US military seeks to manicure and pedicure its forces in Jordan
By Ali Younes
A seemingly innocuous newspaper ad in a Jordanian newspaper seeking local hair dressers, manicurists and pedicurist for work in a salon was anything but normal for the surprised Jordanians.
The small ad which ran in the government-owned newspaper and the country’s largest daily, Al Rai was seeking locals to work in” US military bases in the towns of Zarqa and Al Azraq,”
Jordanians, however, were shocked to discover, based on the ad, that there are two secret American bases in their country they never knew about.
The advertising, which was sponsored by the American company Solutions Managers International (SMI), was seeking men and women to do massages, pedicures and manicures on those bases presumably for US troops.
The ad said that the applicants must have at least 3 years experience to do the job and must be able to speak English. The ad also asked future applicants to send their resumes to an email address and stated that work will be at the “American bases in Zarqa and Al Azraq”
English: Jordanian troops in a military parade in Amman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The mentioning of “American bases in Jordan” in the ad created a storm in the Jordanian press which questioned the government about the truth about the presence of American bases in the country.
SMI’s website stated that the company have contracts with the US government to do logistical work on US bases in Kuwait, Qatar, Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere .Among its services the company said that it provides logistical, electromechanical and convenient store services inside American bases in the Middle East.
Al Rai editor Samir Hiyari issued a statement saying that the ad came from the US base in Qatar and was not screened properly by the paper’s advertising department. A spokesman for SMI told CNN-Arabic website that the ad mistakenly identified the American bases in Jordan but did not deny the validity of the ad. He also offered no explanation as to why his company ran an ad in Jordanian newspaper seeking local Jordanian to work for his company.
The Jordanian government, however, issued no statement on the matter as of yet. Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour has in the past denied the presence of any American bases in Jordan despite western press reports that indicated the presence of several secret US military bases in the country that were constructed to deal with the regional crises.
Jordan has long provided logistical and intelligence assistance to US forces especially during the first and second Gulf wars and in Iraq and later in Afghanistan. Last year a joint American-Jordanian military exercise troops conducted “Eager Lion” military exercise to deal with possible threats from the Syrian regime against Jordan. The US has several Patriot missile batteries stationed in an air force base close to the borders with Syria.
Ali Younes is the Editor of The Arab Daily News online newspaper. He is a veteran news-editor, Journalist, and a Middle East analyst working for major American news networks. He isbased in Washington D.C. Reach Ali at aliyounes@TheArabDailyNews.com