Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.
CITY INPROGRESS:Feature82 Global Concepts, Local InitiativeThe Amman Institute for UrbanDevelopment in a nutshell.Progress...
FEATURE     Global Concepts, Local Initiative     The Amman Institute for Urban Development (Ai) is engaging     the local...
Ai Staff Global Map                      Without careful foresight and intuitive plan-          More than a research insti...
FEATURE     Community involvement: The Kite Mystery, a book created by Zainab Faidhi and 8 local children, will be     dis...
“Ai is a progressive think                                                                                                ...
NEWS     Amman and Quebec City selected as co-hosts of 2016 Universal Forum of Cultures     As part of its continuous effo...
December / January   87
NEWS     HE Omar Maani with Marshall Ganz     Organizing Communities,     One Leader at a Time     The Amman Institute for...
Left and bottom: Hadid’s designs                                                                                          ...
NEWS                                                                                                            Doing Its ...
Use and ReuseIn its continuous effort to do its part in pre-serving the environment, the Amman Institutefor Urban Developm...
PROGRESS     A Park for Abdoun     In the heart of Abdoun, sitting among the shops that surround Ab-     doun Mall and enc...
Installed at the heart of a bustling neighbor-     undeniable contrast - albeit a beautiful one -hood, Abdoun’s new park -...
PROGRESS     Commissioned in cooperation with the Japanese Embassy, the Icabana Club and the JICA Institution, the park’s ...
Above: As the greenery matures and the trees and shrubbery expands, the park will provide shady areas for family outings, ...
PROGRESS     One Crafty Market     Ras El-Ein Crafts Market is a continuous carnival celebrating Jor-     danian cuisine a...
The Ras El-Ein Crafts Market - a carnival, for         gize the market for the benefit of the city andtourists and locals ...
PROGRESS     taurants. Another elevated layer tells the story     of the area, and the third is an open space     that can...
December / January   99
PROGRESS      Restoring Faisal      Holding memories of a past generation, the Faisal area is arguably the keeper of Amman...
FAISAL’S GOLDEN DAYS:Faisal as the main financialhub in AmmanDuring the mid-20th century, the main headquar-ters for the b...
PROGRESS                           Narrating everyday life                           The myriad stairways of Amman were th...
Old urban professionals  At the end of the day, it was these urban  dwellers and individuals who today grant  meaning to p...
PROGRESS      Narrating guilds and com-      mercial networks at Faisal      Faisal hosts a wide array of commercial trade...
WHAT’S NEXT FOR FAISAL?Urban emancipationUrban emancipation will transform Faisal from an urban space that is losing its e...
SPOTLIGHT      Why So Serious?      In December 2008, the first ever Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festi-      val in the Arab wor...
December / January   107
SPOTLIGHT      REVIEW:AMMAN: So, most of you      haven’t been to Amman before.      Welcome! We’ve loved having you guys ...
BSM: They kept leaving stuffed camels in myroom. I think I got 7. I’m not sure if the guywho was in charge [of the hotel] ...
SPOTLIGHT      MEET THE ASCF COMEDIANS      Dean Obeidallah is a former attor-     Omid Djalili is an actor and come-     ...
Edwin San Juan is a Los Angeles-        Nabil Sawalha is an Amman-based           Ola Roshdy is an Egyptian actress      L...
Flip to page 128 to read the City in Progress section in Arabic!        ‫إقلب إلى صفحه 821 لقرائه قسم حراك عمان باللغه الع...
‫استاذ الكوميديا‬                                                      ‫من النادر أن تلتقي بعماني لم يسمع‬                ...
‫بقعة ضمء‬                                                                         ‫عمان تضحك من جديد‬‫يبدو أن ما يقال عن ...
‫أثر األزمة المرورية و سالمة المشاة‬                                             ‫ّ‬                             ‫تعمل أما...
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute

4,724 views

Published on

CITY IN PROGRESS

Feature:
82 Global Concepts, Local Initiative The Amman Institute for Urban Development in a nutshell.

Progress
92 ‘A Park for Abdoun’
96 ‘The New Ras El-Ein’
100 ‘Restoring Faisal’

Spotlight
106 ‘Why So Serious?’
In 2008, the first ever Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festival in the Arab world burst onto the city’s cultural scene, taking us all by storm; two years and two festivals later, the laughs just keep getting louder.

  • Be the first to comment

Amman Review - January 2011| Amman Institute

  1. 1. CITY INPROGRESS:Feature82 Global Concepts, Local InitiativeThe Amman Institute for UrbanDevelopment in a nutshell.Progress92 ‘A Park for Abdoun’96 ‘The New Ras El-Ein’100 ‘Restoring Faisal’Spotlight106 ‘Why So Serious?’In 2008, the first ever AmmanStand-Up Comedy Festival in theArab world burst onto the city’s cul-tural scene, taking us all by storm;two years and two festivals later,the laughs just keep getting louder. December / January 81
  2. 2. FEATURE Global Concepts, Local Initiative The Amman Institute for Urban Development (Ai) is engaging the local community in order to foster healthy, sustainable growth in the Kingdom.82 December / January
  3. 3. Ai Staff Global Map Without careful foresight and intuitive plan- More than a research institute, Ai classifies itself ning, urban development can be a haphazard as a “think-and-do-tank”, developing and im- endeavor. Physical planning efforts often fail to plementing strategies for urban governance, meet the needs of a population, while cultural community planning and sustainable commu- and institutional barriers can halt progress al- nity development. Within this broad realm, Ai together, and make engaging citizens a near- tackles a number of specific issues, including impossible task. The results of poor planning land management, physical planning, public are easily identifiable: take a drive through policy, civic leadership, tourism development Sweifieh, where you’ll find a congested laby- and environmental management. While the in- rinth of one-way streets and a remarkable lack stitute’s name may not yet resonate with most, of parking space to serve this highly commer- projects within the Amman Institute’s services cial neighborhood. The entire area seems far include well-known urban planning ventures, too dated for its 11-year existence, and ulti- such as the Airport Corridor Concept Plan, the mately fails to promote a sense of community Downtown Action Area Plan, the revision of within the space. the Aqaba Master Plan, and the Greater Irbid Master Plan. When the Amman Plan initiative was undertak- en by the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) Above and beyond these physical develop- a few years ago, the objective was clear: fos- ments, the great success of the Amman Institute ter continued urban development that is sus- lies in its efforts to engage the local community. tainable, efficient and engages the population According to founder and general manager of it is meant to serve. The success of the plan Ai, Gerry Post, community involvement in the has been quite remarkable: already, a pool of institute’s activities has been remarkable. From experts from Jordan and abroad has been es- the business leaders to everyday citizens, tablished to handle the logistics of the initiative, the organization is quickly giving individuals a which in 2007 won the prestigious World Lead- sense of belonging, ownership and involvement ership Award for Town Planning. While the Am- in the future of Amman. Ai has held a series man Plan focuses on the growth of the city to of forums, including ones that engage munici- 2025, the foundation established in conjunction pal employees, who can help identify the most with the plan has much broader, more long- pressing community issues. “When we enter a term goals. The Amman Institute for Urban De- community we first organize a forum for mu- velopment (Ai), established in 2008, gives reso- nicipal employees, and ask them, as citizens, nance to the phrase “think globally, act locally” what they think the issues are,” explains Post. by applying international concepts in a manner “This process also identifies the leaders with- that reflects the local culture and environment. in that municipal administration, and we then December / January 83
  4. 4. FEATURE Community involvement: The Kite Mystery, a book created by Zainab Faidhi and 8 local children, will be distributed in public schools. approach the municipality to work with these motivate Amman’s youth to familiarize them- leaders; it is these people that then help us fa- selves with their city at an early age. For exam- cilitate the larger community forum. This helps ple, the Ai staff and artist Zainab Faidhi recently rebuild the bridge between local governments teamed up with eight local children to come up and their communities, a bridge that is often with a story about Amman. In The Kite Mystery, broken” Quite frankly, the level of involvement two children make their way through the city in Ai initiatives from the community has thus far in order to buy a present for their grandfather, been unprecedented. and end up following a kite which leads them to their grandfather. The book, which will be dis- Engaging people, of course, is never an easy tributed in all public schools, is a unique and task. Most individuals remain in a state of pas- innovative soft marketing tool, encouraging and sive disengagement from their communities, fostering interest in urban development and es- and motivating them to become involved is a tablishing a culture of citizenship. As a result, particularly tricky task. The solution adapted by Ai is promoting community involvement that is Ai to overcome this dilemma was simple: own- ultimately organic; growing and developing in ership. Making citizens realize their stake in the Amman’s youth, and eventually filtering down to city and getting them involved requires making future generations through a natural process. The Kite Mystery’s two main characters them feel as though their voices are not only heard, but valued and respected. “Ownership With community interest growing, it is inevitable transforms people’s lives, and then the plan be- that these younger generations will produce an comes more than a document, it become a way increasing number of development-oriented pro- of life.” explains Hania Maraqa, VP of Research fessionals. Along with community involvement, and Outreach at Ai. Ai’s engagement the Amman Institute is hoping to continue to strategy involves working at the neighborhood build up its staff of professionals, even after the level, with notable success stories including the Amman Plan is completed. For employees and Downtown area. “ We want to replicate what professionals recruited by the Amman Institute, happened organically at Rainbow Street, it is a capacity building is a major objective. “We draw great example of how local citizens took owner- individuals from around the world to work with ship of their own future” Hania says, “…and it’s us - so-called ‘best practice people’ - and we all happened through the residents themselves, then partner them with Jordanians in the same such as Zeid Goussous, who has made a huge field,” says Hania. This mentor program is not difference!” adds Post. In one particular com- only increasing the capacity of local profession- munity forum in Irbid, attendance reached nearly als, but is quickly drawing back some of Jor- 1,000 citizens, including kids who turned up on dan’s most intelligent and talented expatriates, their own accord. “They had never been asked who return with a sense of service and duty to [for their input] before,” says Post, “and when the community. “We want to address the brain something as encouraging as this happens, it drain problem,” Post says. “Jordanians have changes people.” It seems that, already, com- established a strong professional cadre, but munity interest and involvement in the future of the people are being exported. What we want Amman and other cities is skyrocketing. to do is export the knowledge, but keep the Children are explicitly targeted by these public individuals here in order to help Jordan grow.” outreach initiatives. Children, teens and young With even greater vision and foresight, the in- adults are actively encouraged to participate in stitute is increasingly making efforts to reduce a number of workshops, and these programs this problem for future generations, engaging84 December / January
  5. 5. “Ai is a progressive think tank that holds the potential to function as a regional hub for the exchange of urban planning knowledge”Ai forum in Irbidstudents in internship programs, and recruit- the institute. Ai is also working with the World reviewer of their new plan. This bodes well foring the best and brightest before they gradu- Bank Institute on the development of a anti- Jordan to become a regional knowledge hub inate from university. corruption training program for local officials. the urban sector. If the bandwagon is promot- ing and fostering community development, andWith success come a number of hurdles which The Amman Institute for Urban Development healthy, sustainable urban growth, perhaps thisAi continues to overcome. “The biggest issue has set the bar extremely high from their incep- is one bandwagon worth jumping on board. “Aiis discipline,” says Post. “To decide on a policy tion; a risky venture for any organization look- is a unique type of organization that empowersand stick to it is the greatest challenge.” Like- ing to maintain long-term success and continual staff and gives them a sense of ownership, dealswise, improving on transparency and battling improvements. Nonetheless, Post has sufficient with clients as partners and works towards gen-corruption is no easy task, either. The Amman reason to be confident about the future of Ai. “Ai uine interactions with communities, “ adds AsmaInstitute hosted the Second Amman Centenni- is offering something new to Amman residents Al Khraisat, Architect and Urban Planner at Ai.al Forum last year, under the title “Transparen- and to Jordanians that was unheard of before,”cy in Urban Governance.” The event included he says. “But now they’ve seen it work, and “Think global, act local” may not be a new con-a lecture from Ronald MacLean-Abaroa, the people are joining the bandwagon and we’ve cept, but it just might be what Amman needs toformer mayor of La Paz, Bolivia, whose book, attracted regional interest. We’re now actively begin growing and developing in a manner thatCorrupt Cities: A Practical Guide to Cure and helping communities in Iraq and Palestine, and benefits those who matter: its residents.Prevention, has been translated into Arabic by most recently Dubai has asked us to be a peer ammaninstitute.com December / January 85
  6. 6. NEWS Amman and Quebec City selected as co-hosts of 2016 Universal Forum of Cultures As part of its continuous effort to foster cul- sense in a quest for development that is just, Proud of Amman’s win to host the forum, May- tural and social development in Jordan, The humane, sustainable and peaceful,” according or Omar Maani commented that the forum “is Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) has an- to the foundation’s objectives. an event of high magnitude, locally, and on the nounced that Amman and Canada’s Quebec Arab and international levels.” He went on to City have been selected as co-hosts of the After being short-listed from among twenty say that having won is an opportunity to show 2016 Universal Forum of Cultures. other bidders, Amman was selected on Octo- the whole world Amman’s “charm, deep-root- ber 4th, 2010, based on its urban regeneration ed history, cultural movements constituents, Established in 2004 by the Barcelona City projects, its readiness to host the forum, and and its dreams, ambitions, and accomplish- Council, the government of Catalonia and the its public transportation systems and infra- ments in all human and urban spheres,” and Spanish government, The Universal Forum of structure, among other qualifications. Mayor asks those concerned to unite and help make Cultures Foundation has brought together a of Amman, HE Omar Maani thanked the board the event “a historic moment that is worthy of comprehensive, international network of 3,000 and credited Their Majesties King Abdullah our Hashemite leadership, our good people, thinkers that meet to “foster a public com- and Queen Rania, along with the government, and our country.” mitment to dialogue, creativity and common for the success of the bid.86 December / January
  7. 7. December / January 87
  8. 8. NEWS HE Omar Maani with Marshall Ganz Organizing Communities, One Leader at a Time The Amman Institute for Urban Development (Ai) invited Marshall Ganz, a lecturer at the Har- vard Kennedy School of Government and a key player in the shaping of Barack Obama’s recent campaign, to conduct a training workshop and event about community building and organizing on June 2nd, 2010. With the goals of empow- ering Jordan’s community leaders to excel and triggering social change on both a small and large scale, Ai and Ganz put together an experi- Amman With a Plan ence that far exceeded the expectations of its In October of 2010, Ai, the Greater Amman place in the Kingdom’s capital over the next participants and guests. Municipality and Planning Alliance were award- two decades. The Zoning Regime emphasizes ed the top two prizes in International Develop- the creation of landscaping, modern urban de- The two-day training was described by its par- ment Planning from the Canadian Institute of sign, large, open spaces, parking and building ticipants as “a life-changing experience” and in- Planners (CIP). massing as crucial. cluded six of Jordan’s community builders and organizers and targeted 25 of Jordan’s most The Award of Planning Excellence for 2010 At the CIP Award Ceremony in Montreal, the Ai, active members of the community. The ses- was presented to the Amman Institute and now active in assisting communities through- sions were carried out by a group of coaches planningAlliance for its new Zoning Regime, a out Jordan, Palestine, Iraq and Dubai, was also from Jordan and the MENA region, who were project (due to take effect in early 2011) de- awarded with honorable mention for building led by Nisreen Haj, a former student of Ganz signed to help Amman effectively plan for the capacity in international development. and currently his deputy in Jordan. rapid urban growth that is expected to take The event that followed, titled, “People, Leader- ship and Change,” took place at the Hussein Cultural Center in Ras Al Ayn and was attended The All New Urban by 300 guests, including Mayor Omar Maani, the Minister of Agriculture, top officials, and E-Translator many others. Ganz’s speech focused on the is- Translating technical terms dealing with urban sues of leadership, community building, power, governance is a painstaking and often difficult and shared values and interests. He explained and expensive task. To make this easier, Ai has how these issues can be properly used to pro- developed an urban e-translator that now con- mote community change, mobilization, civic or- tains over 2,000 terms - and not just technical ganization and collective action. ones. Visit the Ai website to check it out!88 December / January
  9. 9. Left and bottom: Hadid’s designs for the King Abdullah II House of Culture and Art Below: Zaha Hadid with Mayor of Amman HE Omar MaaniA Piece of Zaha Hadid for JordanYou’ve probably seen her work in Germany, tersection of Princess Basma Street and Ali of Amman has further inspired Hadid to drawLondon, Japan and nearly every other major Bin Abi Talib Street. The designs include an on Petra for its “interplay between architec-city in the world. Joining that list of cosmo- educational center, several galleries, a 400- ture and nature.” The actual structure will bepolitan locations is Amman; in February 2010, seat theater and a 1600-seat concert hall. located within a larger plaza, both designedHE Mayor Omar Maani, signed an agree- with intricate and wide openings to createment with critically acclaimed ‘starchitect’ Taking inspiration from Petra as an oasis and both a sense of welcoming and grandeur.Zaha Hadid to produce working plans on the sanctuary, Hadid’s design hopes to highlightplanned ‘King Abdullah II House of Culture the role of the future performing arts center Construction is scheduled to begin in 2012.and Art.’ The new performing arts center will as a hub of contemporary culture in Jordan. History in the making!be located near the downtown area at the in- The location of the venue in the central valley December / January 89
  10. 10. NEWS Doing Its Part To do their part in minimizing the negative im- pact they have on the Earth’s climate, The Am- man Institute for Urban Development (Ai) is in the process of rolling out a new initiative under its Sustainable Development (SD) Sector called the Carbon Neutral Initiative. Its mission is to explore ways of making Ai more climate-friendly and environmentally sustainable, and to devel- op a climate-neutral approach to its premises and operation. To accomplish this task, Ai is Ai and Waterloo University Join Forces taking every measure it can to implement inno- vative and responsible environmental practices Urban planning has become a central feature of across the organization. development in Amman as population growth Carbon footprinting, a problem that is becom- continues to put a strain on the country’s infra- ing more serious and garnering more attention structure. Urban planning lies at the heart of de- today than ever before, is a measure of the im- veloping the economy, housing, sanitation, and pact (in terms of greenhouse gases produced) transportation sectors of any city. It affects the human activities have on the environment. Ai lives of the population and their diverse needs plans to reduce its use of non-renewable en- and aspirations must be taken into account. Ai ergy sources, replace fossil fuels with sustain- has teamed up with two professors from the able energy sources, and absorb carbon di- University of Waterloo to find out how the Am- oxide to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide mani public is taken into consideration during that it emits. By initiating this sustainable cul- urban planning projects in Jordan. The study has taken the form of online surveys and fo- ture, achieving its own objectives, and training aims to be a major part of a larger research cus groups designed to engage a range of lo- its employees in the actions necessary to “go project on development and urban planning in cal citizens from different social and economic green,” Ai hopes to help other organizations in the Middle East. So far, Ai and Waterloo’s study backgrounds. Jordan to do the same. Ai Looks South to Aqaba! Since its inception, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) has been tasked with the development of the city not only as a tourism destination, but also as a business and technol- ogy hub - propelling ASEZA to develop and re- lease the Aqaba Master Plan in 2002. Since its release, a range of factors have af- fected the development of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone since the announcement of the 2002 Master Plan. As a result, and in order to bring into sharper coherence the long-term development plans of Aqaba with the local, na- tional, and regional contexts that structure such development, Ai has been working with ASEZA to revise the 2002 Master Plan and has begun formulating an implementation strategy. Of inter- est to many of those involved and the general public, this process includes a conceptual de- sign of downtown Aqaba as well as the water- front as strategic locations.90 December / January
  11. 11. Use and ReuseIn its continuous effort to do its part in pre-serving the environment, the Amman Institutefor Urban Development (Ai) and the JordanEnvironment Society (JES) have signed anagreement to begin recycling paper. To ad-here to the standards of environmental, eco-nomic, and social sustainability, Ai and JEShave come together in a partnership that notonly benefits them, but also their communi-ties and country at large.Under the agreement between the sociallyconscious organizations, Ai is to provide JESwith paper waste on a regular basis. In return,JES will implement a regular environmentalawareness program for Ai employees. JESprovides Ai with a free, annually-renewablemembership at the society, invites the in-stitute to participate in its many activities,provides it with regular reports about theamounts of refuse paper and its conditions,and returns back the recycled paper at theend of each year to be used again. December / January 91
  12. 12. PROGRESS A Park for Abdoun In the heart of Abdoun, sitting among the shops that surround Ab- doun Mall and encased by greenery, this new park lies within an active commercial zone where high-end retail shops, restaurants and energetic cafes actively operate. by Lena Ghannam92 December / January
  13. 13. Installed at the heart of a bustling neighbor- undeniable contrast - albeit a beautiful one -hood, Abdoun’s new park - one of the Greater with its surroundings.Amman Municipality’s latest and greatest ef-forts - aims to be the perfect green spot to re- Flanked on all sides by thriving shops, restau-lax and catch your breath. It’s been hard not to rants, gyms, hair salons and coffee shops, park-notice the modern, assymetrical structure that ing has inevitably become a major hindrance tohas gone up in the middle of one of Abdoun’s accessing the amenities of the area. One of thebusiest commercial districts. The building sits most fantastic aspects of the creation of thein the midst of Asian-inspired landscape de- new park is that its plans include a dire solutionsigns; flowers, grass, and greenery create an to the area’s parking congestion - a problem December / January 93
  14. 14. PROGRESS Commissioned in cooperation with the Japanese Embassy, the Icabana Club and the JICA Institution, the park’s creation will lend color, vibrancy and a soothing element to the commercial district in which it lies. Above: (L) Crisscrossing pathways lined with benches surround the modern Asian-inspired architecture of the on-site amenities building (R) Expansive green lawns cover the park’s grounds, injecting the area with eco-friendly and aesthetic benefits Designed as a traditional Japanese park, visitors will find water, rocks, plants, and a bridge among the abundant horticulture. Above: (L) Details on park benches and pathway lighting have been attended to carefully, creating a thoughtful and beautifully designed space that stands out from other locations in the city (R) Abdoun Park stands out as a modern oasis amid the sand-stone brick buildings of the surrounding area most of us in Amman face, particularly in this In addition to the numerous uses Abdoun Park bustling sector of Abdoun. This problem has will provide to the community, considerable ex- been faced head-on in designing the new park, panses of green lawn are set at various levels, and as part of its functional use the park affords providing raised areas above the noise of the a large number of below-ground and street street - affording visitors a green, relaxing spot parking for both park-goers as well as the pub- to enjoy. Increasing the level of greenery in Am- lic. Furthering the functionality of the park is an man is a priority, and GAM is furthering their on-site cafeteria and a branch of the Housing commitment to create an increased awareness Bank; ultimately creating a well-rounded expe- of the importance of green spaces throughout rience for park visitors, local patrons and those the city; Abdoun Park is a prime example of who work in the surrounding area. that dedication.94 December / January
  15. 15. Above: As the greenery matures and the trees and shrubbery expands, the park will provide shady areas for family outings, long walks, lunch-breaks, reading -among other numerous activities The project’s design provides full accessibility along its major pathways, taking into account the needs of the disabled – an issue that most residents of Amman know is rarely addressed. The park is also fully pedestrianized, with at- tractive diagonal pathways cutting across the lawns and providing access to any of the four main entrances which lead to all corners of the busy shopping district; creating an attainable oasis for the outside shopper and a convenient commercial access point for the visitor within park walls. Abdoun Park successfully marries the much- needed elements of a place to unwind and take a walk, with the need for greenery among the stone buildings that populate the majority of neighborhoods and landscapes in Abdoun (and the city as a whole). Soon to be open to the public, the park will definitely be a happyUnlike any structure in Amman, the on-site amenities building can be seen as a nod to the city’s fast-pace addition to Abdoun and to anyone who passesprogression into the modern era through, looking for a place to breathe. December / January 95
  16. 16. PROGRESS One Crafty Market Ras El-Ein Crafts Market is a continuous carnival celebrating Jor- danian cuisine and delicacies, coupled with a showcase of food, related crafts, music and fine arts.96 December / January
  17. 17. The Ras El-Ein Crafts Market - a carnival, for gize the market for the benefit of the city andtourists and locals alike - displays authentic its citizens.Ammani life after the electrification of the city inthe late 1930s. Hoping that the 1,720,000JD The flexible design includes the Electric-restoration project will revitalize the market ity Hanger and the Workshops Building. Theand create renewed value on an old cultural former is made up of “three longitudinal hori-asset, the Municipality of Amman is commited zontal layers of movements and functions,”to economically and developmentally re-ener- one of which houses shops, cafes, and res- December / January 97
  18. 18. PROGRESS taurants. Another elevated layer tells the story of the area, and the third is an open space that can be used for exhibitions or flea mar- kets, among other uses. The Workshops Building, meant to provide learning opportunities for its visitors, was ar- chitecturally modeled after the original design of the building that used to stand in that loca- tion, respecting the significance of the place and sustaining its industrial character.98 December / January
  19. 19. December / January 99
  20. 20. PROGRESS Restoring Faisal Holding memories of a past generation, the Faisal area is arguably the keeper of Amman’s modest begin- nings. Now fallen from its former glory, the city of Amman is already on task to bring Faisal into the 21st century and reclaim its position as the beating heart of the city . . . reminding Amman’s residents of its glory days - those past, and those on the horizon.100 December / January
  21. 21. FAISAL’S GOLDEN DAYS:Faisal as the main financialhub in AmmanDuring the mid-20th century, the main headquar-ters for the banks in the country were locatedin Faisal and Shabsough. But even before that,Faisal was also considered to be the main finan-cial hub within the city. The oldest bank in thecity, the Ottoman Bank, was located in Faisal,and was followed by Al Masraf Al Zirahe’. Todaythe Arab Bank, together with other banks suchas Al Ahli, Al Ittihad, and Al Urdon are all locatedthere. The place is blessed with a sense of secu-rity, especially with the relationship between thebanks on one hand and the Souq al Dahab onthe other - which also represents another signifi-cant financial symbol of the city.Faisal as the beatingheart of the cityFaisal was not only the physical meeting point ofall residential mountains within the city, but wasalso the administrative and economic centerof the city. It was the home to several publicbuildings such as the Post Office, the OttomanBank, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry ofJustice, the Amman Municipality, and the policecenter. More recently, several of these organi-zations no longer exist or have moved to otherplaces in Amman, but there was a time whenFaisal really was the beating heart of the city. December / January 101
  22. 22. PROGRESS Narrating everyday life The myriad stairways of Amman were the earlier urban communal spaces in the city; they defined neighborhood limits and provided diverse ac- cess to the downtown area - namely to Faisal Street. Mainly used for residential access, they also supported commercial activity as they led to shopping districts across downtown. The steps stitched Faisal with the residential hills on the slopes of the 7 mountains flanking the down- town area. Emergence of a distinctive Ammani residential narra- tive in Faisal People used to live in Faisal. The early settlements carried the names of Circassian tribes such as the Mahallat of Shabsough, Qabartai, and Abzagh. Master builders had built significant traditional houses in Faisal. What is most fascinating is the transformation of some of these houses - which used to serve as political meeting grounds - into coffee houses such as Balat al Rashid; once the house of political figure Wasfi Mirza Pasha, it was converted into a coffee shop in 1924. Another house in the Faisal area inhabited by the Circas- sian Turk family was turned into Hotel Baghdad al Kabeer. Famous residents of the downtown area include people such as Mohammad Ali Bdair, Fahmi al Zaeem, and Abdel Fattah Malhas just to name a few.102 December / January
  23. 23. Old urban professionals At the end of the day, it was these urban dwellers and individuals who today grant meaning to places such as Faisal and who make its urban memory come alive. Unfor- tunately, the multi-layered beginnings of the city have not been fully - or even partially - narrated yet. The city is definitely under- studied and there is a crucial need for more critical analysis of its diversity and evolu- tion. Amman needs to celebrate its diverse beginnings by granting a voice to the roles of urban individuals, merchants and their respective businesses.Regional mobility andconnectionsFaisal Street, along with other similar places likeSahet al Marje in Damascus or Martyrs Squarein Beirut, used to be the place of connectionbetween cities within the Bilad al Sham (Levant)region. Not only did these places have a lot incommon - as all were transportation hubs fromwhere one could take a car to Damascus, Bei-rut, Amman or Jerusalem - but these places alsohoused a lot of hotels and cafes signaling an ac-tive relationship and mobility within the region inthe middle of the 20th century. Waiting for theTaballat Company buses, which took travelersfrom Amman to Palestinian towns was a commonscene near Faisal. These different places not onlyqualified the concept of Bilad al Sham at the lo-cal level but also provided the medium for sharingideas and political views, migration, and tradingcommercial goods within the region. December / January 103
  24. 24. PROGRESS Narrating guilds and com- mercial networks at Faisal Faisal hosts a wide array of commercial trades; everything ranging from textiles to banking to jew- elry to bookshops and electronics - it can all be found there. It is very important to understand the different networks between these diverse profes- sionals. For example, it is well known that family ties and networks prevail in the production and selling of jewelry. The profession dictates this network since the main patron is typically unable to depend on non-relatives for security reasons. Some of these families include Suradi, Abu Sara, Sakijha, Kalha, Jabasini and Imseeh.104 December / January
  25. 25. WHAT’S NEXT FOR FAISAL?Urban emancipationUrban emancipation will transform Faisal from an urban space that is losing its economic vitalityand symbolic - as well as actual - value into a vibrant urban space that is energetic and con-stantly active. Currently, the Faisal area is dominated by traffic and visual pollution. When theseissues are addressed, Faisal will be restored as an environment suitable for both vehicles andpedestrians and it will once again assume its role and symbolic significance in the city.Traffic impact & pedestrian safetyGAM is aiming to refresh the commercial movement in the area, and to aid that goal plans areunderway to develop a street design that caters to pedestrians’ ability to navigate the area whileallowing drivers to pass through unobstructed. This is in order to ensure the safety and ease ofmovement for both.Clearing visual pollutionIn order to restore the integrity of the classic architecture and stone that is a hallmark of thebuildings in the Faisal area, new regulations will be implemented in order to highlight the uniquequality and beauty of the storefronts, antique signs and the historic buildings.While the restoration of Faisal is an important undertaking for the city of Amman, as it stands todaythe area still holds a great deal of its charm - how could it not? It’s built into the walls of every building,permeating the area. GAM’s aim for this historic location is to restore and enhance the streets and thewalls themselves to let that charm shine more brightly than ever before. December / January 105
  26. 26. SPOTLIGHT Why So Serious? In December 2008, the first ever Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festi- val in the Arab world burst onto the city’s cultural scene, taking us all by storm; two years and two festivals later, the laughs just keep getting louder. by Lena Ghannam Behind the scenes, the Greater Amman Munici- pality - directed by HE the light-hearted Mayor Omar Maani (who knew?) - went all out and made 2010’s festival bigger (and funnier!) than any other stand-up act that’s landed in Jordan so far. Any one of the thousands of attendees noticed that this year’s line-up took a hilariously steroidal turn. Dousing the (typically very, very tense) popula- “Every building in Amman [is] tion of Amman with a much needed hysterical the exact same color. Is there release, the festival brought a troop of side-split- a ‘style embargo’ I wasn’t told ting comedians to the Al-Hussein Cultural Cent- er - the likes of which included not just Jordanian about?” Brian Scott McFadden and Arab talent, but foreign laugh-masters as well – notably, world renowned comedians Dean Obeidallah, Omid Djalili and Gabriel Iglesias. With any luck, the Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festival will be a jumping off point for hopeful local and regional comedians by giving them a place to not just express themselves, but to make the overwrought public wet themselves with laughter. But also self-expression, that’s im- portant too. REVIEW:AMMAN was thrilled (not to mention giddy with laughter!) to interview some of the festival’s heavy-weight headliners to get their deep thoughts on our city, the people in it, and the boundless merits of comedic therapy:106 December / January
  27. 27. December / January 107
  28. 28. SPOTLIGHT REVIEW:AMMAN: So, most of you haven’t been to Amman before. Welcome! We’ve loved having you guys here . . . in that spirit, tell us what you loved about being here. Did anything take you by surprise? Brian Scott McFadden: One thing I hadn’t ex- pected was that every building in Amman would be the exact same color. Do they have paint over there?! Is there a ‘style embargo’ I wasn’t told about? I’m just sayin’. Also, I didn’t expect to find every American movie ever made available on DVD in Amman - even films that haven’t been made yet! It’s like some kind of Illegal copyright time machine over there! RA: Ammanis have come to be very val is because of the amazing support the au- passionate about their stand-up comedy, diences have shown all the comedians. Gabriel Iglesias: Everyone was so helpful and friendly. I was expecting everyone not to be for good reason. Did you pick up on that? so welcoming to an American entertainer, but What did you think of the audiences and DE: The ASCF, in comparison to other renowned of the ASCF in general? festivals that I’ve done, stands up there along it was the complete opposite. Now, I’m telling with the rest. The staff was courteous and profes- everyone how great Amman is. BSM: I didn’t think that my relationship material sional doing everything to ensure that I was able would get the remarkable response it did. Yes, to concentrate on the task at hand - to give the Dean Obeidallah: The thing I like the most it’s true that women baffle men the same way all audience the best show, possible. The crowds about Amman is the people. Their hospitality is over the world! I loved the fact that the crowds were awesome! They were extremely responsive amazing. Often people I’ve just met at the come- seemed to really appreciate the comedy so and attentive which made performing so much dy festival will invite me to lunch or dinner at their much. In America sometimes they see so much easier and the atmosphere more relaxed. Ku- house - in fact, they almost demand that I go! I comedy the crowds aren’t always attentive, but dos to the staff for arranging what might be the also like the energy of the city; it isn’t overwhelm- they seemed to really hang on every word in Am- most organized & fun meet and greet with the ing like Cairo, or too sleepy like small towns in man and they got jokes I wrote that I’m not even audience that I’ve ever experienced. It was easy the US. Instead, it moves at a great pace, at sure I understood! to reciprocate the gratitude to the audience be- least for me. The first time I came to Amman I cause of the personal one-on-one time we had was surprised by the drivers entering the circles, with those who waited patiently in line, however I was petrified! But now I’m used to the organ- ized chaos of Amman traffic. “Comedy can be divine – so brief that time might have been. much more moving than funny” ESJ: The ASCF was enlightening. Three years Dean Edwards: I think what I appreciated most Omid Djalili in and they work like a well-oiled machine. They about my time in Amman was how hospitable GI: [ASCF] was a very surreal experience. I’m have seminars now! Very cool! The comedians and friendly everyone was to our party. From the a very popular guy back in North America, but were all very talented and the audience was staff of the festival to the people at the hotel and here it was at a whole new level. People were great because everything was so new to them. just everyone in general, I always sensed a level so excited to take pictures [with me] and shake They were all wide-eyed and hungry for good of supreme hospitality and warmth; which is re- my hand. Meeting HRM King Abdullah was also comedy. freshing, especially coming from New York City. I travel internationally quite often, and so I don’t a testament to how great things went. I have yet to shake the hand of any American leaders. OD: The festival was very well organized and have preconceived notions of different regions impressive considering it’s the only comedy when traveling abroad. I didn’t really experience DO: I truly enjoy being part of the festival and festival organized by the municipal authorities anything unexpected in Amman ... except for am honored that the Mayor asked me to serve in the Middle East. I love the fact it’s “fam- when a young lady asked me to break-dance. as the festival’s executive producer. It has been ily friendly” too; I’ve always thought comedy [That] let me know that she DID have a few pre- a great experience for me, and truly one of the should be for all and not just for adults. By conceived notions of me. LOL! highlights of my [15+ years] comedy career. being careful about the choice of material it The audiences in Amman have consistently stretches one’s creative capacities instead of Edwin San Juan: I enjoyed the hospitality of the been great laughers. It’s even more amaz- limiting them. This is a significant contribution people. Everyone was so polite and welcoming ing when you consider the reputation that the East can make to the world - keeping it and I didn’t expect the food to taste so good! Jordanians have for being so serious! All the funny but also appealing to a more diverse comedians from the U.S. who perform at the audience, instead of the usual comedy club Omid Djalili: What’s there not to like? First off, festival are stunned by the amount of laughter crowd we see in the UK and America. the food is utterly exceptional. Had I stayed an- other few days they would have needed a winch and support our audiences show them. These and a crane to get me on to the plane . . . and of comedians go back [home] telling the other RA: Ok, so you guys are comedians by course, the hospitality. What I hadn’t expected comedians about the great crowds, which has trade and are always looking for new was meeting medical doctors studying to be- made even more comedians want to perform at the [ASCF]. I can say honestly that one of jokes. Did you pick up any new material come stand up comedians, not professionally but to help them become better doctors! the main reasons I enjoy working on the festi- in Amman? Any funny incidents?108 December / January
  29. 29. BSM: They kept leaving stuffed camels in myroom. I think I got 7. I’m not sure if the guywho was in charge [of the hotel] has that thingfrom the movie ‘Memento’ where he didn’t re-member that he left one the day before, butevery day was a new one. It was like Ground-hog Day meets Lawrence of Arabia - I endedup with 6 or 7!GI: While shopping for a dress shirt a salesmanmeasured me by hugging me instead of using atape measure to determine my size. The funnything was that his measurement was correctand found me a shirt that fit!DO: It happened when I first arrived at the ho-tel and I walked through the metal detector. Itbeeped and the security guard looked at meand at all the bags I was carrying and honestlyasked, “Do you have any bombs or guns?” He Jordan’s Ownlooked disappointed when I said, “No.”DE: The funniest thing that happened to me inAmman was going to Petra and having some It’s rare to come across an Ammani who hasn’t sharpened my wits. When you’re dealing withof the tour guides begin quoting lyrics and lines heard of Nabil Sawalha. Presiding as our co- people with a lot of experience, you have tofrom popular rap songs to me. It was interesting medic claim to fame, Sawalha has consistently come up to standard. It doesn’t matter thatto me to have them attempt to relate to me via been on the Jordanian cultural scene parodying my performance was in Arabic and that I’m our country’s idiosyncrasies with wit and style. perhaps the most experienced comedian“The audiences in Amman have This year’s ASCF featured an entire evening in Jordan, there’s still a standard. It was allconsistently been great laughers” dedicated to showcasing rising and aspiring the young Jordanians who were performing Jordanian comics with Sawalha at the helm. with us (and a Saudi comic) who came up toDean Obeidallah Acting as both a mentor and friend, he took standard that night.Tupac lyrics. As I said, some folks DO have their the time off from preparing his own set to MCpreconceived notions and it struck me as funny the event and help develop the young comics’ RA: What are your thoughts on emergingbecause I’m more Coltrane than Tupac. LOL! talent; working with them on everything from local comedic talent? diction to setups. Here’s his insider’s view on NS: The whole event for young JordaniansESJ: The whole time I was here people kept stand-up standards and the future of our (awe- that I MC’d was excellent. None of themasking me for towels! Everyone thought I was a some) local comedians: failed and some of them were very good. Ahotel worker and when they saw me by the pool, lot of young people don’t want to be lum-they were looking at me like I was going to get REVIEW:AMMAN: What do you think bered with the politics of Jordan, so they’vein trouble. LOL! surprised this year’s crowd about the found a new outlet for their social frustra- line-up of comedians and vice versa? tions. Also, there was no censorship apartOD: What I hadn’t expected was finding out that Nabil Sawalha: Some of the comedians are from our own sense of right and wrong.a young man who had been suffering from clini- originally Arabs so [audiences] are extremely They were also all commenting on social is-cal depression got slowly better when exposed surprised - especially the young audience sues; no sex or fart jokes – because theseto clips of me doing comedy on YouTube. I re- members - at how they’re from all societies are easy subjects – just intelligent and funnyally worried about the results but apparently he’s and countries. As for comedians, the worst social commentary.fine. He does the odd Godzilla impression nowand again, but only when he doesn’t like the thing is to perform to an unintelligent audi-food in restaurants. They say one of the names ence, because they just won’t get it, and Am- RA: What do you think of the ASCF in gen-of God is “the Humorist.” It’s incidents like this man gave us a great laugh. eral, and the audience? How were the reac-that showed me how comedy can be divine – tions and interactions from the audience?so much more moving than funny. Otherwise ... RA: Do you think this year’s festival was NS: It went brilliantly. The choice of comedi-making friends with overweight Arab men at the better than the last? ans was a good cross-section culturally andDead Sea who, when seeing I had salt water in NS: The comedic competition was good; it the audience was laughing a lot.my eyes, kept singing Arabic pop songs to dis-tract me and cheer me up. Now that was funny. Following the recent announcement that Amman has The 3rd Amman Stand-Up Comedy Festival was madeYou know, they say laughter is the best medicine. been named co-host of the Universal Forum of Cul- possible with the support of its Valued Partner, the MBC tures 2016, alongside the City of Québec, the festival Group, Platinum Sponsor Royal Jordanian, Gold SponsorsNot to say that Ammanis are ill, but it’s probably - and its close collaboration and partnership with the Grand Hyatt Amman Hotel and Comprehensive Multiplewise to try and find a cure for all this seriousness NY Arab-American Comedy Festival - has no doubt Transport Company, Silver Sponsor Abdali, Bronze Spon-floating around town. GAM’s two steps ahead it contributed to making Amman an important destination sors Zain, Events AVP and Advize Grey, Media Sponsorsseems, so keep it coming! We think it’s working. for stand-up comedy and enhancing the city’s cultural Hawa Amman, Omnia Media, Seagulls and our very ownIsn’t it? LOL. offerings as a whole. REVIEW:AMMAN. December / January 109
  30. 30. SPOTLIGHT MEET THE ASCF COMEDIANS Dean Obeidallah is a former attor- Omid Djalili is an actor and come- Gabriel Iglesias is a Long Beach- Brian Scott McFadden is a New ney tuned comedian. In addition to dian born and raised in Kensington, based actor and comedian. After York-based actor and comedian. He being an executive producer of the London. His first comedy show, filming his comedy special ‘Hot & debuted on The Late Show with David Amman Stand-up Comedy Festival, performed in 1995, was I’m a Short Fluffy,’ Gabriel performed ‘I’m Not Letterman and followed that up with he is the co-creator/producer of Fat Kebab Shop Owner’s Son. In Fat . . . I’m Fluffy Live in El Paso’ on an appearance on The Late Late Show comedycentral.com’s internet series 2001, he was given the Time Out Comedy Central in 2009. The show with Craig Fergusson. Brian’s film ap- The Watch List, featuring an all- Comedy Award for Best Standup. is expected to be released on DVD pearances include Ice Age II, Robots, Middle Eastern cast of comedians. He co-starred with Whoopi Goldberg in 2011. His comedy appearances Unspoken, and Legally Dead. He was Dean has appeared on The Axis of on NBC’s Whoopi. Omid’s theatrical include NBC’s Last Comic Stand- also the voice of the Budweiser Talking Evil television special, which aired appearances include The Mummy, ing, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Monkey in the 2009 Bud Light Super on Comedy Central and Showtime Gladiator, Spy Game, Pirates of the Show with Jay Leno, and ABC’s My Bowl Commercial. He has performed Arabia, as well as ABC’s The View, Caribbean III, and Sex and the City Wife and Kids. His dramatic appear- stand-up at Caroline’s, Comic Strip, CNN’s Inside the Middle East, PBS’s 2. He also stars in film The Infidel and ances include Showtime’s Resur- Stand Up New York, The Improv LA Newshour with Jim Lehrer and Al- co-stars in NBC’s The Paul Resier rection Boulevard as well as the and The Comedy Store. Jazeera’s Min Washington. Show, both of 2010. independent films El Matador and The Surfer King. Motaz Attalla is a Cairo-based Sherry Davey is a New York-based Aron Kader is a Hollywood-based Dean Edwards is a comedian who’s comedian and writer. His most actress and comedian. She was actor and comedian currently per- career was launched by two seasons notable performances include recently named one of the Hollywood forming at The Comedy Store. He as a cast member of Saturday Night Comedy Rumble and the Todo Reporter’s Magnificent Seven and spent several years in The Ground- Live. His other appearances include Comedy Weekend, both Cairo- lings Theater eventually becoming Showtime’s Comics Without Borders voted one of Improper Magazine’s based events. In 2009, Motaz was a member of the Sunday Company. and the development of the charac- Top Ten Comedians in New York. a resident artist at Amman’s Darat Aron is a founding member of The ter of Donkey for Dreamwork’s Shrek Sherry is a founding member of the al Funun. He is also a co-author Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, which the Musical on Broadway. More of Needles to Rockets, a com- traveling show “Mama’s Night Out” debuted on Comedy Central in recently, Dean worked on Dream- pilation of oral histories of iconic and appeared on the first and sec- 2007. He has been featured on work’s Scared Shrekless, which aired mid-to late twentieth-century ond season of Nick At Night’s Search NPR, CNN, Newsweek, Time, and on NBC in October 2010 and he will consumer products, such as Nasr for the Funniest Mom in America. the Wall Street Journal. His televi- appear in the upcoming independ- Cars, Rocket Chocolate and Savo sion appearances include Comedy ent film April Fools. He also plans to Detergent. Central’s Premium Blend and FX release a DVD in the near future. Networks’ The Shield.110 December / January
  31. 31. Edwin San Juan is a Los Angeles- Nabil Sawalha is an Amman-based Ola Roshdy is an Egyptian actress Larry Omaha is a comedianbased actor and comedian. He is actor, comedian and radio personal- and comedian. She discovered her of Yaqui Zapotec origins. Histhe creator and executive producer ity renowned for his satirical writings passion for performance during pri- television appearances includeof Slanted Comedy, a Showtime and performances. He helped found mary school when she won a “story Showtime’s Goin’ Native Comedyseries featuring Asian American the Jordanian National Theater tell-a-thon.” Ola has appeared in Special, Comedy Central’s Mind ofstand-up comedians. Edwin has and is co-founder of The Nabil and several Egyptian comedy films and Mencia, Entertainment Television’sappeared on Comedy Central’s Hisham Comedy Theater. Nabil starred in major sitcoms, TV series, Comics Unleashed, and Fox’sLife at Gotham, Showtime’s Com- was also commissioned by HRM and comedy shows. Culture Clash. Larry has also co-ics without Borders, The Payaso the late Queen Alia to establish the starred in several films includingComedy Slam, ABC’s Comics Un- Princess Haya Cultural Center, which The Black Out, Tenth Day, and Tri-leashed, BET’s Comic View and Si he directed until 1993. He currently angulation. He has also recordedTV’s Latino Laugh Festival. His first hosts Mazaj FM’s daily show Nashret voiceovers for Discovery Channel’sfilm appearance was in I’m Not Like Ghaseel and is a certified Laughter How the West Was Lost and theThat No More (2010), a comedy Yoga Leader. videogame Mortal Kombat 9.co-starring Felipe Esparza andPaul Rodriguez.Mohamed Salem is an Egyptian Meena Dimian is New York- Omar Elba is a comedian originally Mohammed “MO” Amer is acomedian. He was a participant based actor and comedian. He from Alexandria, Egypt. After win- Houston-based comedian. He isin both Damascus’ First Com- currently hosts NYC-TV’s Emmy- ning two Los Angeles stand-up the writer and performer of Allahedy Night, Syria’s first stand-up nominated CityScoop and Abu competitions, he was booked as a Made Me Funny – The Official Mus-event, and the first Arabic night regular at the Haha Café in North Dhabi 1’s Zahret Al Khalig. He lim Comedy Tour, which followedof the New York Arab American Hollywood. Omar can be seen on played the lead in the 2008 NY on the success of his comedyComedy Festival. Mohamed has Showtime beginning in February Fringe Festival’s feature ‘Mean- special, Legally Homeless: Trials ofappeared on Moga TV’s Moga 2011 as part of a show entitled while in Baghdad.’ Meena’s a Refugee. Mohammed’s appear-Stand-Up and was the winner of Legally Brown, which is set to air appearances include Comedy ances include BBC and CNN.the 2009 online competition Be 35 times.A Part of the Amman Standup Central, CNN, and TLC. He is alsoComedy Festival. a winner of NBC’s National Stand- Up for Diversity Initiative. December / January 111
  32. 32. Flip to page 128 to read the City in Progress section in Arabic! ‫إقلب إلى صفحه 821 لقرائه قسم حراك عمان باللغه العربيه‬ ّ December / January 113
  33. 33. ‫استاذ الكوميديا‬ ‫من النادر أن تلتقي بعماني لم يسمع‬ ‫بنبيل صوالحة. استمر نبيل صوالحة‬ ‫في المشهد الثقافي في األردن مداعبا‬ ‫خصوصيات بلدنا بخفة دمه وأسلوبه , و‬ ‫مترأسا قائمة كوميديينا األكثر شهرة .‬ ‫نبيل صوالحة، لم يترك شيء من شر نكته‬ ‫و خاض بجميع الطرق المؤدية للضحك‬ ‫من ضحك اليوجا إلى المسرح و أخيرًا‬ ‫الكوميديا االرتجالية .‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫تحت مظلة مهرجان عمان للكوميديا‬ ‫هذه السنه، قام نبيل صوالحه باإلشراف‬ ‫هنالك معايير يجب التقيد بها. ما‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫على مجموعة من المواهب الكوميدية‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫أثار دهشتي هو نهوض األردنيين إلى‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫الشابه لتحضيرهم لليلة التي خصصها‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫المعايير المطلوبة، و هناك أيضًا شاب‬ ‫المهرجان لهم. لقد كان مرشد و صديق‬ ‫سعودي لفت انتباه الجمهور، و هذا ما‬ ‫و مساعد لهم في تطوير طرقهم في‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫لم أتو قعه.‬ ‫األسلوب و األعداد.‬ ‫ريفيو عمان: ما رأيك بالمواهب‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫التقت مجلة عمان ريفيو باستاذ الكوميديا‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫الكوميد ية األردنية الناشئة؟‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫نبيل صوالحه ، و سألته عن رأيه في‬ ‫نبيل صوالحة: فعالية الشباب‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫معايير “الستاند أب كوميديا” أو الكوميديا‬ ‫األردنيين التي قد متُ ها كانت ممتازة.‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫االرتجالية ، و حول مستقبل كوميديينا‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫لم يفشل أحد من الكوميديين،‬ ‫المحليين.‬ ‫والبعض منهم كان جيدًا جدًا. كثير‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫من الشباب ال يريدون أن يكونوا‬ ‫ريفيو عمان: باعتقادك ، ما الذي فاجأ‬ ‫مثقلين بالمشهد السياسي‬ ‫جمهور هذه السنة حول الكوميديين؟‬ ‫األردني ، لذلك أوجدوا منافذ جديدة‬ ‫وما الذي فاجأ الكوميديين حول‬ ‫إلحباطاتهم اإلجتماعية. و بالمناسبة،‬ ‫الجمهور؟‬ ‫لم يكن هنالك رقابة عدا عن احساسنا‬ ‫نبيل صوالحة: ما فاجأ الجمهور كثيرا‬ ‫عمان يجعلنا أكثر تصميمًا على إقامته‬ ‫الشخصي بالصواب والخطأ.‬ ‫وخصوصا الجمهور الشباب، هو تعدديه‬ ‫ّ ّ‬ ‫سنويًا، آملين أن يشكّ ل هذا العام نقله‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ثقافات الكوميديين ، و أكثرهم من أصول‬ ‫نوعية من حيث المشاركة و العروض و‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫لقد علق الشباب كلهم على قضايانا‬‫ّ‬ ‫عربية. وأما بالنسبة للكوميديين ... أسوأ‬ ‫رفد الفنانين الشباب بالخبرات و المهارات‬ ‫االجتماعية ولم تكن هناك نكت عن‬ ‫شيء هو أن تؤدي لجمهور غير ملم ،‬ ‫ُ ِ‬ ‫الجنس و ما إلى ذلك من مواضيع‬ ‫الجمهور لن يفهم مغزى النكته أحيانا،ً و‬ ‫الالزمه لتطوير أدائهم.‬ ‫سهلة ، بل على العكس، كان التعليق‬ ‫لكن عمان ضحكت كثيرا.‬ ‫ذكي على قضايانا االجتماعية.‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫تقوم أمانة عمان الكبرى بتنظيم‬ ‫ريفيو عمان: هل تعتقد بأن المهرجان‬ ‫فعاليات مهرجان عمان الثالث للكوميديا‬ ‫ريفيو عمان: بشكل عام ، ما رأيك‬ ‫هذه السنة كان أفضل من السنة‬ ‫هذا العام بالتعاون مع مجموعة ‪MBC‬‬ ‫بمهرجان عمان للكوميديا و‬ ‫الماضية؟‬ ‫والراعي البالتيني الملكية األردنية ،‬ ‫بالجمهور؟ كيف كان التفاعل وردود‬ ‫نبيل صوالحة: المنافسة الكوميدية كانت‬ ‫الراعي الذهبي فندق جراند حياة عمان‬ ‫الفعل من الجمهور؟‬ ‫جيدة، لقد أمتعتني و دغدغت ذكائي.‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫نبيل صوالحة: مضى المهرجان‬ ‫عندما تتعامل مع أناس لديهم الكثير من‬ ‫والشركة المتكاملة للنقل المتعدد‬ ‫بشكل رائع. اختيار الكوميديين كان‬ ‫الخبرة عليك أن تلتزم بمعاييرك.‬ ‫و الراعي الفضي العبدلي و البرونزي‬ ‫جيدًا ومتعدد ثقافيًا ، لقد ضحك‬ ‫كوني أكثر الكوميديين خبرة في األردن، أو‬ ‫‪ Advize grey‬و ‪ Events AVP‬و زين و‬ ‫الجمهور كثيرًا.‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫لكون أدائي باللغة العربية، ال يهم.‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫الراعي اإلعالمي مجلتكم ريفيو عمان.‬ ‫ّ‬‫411‬ ‫‪December / January‬‬
  34. 34. ‫بقعة ضمء‬ ‫عمان تضحك من جديد‬‫يبدو أن ما يقال عن األردنيين بأ نّهم شعب ال يحب الضحك غير صحيح ، فمهرجان عمان للكوميديا يعود لمدينتنا‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬‫للسنّة الثالثه على التوالي بعد النّجاح الهائل الذي حققه في السنتين الماضيتين. و يمتد المهرجان السنوي الذي‬ ‫تنظمه أمانة عمان باإلضافة لمجموعة ‪ MBC‬ما بين الرابع و العاشر من كانون األول (ديسمبر) و يستضيف هذا العام‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬‫أشهر الكوميديين من جميع أنحاء العالم. و سيتم من خالل المهرجان تقديم سلسلة من ورشات العمل المجانية‬ ‫ّ ّ‬‫للمهتمين بإشراف خبراء في مجال الكوميديا االرتجالية، و يقوم مهرجان الكوميديا العربية األمريكية في نيويورك‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫بإعداد المهرجان و إنتاج فعالياته.‬ ‫ّ‬‫في كانون األول من كل عام. ويجدر الذكر‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫من نوعها على مستوى الشرق األوسط،‬ ‫أمين عمان، المهندس عمر المعاني،‬‫عت اتقافية شراكة‬ ‫بأنّ مجموعة ‪ MBC‬وقّ‬ ‫و نجح المهرجان وقتها في استقطاب ٠٢‬ ‫أكّ د على أن المهرجان يسهم في جعل‬‫لمدة ثالثة أعوام مع أمانة عمان لرعاية‬ ‫فنّانًا و آالف من الجماهير. و في موسمه‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫عمان محطة هامة للمسرح الكوميدي‬ ‫الحدث الترفيهي.‬ ‫الثاني نجح المهرجان في بيع التذاكر في‬ ‫عن تعزيز الحراك الثقافي‬ ‫االرتجالي، فضالً‬ ‫وقت قياسي حيث استقطب ٠٠٠٤ زائر من‬ ‫في المدينة.‬‫و قال المهندس المعاني بأنّ ما حقّ قه‬ ‫ضمنهم شخصيات معروفة عالميًا مثل‬ ‫ّ‬‫المهرجان من نجاحات متتاليه و ما‬ ‫رسل بيتر و جبريل إجالسياس. و كان كل‬ ‫و كان انعقاد مهرجان عمان للكوميديا في‬ ‫ّ‬‫لمسناه من آثار ايجابية الستضافته في‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ذلك دافعًا على تنظيم المهرجان سنويًا‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫مرته األولى عام ٨٠٠٢ يعتبر خطوه فريدة‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫‪December / January‬‬ ‫511‬
  35. 35. ‫أثر األزمة المرورية و سالمة المشاة‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫تعمل أمانة عمان حاليا على إعادة‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫الرونق االقتصادي لمنطقة وسط البلد‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫و ذلك من خالل إعادة تصميم الشوارع و‬ ‫األرصفة فيها. و الهدف من هذا المشروع‬ ‫هو توفير األمن و السالمة المرورية‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫باإلضافة إلى تسهيل الحركة للمشاة‬ ‫و السيارت على حد سواء، حتى يصبح‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫استكشاف المنطقة و التنقّ ل في‬ ‫خفاياها أكثر متعةً و سالسة.‬ ‫التحرير الحضري‬ ‫هذا التحرير الحضري لساحة فيصل سيحول‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫هذا الفراغ الحضري و يعيد إليه رونقه و‬ ‫حيويته االقتصادية و االجتماعية التي بدأ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫يفقدها شيئًا فشيئًا في ظل المعطيات‬ ‫الجديدة لنمو عمان. حاليًا تعاني منطقة‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫فيصل من األزمات المرورية و التلوث البصري.‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫عند معالجة هذه المشاكل ستصبح منطقة‬ ‫فيصل مكانًا صديقًا للمشاة و السيارات و‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ستتمكّ ن من أخذ مكانتها و أهميتها‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫الرمزية و الفعلية مرة أخرى، و ستلعب‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ ّ‬ ‫دورها الحيوي المعهود في المدينة.‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫التلوث البصري‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫من أجل إعادة الرونق الكالسيكي لفن‬ ‫العمارة و الحجر اللذان طالما ميزا البناء‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫في منطقة فيصل، سيتم تطبيق قوانين‬ ‫و تعليمات جديدة تعنى بتسليط الضوء‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫على جماليات واجهات المحلات التجارية و‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫قارماتها األثرية و بناياتها التاريخية التي‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫طالما شكّ لت حالة معمارية فريدة من‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫نوعها في هذه المنطقة العريقة.‬ ‫َ‬‫611‬ ‫‪December / January‬‬

×