8:25pm: Breaking news over the AP wire…
WASHINGTON (AP) – In a Dec. 22 story about gifts to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, The Associated Press, relying on faulty information published by the State Department in the Federal Register, reported erroneously that King Abdullah II of Jordan gave Rice jewelry valued at $147,000 in January 2007. The department now says the jewelry was given by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. [source]
It’s kind of ironic that the State Department of all people would mix up King Abdullah of Jordan with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, but the media does it all the time (both Arab and non).
I am glad the misunderstanding is cleared up.
I am glad that the error got corrected but I believe it is natural that when someone hears the name King Abdullah they would assume our King and not that of Saudi Arabia! Afterall, he has been king longer :).
Well, that IS good news. Wonder if your previous post had any relation to the correction. Glad they got it right and glad Jordan’s national name has been cleared ;). I still think my idea of a gift to each State is a fun one…
And where is your friend Musa now to comment on the correction?
Is it the amount or the idea that is troubling to some?
Are we sure its the king of SA and not Jordan? Because the report mention what both countries gave to Rice
There is something fishy about this correction. Well, may be two. First, the original report specifically mentions King Abdullah (of Jordan) and Queen Rania. If there was a Queen Rania in Saudi Arabia, then you might disregard this point. Second, which is far more important, is the absence of an official Jordanian response to the whole matter. The lack of a mechanism in the Jordanian government to report such gifts and to practice “real” transparency puts a huge red flag next to any and all corrections.
As was mentioned in the Article, that the wife of the Japanese prime minister gave a pair of decorative pillows worth a $100, then the $345 dagger is still way too much given the vast economical gap between Jordan and Japan.
Again, not knowing what is being given away (or received for that matter) keeps thick clouds between the people and the rulers/government. I am afraid that one day the cloud will cause a huge, loud thunder. Until then, do we wait for the spark?
This correction does not meanb athing comparing to the gifts that are shown in talaVIV AUCTION
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@mab3oos: just to clarify, what i’ve been able to find out is that the original wire written by AP was based on information provided by the state department’s ledger where the names were mixed up. AP based its story on what was in that ledger to begin with. it is fairly typical for wire services to fill the missing gaps in order to turn data in to information. as for a public statement from the government, i highly, highly doubt it would have done any good. any clarifications from the jordanian government would’ve have likely been perceived to be typical denials and resulted in people confirming that the story is true.
i agree with you that this situation does call on the fact that we need transparency in this country, especially if we want to avoid that spark. even such clarifications do not take away from the bigger problem.
@poor arab news service: yes, I read that yesterday as well from a link that a reader sent me. it’s also available here in arabic for anyone wanting to read it: http://www.almasry-alyoum.com/article2.aspx?ArticleID=189331
I just can’t find anything wrong in the concept; it is a prestigious protocol between heads of countries to exchange gifts during visits, and such attitude was and still valid.
Now some people are talking about transparency/clarifications/numbers.. well, I think its kinda silly if the government will respond (deny usually) to every single report that deals with Jordan, cause it would show how fragile the level-of-trust (if you like..) is, and it wont do any good at the end of the day.
@Mab3oos: If my reading is correct, you are asking for detailed numbers to be released from the royal court/government, I think this is nonsense (with all respect). Jordan is a monarchy system country, how silly it would be if the government comes up every month with a list of numbers? does this happen in UK for example? plus, are we a nation that suffers hunger? do we feel like being robbed or whatnot? lets get real.. we would sound really awful in the world’ eyes if your idea is implemented.
note: the information in “alquds alarabi” report doesn’t sound professional, at least for me, and even if that info was true, once again I truly can’t find any wrong in it.
im calling bullshit
Whew. I just didn’t think it was the character of Jordan’s King to give such gifts.
Ma3boos, Jordan has a greater tradition of generosity than Japan, I think.
I am giggling, as the phone lines must’ve been burning between Amman and DC on Christmas Eve.
Nas, one Christmas we were at a former US ambassador’s house, and he spent half the time on the phone with the State Dept. correcting another such potentially troubling error they had made. After the third call, he rolled his eyes, stopped answering, and said ‘When are they going to get it?”.
I really found it very appalling to read comment by people like wessam , where do you live wessan and let me guess ,Abdoun , i advise to go not far away like places Jubal Al Nadeef ,then come talk about how “generous” our king is to war criminal like Omert and Sharon those are war criminal Wessam ,that if you have the ability to notice , and now you might call it Makrameha malakeha to war criminal ,that gifts eventually the gift ended up in auction in herzliya that will bring 100000s of Dolores in the pocket of racist criminal government such as Israel and Alquds Alarbi is not professional to you why because it is not written in English and would you believe it if i bring a link from European or American source ,give me a break Man!
Unfortunately, most young Jordanian have no idea about history or world politics and that’s very sad state of affairs ,
and just because Jordan is Absolute monarchy that does not justify all these gifts to a country that has been the violating international laws for the last sixty years , Just imagine ,if Hitler was given a gift by the french government during the occupation of France by Germany what will be the reaction of European .
If all this wasted public funds that you and I contributed was spent wisely on our people we can solve lots of poverty and despair
It is time for you to make little tour to Zarqa ,Maan Tafelaha, and Eastern Amman maybe, you will learn something new about Jordan .
Wissam: The UK actually releases an annual report on the budget allocated to the Royal Household. They detail everything the Queen and her family spent on travel, holidays, official and unofficial visits, staff salaries, food shopping as well as maintenance of various palaces (e.g. GBP2.4 million on replacing the central heating system at Buckingham Palace) etc. They also detail any income received. I am not sure why Jordan cannot do the same.
Have a look at this page which shows a summary and allows you to download detailed reports on each aspect of the Queen’s budget:
Personally, I don’t object to the concept of giving gifts to Condi or any of the other unsavory characters Jordan has to deal with. What I object strongly to, however, is the the culture of non accountability which allows the head of state to allegedly give an inappropriately expensive gift when over 60% of the population live below the poverty line.
Just imagine if Hitler was given a gift by the
British government during the occupation of France ,what will be the reaction of European? .
@ Alurdunialhurr: Having a different opinion doesn’t give you the right to offend people, it was (and still) my opinion, I respect yours, it’d be nice if you express whats inside you in a way without offending others.
Thanks for the info Ibby.
Nas, why do you think such a clarification would be be ill received? It is because of the nonexistent trust. The government has a long history of deception. Remember the Casino deal? Doesn’t Jordan get Oil at a reduced price? Does anyone in Jordan know that Bassem Awadallah’s father is a convicted felon in the US?
Remember, the lighting strike only hits those carrying the stick.
Wissam, you did offend me. By insulting my intelligence. You would think that the Monarchy is above accountability, when saying “how silly it would be if the government comes up every month with a list of numbers?” It is not silly at all. As Ibby just mentioned in regard to the royal family in Britain, in my next post you will be surprised by the exhausting details the US government includes in its reports about such gifts.
are we a nation that suffers from hunger? Hell yeah. You have not read the news reports of the family burning shoes for heating, you haven’t been to camps in Jordan, and surely you haven’t been to Wadi Mousa, where many families still live in caves. So, yes, I do feel robbed.
@mab3oos: “why do you think such a clarification would be be ill received? It is because of the nonexistent trust.” i agree with that statement. but my emphasis is on the outcome of issuing a denial.
Mab3oos, I know what you mean when its about the financial situation in Jordan, there are poor spots all over the country, thats a fact.
I didn’t say that monarchy is above accountability, I just find it useless for a third-world country, owning most of the infra structure sectors, having debts, lacking resources, and in the middle of hatred middle eastern conflicts struggling for stability. Maybe we just need time or better circumstances to apply the accountability issue, you can add the nation’s awareness level as well.
I am honestly not defending anyone or standing by anyone’s side, and for the wide picture of facts, its just what I see in this country, HM the king tried and still trying to give better opportunities to those in poor financial conditions, this can’t be ignored, although such endavors should’ve been done by the governments, but they always act after his recommendations.
No offense was intentionally meant Mab3oos.
If you believe that the on-going conversion between me and Naseem has anything to do with a news agency report that was proven false, then you are making a mistake as big as assuming that the royal family is all virtue and wisdom!
And as a quick update: The main and mind-boggling issue here is how unbelievable it is that those supposedly enlightened people who are continously demanding reform are willing to (voluntarily) keep coming up with excuses for those responsible for a clearly dysfunctional regime when the glaring facts are is just too overpowering.
And one more thing,
How many people did read the false news and thought to themselves: “This is absolutely false, the king of Jodan would never do that” ? and how many on the other hand thought “If that’s how much they are willing to spend on a gift, I wonder how much did that new Queen Rania designer dress cost” … I mean is the lavish excessive spending of the Royal family an issue of debate here?
(That’s if you need my comment on the above story, which I clearly did not comment on in the first place …because honestly it is not even news to most Jordanians “
thats better, the problem I guess would be with the amount not with the idea 🙂
Ahmad Al-Sholi,,No it’s both the amount and the idea, who would give Hitler a gift for the occupation of Europe as in the case of American occupation of Iraq and Israel as the case of the occupation of Palestine.
I just could not believe the amount of ignorance that’s going around this blog.
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so i have a question .. did the US government find any other mistakes in the ledger or was this the only one .. cuz if its the only one then i am seriously calling bullshit
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So in short, most of the replies come from people who are bitter, angry, malicious, spiteful, unsuccessful and suffers from inferiority complex…
Well, in that case and just to those people…comment your heads and fingers off…
The mere fact that you are able to write such comments and express such ill and incoherent opinions is enough to disprove all your accusations.
On the other hand, i don’t mean to say that people should think like:
The regime says it -> that settles it -> i follow it
But did any of all those “opposing” people stop for a moment and think that as much as s/he is “fanatical” about his “opposition” that people on the other side might be the same and have the right stand by what they believe.
In case anyone noticed, i didn’t reach deeply into the subject at hand, because honestly and with all due respect, most of the comments (except for Nas’s and few others) didn’t intrigue me enough to do so, especially those that can be simply answered like : it hurts your feeling? well…BOO-HOO…Suck-It up and get over the fancy little fofo feelings…
#27: “So in short, most of the replies come from people who are bitter, angry, malicious, spiteful, unsuccessful and suffers from inferiority complexâ€¦”
interesting … how did you come to this conclusion?
The original report should of been pounced on very quickly and corrected and apology expressed by the US Govt. I blame and media dept and researchers in the foreign ministry, in addition Jordanian press should of taken a stand and taken part in a little investigative journalism to uncover the truth.
Off the subject for a moment – why did petra when reporting on the accident the other day only manage to concentrate on the fact that the director of general security forces and director of civil defence were present, and a photo was used from the archive?……..I dont give a shit who was present post accident I want to know what happened and why and furthermore the report should be written with the intention to show Jordanians the dangers of wreckless driving and what speed does….I dont know Journalism and media here is weak……
The media has a social responsibility which they are not fullfilling….
In the UK the media uses shock tactics to get the point across my god you should of viewed the dangers of Drink Driving campaign they have prior ro christmas period affective, extreme and to the point…results are that the stats speak for themselves a reduction of deaths due to drink driving…..If Jordan carried this out against speeding I think it may have a positive affect….the traffic police are useless and do nothing apatr from just cause traffic jams…..I think Jordan is now ranked 2nd country in the world with the highest number of traffic accidents….anyway just need to fume about this issue please excuse me…
#28: “interesting â€¦ how did you come to this conclusion?”
Just read the comments prior to mine and you will get my point…
@ al-urduni al-hurr,
that would get us back to the first block, do we want a flourishing relationship with the US?
Not as government of Jordan, but as people of Jordan?
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