(Irbid, Sept. 22, 2021) – U.S. Ambassador Henry T. Wooster visited Irbid’s governor Radwan Otoum, as well as business owners, researchers, students, and local leaders in Irbid to highlight U.S.-Jordan cooperation on many of the important challenges the people of Irbid face on a daily basis. The Ambassador’s meetings included a visit to Wehdeh Dam, the Irbid Chamber of Commerce, the Princess Haya Biotechnology Center, and an Access English class and included wide-ranging conversations on issues like water security, ways to strengthen Jordan’s economy, building opportunities for Jordanian youth. The trip exemplified the strength of the U.S.—Jordan partnership.
During his visit to Irbid, Ambassador Wooster said “this has been a challenging year for people everywhere. Partnerships like the one we have with Jordan and its people help us and our families weather whatever storms we face.” Ambassador Wooster also noted “when we work together on common challenges, we all benefit.”
At Wehdeh Dam, Ambassador Wooster met with Irbid residents to discuss how the United States and Jordan can work together to improve the water situation during the current dry year. He noted that USAID is conducting joint studies on how the King Abdullah Canal, which carries water from the dam to fields and homes, can be upgraded or improved to stop loss. In Irbid City, Ambassador Wooster confirmed to members of the Chamber of Industry that the United States will continue to work with business owners, especially through the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement. He highlighted that more than 70% of annual exports from Irbid go to the United States with the help of the free trade agreement. During his visit to the Princess Haya Biotechnology Center, where Jordanian women have played a leading role in the kingdom’s pandemic response, Ambassador Wooster praised the center and similar facilities for showing the potential of Jordan’s workforce. He noted that the health and research sectors will continue to play an important role in Jordan’s economy.
At the Irbid Access English class, a U.S. Embassy-sponsored afterschool program teaching English to Jordanian youth, students quizzed Amb. Wooster in English on his time in Jordan, opportunities for their futures, and which Jordanian foods he likes the most. The Ambassador noted the importance of English for Jordan’s economic development: “Motivated students, like the ones in this Access class, excel not only in the classroom but after they graduate,” he said. “I can’t wait to see how they help build the Kingdom’s future.”