Jordan/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.3 European / international actors and programmes

Jordan has a number of foreign cultural centres and foundations of which the most important are the French Cultural Centre, the American Cultural Centre, the Italian Cultural Centre, the Turkish Cultural Centre, the Goethe Institute, the British Council, the Spanish Cultural Centre and the Russian Cultural Centre. The most prominent centres and their activities include:

German Goethe Institute
One of the priorities of the Institute is the "service of exchange between the two cultures: Jordanian and German", through the Jordanian students studying in Germany and new German foundations operating in Jordan such as the German University of Jordan.

Sponsored and supported by the Goethe Institute, three German books have been translated into Arabic. In addition, in cooperation with Azminah House and the Jordanian Writers Association, the Institute organised cultural events attended by a number of Jordanian Writers who read their texts to the members of the German community. The Institute also sponsored several cultural events such as the German animated film "The Adventures of Prince Ahmed," accompanied by music composed by Jordanians, as well as musical evenings directed towards young people.

British Council
In collaboration with the University of Yarmouk and the Drama Department at the University of Jordan, the British Institute produced an interactive theatrical project about gender issues. It also launched the network of "Opportunities for All", which deals with the rights of disabled people. Consequently, the Institute signed two agreements with the National Centre for Human Rights and the Supreme Council for Disabled People’s Affairs to carry out the activities of the network which included 72 NGOs. 

In the area of cultural management, the British Institute launched the program "International Cultural Management", through which "a new generation of cultural managers" are trained.

It also oversees the program, "Leadership in the Progression of Society", through which the beneficiaries are trained in using the contemporary tools of leadership to train others by themselves. It also includes the project "Women in Work" which encourages young women to look forward to various options in the work market regardless of stereotypes created by the society.

As for cooperation with official bodies, the British Institute is working with the Ministry of Political Development on the project "Jordanian Youth Parliament" to provide opportunities to participate in the democratic development process. It also finances the project “Capacity Building of the Ministry of Awqaf” in order to "promote Islamic values."

The French Cultural Institute
The French Cultural Institute is the active cultural actor for the Embassy of France in Jordan, founded in 1963. It offers French and Arabic courses along with exams and certificates in the French language. The French Institute also provides a library and a study-in-France office that helps Jordanians with the information they will need for study in France.

The Institute organises cultural activities regularly throughout the year, inside and outside the institute including musical concerts, dance shows, plays, and cinema festivals such as the French Arab Film Festival which held its nineteenth term in 2013. Along with showing twenty films, the French Arab Film Festival also holds a contest for short Jordanian films, and a party for distributing awards as well as arranging special celebrations for the Music Day. It also hosts a number of critics, directors and experts in cinema techniques to enlighten the shows with more circles of discussion, dialogue and interaction with the audience. Since 2011, the institute has been organising the Picture Festival through which picture activities and exhibitions are presented all over Amman. The French Cultural Institute also participates regularly in implementing projects especially for Jordanian cultural representatives.  

The American Cultural Centre (founded in 1954).

The Spanish Cultural Centre – Cervantes (founded in 1979)

The Turkish Cultural Centre (founded in 1969)

European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC)
EUNIC is the abbreviation of the European Union National Institutes for Culture which is a network of international cultural relations institutes of the member countries in the European Union. Members of EUNIC work in more than 150 countries. The EUNIC body in Jordan consists of five members: the British Council, the Goethe Institute, the French Institute, Cervantes Institute and Societa Dante Aliglieri (Italian Institute). The EU, in cooperation with EUNIC, supports innovation of creative industries in Jordan with concentration on publicising them in the European Union, in addition to cultural exchanges between Jordan and the EU. The general objective is to contribute to bilateral understanding and dialogue between cultures and to bring the EU and Jordanian societies closer to each other. EUNIC launched an initiative called “Jordan Creative” and invited those who were working in creative industries for a meeting in 2012 and 2013. It also held a symposium in 2013 in which innovation of creative industries in Jordan was discussed and reviewed, including the most significant obstacles that face the creative sector today along with a bunch of practical recommendations to create change.

Chapter published: 04-05-2016