This month’s issue of “Layalina” has an excellent and very interesting article(or picture-story to be more precise) titled “Basamat Ordoneyah”(Jordanian Fingerprints), which places under the limelight, as chosen by HRH Queen Rania, 24 Jordanian individuals who have managed in helping shape Jordan.

I remember a few months back, a friend and I were having a conversation about how in the Arab world, you give without expecting a return. Although my effort is but a grain of sand in a desert, I find myself obliged to try to “return” by at least recognizing and appreciating these Jordanian pioneers.

I will share with you eight of the pioneers mentioned today (I’m a bad translator, so a very special thanks to 3ammo Iyas):

Architect Ja’afar Touqan

One of the pioneering Jordanian architects and one of the most famous as well. He designed the Municipality of Amman in Ras Il Ayn, and he belongs to several important committees including that of the National Gallery.

Professor Naser Il Deen Al-Asad

Minister of Higher Education in Jordan, academic, writer, researcher, President of Amman University, President of Literature Department at Jordan University, diplomat, Jordanian ambassador in Saudi Arabia, poet, politician, critic and head of Royal Mujama’ for studies of Islamic Civilization (al-Bayt Institution/Amman). Dr. Al-Asad is also an essential part of Arab literary committees and has been honored in both the inside of Jordan and outside.

Mamdooh Bsharat

Environmentalist who started conserving and restoring the old houses of Jordan in order to preserve our culture.

Senate Ina’am Al-Mufti

First Jordanian female to hold a governmental position. She also established the Ministry of Social Development, Noor Al-Hussein Foundation, Women Issues Organization, Jubilee School of Amman, Children’s Trust, Union of Jordanian Women, and National Union for Jordanian Business Women. She was also a part of UNESCO, had several radio shows spreading awareness, and was a part of writing a book used in all schools in the kingdom. Al-Mufti is now a senate in the Jordanian Upper House of Parliament.

Tawfiq Il-Nimri
The first Jordanian to write, sing, and compose Jordanian folkloric music. It is estimated that 750 of his songs were sung by him and others.

Zuha Mango

Mango is known for her care for the social standards in Jordan for all classes of society. She funds science, teaching, and scientists, and she and her late husband established the Hamdi Mango Center for Academic Research at Jordan University. Mango also established the Zuha Mango Cultural Foundation in 1998. She also established the Center for the Union of Women, Friends of Handicapped Society, Queen Alia Center for the Deaf, and Center of the Jordanian Orphan. She also was involved in the establishing of Al-Amal Cancer Center.

Mahmood Taha

Taha is credit for improving the writing and calligraphy skills of many students in Jordanian schools. He is also a leading artist, he studied in the Department of Fine Arts of Baghdad then went on to learn calligraphy at the hands of the great calligrapher Mohammad Al-Hafez. He is also one of the most famous potters and ceramists in Jordan.

Nabil Sawalha:

One of the pioneers in the Jordanian theatre as he basically established political comedy in Jordan.