Peter Millett » Ambassador to Jordan, Amman

Helping Palestinian Refugees

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How to help refugees is a major issue in Jordan. As a country, Jordan has offered sanctuary to generations of refugees from many neighbouring countries, most recently from Syria. But the presence of over 2 million refugees from Palestine also presents a major challenge to the country. That is where the role of UNRWA comes in. It is a role that has been highlighted in recent weeks by the tragedy … Read more »Helping Palestinian Refugees

Guest Blog: ‘No one is born educated’ by Richard O’Carroll

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In this month’s slot, I am happy to host a blog written by Richard O’Carroll, who is a Teacher of English at the British Council Jordan. He speaks fluent Arabic and his interests are in helping learners communicate effectively in intercultural business contexts. ‘We have a saying in Arabic which means ‘no one is born educated,’ explained Zaid, “It means we learn through experience and practice. I think it should … Read more »Guest Blog: ‘No one is born educated’ by Richard O’Carroll

Girls: Reaching their Full Potential

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by Peter Millett and Robert Jenkins As parents we all want the best for our children. To reach full potential, girls need a loving and secure home environment, a good education and support that encourages their talents so that they can enjoy happy, satisfying and fulfilling lives. Early marriage prevents that from happening.  Girls who marry young drop out of school.  They lose the right to make their own choices … Read more »Girls: Reaching their Full Potential

Ramadan: A Time to Reflect

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The pace and rhythm of life in Amman has changed now that we are in Ramadan.  Many non-Muslims prefer to take their holidays at this time.  But just as Muslims are fasting to achieve greater self-awareness, so others can use this month to reflect. Commenting on religion is risky, so a diplomat should tread with extreme care.  Religion is a massive source of good, guiding people in their daily lives … Read more »Ramadan: A Time to Reflect

Creativity is GREAT

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Is creativity something you are born with or something you can learn? It is probably a bit of both nature and nurture:  natural talent and inspirational education.  For example, a musician can’t improvise until he or she has learnt to master an instrument. The theme of creativity was prominent in a party we held last week to celebrate what is “GREAT” about Britain.  We highlighted many themes about modern Britain: … Read more »Creativity is GREAT

Football for the Fans

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The World Cup starts tomorrow.  For the next month the beautiful game will be played in 64 matches between 32 teams, watched by people all over the world.  It will be the greatest show on earth this year. This extravaganza will be played in Brazil, a country that lives, breathes and sleeps football.  As a nation, Brazil has won the World Cup more times than any other. And their players … Read more »Football for the Fans

Debate and Democracy

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A couple of years ago I attended a debate in Zarqa in which teams of young people debated the merits of nuclear power. All the participants engaged in the debate in a disciplined way, marshalling their arguments, responding to their opponents’ points and bringing passion and patience to a controversial subject. Both teams had been trained as part of the British Council’s Young Arab Voices programme. This programme has given … Read more »Debate and Democracy

Leadership: Delegate or Die

We all face information-overload.  How can the leaders of  organisations cope with the mass of emails, phone calls, meetings, video-conferences and other demands on their time?  And how can we manage our time while also making sure that we deliver results? The answer is through delegation:  by pushing decision-making and implementation down to people who have the time and skills to get things done;  by not trying to do everything … Read more »Leadership: Delegate or Die

Syrian Refugees: Barrel Bombs or Basic Board?

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Last week I went to the opening of the new Azraq camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan. There was no celebration: the new camp is unfortunately necessary to give shelter to the hundreds of refugees who daily flee their country’s brutal civil war. Azraq will initially house 51,000 people and can increase to 130,000. The location is pretty bleak: an open, stony desert, exposed to dusty winds and the harsh … Read more »Syrian Refugees: Barrel Bombs or Basic Board?

To Tweet or Not To Tweet

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In 1805 it took over two weeks for news of the Royal Navy’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar to reach London. A ship had to be sent from the scene of the battle off the coast of Portugal to the nearest English port. An officer then had to take a horse-drawn carriage to London. Even then the news was sketchy and families anxious for details of how many sailors … Read more »To Tweet or Not To Tweet