Jordan/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration  

3.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation

The cultural strategy in Jordan is based on partnership with the Ministries of Education, Higher Education, Tourism, and Municipal Affairs, the Higher Council for Youth and other cultural actors, and considers culture as a development process beneficial to the economy and reaching to the educational levels that produce creative Jordanian artists. 


When reviewing the table attached to the development plan at the end of the research, we can see how partnership is embodied between ministries, formal actors, municipalities and civil society organisations to finance and implement projects.


The following actors are working on implementing the national strategy for culture:


1 - Ministry of Education

The first Council of Education was found in 1923, while the Ministry was established in 1940. Its objectives related to cultural policy include:

 

  1. Facilitate the usage of Arabic in self-expression and communication with others.
  2. Awareness of facts, concepts and relations related to the natural, geographic, demographic, social and cultural environment, locally and internationally.
  3. To assimilate elements of heritage.
  4. To be open to the benign values and trends of humanitarian cultures.
  5. To contribute to promoting the cultural, scientific activity, issuance of educational publications, the usage of various communication methods and other areas that contribute to the achievement of educational goals.

 



2 - Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research

The Ministry was founded under the Higher Education Act in 1985. It oversees community colleges and state and civil universities within an agenda that culturally seeks, amongst other goals, to ensure the human resources needs of economic, social and cultural development plans, to facilitate the usage of Arabic as a scientific learning language in higher education and to document scientific, cultural and technical cooperation in the field of higher education and scientific research.


3 - Ministry of Information

The Ministry was founded in 1964 to achieve several goals for citizens including: to contribute to the development of their culture and to increase their knowledge, and to provide opportunities for recreation and entertainment in line with their values, traditions, heritage and morality.

The Ministry oversees the following departments:

 

  1. Department of Press and Publication
  2. Jordanian press
  3. Jordan News Agency (Petra)
  4. Radio and Television Institution

 

The Ministry was cancelled in 2003 and replaced by the Higher Council for Information which was repealed in 2009 to structurally re-work in the ministry, through the Minister of State for Public Information.


4 - Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The Ministry was founded in 1967 with the aim of tourism promotion in Jordan, through participating in conferences and exhibitions and organising tourist programs for citizens to familiarise them with their homeland.


5 - Ministry of Youth                                                                         

The Ministry was founded in 1976, and then it was transferred to the "Higher Council for Youth Welfare" in 2001. According to its statement, "The Ministry of Youth - reality and aspirations" (1994), it was concerned with the following items:

  1. Heritage culture: to provide young people with heritage education that cover various aspects of Arab heritage; religious education as religion has impact on the construction of beliefs, values and standards; literary, artistic, linguistic and heritage culture; knowledge of Arab history and the most general Arab and historical experiences, with all its successes and failures.
  2. Contemporary culture: local, national, Islamic, and global culture.



6 - Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs

The Ministry was founded in 1966. The Awqaf Act  recommended establishing the Ministry to meet the following objectives: Support general Islamic activity; religious education; establishing seminaries and schools teaching the Koran; disseminating Islamic culture; conserving Islamic heritage; highlighting the role of Islamic civilisation in human development; raise awareness; and bring  Muslims closer to their faith. The Ministry has issued the magazine "Proselyte of Islam" for more than fifty years, of which 5,000 copies are printed monthly. Recently, a website of the magazine has been established.


7 - Ministry of Social Development

The Ministry was founded in 1979, to organise the efforts of citizens and raise their awareness in order to invest their potential. The work of the Ministry in media and social education includes contributing to raising awareness and the social aspects of culture, as  well as participation in the revival of events. The researcher Ahmed Al-Tall adds the armed forces as a contributor to the implementation of a national strategy for culture.


8 - Jordanian Armed Forces

The armed forces oversee several educational institutions, in order to meet the needs of various professions. These include: the Prince's Hasan School of Islamic Sciences, the Royal Jordanian Geographic Centre, and the University of Muetah.


9 - The Greater Amman Municipality

The Municipality of Amman oversees the cultural infrastructure in the capital, Amman, through:

 

  1. Department of Public Libraries.
  2. The Cultural Department of Municipality of Amman which was founded in 1979. Its organisational structure consists of the Division of Studies and Publications, Division of Arts, the Art House, the Secretariat, and the Office of Folk Art. The main tasks of the Department are: cultural activities, supporting and disseminating Jordanian intellectual production, publishing the magazines Amman, Taiki and Buds of Amman, and organising festivals, poetry readings, music parties and book fairs.
  3. City Hall which includes a number of cultural facilities.
  4. Zaha Cultural Centre for Children.
  5. Arab Poetry House.
  6. Al Hussein Cultural Centre.
  7. Gardens of Queen Rania Al-Abdullah.
  8. Art House of Jordan which includes: the Music Pavilion, Acting Pavilion, Art Pavilion, the  Jordanian House Pavilion, and Crafts Pavilion.
  9. The Culture Street.
  10. Al Hussein Gardens.
  11. Publications including cultural magazines specialising in children's literature, Arab culture and women’s culture.

 

 

10 - The Royal Commission for Films

The Jordanian Royal Commission for Films was established as an independent government establishment run by a board of commissioners headed by Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein, in order to develop a globally competitive film industry in Jordan. It draws up cultural policies by: encouraging the Jordanians and all people in the Middle East to narrate their stories, and thus to contribute to cultural exchange and to promote freedom of expression; creating educational programs for Jordanians working or wishing to work in the field of filmmaking; promoting and strengthening a film culture in Jordan, and thus contributing to fostering and developing critical thinking; making Jordan a centre for the world in audio-visual production through the provision of marvellous locations and creativity resources; technical assistance and financial incentives; providing administrative and supportive services for local and foreign production; and providing job opportunities of international standard in all fields of cinematic art. 


Chapter published: 04-05-2016


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