Jordan · Middle East · USA

Do Americans know about the USAID?

I know almost nothing about the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). From Wikipedia it seems it is a federal government agency, not a private agency. I know they build schools and help finance some water-related and other projects here in Jordan. Of course as anything foreign the USAID is not short of controversy over the agency’s goals.

Since I only know that they do good things I have to state that I am thankful and appreciative of their good deeds. Especially, since their logo states that their donations are “from the American people.” This means that they get their money from the taxes. Why else would they say “from the American people”, right?

One of their projects in Irbid, Jordan is placing big recycle bins in a neighborhood. In one neighborhood in West of Irbid city I saw these recycle bins scattered properly almost everywhere. The bins are big enough with excellent instructions. I can understand the motive behind this project; introducing recycling to the Jordanians. I love it. Who wouldn’t love to be green?

But, if you know anything about Irbid you know the last thing we need in this city is recycling bins. This is like donating ski gear to the homeless. I don’t want to belittle the USAID work but seriously what they were thinking?

All the recycle bins ended up being used as a garbage container for the neighborhood, like the one below.

2014-10-12 17.32.59

I laughed a lot when I saw this recycle bin because it is a reminder how much the US government sometimes feels like they know nothing about the Middle East. 

Irbid city is poor and overpopulated. The municipality can barely handles cleaning the streets because they are overwhelmed by the amount of trash. Also, I don’t like saying it but I have to since this issue plays a major role why our streets are always dirty and these recycling bins are the least of our concerns. Unfortunately, Jordanians don’t treat public places as their homes. It is very common here to see people throw trash on streets. 

If you are an American, did you hear of the USAID before? What do you think of this failed recycling project?

p.s. Maybe I should mention that introducing recycling in Jordan is a noble cause but it is too early for it in the time being.

Environment · Picture America · USA

Picture America – Recycling

I keep my reusable grocery bags in the trunk of my car. I like to use them instead of the plastic bags that are suffocating planet earth. Lucky’s Market, a new grocery shop that opened recently in my neighborhood, gives customers 10 cents for each reusable bag used. Customers can choose to deduct the 10 cents per bag from their receipt or receive a token worth 10 cents, to be denoted to one of the three charities shown in the picture below.