For one reason or another — and perhaps at this particular period of my life — it is always exhilarating to wake up in the morning and pick up a copy of al-Rai. As many might know, al-Rai is not exactly the pinnacle of journalism, very far from it actually. Reading it, however, always makes me feel like I’m home.
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Al-Rai online has been an invaluable tool for those of us living abroad to keep in touch with what’s going on in Jordan. I’ve read nearly every single issue since it first went online (when was that, 1997 or something?). Al-Rai is pretty good compared to other local Arab newspapers; but of course it has all the faults that are associated with the lack of full press freedom.
One of the things that annoy me is that Al-Rai, and all Jordanian media for that matter, sometimes simply ignore some major news items about Jordan if for some reason “they” are uncomfortable with it (as if that will make it “go away”). For example, in the past few days I’ve been trying to get some information about the 2005 supplemental spending bill agreed to by the U.S. House and Senate “Conference Committee” a few days ago, and which includes substantial extra assistance to Jordan. It was not mentioned in Al-Rai; and today there was a short story about it on Al-Jazeera’s site, but it did not mention anything about aid to Jordan. I finally located the information on a U.S. government website (I LOVE TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT!!). Here’s the info regarding Jordan: in addition to the “regular” $450 million in aid allocated to Jordan in each of the 2005 and 2006 budgets ($250 mil. economic, $200 mil. military), this new bill (supplement to the 2005 budget) provides an extra $100 mil. in economic aid, $100 mil. in military aid, and “$99,000,000 shall be used to provide assistance
to the Government of Jordan to establish a regional training center
designed to provide comprehensive training programs for regional
military and security forces and military and civilian officials, to
enhance the capability of such forces and officials to respond to existing
and emerging security threats in the region”. Over and above all that the bill also includes “up to $1,220,000,000, to remain available until expended,
may be used for payments to reimburse Pakistan, Jordan,
and other key cooperating nations, for logistical, military,
and other support provided, or to be provided, to United States
military operations”. That’s $1.2 BILLION.
I don’t see anything wrong with publicizing this, specially now with some in Iraq accusing Jordan of supporting the insurgency. Why not say what assistance Jordan is giving the U.S. and what’s our share of the $1.2 billion; I hope it’s large ☺
LoL 😉 this is the reason dad still prefers Al-Rai, because he can’t miss the obituary page! I remember my school history teacher saying it’s the only true thing in the newspaper 😉
You must’ve noticed though the impressive marketing strategy of Al-Ghad… wherever you go in Amman these days you find more and more homes with that red Al-Ghad box for subscribers!!
Especially, the obituary page. I prefer it to all other pages ! More accurate,unbiased ( although more moslems in it than Christians), and right to the point.