31 December, 2008

My own Radio Show segment on Radio Al-Balad 92.4 FM

I will be starting my own radio show segments by the beginning of 2009, where I'd be talking about the Jordanian Radio-sphere on weekly basis! Covering all the latest in the Jordanian radio scene, frequency updates, coverages, and what's hot and what's not on the Jordanian radio stations regardless of their genre and orientation.

The segments, will be weekly episodes as part of the radio show called: "Eye on Media", on Radio Al-Balad 92.4 FM, the 1st Jordanian Community Radio. Airing every Monday at 11 AM, and replayed Wednesdays at 4 PM..And will be also available as a podcast and a text-based format each and every week.

This weekly segment is fully prepared and cooked by yours truly, independently from any radio station, including Radio Al-Balad it self (this is how a real community radio should be after all!). As you most probably got used to my style on my blog, i will publish anything, rationally, independently, neutrally and clearly, based as much as possible on facts rather than personal opinions. And will make sure this will be my methodology while preparing this weekly segment. And i hope you'd feel free to accept any positive criticism, and feel free to comment on Absolutely anything! and feed the segment with what you listen on the radio right away to the email address: radio@ammannet.net

For the 1st upcoming episode, i will be reviewing the reactions on the jordanian radio stations regarding the Gaza crisis.

If you think you heard anything unusual lately on the radio on any station regarding this issue, please feel free to contact the email mentioned above or comment on this post.

30 December, 2008

Lubna "Al-Koshieh" decleared dead!

For those who don't know, and maybe never been to zarqa to know, Lubna Al-Koshieh (لبنى الكوشية) or (لبنى السريعة) is most probably the most dangerous woman in Jordan. and is famous in zarqa (mainly the inside zarqa bus terminal) for getting money from shops and people by force using knifes, and is also famous for beating up alot of gangsters in zarqa.

Lubna was declared dead yesterday after a fight.

The question that was always raised, forgetting the fact that her case was caused by a family destruction:
Why, and how she was always free! regardless of what she was doing.

Here is also a video i found on youtube for lubna during a wedding, another way for her to collect money:

17 December, 2008

Exclusive Photos of the Aqaba teenagers car accident

ammannet.net, Radio Al-Balad's website has published last night exclusive photos for the teenagers car accident that happened during the eid holiday in Aqaba.

Just a to recap, this accident was caused by 5 teenagers, 4 boys and a girl, all under 18, driving during the eid holiday late at night without a license, on the southern beach highway in aqaba with a nissan with over 180 Km/h at crash time as reported by the traffic police dept (also obvious in the 1st photo), after it got off a bridge and ended up in a valley near the sea near the port's industrial area.

The tragic accident caused death to 4 of the teenagers, out of which was the son of the minister of justice, along with children of other socially and economically famous families.

I am publishing the photos just for the sake of reminding people that cars are not toys, and that responsible driving is the responsibility of us all.

13 December, 2008

Bloggers on air!

Radio Al-Balad and ammannet.net have announced the launch of "Bloggers on Air" (مدونون على الهواء), a project and initiative oriented for improving video blogging.

The project will train 25 individuals on how to blog and vblog, and then create a blog for each and every one of them. and a video cam for 20 of them. and accordingly start a radio show that will tackle what they would be blogging!

The complete information and registration details are available on this link

03 December, 2008

Tomorrow, The Romanian Movie Days in Jordan

The Jordanian Romanian Forum for Culture, along with the Romanian Embassy in Amman, and the Royal Film Commission, are proud to announce the 2nd edition of:
The Romanian Movie Days in Jordan
This coming Thursday & Friday, 4th and 5th of December, 2008. at the Royal Cultural Center.

1st Day: 4th of December.
Starting 6 PM:
- Opening ceremony by the Romanian Folkloric Group "Dumitru Zamfira"
- The 13 minutes short film : “Datorie” / “Duty” : by Vlad Trandafir
- The 9 minutes short film : “O Scurta plimbare cu masina” / “A short ride”
by Paul Negoescu – Karlovy Vary Fresh Film Festival winner
- The 14 minutes short film : “Megatron” by Marian Crisan – Cannes 2008 Best Short Film winner.

2nd Day: 5th of December.
4 PM: Classical Long Movie: "Padureanca" by Nicolae Margineanu
6 PM: Classical Long Movie: "Stefan Luchian" by Nicolae Margineanu

Entrance is Free. Films are subtitled in English

29 November, 2008

Classic Music back on the Jordanian airwaves

I don't want to say "finally", since i discovered this show on Radio Jordan English Service by mistake several weeks ago, but well, later better than never, we do have an hour of "Classic Music" weekly on the Jordanian airwaves!

With all this jam of radio stations on the jordanian airwaves, we don't have a single radio station providing us with "Classical Music", Back in April 2007 we had a potential of having a radio station playing this type of music on the airwaves, but the station turned to be, at the end of the story, Sunny 105.1 FM, a Hot AC station.

Thank god Radio Jordan's english service, took the duty of playing classic music after the continuous revolutions we had in it, especially after we used to have the french service airing over 5-6 hours of it daily, and utilizing the big classic music collection it has with a weekly show, which is being aired at 11 PM on Thursday nights.

The show, which i never heard a title for, is quite interesting, as there is a man telling us about the piece of music with all the tiny musical details before airing the musical piece.
The show lasts mostly for about an hour, but sometimes more, depending on the played piece's length. so don't get surprised if at a certain moment of silence, you get Rihanna singing! its just that the show has ended!

The classic music show broadcasting on radio jordan is called "Nocturne", and its prepared and presented by Tariq Younes, along with another couple of classic music shows:
"Fortisimo": Tuesdays 1-2 pm
"Jordanesque": Wednesdays 6-7 pm

26 November, 2008

نوابنا الحريقة! حضور أسوء من مدرسة ثانوية و أفكار نابغة

يعني فوق إنو بزبطوا حالهم بالسيارات و الزيادات من ألف و فوق و بصوتوا على إعطاء أبو عشر نيرات للشعب، و بمنعوا وزارة الزراعة من فتح استيراد زيت الزيتون مشان يحطوا هم السعر اللي بدهم اياه على تنكة الزيت و قوت المواطن اللي بطلع من مزارعهم.

فوق هذا كله كمان ما بيجوا على جلسات المجلس، مثل ما صار مبارح لما حضر 31 من 110.
و يا ريت هالــ 31 زي العالم و الناس... خذولكوا هالعينة

أشار الضلاعين، في نهاية كلمته، إلى أن العديد من الوزارات باتت بلا فائدة للدولة، ما حدا به إلى طرح الاقتراحات التالية حول مصير بعض الوزارات :
1- وزارة تطوير القطاع العام: لتصبح وحدة إدارية في المعهد الوطني للتدريب أو ديوان الخدمة المدنية.
2- وزارة التعليم العالي: تدمج مع وزارة التربية
3- وزارة التنمية السياسية: لا يوجد لها أي أثر، فالأفضل إلغائها.
4- وزارة الاتصال وتكنولوجيا المعلومات: أن تصبح جزءاً من المركز الوطني للمعلومات.
5- وزارة النقل: أن تصبح وحدة إدارية في هيئة تنظيم قطاع النقل.
6- وزارة البيئة: أن تدمج مع وزارة البلديات أو وزارة الزراعة.
7- وزارة الثقافة: أن تتبع للمجلس الأعلى للشباب

لا والله رأي حريقة، بده وزارة الإتصالات و النقل يصيروا جزء من دوائر فيهم، و البيئة هي و الزراعة واحد، مش كلوا بحكي عن كوكب الأرض، أما وزارة الثقافة فبرأيه شبابية بالآخر

24 November, 2008

Laugh it out loud with Jordanians!

This article By Mike V. Derderian, can be found in TODAY's edition of the Star.

“Does anyone have any questions for the sponsors?” Omar Al Maani, the mayor of Amman, with a hint of gentle sarcasm said to a silent hoard of media representatives before someone actually did.

Silence prevailed for a moment or two until one journalist finally asked a question and begged one sponsor to fund an association for theatrical actors. For a press conference about a comedy festival that was extremely funny. A few minutes ago Maani, who with the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) is sponsoring Jordan’s first stand-up comedy festival, said that he uses humor to face the trials and tribulations of a day at the office.

“If I don’t do so I would blow a vein or die of a heart attack. Please if anyone has a good joke or two e-mail them to me,” Maani, who gave a heartfelt laugh as members of the press soon joined in.

Sitting next to Maani was Dean Obeidallah, an American comedian of Arabian roots, who was there with Maani and the of course sponsors part of a press conference to talk about The Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festival, which is to be held between December 2 and December 5 at Al Hussein Cultural Center.

Jordanians were first introduced to the stand up comedy format a few months ago when Obeidallah performed along The Axis of Evil comedians Maz Jobrani, Aron Kader and Ahmed Ahmed, who will all perform in the upcoming festival.

Some journalists attending the press conference mistook this social, religious, economic and political driven art form of self-expression as a branch of comedic theatre. Ok, maybe I am pushing the envelope when I religious. Stand-up comedy is an inner monologue that is voiced out-loud to a sitting crowd and a stand-up comedian is only armed with his razor sharp tongue, wits, jokes, humorous dialogue, punch-lines and of course a microphone.

For the upcoming festival there will be over 15 performers including Arab American comedians like Ali Hassan, Amer Zahr, James Smith, Mike Batayeh, Nemr Abu Nassar, Ronnie Khalil, Meena Dimian, Ronnie Khali, George Azmy, Ted Alexandro, James Smith, Russell Peters and of course Maysoon Zayid.

On their Facebook group the organizers announced that they want Jordanians in the lineup of the festival. So anyone interested in performing can upload videos online and send the links to ascf@ammancity.gov.jo and dean@deanofcomedy.com.

The stand-up comedy fever is spreading and the festival's posters that were fixed over electricity line poles are worth the checking. Reading the festival's main tagline Rah Tedhak Khawa, which roughly translates to You Will Be Forced To Laugh, which is written over and under human faces that have a wide smile superimposed over their real and dull expressions, one cannot but wonder why Jordanians are looked upon as no more than a bunch of sourpusses—hardly the case when one attends a gathering of friends, young and old, read a caricature for Emad Hajjaj or even strike up a conversation with a taxi driver.

Jordanians are funny but they have been repeating this lie—Jordanians are not funny—for so long that they've started to believe it and the Festival of Comedy will hopefully change this.

"The purpose behind the festival is to change this misconception as I believe Jordanians are intelligent and often express themselves through humor in their daily activities," Maani stated, adding, "the success of Laughter Week yielded the idea for this festival, which is part of GAM's mission to hone individualistic skills and talents."

The festival, which is part of a non-profit program, was developed in close collaboration with the critically acclaimed New York Arab-American Comedy Festival, which according to Maani is here to stay if it proves successful with Jordanians.

“This is truly the first festival. The other show we did had the same performers each night. This is each show is a different night with different performers and that's truly the essence of a festival in my eyes," Obeidallah said, before adding, "such a festival will result in positive press coverage for the locality that is having the event. The Montreal and Edinburgh Comedy Festival did the same respectively for Canada and Scotland.

Obeidallah believes that this Festival will encourage young talents to become more active in the Jordanian performing arts arena especially stand-up. "I also see this event creating a wider appreciation for comedy in Jordan and should be recognized as a marked calendar occurrence staged in Amman, as the region is full of raw talent that we are hoping to bring to the forefront and if all goes well this year the festival will become a staple of Amman,” Obeidallah added.

The festival according to Maani will contribute to Amman's position as a pioneering city that embraces, creates, and hosts cultural activities like the stand-up comedy festival that he hopes will attract headlining performers from the Middle East, United States of America, and Europe.

“The Greater Amman Municipality anticipates that this festival will increase tourist traffic to the City during the month of December and will also place Jordan and its talent pool on the international map of comedy. We are always keen on urging our community members to express themselves and interact through the many forms of performing arts and stand-up comedy is the rawest and most interactive form of comedy,” explained Maani, "if this year's festival proves successful we will turn it into an event that will turn Amman to a comedic hub that will attract comedians from across the Middle East."

"The goal of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival that I worked on and created with Comedian Maysoon Zayid, five years ago was not only to entertain but to break stereotypes and show other Americans that Arabs can be funny. I hope that there will be media coverage back home about this festival to show that Arabs in this region are funny, "Obeidallah explained.

Well, Jordanians will just have to prove, to themselves first, and the world second, that they have funny bones and a Jordanian holding a microphone standing on an empty stage facing a crowd can be as funny as an American stand up comedian doing the same.

Expressive enough :) See you at the Amman Stand-up Comedy festival between the 2nd and the 5th of December at Ras El-Ein :) .... hmm ,,, well, less the last couple of days, as i have another hot even for you to be reveled soon ;)

17 November, 2008

"Jordan Business" ignoring my response on last month's story

It was "interesting enough", as much as disappointing, how non of the points i mentioned in my response on Jordan Business's Magazine last month's cover story were neither commented by any of the magazine's staff to whom the response was sent, nor mentioned and not even commented in this month's edition of the magazine.

If you never tried public transportation, and can't move your self out of that car, just SHUT UP! we dont need your "Rich thoughts" if you consider public transportation for the "lower class".

Physically speaking, the bus riders are in a higher lever than car drivers by the way.

12 November, 2008

BBC DJ quits Beat FM's rock show!

Last Night, Beat FM's rock show "Rock N Jordan" witnessed a change, the show is not presented by the BBC presenter Andy May anymore, and is now presented as a LIVE show (instead of being recorded all the way from the UK), by Rob Stevens and Dana Hjazeen. same time, tuesdays 9-11 PM.

Quite an improvement in style, show quality (content and sound), and interactivity, since it was live.

This comes of course after less than 1 month of having BBC's Andy May presenting the show, and having Andy quitting the duty of doing this show due to problems that seemed to be between Andy and the management at Beat FM.

I was wondering from the beginning on the reason behind having a DJ doing a recorded show from abroad by a non-residence DJ, especially when the resource is already available locally.

Finally, I got a clue that a Jordanian DJ will be doing the show entirely withing the next couple of weeks, wondering if yesterday's co-host, Dana, will be the one taking over the show

05 November, 2008

How to implement a "startreck" technology!

• 35 HD cameras pointed at the subject in a ring
• Different cameras shoot at different angles (like the matrix), to transmit the entire body image
• Cameras being hooked up to the cameras in home base in NY, synchronizing the angles so perspective is right
• Infrared communication
• A 37-inch plasma where the return feed of the combined images are fed back. Useful for a misplaced hair or an unseemly boogar!
• Twenty "computers" are crunching this data in order to make it usable...

and the Result ....LIVE On CNN ... tataaan!

Amaaaazing ... for real!

More on Gizmodo ... in order to know exactly how it all worked! (text above is qouted from Gizmodo)

You can also get to see Cisco's "Musion System" Hologram in this Video

Also from andfaraway.net


Ten reasons on why you can listen to Spin Jordan!

1- Its "Like it is"!

2- It has a FULL complete coverage for all the areas of Amman on 94.1 FM, unlike all the other western music radio stations who get to have a problem in an area or another.

3- Its the 1st western music station broadcasting out of Amman, the 1st western music radio station to broadcast in Irbid on 88.3, the 1st western music radio station to broadcast in Petra on 88.5 FM, & the 1st western music radio station to broadcast in Aqaba pretty soon! and not to forget on Nilesat!

4- It has THE BEST sound quality jordanian radio EVER witnessed!

5- It has LIVE shows covering your entire day! with over 12 hours of LIVE shows daily

6- Its the 1st western music radio station to get you entertained during the weekends with live shows, and not only repeating redundant music!

7- It Gives you money just because you are listening :) just like in the 10000 JD triple play!

8- It has Tamer Bataineh in the morning with his Breakfast Espresso! The only Jordanian DJ on a privately owned western music radio station in Jordan. with 100% jordanian craziness! followed by 100 spin hits in a row making you sacrifise to listen while you're at work.

9- It has an hour by hour at the top the hour update of REAL-TIME & "Like it is" 5 word weather. something understandable for the people!

10- It might bring you up some SPINIs as well! who knows!

SPIN Jordan ... Like it is :)

02 November, 2008

Does the TRC care only about licensing!

Thats an Open Question after the fact that Ministry of Trade announced it WILL NOT allow Mobile companies to charge 1 piaster/ SMS report as its illegal, while ALL the 3 GSM Mobile companies, Umniah, Zain and Orange simply kept ignoring that and CHARGING that extra piaster starting October 29th!

interesting is the fact that no comment from the TRC is out yet on this! and the companies are still charging

Can they, the TRC, tell us, the mobile telecom users, whats their point of view from this! will the TRC get our money back!? will it 1st of all try to stop the telecom companies from getting this piaster, as the companies are still getting it!

28 October, 2008


Yes :)
With many thanks to Mr Qwaider, he reserved this URL and made it forward to my Radio guide page :)

its even easier now guys: www.JordanRadioGuide.com

Thanks for the support Qwaider

27 October, 2008

Jordan's Radio Guide moved to this blog

Finally I managed to have the Jordanian Airwaves radio guide moved to this blog, after over 3.5 years of running it on a stupid green sticky page :D

The Jordanian Radio Guide will be available from now on through this link:
The guide has suffered a nice makeover, and more options will hopefully be available gradually soon.

The radio guide updates are of course still available on
http://nasimjo.blogspot.com/search/label/Radio Guide Update

22 October, 2008

Urban Beats debutes today on Beat FM

Urban Beats, is a new Hip Hop, Rap & R'n'B show that is to debut tonight on Beat FM.

The show, which will be LIVE every wednesday from 9-11 PM (in contrast with Beat FM's Rock N Jordan), is hosted by DJ SOTUSURA, a Palestinian MC, Rapper, and DJ living in Jordan.

So finally, the Jordanian radio market is starting to MOVE and SHAKE! we are starting to hear different things on Western radio stations here in jordan, more shows, more entertainment, and a heavier competition.

Its amazing how it took the market to get jammed with 7 stations (out of which is from an international group), along with the public state english-speaking radio. to get more action in it!

toot toot! My blog is tooting like toot!

Since the toot season started , it had even an extension due to high demand :) out of which my blog ... this one you are reading, has been tooted as well, no where else but on toot.

And on those occasion, may i toot up all the tooter from toot which have been tooting for a all those tooted years tootly.

Thank god they found the mo3amaleh and tooted me up :D

21 October, 2008

How to listen to Spin FM's Spin@Work, while being actually ... At Work!

The photo is expressive enough .... anyway, try to listen to Spin@Work with Dj Hassan spinning 100 hits in a row from 10AM-4PM on Spin FM...Like it is!
& those guys should really start their online streaming on www.spin.jo , because not everyone is a radio freak like me :D

By the way, I will keep listening this way after the streaming is ON! damn internet qoutas :S

19 October, 2008

Responding on Jordan Business Magazine's public transportation Cover Story

This month's Jordan Business magazine had an interesting Cover Story about Public Transportation by Zaina Steityeh. That went to tackle several domains in the public transportation. But i felt like commenting on the parts talking about urban public transportation in Amman.

1st of all, I would like to talk a bit about the GAM taking over the control of public transportation in Amman. Which is indeed a move in the right way, as traffic and transportation have been always connected together from an urban point of view, and where-ever you go in this world, you'd always find urban public transportation always in the hand of the city municipalities, both as a regulator and operator, something which is not yet implemented in Amman, despite the fact that the GAM has 13% of the CMTC, the biggest operators in the capital Amman, but they don't really have so-called “weight” in that, and on the contrary, the owners of the CMTC are using that for their benefit, just like when the CMTC tried to convince the GAM to do a “special recommendation” to the licensing department to let them accept the 15 Convema buses (Convema is a non existing brand by the way), which were produced at the free zone by a sister company owned as well by Abu Khader Group, without having ABS (which is a requirement for licensing buses) nor any other minimal safety requirements, and which were put on the black-list by the licensing department. Unfortunately, the buses were licensed accordingly and are operating for a while now. And maybe this story would justify the unnamed source that told the story writer, quoting: “When it's separate, the regulatory body doesn't have a direct link to the bottom line of the operation and will, therefore, not be tempted to take shortcuts, overlook safety precautions or take cost-cutting measures at the expense of the final consumer. Out citizen”.

Anyway, fortunately, this was the only bad effect we have witnessed until the moment from the GAM taking over the regulation of Public Transportation in Amman. On the other hand, we have witnessed a lot of efficiency in planning, especially in the fact that the GAM got convinced that traffic problems should be solved by having a better organized, managed, and attractive urban public transportation (something i have been saying since 2005 anyway!), and that the GAM is willing finally to have a multi-dimensional public transportation, by creating a new backbone of BRT and LRT services. As well as efficiency in other minor things, like re-pricing, when the fuel prices went up, in comparison with the PTRC for example.

Despite that, we are still facing another kind of duplicability in the sector which wasn't mentioned in the article, when it comes to short routes that start from Amman, cross a big part of Amman, and head towards end of routes outside it. As those routes serve a lot of people moving inside Amman, while they are still in the hand of PTRC, and people have no other choice but use those means of transport. Simple examples are the Zarqa buses which are the only ones serving areas like Tabarbour and Marka when trying to head to/from there towards University of Jordan and Western Amman. As well as Raghadan-Salt and Raghadan-Baqaa routes. So we are having routes on main corridors in Amman, serving quite big numbers of people, and are still regulated by the PTRC. Ironically, some of those routes are even served for example by the CMTC which the GAM has a share of 13%!

Moving forward in the article towards the “Diffused Ownership” section. Diffused Ownership might be a headache and problem causer in the sector in general, something i totally agree, especially when it comes to poor routes that link some towns/cities to more remote areas, but the experience showed that companies ownership of routes is not that much better when it comes to urban public transportation. To be more precise, no single company handling urban (or part-urban) public transportation is doing it well, a part from the CMTC (which i will be talking about later), there are also other companies operating their routes in bad manners, with very “rubbished” and unmannered-unmaintained buses, quite very good examples are the very famous Raghadan-Salt buses which are owned by a company called: “Abu Rajouh & Abu Haswa & Co”, Yes! despite being medium sized buses, or so-called “Coaster” buses, those notably dirty, unmaintained, and always with a black cloud coming out of their exhausts buses on this route are ALL owned by a company that cares only to push their vehicles to the limit in order to raise their income! Similar examples are “Ahmad Abul S'oud & Hamad Abu Zaid Co” famous for operating in eastern Amman areas, as well as the very famous rubbished Zarqa buses moving towards most of Amman's areas owned by “Armouti, Ghweiri, & Sawalha Co”. As well as several others. All of those are not owned by individual bus owners, but all of us are having problems with them as bus users, especially when it comes to buses maintenance and safety, as well as quality of service, and non-commitment to routes in some cases, and lets totally forget about schedules and peak hours jams! Thus, I guess that the GAM and PTRC should 1st solve us our problems with those “Fat ownerships” that care only about rapid profit, then start saying Diffused ownership is a problem. And I would have liked it if Zaina Steityeh came down out of her car to the streets, and try some of those operators bad service, and compare it for example to quality bus services provided by a lot of organized Individual Bus owners, just like those operating on routes like Sweileh-Wadi Al-Seer, and Sweileh-Dakhelieh Circle. Routes on which individual bus drivers and owners have agreed on organized service and queuing (with frequencies that reach 1 bus/minute in peak times even!), and routes on which over 90% of the buses are always clean and tidy, and routes like the 2nd mentioned where buses operate up late to 11 PM and beyond 12 midnight in holidays!

I agree, however, with Mr Qudah's point when it comes to Diffused Ownerships in the trucking sector, and i guess that the Ministry of Transport should encourage small and medium projects in this sector to try eliminating diffused ownerships in it. Good models to follow are the ones in Turkey & Eastern European countries, where small & medium companies with 10-15 trucks have a range of operation that reach the shores of the Atlantic! I don't want to get deeper into this at the moment though.

Last but not least, I want to comment on the information mentioned about the CMTC, mainly by its CEO, Mr Moayad Tarawneh, who, with all respect, is either so stupid to know what is really going on in that company behind him, or think that we are all so stupid to know what is going in there in that company by the company's owners he is facading!

What kind of effect does “Diffused Ownership” has on CMTC bad management of operation, as almost at any time in the day, you can find buses of their company roaming empty, to i don't know where, and their drivers refusing to stop and carryout people! (Oh! Or is it that the GAM is paying half of the raise in diesel prices, so to hell with the GAM's money!). And how does “Diffused Ownership” effect the messiness and non existence of scheduled services, and the miserable situation of their buses! And how does “Diffused Ownership” effect a route such as “Raghadan-Sweileh” that they tried to start, with buses leaving once every 40-50 minutes, and that start operating after the end of morning jam at around 9 AM and stop operating before 5 PM!

1st of all, the system they bough with over 1.5 million dollars, which is a combination of fleet tracking and electronic smart-card fare-collection system. Is already late for over 1 year and 4 months now. And its not up and running yet! And wont even be entirely up! As it will be limited to the electronic smart-card fare-collection part, without the fleet tracking part! Noting that over 130 buses (the ones inherited from Asia Transport Co.) were already running a very efficient smart card fare-collection system, with re-chargeable RFID cards, POS charging units, & card validators in all those buses. All of that ever since 2001, and i was my self a heavy user of those as well as tens of thousands others, including my 4 years campus life! So, it wasn't something “we were just dreaming of”, and the CMTC could have just extended the already existing investment by adding more POS and bus validators in their fleet! While when it comes to the fleet tracking part, which i am repeating again IS NOT RUNNING, just in the summer of 2007, the CMTC were offered a “Public Transportation Information System” that enabled entire real-time fleet tracking, automated and dynamic bus scheduling, automated remote control, and Dynamic real time Passenger Information in bus stations and through mobile and internet service, all at less than 30% of the costs they bought this system & up within 4 months, and was REFUSED by the company owners “The Abu Khader's”, claiming that the turkish 1.5 million $ system will be up and no-time, and that they are not in need of all those “extra features”!

Interesting, isn't it!

While on the other hand, since the CMTC are paying 3500 Euro/each digital bus display, can they at least properly turn them ON! The screens installed on their new buses are very unsuitable in shiny conditions, are MOSTLY turned OFF! Malfunctioned! Or simply showing a WRONG ROUTE other than the ones the bus is operating on! While the Yellow displays installed in older buses (Mostly on the ones inherited from Asia Transport Co) are way much better, though they are sometimes malfunctioned or simply turned off!

Thus, the CMTC's investment is wasted as pure as that! Absolutely everything Mr Tarawneh claimed in this interview to be exclusively done by the CMTC is done in a wrong way! I wonder if Mr Tarawneh ever tried even to spend a whole day on his fleet to see how easily can his white shirt capture the dirt in the bus, how some buses have rain dripping from their ceiling in winter, how he can be late at work because his oldest 1999 buses “that he thinks are still pretty new” move in a speed of 25 KMs/h while he is standing near the backseat of the bus with half of the bus's fumes spreading inside the bus, how he would have his head hitting in the ceiling of the bus's door while trying to hope off the new 2008 Mercedes buses which were built by Elba with wrong dimensions and standards, how he can wait in front of his office in Mecca Street waiting for a bus that almost never comes, or a bus that just goes under the Al-Kilo intersection in the tunnel ignoring the masses waiting regularly at the bus stop from where the bus should actually pass, or try to squeeze in between the students in a full bus going From or To the Hashemite University! That his company is serving!
Or even at least spend a day at the so-called maintenance centers where “Consumed Motor Oils” from other AK Automotive centers are used as fresh oil for CMTC's buses.

& can he just name me the so-claimed 42 routes the CMTC is operating! & tell us which are actually running, and which are just fake-outs on the paper!!

Again, its either that he is stupid, or thinks we are stupid, both cases, he is just an employee and a facade that hides out the company owners. & I mentioned also that he made a couple of mistakes in his interview, 1st, the GAM owns 13% of the CMTC and not 20%, the 2nd is the fact that the CMTC is a so-called “consortium” of 3 companies and not 4! which are Al-Thelal (owned by Abu Khader Automotive), Al-Tawfeek (which was also bought by Al-Thelal about a month before the creation of the CMTC), and Asia Transport Co., whose owner withdrew from the company awhile ago because of loads of managerial problems in the way the Abu Khader's where leading the CMTC. So mainly its a takeover not a consortium.

I would have wished if the story owner, Zaina Steityeh, would have investigated more on what is really going on in the streets and on the ground when it comes to urban public transportation, instead of having just some rosy statements for some people that, maybe, never tried to use urban public transportation inside Amman! & maybe even tried to have several rides her self!

Anyway, thank you for the interesting cover story, without it i might not had even wrote this long response that is almost as long as the story it self :)

Conclusion: Will Jordan Ever Get the Public Transportation System it Deserves?
I hope so, but nothing on the ground so far!

16 October, 2008

BRT in Amman

Yes, its confirmed, both BRT(Bus Rapid Transit) & LRT (Light Railway Transit) will be forming the new backbone of urban public transportation in the capital Amman. and not as was mentioned before in the article published in Alrai about a month ago, and which i have commented on in a post right then.

Apparently, the reporter from Al-Rai got the whole thing wrong! and as i was told & confirmed by mr Ayman Smadi from The GAM, a BRT will be made on the University of Jordan route, and not a tramway.

Both, BRT & LRT, will move the entire urban public transportation infrastructure in Amman to another level, and more even, to a multi-leveled one, with having BRT & LRT creating the backbone of this infrastructure on the main corridors in the capital.

As for BRT, for those who don't really know about it. BRT, or Bus Rapid Transit, is a very big and long bus service, operating on their own street, in parallel with the ordinary street, assuring rapid, comfortable, and frequency-based Quality of Service. away from the messiness and traffic jams on the on the street.

One very successful experience is istanbul's BRT, branded as MetroBus.

Here is also a video showing you the difference of speed between the BRT and the regular traffic.

Istanbul's New BRT System in Action from EMBARQ Network on Vimeo.

Thanks also to fayez who pointed out a piece of news in today's alghad newspaper confirming BRT's implementation.

13 October, 2008

Al-Wakeel playing Hummam Ammari's "SubarStar" :)

Despite the fact that Hummam Ammari's latest funny song, "Jordanian SubarStar", which is a funny arabic remake of the famous Nickelback song "Rockstar", was produced by Play 99.6. & was made available by them through a post on their blog for public download. This song wasn't even aired by Play 99.6 fully on the airwaves, and only promoted with a small snap it of the song. most probably due to the "genre differences in the music style" :D

Anyway, just minutes away this morning, The famous radio announcer Mohammad Al-Wakeel, played the song on his show on Radio Fann :) as well the original one ... and he concentrated on the fragment of song where hummam says:
"بدي أطلع الصبح عبرنامج الوكيل"
Followed of course by Al-Wakeel's famous laugh :D

& we can say that it was 1st to be aired on Radio Fann, even before Play :D

For those who didn't hear it yet, it available for public download HERE

While the lyrics are available by R0ba on her blog with a nice analysis attempt :)

08 October, 2008

Finally! a ROCK Music show on a Jordanian Radio!

Rock N Jordan, on Beat FM 102.5! is, Finally!, the 1st Rock Music Radio Show on a commercial radio station in Jordan.

After we grew up on a heavy doze of Rock and Metal music back in time on Radio Jordan 96.3 FM's "Late Night Rock" every Wednesday for 4 entire hours before midnight. and after the show went off air and back on air several times with "Rania The Queen of Rock" (this is how we used to name her), and Laith Shankiti along with Zaid Al-Dahabi. We are now suffering a total lack of this music genre on the Jordanian Airwaves, nor on Radio Jordan 96.3 FM nor any other commercial radio.

So ... Rock N Jordan will premier on Beat FM 102.5 next Tuesday October 14th starting 9 PM. It will serve the listeners with 2 hours of the world's best Rock and Indie tracks. The style will include Rock, Pop Rock, Indie Rock, and Acoustic Rock.

Rock N Jordan WAS hosted at the beginning by BBC TV and Radio presenter Andy May. Until November the 4th, when was his last show (Maybe his 1st attempt to have a radio show for a non-UK radio station). Hoping that the show will be done by a Jordanian rock talent, like if we dont have 100s here!

I also received information confirming that Beat FM is interested in featuring Jordan's local talents' tracks on the show.... so, who knows! send one of your songs to demos@mybeat.fm (The email is provided on the website as well) and maybe they will be featuring your music on the show!

05 October, 2008

The 5th Element, back on Energy FM

The 5th element, the one and only Hip Hop, Rap, and R'n'B radio show in the middle eastern region, by Dj Shadia. is back to the Jordanian airwaves after it came out from Jordan on Play 99.6, and was stopped earlier last November 2007.

The 5th Element with DJ Shadia is back on Energy FM, at the same times as it used to be, Monday Evenings from 9 PM.

The show is also being aired on Mix FM Syria, and still airs on Radio 1 Lebanon.

23 September, 2008

GAM to spend 5 million/KM on "Poor's railway" instead of BRT!

via alrai newspaper

عمان - محمد الدويري - قال مدير دائرة النقل والمرور في امانة عمان السيد عبد الرحيم الوريكات ان الامانة تعتزم انشاء نوعين من سكك الحديد في عمان اولها خط النقل السريع وموقعه داخل الجزيرة الوسطية والاخر خط سكة اما يكون فوق الارض او تحتها بحسب الدراسات.
واضاف الوريكات في تصريح لـ''الرأي'' ان الامانة ستطرح خلال شهرين عطاء الدراسات والتصميم للمشروعين الذي تصل كلفة الاول 5 ملايين دينار لكل كيلو متر فيما تصل كلفة الاخر 20 مليون دينار لكل كيلو متر.
وبين الوريكات ان خط النقل السريع الذي يطلق عليه ''سكة الفقراء'' سيكون ضمن مسارب خاصة تأتي في الجزيرة الوسطية للشارع وستمتد المرحلة الاولى من شارع الجامعة الاردنية الى المحطة فيما تشمل المرحلة الثانية شارع الاميرة بسمة وثم يربط الدوار الخامس باشارة وادي صقرة ثم المدينة الرياضية.
اما مشروع سكة الحديد، قال الوريكات ان السكة ستمتد من وسط البلد الى المحطة وشارع الملك حسين ثم شارع سليمان النابلسي و شارع شاكر بن زيد الى اشارات وادي صقرة

Important Note: Apparently, Al-rai's reporter missed things up, and the GAM will be implementing BRT in Amman. DETAILS HERE

In short, the Greater Amman Municipality is planning to build a couple of urban railway tracks in the capital, the 1st will be similar to a tramway (if not actually one) in a separate lane in the middle of the streets, and will be called "Poor's railway" and will be connected Al-Mahatta to University of Jordan, and later extended to the 5th circle via King Abdulla Gardens.

The 2nd project will be an underground metro (& maybe onground in some areas) from Al-Mahatta via downtown and Wadi Saqra street to King Abdullah Gardents.

I'm very much into the 2nd project, especially that the area is narrow & needs such a project.

But i don't understand this "Poor's railway / tramway" thing!
1st of all is the name! which is SOOOOOOOOO underrated for such an important and dynamic project. and its not only me mentioning that!

While on the other hand, the HUGE cost of the project raises a big question mark! 5 million JD / KM is a HUGE amount of money. and instead of having all the mess from such a project, and all the years needed to implement it (& the glitches taken from the zarqa light railway project that didn't see light until now), and all the money to spend.

A small simple rapid solution can be implementing BRT instead!
BRT: Standing for "Bus Rapid Transit" is a broad term given to a variety of transportation systems that, through improvements to infrastructure, vehicles and scheduling, attempt to use buses to provide a service that is of a higher quality than an ordinary bus line.

Thus, we can make the same lanes, but with asphalt instead of a railway, with the same stations and ticketing and so ... & have Big Hybrid buses running through it.

& there you go, the entire project done in a couple of months, and with the cost of 2 KMs or less! & pretty much easily extensible.
Like this!

& the buses can be even as big as this!

and the web is just FULL of BRT plans .... here are some blogs even!

22 September, 2008

Spin FM shows grid .. EXCLUSIVE!

This is EXCLUSIVE guys! only here on n@simjo .. and they're all starting ... today!
I bet the guys from Communicorp will kill me for this :D

Weekdays shows will be:

Breakfast Espresso with Tamer Bataineh: 7-10
Spin@Work (with 100 Spin Hits in a Row! Love it!) with Hasan Hijjawi: 10-16
Zoo Crew with Lena Ghannam (Yup! the Pulp girl!) and Mosaab Mustata: 16-19 (starting after ramadan)

While weekends will have a special grid as well:
The Late Late Breakfast Show with Emile Haddad: 10-13
The Weekender with Tamim Suyyagh: 16-19
The Juice with Hasan Hijjawi (Fridays): 19-22

Spin FM Jordan starts talking!

Spin FM Jordan, and in less than 1 month from starting, Spin FM debuts its 1st radio show on air!

"The Spin Morning Espresso!" is now on AIR! with .... guess who! Yes,!!! the man with the master plan, the crazy morning guy: TAMER BATAINEH! Weekdays 7-10 AM

Yes! he is doing all his crazyness on air!
Yes! he is playing ALTERNATIVE MUSIC on AIR! and even, new HITS from those geners of music (some no one in jordan is playing!)
Yes! Tamer Batayneh is on the jordanian airwaves again :)

18 September, 2008

More on CMTC's fake financial reports.

Commenting on yesterday's post, which was a quoted economic analysis made by Mr Hasan Al-Shobakee, from Alghad newspaper about the financial situation of the CMTC (The Comprehensive Multiple Transportation Company), the major urban public transportation operator in the capital Amman, and which was branded lately as “autobus”. And no, i didnt forget to link it to autobus.jo, its just that the domain name advertised on the buses never was and still, a domain without an operating website.

A lot of financial issues were published in the article, summarizing here in English (since the article was in Arabic) some of the facts that the company's financial report, made by Amwal invest, was a complete fake out for the actual company situation, the entire set of numbers was different in the Social Security Dept's assessment report according to which the Social Security Dept withdrew from the company (considering the tight relations between Amwal Invest and the major owners in CMTC – Abu Khader Automotive).

So, from personal loans thrown on the company's budget, even to loans taken for buses maintenance and rehabilitation (which wasn't even used), to the “Convema” (a non existing brand) buses that where but from another company by AK automotive which has build the buses at the Free Zone upon Mitsubishi Canter pickups chases and engine with over 71,000 JD bus each, with a total of 1.07 Million JD, financed in leasing by AK automotive's own leasing company. Even though those buses dont even cost 40,000 JD (a number estimated by the Social Security Dept in their report apparently), especially since we are talking about low quality materials, plastic windows, and no safety dotations (not even ABS, a fact that those buses were made by the company at the free zone in 2004, and not allowed to be soled inside Jordan because of this fact!). And finally to the fact that the CMTC acquisition of Asia Transport Co was made with 18.9 million JD, which the actual amount didn't exceed 7.7 million JD!

With an end of the story regarding the introduction of CMTC in the Amman Stock Exchange earlier this year, where it was said that stocks were sold with 18 million JD in this introduction, while the actual amount was 8 million JD. That is after both, their attempt of faking out financial reports as above failed in attracting people to buy the company's stocks, as well as the image makeover of their buses and branding them as “autobus” didn't get that much success, a an external makeover in which they attempted to hide the bad quality of service and miserable situation of the buses.

Since about the bad quality service i have already talked several times and can keep on talking. This time i want to give out a small random sample of observations on what is more hidden and away from the eyes of my dear luxury car drivers and riders.

Photos are from my own collection, as well as courtesy of Ehab Hakawati and Ro'a Eliwat. and those are just a small sample of what our eyes catch daily!

The marked is the convema buses mentioned above

Most of the buses have tight spaces for passengers, due to the fact that the company squeezes more rows of seats than the actual number

No Comment

and of course, in a rush hour, where the bus is almost full on feet as well, imagine standing beside a door with a broken window!

Some Digital displays are not working at all

while others are broken despite being new! and you can only guess on what route this bus is moving, and talk with the driver sign language!

and lets not forget the miserable hygienic situation inside the buses

Radio Guide Update: Mazaj FM on 101.7 FM in Irbid

Mazaj FM started broadcasting in irbid on 101.7 FM earlier this month.

This is the 1st frequency for Mazaj FM and seagulls in general outside the Greater Amman Area. and this will add some change on the radio scene in the northern jordanian city of irbid, since Mazaj FM is a differently themed radio station than the other operating ones in Irbid area.

17 September, 2008

أمانة عمان تكتشف "فضائح" المتكاملة للنقل المتعدد

هذا المقال تم نشره البارحة في جريدة الغد، كتحليل إقتصادي للسيد حسن الشوبكي، و تم نقله كما هو:

امين عمان يحول "خلافا " بين الامانة والشركة المتكاملة للنقل المتعدد الى التحكيم، ويعهد بالتحكيم الى وزير الصناعة والتجارة السابق شريف الزعبي. خبر مقتضب نشر مؤخرا في صحيفة يومية .. بيد ان القصة الكاملة للشركة المتكاملة تستوجب التحويل الى قضاء اكثر تخصصا على اثر ما كان يجري

فيها خلال العامين الماضيين، اسوة بالقضايا المماثلة التي تم التعامل معها بالطرق القضائية الصحيحة، بوصف الشركة مساهمة عامة ارتكب فيها ما يمس الحقوق وما يؤشر على ضياع الاموال وتكبيد الشركة خسائر تكشفها ميزانيتها للعام الماضي.

تداعيات ما حدث في الشركة المتكاملة للنقل المتعدد – مساهمة عامة برأسمال 20 مليون دينار – كشفت من خلال تقريرين متناقضين حيال وضع الشركة المالي، الاول اعدته شركة "اموال انفست" والتي يرأسها هنري عزام والثاني اعدته دائرة تمويل المشاريع في الهيئة الاستثمارية التابعة للضمان

الاجتماعي، وكان التقرير الاول اعد في منتصف الشهر الاخير من العام 2006 وذلك لتقدير السعرالعادل لسهم الشركة لغايات الشراء.

تقرير "اموال انفست" يكشف تباينا واضحا واختلافا في الايرادات الفعلية للشركة المتكاملة وارباحها واوضاع الباصات فيها، علما ان رئيس اموال انفست هنري عزام يشارك في عضوية مجلس ادارة " المتكاملة "، وفي مقابل ذلك يقدم تقرير الهيئة الاستثمارية صورة اكثر سوداوية لواقع الشركة المالي والاداري.

وتشير البيانات في ميزانية الشركة المتكاملة للعامين الماضيين الى ان الشركة زادت التزاماتها خلال الشهرين الاخيرين من العام 2006 بمبلغ اضافي قدره 4.6 مليون دينار لترفع التزاماتها بذلك الى 8.6 مليون دينار، وهي التزامات فيها الكثير من الذمم الشخصية على رئيس مجلس الادارة جورج ابو خضر على النحو التالي: قرض بمبلغ مليوني دينار من بنك الاتحاد لتسديد جزء من شراء شركة اسيا، قرض بمبلغ ربع مليون دينار من بنك الاتحاد لاعادة بناء وصيانة باصات الشركة لكنه لم يستغل، وذمم اخرى على رئيس مجلس الادارة جورج ابو خضر.

ويكشف تقرير الهيئة الاستثمارية انه بالاضافة الى اقتراض رئيس مجلس الادارة بموجب اسم الشركة المتكاملة لتملك شركات شقيقة، فإن الشركة المتكاملة اشترت 15 حافلة من نوع " كوفيما " بمبلغ 1.07 مليون دينار من الشركة الشقيقة والتي كانت تملك مصنعا لتصنيع الباصات في المنطقة الحرة وتم التمويل عن طريق شركة شقيقة اخرى وهي المتكاملة للتاجير التمويلي وبمعدل 70 الف دينار لسعر الباص الواحد، علما ان سعرالباص كما يؤكد تقرير الهيئة لايتجاوز 40 الفا وبمواصفات افضل.

في ذات الشأن المالي، فان ميزانية الشركة للعام الماضي تظهر خسائر متراكمة بحجم 1.9 مليون دينار، كما تظهر البيانات المالية التي اعدت لتنفيذ صفقة بيع السهم بسعر 1.6 دينار للسهم الواحد ان الثمن الفعلي لبيع الاسهم بلغ نحو 8 ملايين دينار وليس 18 مليون دينار وهو ما يدعو الى التساؤل عن سبب ادراج مبلغ الشهرة في الميزانية ورفعه الى 11.3 مليون دينار.

وقد كانت الشركة المتكاملة قد قامت في نهاية عام 2006 بشراء كامل حصص الشركاء في رأسمال احدى شركات النقل مقابل مبلغ 18.9 مليون دينار والتي تمت على اساس صافي حقوق الشركاء لتلك الشركات والبالغة 7.6 مليون دينار بحيث تم اعتبار الفرق البالغ 11.3 مليون دينار شهرة ناتجة عن شراء كامل حصص رأسمال تلك الشركات.

تفاصيل " المتكاملة " ليست عادية او طبيعية او حتى قانونية، ويسجل للفريق الذي درس اوضاع الشركة من الهيئة الاستثمارية قيمة الملاحظات التي وردت في التقرير وكانت سببا في عدم الشراء لاحقا، وهو ما يجعل الكثير من التساؤلات تثور جملة واحدة بعد قرار امين عمان المهندس عمرالمعاني تحويل الخلاف بين الامانة التي تملك 20 % من الشركة وادارة المتكاملة الى التحكيم.

من اهم الملاحظات والتساؤلات في هذه القصة يكمن التساؤل عن سبب عدم وقف المعاني لتلك التجاوزات بعد علمه ومعرفته بما كان يدور في اروقة الشركة المتكاملة ودهاليزها، وابلغ من ذلك، التساؤل عن الجهة القانونية التي من المفترض ان تقدم استشارات قانونية للمعاني وهي ذات الجهة التي تأخذ اتعابها بالدقيقة، واخيرا ، كيف يمكن فهم تحويل التحكيم الى مكتب شريف الزعبي، علما بان الزعبي كان وزيرا للصناعة والتجارة خلال تسجيل تلك المخالفات في الشركة، وكان حريا ان يتم كشفها في عهد الوزير وبموجب مسؤوليته وبحكم موقعه انذاك، حتى لا يتكرر ذات المشهد في هذه الشركة اوفي أي شركة مشابهة من الشركات المساهمة العامة.

وثمة معطيات تؤشر على وجود مخالفات ذات طابع كبير وتبعات قانونية اكبر من ان تعالج في اروقة القضاء المدني او التحكيم، ولعل من ابرزها ان التقرير المالي الذي اعدته شركة اموال انفست يقدم رواية وردية للشركة لا تؤيدها رواية فريق الهيئة الاستثمارية ولا تؤيدها ايضا ما الت اليه

الخلافات بين امانة عمان ممثلة بعمر المعاني عضو مجلس ادارة الشركة المتكاملة وبين الشركة ذاتها، مع تجديد التساؤل عن قانونية اعداد تقريراموال انفست من عدمه، وهي التي يشارك رئيسها هنري عزام في عضوية مجلس ادارة المتكاملة.

ومن الغريب جدا وغير المقبول ايضا ان توظف اموال شركة مساهمة عامة لتمويل مشاريع خاصة لاصحاب رأس المال فيها ، وهذا ما جرى العمل عليه في تلك الشركة ، اذ لا يعقل ان يقترض اصحاب رأس المال من شركة لتمويل استثماراتهم فيها، واين مراقبة الشركات في وزارة الصناعة والتجارة من كل هذا، ام ان مراقبة الشركات تكتفي بحضور اجتماعات الهيئات العامة وتنفذ دورا شكليا لا علاقة له بما يجري داخل الشركات من مخالفات او انتهاكات.

قصة المتكاملة يجب ان تكون على طاولة القضاء المختص بهذا المستوى من المخالفات لا ان يجري لملمتها وكأن اموال الشعب والضرائب التي تدفع لا قيمة لها، ويتصرف به أي كان في الشركات المساهمة العامة، التي تشير الوقائع الى انها ابعد ما يكون عن عين الرقيب.

لا أدري ماذا أعلق على ذلك، أنا شخصياً أعرف بالعديد من هذه الأمور و النقاط المذكورة، و لكن ليس بالأرقام كما هو مذكور. على كل حال، قد أقوم بالتعليق على ذلك في بوست آخر لاحقاً

My comments are available in a separate post, here

15 September, 2008

Energy FM, killed or resurrected!?

Energy 97.7 FM, the radio station which was lunched just at the beginning of this year, & which started a couple of shows (& not even all the promised and promoted shows yet), was put ON hold by the Al-Kawn's Management!

Apparently, this was the reason behind stopping the shows during ramadan on the airwaves of the radio station, in a period while other radio stations around jordan, both arabic and english speaking. are trying to enrich their programs grid!

Apart from the fact that this hang is doubting the station's position in the market, which, as observed, couldn't really attract that much advertisers even before this hang! & they never even reached 10% of Play FM and Beat FM's weight in the market!

associated with this sudden stop, came the resignation of Adrienne Denaro, Co-Host of the Morning Fix and the station's program manager! & there rumors around about some change in style! why do i feel that this might mean a change from a "Dance Hit Music Station" (which was observed in Energy's style of music during the past months) to a "Hit Music Station" !!! just like the other ones in the market!

Or does it mean turning it into a "Mute" show-less radio station! which i guess it already is!

Or is it just that the jordanian airwaves are having more and more copy-cats around!

lets wait and see!

Update: The Lipstick lunch girls has also resigned. and the show was put on hold

13 September, 2008

JO Magazine turns 5!

5 years of variety and dynamism
5 years of professional journalism
5 years of all kinds of topics, ranging from the Amman bombings to Drugs, from Night life and Night clubs in Amman to Honor crimes, from The Alternative Music movement in Jordan to Porn Cinemas in downtown Amman ... all covered in JO.
5 years of english-written magazines in Jordan (since JO was the 1st!)
5 years of the most serious magazine in Jordan, yet the most hyper dynamic.
5 years of the jordanian magazine that just makes you proud as a jordanian!

Yes, JO Magazine, turning 5 with their 61st issue this month, is a magazine that I'd like to follow up each and every month. And despite the fact that i sometimes (rarely) might not buy it, but like to follow it up. Simply because its a realistic magazine, and its probably the only English written magazine in Jordan that is not oriented towards the elite rich people in Jordan, and rather tackles all sorts of topics from the dynamic Jordanian society, with its goods and bads, and is just an overall looking window of journalism towards all sorts of political, social, economical, cultural, and even taboo issues in jordan. With an alternative professional vision, and many times different than what some people would imagine.

JO is also a good tool for representing Jordan! For example, in a technological conference i participated in here in jordan, I had the chance to meet a peer from the Czech republic, whom i gave JO Magazine. Later that year when i was at the Czech republic, and when discussing several issues about jordan with him, some information i was telling him were replied by him: “I know, I read it in the magazine you gave me, JO Magazine :)”. its realistic, its not telling the people reading it that we are Living Very Well, nor that we are enjoying Luxury in the Jordan Business, but it indeed shows the realistic view of jordan, and all sort of Jordanians more than a venture pulp in a nox :)

and maybe thats why Jordanian bloggers have always discussed about JO Magazine in their posts, and thus later came, as a logical result in JO's journalistic policy, their care in the Jordanian blogosphere in several features as well as their “Super Highway” monthly section.

07 September, 2008

re-STAR-ting The Star

The weekly jordanian newspaper, The Star, had recently had an "extreme makeover" resulting in a very dynamic and attractive new english weekly. in a fully colored Tabloid format.

The Star, issued by Addustour media, is the only weekly broadsheet newspaper published in jordan, and it started in 1993, with an inherited history from "The Jerusalem Star" which was published in Jerusalem ever since 1966 through the 1980s.

The Tabloid format made it able to have more topics around and about, since the small page sizes enable having more concentrated context, and more topics and page to review in the newspaper. and less empty talks to fill in blank spaces in certain pages.

the newspaper, whose price increased also to be 0.5 JD, worths it as its more of a ... call it, weekly magazine (Addustour's press can give almost that quality). Also faced an online make over, with a simpler and neater website on www.star.com.jo

Don't forget to check it out tomorrow morning and every monday morning, it worths it!

01 September, 2008

Radio Guide Update: Ayyam FM also in Irbid and Ma'an

Ayyam FM, which started broadcasting today in Amman on 91.5 FM. has also started broadcasting in irbid and northern Jordan on 91.9 FM. and in Ma'an and Petra on 92.1 FM.

Radio Guide Update: Spin FM Jordan also in Irbid and Ma'an

Spin FM Jordan, which started broadcasting today in Amman on 94.1 FM. has also started broadcasting in irbid and northern Jordan on 88.3 FM. and in Ma'an and Petra on 88.5 FM.

By that, Spin FM becomes the 1st ever private western music station that gets a broadcasting license outside the capital Amman. and the 1st one to broadcast in the northern city of irbid, which has been suffering from the lack of a western hit music station, despite the rich market expected for such a station in a city full of campus students and western music lovers.

Radio Guide Update: Ayyam FM on 91.5 FM in Amman

Ayyam FM, the communicorp arabic station in jordan, which was 1st decleared as Spin Arabia from the long waited Communicorp presence in Jordan, started broadcasting today on 91.5 FM in the Greater Amman Area. and is soon to broadcast in other areas around jordan.

Apparently, Ayyam FM will be some sort of an arabic hit music station, playing all the latest arabic hits and varieties.

Also about the sister station Spin Jordan

Radio Guide Update: Spin FM Jordan on 94.1 FM in Amman

Spin FM Jordan, the long waited radio station from Communicorp in Jordan, started broadcasting today on 94.1 FM in the Greater Amman Area. and is soon to broadcast in other areas around jordan.

Apparently, Spin Jordan will be close in style to the Irish Spin 1038, as a hit music station (yes, yet another one!), rather than the Czech Radio Spin (which is specialized in Rap, HipHop, RnB)

Also about the sister station Ayyam FM

31 August, 2008

Radio Sawt Al-Madina, Dynamism on air!

It was amazing dealing with Radio Sawt Al-Madina 88.7 FM in last friday's "Summer's Telematch" that the Jordanian Romanian Forum for Culture has organized.

Apart from the fact that Radio Sawt Al-Madina had, in my own opinion, dynamically grown and varied to turn into what i would call: “The European Model of Pop culture radio stations”, with very interesting hybridism of news bulletins, hit music (mainly arabic, but some western in some shows as well), and a big variety of interactive shows, youth oriented shows, socio-political talk shows, and specialized shows ... all at one place. But i had a very interesting experience dealing with them as i was looking for a media & entertainment sponsor for the “Summer's telematch”. Which was after i was actually oriented towards having a Western Hit music station to be a sponsor, based on the fact that Western Hit music stations are way much more active when it comes to such acts and events in the jordanian radio market, and noticeable more likable to have live off-studio shows than arabic radio stations in Jordan, which are – in general – either too traditional and public service-like radios, or too non-stop music oriented, and usually not willing to invest in their listeners entertainment to gain further listener-ship and ratings.

But, fortunately, I was turned down by a couple of western hit music radio stations, including a very-bad experience with one of them which kept me hanging to wait for a response for almost a month, that is when the request to the second was late enough, resulting in a negative result due to their commitment in another event. Fortunately enough to let me go for Sawt Al-Madina, who replied positively in less than 24 hours, and offered to do free commercials for the event (including very advertisement for the other sponsors – i am saying that just to tease the sponsors who weren't interested), and, most important of all, offered to do a live show from location. Something which the 1st radio station that i went too called it an expensive operation that doesn't worth the effort, and something they want to be paid for !!! (I guess their personnel wasn't informed enough regarding who he was setting in-front off!!! I guess he doesn't even know how the whole procedure goes and how the transmission is carried!!!!).

El Mohem!

Muhannad Shahwan and Rawan Khalifeh, hosts of the famous youth radio show "HUNTING" on Radio Sawt Al-Madina hosted a live show on location and radio last Friday, doing a magnificent job along with all their staff from location. And not to forget their promotion goodies that they have distributed for the public and participants.

& by the way, the event review can be found here :)

28 August, 2008

Struggling, Profitable work Vs Non Profit activity

Between the tremendous workload at the company, and tremendous activity load (NGO activity load represented in the telematch we at the JRFC are having tomorrow). i am still surviving and struggling despite the over 18 hours/ day of overlapping between both.

The irony of the situation is represented in the fact that the due date of both activities happened to be the end of this week, and for several weeks now i was busy with both of them.

Despite the fact the workload in my career is getting me money in return , especially since i am working on hourly wages now, the non-profit NGO activity i am doing with regards to tomorrow's telematch at the Jordanian Romanian Forum for Culture, is consuming enough from my time and efforts, and even relations with peers and people around me.

I dunno why, but there is something inside me that feels that i should get the best out of me for tomorrow's event. maybe also a reason is the fact that the forum's revenues from this activity will be focused in establishing a public library in our organization's offices in Jabal Al-Weibdeh, to target the local community in that area, especially after the emptiness that occurred when Paris Library (which was even a bookshop and a cafe, and not a library) was turned into a cheap pub!

Don't forget, its tomorrow, 4.30 PM at the Jubilee Schools .. More Information HERE

24 August, 2008

The Summer Telematch games! Friday 29 August starting 5 PM

The Jordanian Romanian Forum for Culture, along with The Jubilee Schools Alumni Club, are co-organizing:

The Summer Telematch games!

This Coming Friday, August the 29th, 2008. at the Jubilee Schools – King Hussein Foundation. Starting 5 PM.
With many games and cool prizes for participating teams and audience, come and join us, enjoy your time and win!

Entry Tickets are valued at 3 JD and 1 JD for under 15 years, JRFC members, and Jubilee Alumni members.
For more information, please call 0795959080 or 0788787064

This event is sponsored by: McDonalds, 4D Cinemas – Mecca Mall, Ballalino, Proud and Mood Juices. Official Entertainment Sponsor: Radio Sawt Al-Madina.

Location Map:

21 August, 2008

The Shashati Show

The Shashati Show, this coming saturday, August 24th at the citadel. Short movies, music, and more!

20 August, 2008

Messiness of Urban Public transportation in Amman

هذه التدوينة متوفرة أيضاً باللغة العربية هنا

I've wrote once before, in another post, on another occasion how did the Urban Public Transportation in Amman became "Worse Than Ever".

That is, apart from much other occasions writing about urban public transportation in Amman, always depending on personal experiences or related people's experiences.

And the story continues, and Messier than ever, and even on the most important routes in the capital operated by the CMTC, and even in front of the management and owners of the CMTC.

Time: Yesterday, 19-8-2008. at 4:19 PM
Place: Amman, Al-Haramein intersection (Al-Kilo), specifically at the Bus Station on Mecca Street before the intersection, on the southern edge of the road (pretty much adjacent to Abu Khader Automotive building, where the management offices of the CMTC are located).

2 Routes pass by that bus station, Medical City – Raghadan (Route Nr 43), and The Western Circular Route (Nr 59).

At that very moment i reached the station, there were around 10 people and counting.

4:26 PM
At the station there are around 15 individuals, a bus working on route 43 reaches the station (which was for the note, 1 of the newly introduced 116 Mercedes Elba buses, and had the digital route display TURNED OFF!), people wave for him to stop, and nothing, the bus continues while passing just by them!!! The bus seats were full, and some people were standing, but there was space for more standing people. Some waiting passengers were upset, others decided to take a taxi.

4:40 PM
15 – 17 people waiting at the station, as some people appeared, and others left by Taxis, far away in the street a bus on Route 43 appears, but when getting closer it decides to get through the tunnel under the intersection.... The waiting passengers started laughing ironically on their situation.

4:45 PM
A bus working on the Western Circular route (Nr 59), which i was waiting for, reaches the station. That is, after 25 minutes of waiting a bus whose frequency is said to be 15 minutes, and the rest of the passengers remained there waiting for the Raghadan bus which is said to have a frequency of 10 minutes.... in addition to another 7 individuals waiting for the same bus in the bus station situated after the intersection, who i saw while my bus was turning left at the round about.

All of this, just off the windows of the Comprehensive Multiple Transportation Company, whose buses were being waited by those people.

As a passenger, as well as person interested in the Ammani public transportation industry and service, and a user of it.... I don't need any more High-tech, i don't need no Smart nor Stupid card systems (which you have been promoting for over a year now with slow progress of implementation), I don't need Urban and environment friendly buses, nor ones on European standards. Nor i need beautiful painting that fakes out the truth behind the vehicle bodies branded catchy-ly as “autobus”

All I want is commitment and respect... without it, all the above are CRAP!

فوضوية النقل العام داخل عمان.. أكثر من أي وقت مضى

This post is also available in English HERE

في مناسبة أخرى، كتبت في إحدى تدويناتي عن النقل العام المدني في عمان، و كيف أضحى في وقت كتابة تلك التدوينة "أسوء من أي وقت مضى".

ذلك عدا عن مناسبات أخرى عديدة كتبت فيها عن النقل العام داخل مدينة عمان.. معتمداً في كل الأحيان على تجارب شخصية أو أناس مقربين.

وتستمر الأسطورة، و بفوضاوية أكثر من أي وقت مضى.. و حتى على أكثر الخطوط حيوية في العاصمة التي تديرها الشركة المتكاملة، لا بل و حتى أمام مرأى مالكي و إداريي الشركة المتكاملة للنقل المتعدد!

الوقت: البارحة ، 19-8-2008. الساعة 4:19 مساءاً

الموقع: عمان، تقاطع الحرمين (الكيلو). بالتحديد على محطة الباصات الواقعة في شارع مكة قبل التقاطع على الجهة الجنوبية (قرب مقر مجموعة أبو خضر للسيارات، و التي تحوي أيضاً إدارة الشركة المتكاملة للنقل المتعدد).

يمر من ذلك الموقف خطان للنقل العام، المدينة الطبية – رغدان (خط رقم 43) ، و الدائري الغربي (خط رقم 59).

كان في تلك اللحظة التي وصلت فيها المحطة قرابة الــ 10 أشخاص ينتظرون، و غيري يستمر بالقدوم..


في المحطة قرابة الـ 15 شخص ... يصل باص يعمل على الخط 43 (بالمناسبة كان أحد الباصات الــ 116 التي أدخلت مؤخراً للخدمة، و شاشة الخط كانت مطفئة و لا تعمل)، يقوم الناس بالتلويح له للوقف و لكنه لا يتوقف!!!! و يستمر في المسير!! كان الباص ممتلئة مقاعده و لكن كان يوجد مكان للوقوف فيه.

بعض المنتظرين انزعجوا بحكم طول انتظارهم.و البعض قرر ان يركب تكسي.


في المحطة قرابة الـ 15-17 شخص بحكم أن أناس جدد أتوا لينتظروا الباص بينما آخرين غادروا. يبدوا في الأفق باص قادم يعمل على الخط 43، و لكن، و عند اقترابه قرر أن يدخل في النفق، و بالتالي لم يكن في وسع المنتظرين في المحطة سوى الضحك سخرية........... الله بعين، اللي استنى نص ساعة بستنى ساعة.


يأتي باص يعمل على خط الدائري الغربي (59) الذي كنت أنتظره، بعد 25 دقيقة انتظار لباص يحكى أن تردده كل 15 دقيقة، و بقي ركاب خط رغدان الذي يحكى أن تردد باصاته كل 10 دقائق في المحطة ينتظرونه ... كما كان غيرهم (حوالي الـ 7 أشخاص) ينتظرونه أيضاً في المحطة التي بعد التقاطع، و الذين شاهدتهم أثناء دوران الباص الذي ركبته للدوار.

كل ذلك حدث أمام مكاتب إدارة الشركة التي ينتظر أولائك الناس باصاتها.

كـــراكب و كشخص مهتم بالنقل العام في عمان و مستخدم له ... لم أعد أريد تكنولوجيا، لا أريد بطاقات ذكية و لا غبية (تعملون لها دعايات لأكثر من عام على الفاضي)، لا أريد باصات حديثة و لا صديقة للبيئة و لا حسب المواصفات الأوروبية. و لا دهان خارجي لائق و مزيف للحقائق المخفية وراء الهياكل مع إسم تجاري للأوتوباص!

كل ما أريد هو التزام و حياء ... فبدونه لا فائدة من كل ما سبق.