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Chicago’s Sister City Since 2004

Committee Chair: Stephen Quazzo
Committee Co–Chair: Geda Condit

Since the Sister Cities signing in June, 2004, Amman and Chicago have continued to develop a growing relationship to improve the quality of life of the citizens of each city and foster a meaningful relationship. The committee is works on a diverse array of projects relating to urban affairs, education, culture, economic development, social services and fundraising.

In 2006, Mayor Daley traveled to Amman to visit with King Abdullah II and the Mayor of Amman, Omar Maani – who has since visited Chicago three times. Most recently, Mayor Maani visited Chicago to co-chair the U.S.-Arab Cities Forum, which brought together more than 50 Mayors from the Arab world in Chicago to discuss education, environment and economic development initiatives on a municipal level.

Through the years, the Amman Committee has fostered meaningful social service and humanitarian exchanges that have had a lasting impact here in Chicago and in Amman. In 2007 alone, the Amman Committee of Chicago Sister Cities donated more than $200,000 worth of hearing aids to the King Hussein Cancer Center in Jordan, as well as a donation of five ambulances to the City of Amman. As part of the hearing aid donation, their Royal Highnesses, Princess Ghida Talal and Princess Dina Mired, accepted the gifts at a Sister City press conference in October, 2007.

ABOUT AMMAN - Fast Facts

City Manager: Engineer Ammar Gharaybeh
Country:   Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan  
Country Location:   Middle East  
Geography: Amman the capital of Jordan is a city that geographically straddles seven hills.  
History:  Amman has served as the modern and ancient capital of Jordan. It is dotted with a number of historic sites from the Stone Age to the Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic eras. During the Early Islamic Era Amman held some of its importance through its location on trade routes and for its strategic military position. In 1921 the Emir Abdullah bin Hussein moved his capital to Amman, where it remains.
Industry:  Phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, potash, light manufacturing, tourism.  
Flag Description: The points of the star represent the first seven verses of the Koran. Red, black, white, and green became the pan-Arab colors.  



Focus: Government and Trade
The Amman Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International hosted H.E. Dr. Alia Bouran, Ambassador of Jordan to the United States. Accompanying her were Mr. Fawaz Bilbeisi, Director of the Economic and Commerce Bureau of the Embassy of Jordan and Mr. Rami Kharab, Consul at the Embassy of Jordan. They promoted trade with Jordan, met with World Business Chicago, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and DePaul University and attended a reception with the Jordanian American community. Ambassador Bouran also spoke at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs about the Arab Spring in Jordan.

Jordan's relationship with the area known as the “West Bank” makes defining Chicago Jordanians a complicated task. Wrested from the newly formed state of Israel by Jordan in the first Arab-Israeli War in 1948, the West Bank returned to Israel as an occupied territory in the Six Day War of 1967. Jordan, however, has continued to allow Palestinian refugees and workers across its borders, granting them Jordanian passports. Most people migrating to Chicago with Jordanian passports in the second half of the twentieth century have actually been Palestinians from the West Bank, generally identifying as Palestinians, not as native Jordanians.


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