The Pavilion of The Hashemite Kingdom
of Jordan will be a one-story structure with a concrete roof covered
with gold mosaic. The gently rolling roof will depict Jordan as
a land of sun, blue skies, sand, hills, mosques and churches,
catacombs and tents. The exterior walls will portray the fourteen
Stations of the Cross, and the interior will include bazaar-type
exhibits specializing in products indigenous to the region. Mr.
Victor Bisharat of Pasadena, California is the architect.
Brochure, The Pavilion of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
the transcription of remarks by officials of Jordan and the World's
Fair at the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Pavilion of the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, New York World's Fair, Tuesday,
July 2, 1963.
RICHARD C. PATTERSON,
JR. [Chief of Protocol]: Your Excellency, President Moses, Governor
Poletti, ladies and gentlemen. We are gathered here this afternoon
for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pavilion of Jordan which
will portray in abstract symbolism the rich religious background
of that Kingdom, as well as exhibit products indigenous to Jordan.
The first speaker
is a renowned attorney and former Governor of New York. I have
the high privilege of giving you Governor Charles Poletti.
POLETTI [Vice President, International Affairs and Exhibits]:
Thank you, Ambassador Patterson. Ambassador Rifa'i, Mr. Moses,
distinguished officials of Jordan and Kuwait, ladies and gentlemen.
I want to say
how happy we are to have with us Ambassador Rifa'i. I've had
the opportunity of knowing him, not well, but the occasions that
we've had together developed what I believe are bonds of real
friendship. I know the great interest that he's taken in achieving
this Pavilion of Jordan.
It's not an easy
task for a country like Jordan to undertake a pavilion here at
the New York World's Fair. We appreciate that it's a sacrifice;
it entails a substantial expense. But we hope that Jordan will
profit from it by giving the American people a deeper insight
and a keener knowledge of the great and rich background of the
people of Jordan.
We know of its
richness in history, temporal and also biblical. And we are happy
that Jordan is planning to give to the City of New York one of
the pillars from Jerash. We look forward to this column being
here in this great park for many, many centuries to come, to
remind the people of New York of the contributions to modern
civilization made by the people of Jordan.
I also want to
take this opportunity of commending a member of the International
Division, Lionel Harris, for his most ardent and devoted efforts
which have brought about this Pavilion of Jordan. I think he's
achieved one of the nicest pavilions that we'll have in the International
Area of the World's Fair, designed by the genius of a young American
architect Victor Bisharat.
We think it's
very, very important for the American people to learn more about
the Arab countries, and we are delighted to have as a leader
in that group the Pavilion of Jordan. It seems to me only appropriate
on this occasion, inaugurating the commencement of the work,
that as Americans we express our appreciation for the staunch,
steadfast and courageous devotion of His Majesty, King Hussein
of Jordan to the freedoms in which we all believe. Jordan is
lucky to have such a leader, and we wish for him many, many years
of happiness and leadership of this fine people. Thank you very
the groundbreaking for the Pavilion of The Hashemite Kingdom of
Jordan were: (left to right) Ambassador Richard C. Patterson,
Jr., the Fair's Chief of Protocol; The Honorable Saeed Shammas,
Charge' d' Affaires of Kuwait; Mr. Wael Tuqan, Jordanian Consul
in New York; Mr. Victor Bisharat, architect for the pavilion;
Mr. Sami Awad, First Secretary of the Embassy of Jordan; Governor
Charles Poletti, vice president of International Affairs and Exhibits
at the Fair; His Excellency Abdul Monem Rifa'i, Ambassador of
Jordan; Mr. Robert Moses, president of the Fair; and Mr. Lionel
Harris of the International Division of the Fair.
Thank you, Governor Poletti. I'd like to present the Honorable
Saeed Shammas, Consul General of Kuwait who is here as an honored
guest of Jordan. There are two other distinguished gentlemen
here that I'd like to present for a bow. One is Mr. Sami Awad,
the First Secretary of the Jordanian Embassy, and Mr. Tuqan,
Jordanian Consul in New York. And now I give you, with high pleasure,
the president of the New York World's Fair, The Honorable Robert
MR. ROBERT MOSES:
Ambassador Rifa'i, Dick Patterson and friends. I've only one
quarrel, if it is a quarrel, with Jordan. I'm one of those funny
fellows who likes to work in out-of-the-way places, and I had
an ambition way back when Charlie Poletti and I were on the Power
Authority of the State. We always talked about Jordan as one
of the places where we'd like to operate; and the other was,
of course, the Nile. Somehow or other, there didn't seem to be
a great demand for us to go to either one of those places to
help them out. These are the things that those of us who are
on the practical, working side here in the United States have
hoped we would be able to do: to help foreign countries, not
only with money and loans, but with technical skill, so that
could point to
actual achievements - not merely to foreign aid, and not merely
to our goodwill and good nature and aspirations, but to actual
Jordan is a remarkable
country, and the Jordanians have a good deal to show here. We
want them here, and we're glad they're coming. All that we ask
of them now is to get just as busy as they can in finishing their
design, starting work - they have, in fact, started work - and
get a roof over their heads as soon as possible and then begin
to move in their exhibits. I think perhaps we've been spending
too little time in recent months on construction as such, and
perhaps too little time in figuring out what we can do to help
the exhibitors bring in the exhibits. Because the buildings,
the facades, the packages, the boxes, however attractive, are
not the important thing. The important thing is what you have
inside - the amount of imagination that is brought to bear on
your exhibits - the things that a country like Jordan wants to
emphasize, wants to be known for.
Thank you, President Moses. Our next speaker is a very distinguished
diplomat who has received high decorations from his sovereign,
as well as from many, many foreign countries. He was Ambassador
of Jordan to the United States from 1953 to 1956, and he's also
been Ambassador from his country to Great Britain, Egypt, Lebanon,
Iran and Pakistan. For the last seven years he has been his country's
chief delegate to the United Nations. It is my high privilege
to present to you, at this time, His Excellency Abdul Monem Rifa'i,
Ambassador to the United Nations from The Hashemite Kingdom of
Jordan. Mr. Ambassador.
MONEM RIFA'I.: Ambassador Patterson - President Moses, Governor
Poletti, Mr. Harris, ladies and gentlemen. The beautiful and
kind words which were said about His Majesty, my King, about
my country and about myself, require eloquence to enable me to
reciprocate them. It suffices me to thank you whole-heartedly
for your very kind and sincere compliments.
We are used,
at the United Nations, to read our statements in a written form.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to read these remarks: On the
occasion of its centennial, the City of New York opens its precious
soil today to hold, among the pavilions of other nations, that
of The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at the World's Fair in NewYork.
could hardly be a center that entertains a wide international
scheme of the magnitude of the World's Fair better than the City
of New York. For on this island flourishes the
Excellency, Ambassador Abdul Monem Rifa'i receiving the official
Fair medallion from Mr. Robert Moses. At left is Mr. Wael Tuqan,
Jordanian Consul in New York.
organization in the history of mankind, where 111 nations are
permanently represented; and on this island peoples of all races
and languages live in one community as good citizens. It is quite
natural that, at its 300th anniversary, New York should demonstrate
human civilization at large and the progress of man.
If my country,
Jordan, enjoys the privilege of joining with other governments
in building a pavilion on this spot, it is not because we wish
to present to other peoples what we have inherited and what we
possess, but rather to show our brethren in humanity what belongs
to mankind on the two banks of the Jordan River.
Whether we in
April 1964 are going to see the products of this country or that
country, the industry of this state or that state, the contribution
of this nation or that nation, the treasures of this land or
that land, the everlasting fact is that we shall see the achievements
of man and his march throughout the ages within the space of
his earth and, at present, beyond space.
But more than
that, ladies and gentlemen, much more, is the concept which motivated
my government to follow the procession of the makers of history
and the builders of civilization at the New York World's Fair.
We who gaze at
eternity, and for whom material life is nothing but a detail
in the greater concept of existence, cannot, and must not, be
represented in a space which manifests a physical force or a
solid power. Our belief in the unity of the universe, the unity
of time, and the unity of creation guides us to connect the past
with the future in an infinite existence whose space is the Kingdom
of Heaven and whose time is eternity. With this understanding
of life we identify ourselves in our small pavilion.
My country will
not be able to exhibit atomic power, or a special mechanical
energy, or an advanced electrical device, or a remarkable invention;
but we will be quite able to exhibit that which shall remain
when everything else shall vanish. We shall show the love of
God and peace on earth. We, who have within our potential people
like Jesus Christ and Mohammad the Prophet, must be represented
by a scheme that reflects the ideals of our life and the simplicty
of our nature. In our pavilion the Ten Commandments shall echo,
the birth of Jesus Christ shall shine, and the ascendance of
Mohammad shall be reflected. In our pavilion, the oldest Torah,
the Church of the Nativity, and the Mosque of the Dome of the
Rock shall stand, symbols of righteousness, tolerance, peace
It is not easy
for a country which lives in the light of such high and moral
values and supreme ideas to illustrate its spiritual existence
in terms of buildings and designs. It was therefore our great
satisfaction that a true son of Jordan whom you claim as American
and we both claim equally, Mr. Victor Bisharat, came to be the
designer and the architect of our pavilion.
We wanted the
pavilion, in its modest appearance, to reflect the true face
of a country which has limited physical capacities, and a people
who do their utmost to live a decent, honorable and progressive
life with what nature has provided them in water, resources and
mineral wealth. And on its highest level, we wanted our pavilion
to rise to the level of a native land which was the shining spot
of the three Divine Religions and the field in which the East
met the West in its hills, and on its shores washed by the waves
of the Mediterranean. The artist had to dig deep in his art to
reach the depth of this concept.
We break ground
today with full devotion to the cause which prompted us to participate
in the World's Fair of New York, and we therefore dedicate our
pavilion to peace and brotherhood among all nations.
We view the World's
Fair with this wide approach; and in the service of this wide
approach we shall cooperate with you, you who have conceived
the idea of establishing the Fair and who brought it into reality.
To you all, my country and I extend our greetings and compliments.
They are extended to every individual who works in the area of
the Fair, indoors and outdoors, in summer and in winter, with
unswerving loyalty. And to join with you in the construction
of the great Fair, I have the honor to break the ground for the
Pavilion of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Thank you.