec 2007 was in prague, and BiSCA was a participant in there with a paper entitled by the name of the project “Bus Information, Scheduling, and Control for Amman”. Representing by that Jordan and the entire MENA region

So after a lot of calls, emails, faxes, and whatever you want, in order to get a sponsor for our participation in Prague's Transtec 2007, no body here in Jordan dared to help us, actually, all of our attempts to get sponsorship were completely ignored, and we are talking about big organizations that you read day by day publicity about them and their activities in the media ... yes, they didn't even dare to say “NO”, or “SORRY” .... well except for 1 organization that said they cannot help us since we are not an NGO, and 2 that supposedly tried, and then apologized. So there it was, I got my vacation hooked up with the conference, and did both with my own money.

1st of all, talking about the conference, it was amazing to see how research and development is that well established in some part of the world that is not that far from here! Nor from Romania.

A lot of czech companies, just like AZD Praha, Skoda motors, and others, as well as international companies working in the czech republic, like Sun Microsystems, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Novell, Siemens, and other. Are so cooperative with the technical and technological universities and their students. Not only as supporters and sponsors for the students, but even appreciators for their ideas in the industry, and even trying to involve their research and development departments to cooperate with the students after graduation and with the universities from which they graduated to implement it in the industry.

And By the way, this care of research and development I saw in the Czech republic is claimed to be “POOR”! Come and see Jordan baby...!

one very simple example was that the Traffic light management systems on the streets of Prague is nothing but an implemented university project. One that was well supported by companies in the industry, the local authorities, and even the European Union and Galileo.

The number of people in the conference weren't that much, but the quality of the participants was very high, actually, I was the youngest in there, and we were the only participants with a BS degree! And beside being from the middle east, all of there 3 were positive impressions for the people getting to know about us.

One thing that, I didn't expect, was that each and every person who heard about our project or attend the session was “Impressed”, one Japanese professor was even wondering how come this idea is not appreciated that much in Jordan, when a public transportation operator in his home-town in Japan is willing to apply such a system with all the ideas and services we provide in BiSCA, and is having trouble having someone developing it! Some people from Mott MacDonald were even interested in being consultants for the project's implementation in Amman, and even in being consultants in further related project as traffic management systems and their integration with BiSCA. Do read this GAM, do read this PTRC, do read this CMTC .... Mott MacDonald, the 2nd largest consultants house in the world!

Our paper can be found in the conference's proceeding HERE

Talking about Prague, well, I liked the czech republic in general, though all my pass from the Slovakian borders until prague was a night drive through were i saw nothing :P

Prague, 7:30 AM local time, on the autobahn between Brno and Prague, I look to the left, Oh, its a business companies compound, who is there, Sun Microsystems, Samsung, IBM, Microsoft ... and others...

Yes, you heard me right dear Java Developer, Sun Microsystems :)

well, they also have Oracle, but thats somewhere downtown nearby the Bus and train terminals, I passed by it too ...

and by the way, Oracle has ads on the streets in Prague, seems people out there know whats Oracle, and know what's a CRM :)

in Prague, Public transportation is everywhere ... tram, urban buses, metro....

in Prague, there are cool radio station's :) especially Radio Beat (which is a classic rock radio), and Radio Expres (Prague's Nr 1 Hit music station with a popular American dude doing the morning show in weekdays).

in Prague, love is everywhere, in everything ... people love life, love what they do, love the traffic jams, love listening to that American dude on the radio during the traffic jam, love work ... Yes, I didnt see a single person asking for money! Everyone works, even disabled people, even blind old women ... they sing opera songs on the street ... but they dont beg you for money!

in Prague, women are gorgeous, men are hard-workers, Czech women are not demanding though like our shitty women in here! 2 examples were the following:
a guy, a colleague student, was working a part time job as a “Street sweeper” ... I saw 2 girls trying to hookup with him.
A Man standing in the street as a silent actor, wasn't moving and doing anything, unless you pay him something in that hat. Well, a bunch of czech chicks passed, so he moved “for free” for them trying to get their attention, the girls stopped and started looking and what he is doing... he was kind of “silently acting flirts” ... they became all red flushed, and he air-kissed one girl ... she turned into 250 shades of red :)
i'm just wondering what would have happened to any of those guys above if they were in Jordan .... I'm imagining :(

in Prague, the industry is very well developed, be it technological industry, technical industry, or tourism industry! Jordanian people in tourism, GO AND LEARN! A bus ticket from the deadsea to Amman cannot cost 10 JDs if you want a proper tourism industry!

In Prague, the valtava is awesome ... it carries out the city's love and spreads it out across the town.

In prague, you can see all sort of people getting into public transportation, from business managers, to professors, to students ,, and even couple who keep kissing for over 20 minutes without anyone annoying them or even looking at them (in comparison to the next day where in Amman I saw 4 guys staring at 2 normally dressed girls and saying “Allahomma inni sa2em .. astaghfar allah!) .... and all of those above get into public transportation without having to wait that much, nor fight for a seat (because you will get a fine if you get your butt unto a seat while a child or an old man or woman is standing), nor have their clothes dirty from the seats (in case seated) , nor get confused because the bus or tram is running on a route other than the one displayed on the digital (or even manual) board in front of the public transportation mean ... simply because its not that of an invention to change the board displaying the route for the people outside!

in Prague, they have worst traffic jams than in Amman, amazingly, no body there uses the horn! I guess they figured out it wont get to progress anything in the jam.

In Prague, all the governmental departments are branded.

In prague, garnet can be found more than bread.

In prague, all sorts of bread are delicious :)

in prague, food is delicious :)

in Prague ... I fell in love with a city.

In Prague, i'll be spending my honeymoon one day :) [no more Maldives :P ]

in Prague, I left a piece of me ...... and i will get back to put another piece!

The Valtava river

The Old Chapel

The Astronomical Clock (It works!)

Karlov Most (King Charles Bridge)

Karlov Most from the opposite view, including the king's castle up the hill to the right ... by the way, I used to pass this bridge around 4 times a day :) It is one of the 1st things I fell in love with in Prague :)