Construction work was completed on an inflammable storage facility in Na’ur for the pharmaceutical company Dar al-Dawa. Arabtech - Jardaneh Consulting Engineers and Architects designed the 360 square-meter, 171,000 JD (240,000 $US) building, and al-Shanti Engineering Group was the contractor for it.
The Queen Rania Hospital in Petra has been completed, and is now fully operational. The 10 million JD (14 million $US) project will serve the inhabitants of the Petra region and neighboring districts, in addition to treating tourists visiting the area. The hospital includes five operation rooms, an intensive care unit, a kidney dialysis unit, a pediatrics unit, an obstetrics and gynecology department, a blood bank, and pharmacies. The hospital will help reduce pressure on the Ma’an Governmental Hospital, which had been the major hospital serving the area. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 25, 2002)
Construction work was completed on the Jayy Village Restoration Project in Wadi Musa in the south of Jordan. The project includes the renovation of the village, which consists of 40 stone rooms separated by pathways and small courtyards, and its adaptive reuse as a traditional market that aims at exhibiting the traditional lifestyles of the area. The project also will include a museum dedicated to folk life. The Petra Regional Council carried out the 1-hectare, 650,000 JD (915,000 $US) project.
The village is located in what was the old center of Wadi Musa, an area rich with successive layers of history dating back to the Nabatean period. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 24, 2002)
Work was completed on the restoration of Lot’s Cave in the village of Za’r in the Safi Valley in the Jordan Valley area. The cave contains a large floor mosaic, as well as wall murals that chronicle the life of Prophet Lot. The cave also includes a water pool. The project was implemented by the Department of Antiquities in association with a number of institutions including the Institute of Roman and Byzantine Studies in Athens and The British Museum.
The cave was first inhabited in the early Bronze Age, and is believed to have been used by Prophet Lot in the year 3000 BC. A church was built next to the cave between the 5th and 7th centuries AD. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 7, 2002)
Construction work began on a number of memorials for the Royal Committee for the Construction of Memorials for Prophets, Companions of the Prophet Muhammad, and Martyrs at a total cost of 1.05 million JD (1.5 million $US). The memorials include the 810 square-meter Memorial for the Companion of the Prophet Sharhabil bin Hasana in the Northern Jordan Valley. The memorial includes a mosque, a women’s prayer hall, a library, and a Koran school. Construction also was initiated on two other projects: the Memorial for the Companion of the Prophet Mu’adh bin Jabal in Northern Shuna in the Jordan Valley; and the Memorial for the Companion of the Prophet ‘Amir bin Abi Waqqas in the town of Waqqas. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 15, 2002)
The Municipality of Greater Amman awarded a 1.3 million JD (1.8 million $US) contract for the construction of the Historical Avenue, and a 2.48 million JD (3.5 million $US) contract for the construction of the Theme Gardens in al-Hussein National Park in Amman. Bilal Hammad Associates, in association with Tibah Consultants and Farouk Tadros Designs, designed the theme gardens, which are located at the heart of the park, adjacent to the 400 meter-long Historical Avenue, which is designed by the architectural office Mawshour. A stone-carved mural addressing Jordan’s history through the ages lines the avenue that leads to the King Hussein Memorial. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 10, 2002)
Construction work was initiated on the Customs’ Intersection that connects the Prince Hassan/Madaba and Freedom streets near the Amman Customs Center. The 3 million JD (4.2 million $US) project consists of a 400-meter, four-lane, two-way tunnel on Prince Hassan Street, and a 380-meter, four-lane, two-way bridge on Freedom Street. The Municipality of Greater Amman project aims at alleviating congestion at this intersection, which also serves as a major eastern gateway to Amman. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 10, 2002).
The Municipality of Greater Amman awarded a tender for the preparation of studies and design for the Jabal al-Taj Tunnel. The 1,000-meter, four-lane, two-way tunnel aims at relieving traffic congestion in downtown Amman, and at allowing for shorter travel distances between areas in eastern Amman. The tunnel will be the latest of a series of tunnels and bridges that have been constructed at intersections in Amman over the past two decades to alleviate traffic congestion problems. Construction of the project is expected to commence in 2003. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 7, 2002)
Jafar Tukan and Partners, in a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi-based Khatib and Alami Consolidated Engineering Company, participated in a competition for the design of the ADCCI Second Tower Facilities in Abu Dhabi for the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI). The 45-story building will be prominently located along Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Road, next to the existing ADCCI tower, and will house offices, executive suites, as well as conferencing and training facilities.
Jafar Tukan and Partners, in a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi-based Khatib and Alami Consolidated Engineering Company, participated in a competition for the design of a new extension to the heads of state reception facility at the Abu Dhabi International Airport. The 18,500 square-meter project, which will replace the existing heads of state reception facility, will include reception spaces, meeting rooms, and an adjacent subterranean parking area for 350 cars.
The Municipality of Greater Amman organized a competition for the beautification of the Shmeisani and 7th Circle tunnels. Participants in the competition are required to submit design proposals for the beautification of the tunnels using ceramic tiles that incorporate Islamic motifs or designs with culturally relevant references. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 8, 2002).
Saleh al-Hathloul, Deputy Minister for Town Planning at the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, delivered a public lecture at Darat al-Funun in Amman entitled Riyadh Architecture in One Hundred Years. The lecture was cosponsored by Darat al-Funun / The Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, the Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE), and the Architectural Section of the Jordan Engineers Association.
Rami Daher, assistant professor at the Department of Architecture at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, delivered a lecture entitled An Introduction to Heritage Conservation: Domains of Heritage in Jordan, Contested Definitions, Place Politics, and Investment Rights at the Queen Rania Institute for Heritage and Tourism at the Hashemite University in Zarqa.
A one-day workshop entitled The Art of Islamic Architecture and Amman’s Particular Architectural Identity was held at the Amman City Hall. Talib al-Rifa’i, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, and Magdy Tewfik, the chairman of the University of Jordan’s Department of Architecture, co-chaired the event that was organized by the Municipality of Greater Amman as part of the Amman Arab Cultural Capital 2002 celebrations.
The Municipality of Greater Amman, in association with The Arab Urban Development Institute, organized a two-day workshop entitled Gardens and Public Parks and their Role in Recreation and Environmental Protection at al-Hussein Cultural Center in Amman. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 23, 2002)
Architect Akram Abu Hamdan was appointed member of the Steering Committee of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The committee, which is chaired by Prince Karim Aga Khan, brings together world-renowned architects who set the policies and criteria for granting the award.
Akram Abu Hamdan studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London. Upon his return to Jordan in 1979 he served as the director of the Architectural Research Unit at the Royal Scientific Society for three years before establishing his own architectural practice. He served as a part-time lecturer at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan and has been involved in a number of important architectural projects including the Jordanian Pavilion for the Expo 2000 in Hanover, for which he was the Commissioner General. He currently is the Director General of the National Resources Investment and Development Corporation (NARIDEC), a state-run institution that is taking on the responsibility of transforming the camps of the Jordanian Armed Forces in Zarqa and in the ‘Abdali area in Amman into multi-purpose urban developments.
The University of Jordan published a book in Arabic entitled From the Renaissance to Modernity: A History of Western Architecture and Theories by Nabil Abu Dayyeh, assistant professor at the university’s Department of Architecture.
The Jordan Engineers Association published a book in Arabic entitled Writings in the Jordanian Press by Ali Abu Ghanimeh, assistant professor at the Department of Architecture at the University of Jordan. The book is a collection of articles on architecture that the author had written in the Jordanian press. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 22, 2002)
The Salt Greater Municipality organized a meeting to coordinate execution mechanisms relating to the preparation and implementation of tender documents for the development of the historic parts of the city. The project, which is funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and is being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Salt Development Corporation, is expected to cost over 4 million JD (5.6 million $US).
At the meeting, the Housing and Urban Development Corporation presented its plans for the development of the Salt City Center as part of their project to develop limited-income areas in the city. The project will include detailed mapping of the area in preparation for the maintenance and upgrading of pathways, lighting, and roads. This project is intended to complement the project for the development of the historical parts of Salt. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 25, 2002)
The meetings of the 42nd Cycle of the Executive Office of the Arab Towns Organization were held in Amman with the participation of mayors and municipality officials from 35 Arab cities. The meetings concluded with a recommendation for the increase of aid to the city of Jerusalem and enhancing levels of cooperation with it. The participants also recommended establishing a fund to support reconstruction efforts in Palestinian cities.
The First Arab Forum for Information Technology also organized a meeting to accompany the meetings of the 42nd Cycle of the Executive Office of the Arab Towns Organization. The meeting stressed the importance of electronically linking Arab cities. Moreover, the Arab Town’s Organization’s web site will be expanded to include a web page for each member city, and the cities also will be encouraged to design their own web sites. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 22, 2002)
A regional training course on the development of cultural preservation skills of students at UNESCO-associated schools was held in Petra as part of UNESCO’s Young People’s World Heritage Education Project (WHE). Participants from schools in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon attended the course, which was organized by the World Heritage Center , the Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) and the Amman UNESCO office. The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the World Heritage Fund provided funding for the course that aims at increasing awareness and cultivating a sense of responsibility amongst youth towards their cultural heritage. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 22, 2002.)
The Jordanian National Committee for the Protection of the Antiquities of Madaba and Surrounding Areas put forward a plan for the protection of Madaba’s cultural heritage. The plan includes compiling a registry of heritage buildings in the Madaba Governorate, and carrying out fundraising activities to support restoration work for the buildings. A number of Madaba’s historical buildings dating from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have fallen into decay, or are threatened as a result of building sprawl and random development. These structures are not protected by law since current legal protection of Jordan’s cultural and architectural heritage does not extend beyond 1700 AD. (Source: al-Ra'i, April 15, 2002)