Waking the Red-Dead

by Lizabeth Zack
published in MER254

“Look at that!” said Muhammad ‘Asfour, an environmentalist and avid nature photographer, pointing to a picture of a boat and wooden staircase perched well above the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea. “Do you see how far they are from the waterline?”

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Resettling, Reconstructing and Restor(y)ing

Archaeology and Tourism in Umm Qays

by Laurie A. Brand
published in MER216

The old village of Umm Qays, Jordan, is strategically lo
cated to the south of the Golan Heights, overlooking 
the northern part of the Jordan Valley and the southern shore of Lake Tiberias. Biblical Gadara and subsequently one of the cities of the Decapolis in antiquity, it attracts modest numbers of both foreign and Jordanian tourists. From the mid-twentieth century on, Umm Qays residents increasingly abandoned farming for work in the civil service and the army, and a new village began to develop adjacent to the original village.

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The Demise of the Oslo Process

by Joel Beinin | published March 26, 1999

Following the death of King Husayn and the accession of Abdullah II, the Clinton administration and the International Monetary Fund expressed their support for the new Jordanian ruler by committing $450 million in new aid on top of $225 million committed by the US earlier this year. The US is also increasing its annual grant to the Palestinian Authority from $100 to $400 million. Israel, on the other hand, will not receive the $1.2 billion it was promised at the October 1998 Wye summit. These financial measures are meant to sustain a Middle East peace process that has all but collapsed. King Husayn's death, the fall of Israel's Likud government, the scheduling of early Israeli elections and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's decision to freeze implementation of the Wye accords have rendered progress in the peace process impossible for the foreseeable future. This has led to much speculation about the effects of political changes in Jordan and in Israel on the peace process. Such crystal ball-gazing obscures an underlying reality: the Oslo process was always unlikely to result in a just and stable resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

QIZs, FTAs, USAID, and the MEFTA

A Political Economy of Acronyms

by Pete Moore
published in MER234

Jordan is the poster child for the Bush administration project of “transforming” the political order in the Middle East through free trade. If Jordan is any guide, however, economic liberalization does not lead inexorably to the diffusion of political power.

The Curious Case of Oil-Exporting Jordan

by Pete Moore
published in MER234

From time to time, the boring economic data regurgitated by Jordan’s amply staffed ministries offers up a tantalizing mystery. In the Monthly Statistical Bulletin (May 2004) published by the Central Bank of Jordan, for example, one learns that Jordanian export of refined oil products increased 46 times over from 2002 to 2003 -- a trend that continued well into 2004. This is certainly odd, since Jordan has no proven oil reserves.

Jordan's New "Political Development" Strategy

by Anne Marie Baylouny
published in MER236

“We have a problem here. There is no real [opposition] party except for the Muslim Brotherhood.” [1] So an official of Jordan’s new Ministry of Political Development and Parliamentary Affairs summed up the raison d’etre of his place of employment.

Jordan's Unwelcome "Guests"

by Stefanie Nanes
published in MER244

Ask any Jordanian in Amman about Iraqis in their country, and they will immediately tell you that Iraqis have driven up the prices of virtually everything in the capital. Apartments cost double what they did five years ago. The prices of food and gasoline have soared. Iraqis arrive with suitcases full of cash, drive around in expensive cars and make life much more difficult for Jordanians—or such is the widespread belief.

No Shelter

Migrant Domestics in Jordan

by Rola Abimourched
published in MER253

“Angela” came to Jordan to work as a housekeeper because she is a single mother and needs to save for her children’s schooling. She paid a recruiter in the Philippines 11,000 pesos, about $234, “for the processing of my papers.” An hour before she went to the airport, she says, she signed a contract written in Arabic, a language she does not read. She did not see an English-language copy. Her recruiter told her she would receive $150 per month.

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