One Telecom and Business Idea For Ramallah and Palestine

Innovation is a catalyst for change in personal lives, education, how we work, and community life. All are components that may fill a fundamental requirement for continued economic development. In Ramallah there are many challenges to overcome in the journey from the current situation, to being in a competitive pool with other developing and modern countries.

ICT (Information and Communications Technology) development will contribute not only to the education and continued automation of banking, government, and eCommerce, but also to the overall quality of life in cities such as Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, and Jericho.

International organizations and the Palestine government are developing specific plans to bring more network-enabled education resources to the schools. There are efforts to extend both fixed line (fiber optic backbone infrastructure) and wireless communications throughout the city (Ramallah), and as regulatory issues and commercial issues mature, that infrastructure will eventually diffuse down to the individual subscriber level.

The Daily Routine

As Palestine does not have a credible public transportation system, all movement is either done on foot, or by private automobile and commercial taxi. During “rush hour” periods travel is virtually impossible, and the quality of air due to exhaust and lax emission standards makes movement through the city extremely noxious. In addition, as there is considerable debris on the streets due to construction, as well as the reality of narrow streets and limited sidewalk space, travelling to both school and work can be a dangerous process.

Through my own pedestrian movement through the city, it struck me as obvious that Palestine is a prime candidate for future knowledge workers (pending further diffusion of “eLearning” and “eReady” graduates into the work force) to contribute to the workforce through telepresence and telecommuting.

Software developers and non-construction, storefront/restaurant, or factory workers would greatly benefit from not needing to navigate the dangerous and unhealthy streets of cities like Ramallah. ICT is the key to both promoting the development of a knowledge worker industry, as well as greatly improving individual quality of life.

Accepting home work is not always easy due to large families and home distractions, thus satellite work areas may be an additional consideration. Those satellite work areas should include high performance ICT resources, allowing knowledge workers to contribute higher quality and effective time to their companies and professional activities.

Overall Impact of ICT Resource Development in Ramallah

During my time in Ramallah I used Internet access points provided by both the hotel and local consultant’s representative office. The hotel connected through PALTEL, the incumbent monopoly communications provider. The hotel did use wireless, with access points extended throughout the hotel to improve local signal strength. Testing upload and download speeds to a California-based server resulted in good performance of 761Kbps down and 558Kbps up. This was adequate to support all my Internet access needs, as well as IP telephony for calls home.

The consultant used a dedicated link to Israel, with performance that can be considered equal to most access locations within American cities.

While neither of these access points would be considered normal for all of Ramallah or other locations within Palestine, it does indicate the potential for delivery of Internet services within the territory. Companies with an existing ICT presence, planning to open neutral data centers, could with additional investment and support of the government (regulatory issues and licensing) increase the potential for Internet protocol-enabled service delivery which would support far greater opportunities for elearning and telepresence.

The Education System

ICT diffusion into the public education system in Palestine is still low, with only around 30% of university students having good access to computers and Internet. The Ministry of Education and other government agencies should aggressively take advantage of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and government donors to build a robust network-enabled education capacity.

Visiting refugee camps such as Jenin and Kalandia gives small bits of hope that displaced people do have the attention of organizations such as the United Nations. UN-administered schools will eventually bring additional hope to students who need eLearning and network education to have the basic intellectual tools to enter a modern work force and compete. Having those skills will also increase their potential of eventually leaving the camps, and recovering some quality of life.

Education programs supported and administered by religious groups appear to have a bit better eLearning programs (from discussion with representative from the Ramallah Quaker School). Graudates from those schools will also have better opportunities for international university sponsorships, and likely bring their experience and knowledge back to Palestine at some point.

Jerusalem

There are many commuters who live in Jerusalem and travel to Ramallah each day. The trip is not far geographically, but can take a very long time depending on rush hours, curfews, border closures, or if the Israeli security forces have any extended searches or issues at the checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Having a telecommuting-ready industry would greatly improve the quality of life for people who need to commute between the cities, as well as provide another layer of physical safety for commuters (the Ramallah checkpoint has been a frequent area of civil unrest).

Students commuting between Ramallah and East Jerusalem encounter the same difficulty as workers. The following transcript from France24 tells the story of a young lady who travels the route daily.

There they met Zaina Abu Hamdan, an 18-year-old woman from Ramallah who described her daily two-hour commute to her high school in east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied during the 1967 Six Day war and later annexed.

“As I wake up every morning and come here I am nervous, and I am thinking about the humiliations I am going to face,” she said.

Passing through the checkpoint often involves waiting for long periods in packed metal corridors, extended searches and loud orders issued in Hebrew by Israeli conscripts.

“If you are lucky, how long does it take,” Carter asked her.

“Thirty minutes,” she replied.

“And if you are unlucky?”

“Two or three hours.” (France 24)

Clearly eLearning, telecommuting, and telepresence could, and should have a very positive impact on the quality of life for all Palestinians. Israel needs to expedite approval and delivery of computer/wireless/telecom hardware, as well as release of additional wirel4ess frequency that would further support enhanced ICT.

A very difficult and troubled part of the world. However we cannot lose hope, and like a good Internet protocol packet, we need to find ways around obstacles.

Seven Public Relations Secrets That Get Your Business Noticed

Publicity can come from anywhere, and in many different forms. It can be as simple as having a letter published in the editorial column of your local paper, or as dynamic as having a front-page article with your name splashed across the headlines. But a successful publicity campaign is harder than you may think. It takes huge effort on your part to get your business noticed by the media.

So, why bother? Is publicity really that important? Yes, yes … a thousand times, yes! The effectiveness of your publicity campaign will ultimately determine the success of your business. Publicity increases your sales without the outrageous cost of advertising. It adds credibility to your message and develops name recognition in your field. Essentially, publicity makes you stand out, above all the other businesses, to the buying public.

Now, you don’t have to be a public relations expert to maximize the results of your publicity campaign. Use the following trade secrets to increase your visibility and sell more of your product or service:

1. Get to Know Your Audience

According to a survey conducted by Jericho Communications, the typical Fortune 1000 CEO is more likely to have watched The Simpsons than to have watched all three presidential debates. So, what does this mean for your publicity? Simple, it means that you can’t make assumptions about your audience.

Understanding your audience and what appeals to them is important if you want to get noticed. Keep in mind that you have a variety of different tastes that go beyond your work, and so does everyone else. Figure out what magazines your audience reads and what shows they watch, then you read and watch the same things.

2. Create News

By familiarizing yourself with popular publications within your audience, you should gain an understanding of what issues are important to them and what interests them. Understand what they find newsworthy, and develop your publicity around these issues. Tie your topic to current events and target your audience directly when you pitch stories.

For example, if your business focuses on home organization, you can reach a business audience for “Clean Off Your Desk Day.” Or, if you help businesses implement time management strategies in the workplace, you can reach an at-home audience with an article on how to tackle the home improvements you started, but never completed. Don’t be afraid to stretch the boundaries of your topic. And remember, create news that interests your audience, not that interests you.

3. Send Press Releases

Press releases are the easiest and quickest ways to advertise to a large audience, and they inform the media that you have something to offer. Press releases are also a good method for getting your product or service reviewed in publications. Watch the breaking news, and if something ties to your business, send a press release to the newspapers, radio and television shows, and magazines offering your take as an expert to interview about the situation.

Give your press releases a professional look by using a letterhead. Keep them short (two pages maximum), and double space if possible. Direct it to a specific reporter or editor to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the stacks, and always use a slant aimed at the publication’s or show’s audience. And perhaps most important, don’t forget your contact information.

4. Develop a Winning Media Kit

As you approach the different media outlets, you’ll need to send them a media kit. Think of your media kit as your resume; it tells the media professionals about you and your business. A professional media kit should include your short bio, a summary of your product or service, and your contact information. Also include sample questions about your topic that the writer or host can use during the interview. Put all this information together in a professional folder, and present it to media professionals before interviews.

5. Solve Your Contact’s Problems

When it comes to stories, each reporter and producer has a unique personality and unique needs. If you can figure out what they want, you make their job much easier. And when you make a media professional’s job easier, they will come back to you for more quotes and more interviews. So ask them what other stories they’re working on, and for what other publications they write. Ask how you can help them and what other topics they’d like to see. Let the reporter, editor, or producer know that you care about their stories and their audience because in the end, you’ll both look good.

Establish working relationships with media professionals and develop strong contacts for increased publicity. Learn everything you can about the show or publication, and about their competition, so you can really make them shine.

6. Give a Great Interview

Do you know what it’s like to talk to a boring person? They drone on for hours about topics that don’t interest you, and all you can think about is getting rid of them. Keep this in mind when you talk to the media, because if you’re boring, they won’t want to talk with you ever again. But if you have energy and keep your responses on the topic, you’ll keep the media professionals interested.

Before the interview, take time to prepare three to five main points you’d like to cover. Then if the conversation goes astray, you can revert back to these points with ease. Also, don’t be pushy about what you want. They may or may not have room in their story to mention your product or service. But if you ask nicely, you’ll have a better chance of getting it mentioned.

7. Follow up

Once you’ve established contact with media professionals, maintain the relationships and follow up for more exposure. Avoid nagging with “did you decide yet” calls, but do ask when the article will be published or when the show will air. Maybe you can offer a new bit of information in your follow-up call. And remember to reintroduce yourself, because reporters and producers talk to many different people every day.

Another important aspect of follow-up and common courtesy is a thank-you note. These added touches of consideration let the media professionals know that you appreciate them and make them want to work with you again in the future.

Use the Public Relations Secrets to Success

A successful publicity campaign is hard work, but it doesn’t have to be excruciating. When you understand your readers and their interests, then target the publications and shows with a slant directed to the needs of their audience, you position yourself for maximum exposure. By using a professional approach and media kit, the media will take notice. Develop strong working relationships with media professionals, and you will get more quotes and interviews. Give a great interview, then follow-up with the reporter or producer to show your enthusiasm.

Publicity is the key to increasing your bottom line. Now you don’t have to be a public relations pro to make the most of your media exposure. With these seven secrets, you can maximize your public relations success and secure free publicity for your product or service.

Investigating Unconsolidated Aquifers in an Arid Environment of the Lower Jordan Valley, Jordan

Groundwater techniques in semi-arid areas often are not being sufficiently characterized hydrogeologically and long-term information are usually not obtainable. Longterm time series are essential nevertheless to style future groundwater abstraction scenarios or to predict the impact of future environment change results on groundwater means.

To overcome these difficulties an integrated approach for the provision of the dependable database depending on sparse and fuzzy information is proposed. This integrated method is demonstrated using the lowermost region of the Jordan Valley. A conceptual model of flow is create depending on geological, hydrochemical, and geophysical techniques.

The water balance is calculated based on historical data, combined with remote sensing techniques. About the basis of these findings a steadystate numerical circulation design was set up. The Reduced Jordan Valley is part from the Jordan Dead Sea – Wadi Araba Rift Valley, which extends in the Red Sea to Lake Tiberias and beyond having a major 107 km sinistral strike-slip fault in between the Arabian plate to the east and also the northeastern part from the African plate to the west. Due to extensional forces, a deep depression known as – for historic reasons – the Jordan “graben”, has formed.

During the modern geological history, it was filled by evaporites, lacustrine sediments, and clastic fluvial elements (Niemi et. al. 1997). Protected by the high mountain shoulders of the West and East Bank together using the low elevation of -300 to -415 m beneath mean sea level and the lengthy and warm season within the Jordan Valley lead to some natural warm home condition.

Consequently the area is intensively used for agriculture. Consequently hundreds of shallow wells were drilled and big amounts of groundwater abstracted. Since the 1960′s, the groundwater high quality may be rapidly deteriorating and indicators of overpumping and growing soil salinity became apparent.

Along with heavy groundwater abstraction, replenishment of the Jordan Valley aquifers is decreased by diversion and storage of large quantities of clean drinking water, each in dams constructed along the main wadi outlets about the Jordanian website of the Valley and by diversion of most from the fresh water from Lake Tiberias.

The area of interest extends from the Dead Sea within the south to the town of Karameh to the north, from the Jordan River towards the west up to the margin from the western hills of the East Financial institution in the east. Nevertheless the consolidated strata to the East were included in this study simply because it may be assumed that the major component of recharge to the unconsolidated aquifer originates from this area.

So that you can achieve a sustainable state of drinking water means and to quantify the effect of climate alter on water resources a correct assessment of the groundwater resources as nicely as their quality is really a prerequisite.

Consequently the aim of this post is to lead to a better hydrogeological understanding from the groundwater in the unconsolidated sediments from the Reduced Jordan Valley/ Jordan. In order to sufficiently describe the complex hydrogeologic circulation program an integrated approach, combining geological, geophysical, hydrogeological, historic and chemical methods was chosen.

The aquifer geometry and composition is described with the help of geological, hydochemical, and geophysical techniques. So far as the water spending budget is concerned, recharge to the aquifer is estimated with geological methods and obtainable information sets, whilst the abstraction from the aquifer is estimated using the assist of remote sensing methods (Landsat information sets).

A historical method is used to detect the general conditions under which the groundwater program may be within the past. This information is then implemented into a flow design. This circulation model must be capable to describe the depicted stress intervals on the groundwater systems in order to allow giving reliable predictions concerning the impacts of environment change scenarios about the groundwater system.

The flow model provides the means for testing the consistency of the rather heterogeneous historic information set and enables the simulation of the potential effect of management methods as nicely as climate alter scenarios. The organic, anthropogenically unaltered flow system is addressed, as nicely as the effects of main stress intervals in the 60ies, the influence from the events of 1967 and their aftermath, extreme rainfall events, and intervals of drought on the groundwater program.

A forecast groundwater circulation design should be tested against these occasions in order to provide realistic predictions of potential scenarios. The reduced Jordan Valley includes a long history of human settlement and therefore agriculture. Although intervals of minor usage or even abandonment occur throughout its history.

The city of Jericho, founded between the 9th to 8th millennium BC is recognized to become the oldest continuously populated city in the globe and is located just 8 km west from the research region. Excavations within the Wadi Shueib dating back towards the Neolithic Period demonstrate very early cultivation by humans.

The settlement and agricultural activities in former times are generally restricted towards the availability of drinking water means and great farming land. Inside the region of interest the Jordan River itself flows inside a 15-30 m deep gorge (Arabic: Zor).

Apart in the residues of former Jordan River flood plains, which could be considered as good farming land, the vicinity from the Jordan River flows within the the soft Lisan formation, which can be unsuitable for farming due to its high salt content (e.g. Start et al. 1974, Gibbs 1986, Landman et al 2002). As a consequence only locations close to the outlets of main wadis, exactly where a perennial flow of drinking water in the eastern hills offers sufficient drinking water, are suitable for agricultural activities.

After the arrival of the first European and American explorers in the late 19th century the research area was described being a warm and uninhabited region, unsuitable for human settlement activities (Burckhardt 1822). The very first comprehensive report describing drinking water use in the Jordan Valley was
the report published by Ionides (1939) “The drinking water means of Transjordan and their development”.

In accordance to the statement only 9 wells were drilled prior to 1938. In 1938 a Haifa dependent drilling company drilled 18 modern wells. Concerning the agriculture the author noted that farming is only feasible via irrigation. Irrigation water came largely from perennial streams within the valley and only a couple of contemporary irrigation techniques existed.

Bedouins irrigated their farmland via earth channels diverting the water in the outlets of main wadis. Ionides described these channels as highly inefficient, because most from the water infiltrates or evaporates on the way to the farmlands. Wheat, barley, and corn were the dominant crops at that time. A major transformation from an almost uninhabited area with only minor agriculture started right after 1948.

Right after the 1948 war Palestinian refugees along with increased engagement of main landowning Jordanian families resulted in the agricultural improvement within the Jordan Valley (Khoury 1981). This improve in farming activities is reflected by major improve in nicely drilling. In accordance to Tleel (1963), the major phase of new well drilling started close to the mid fifties and clear signs of overpumping could be observed by the beginning from the sixties.

Being a consequence very first drilling restrictions had been issued in 1961. Between 1953 and 1963 62 new wells had been drilled in the Karameh area, 122 in the Shuna Nimreen, and 133 within the region of Sweimeh, Ghor el Rama and Ghor el Kafrein. The drilling of new wells and hence abstraction of bigger quantities of groundwater reached its first peak in 1967.

The political events of 1967 brought almost all agricultural actions to some halt. It was not before 1971 that agricultural actions started to improve once again. Two earth dams inside the study region store excess runoff water from their adjacent wadis for irrigation.

These dams are the 1968 built Wadi Shueib dam with a capability of close to 2.three Mm3 and the 1968 Wadi Kafrein dam with a capacity of 3.8 Mm, raised at the end of the 90s to 7.5 Mm3 (Salameh and Bannayan 1993, MWI open files) both situated at the outlets of major wadis. Due to the ongoing
deposition of sediments, transported mainly right after heavy storm events, the capacity diminished. In accordance to Lenz (1999) they also lead to local recharge resulting from leakage.

The 1986 renamed King Abdullah Canal (KAC), previously generally known as East Ghor canal, is right after its third extension (completed between 1984 and 1989) of 14.3 km the third allochthonous source of irrigation drinking water in the research region. The KAC carries water from as far as the Yarmouk River.

Towards the south extra water from side wadis is added and water for domestic as well as irrigation purposes is diverted from the canal. Today, groundwater is not anymore the major source of irrigation drinking water within the research area and drilling new wells require a permit issued by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI). Nevertheless numerous illegal wells in fenced private farms still exist and extract unknown quantities of groundwater.