It's official: Cincinnati and Amman, Jordan are sister cities - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

It's official: Cincinnati and Amman, Jordan are sister cities

Mayor John Cranley welcomes Akel Biltaji, the mayor of Amman, Jordan, to Cincinnati. (FOX19 NOW) Mayor John Cranley welcomes Akel Biltaji, the mayor of Amman, Jordan, to Cincinnati. (FOX19 NOW)

Cincinnati and Amman, Jordan are officially sister cities.

Mayor John Cranley and Amann Mayor Akel Biltaji, the mayor of Amman, Jordan signed the official agreement in a City Hall ceremony Friday.

Cincinnati and Amman have the world's largest collections of Nabatean art, Cranley said, and hopes a trade arrangement will lead to displays in each other's countries. He also envisions the new relationship will promote tourism and economic development between the two cities.

The Nabateans were an ancient Arab people who inhabited the borderland between Arabia and Syria from roughly A.D. 37 to A.D. 100.

Biltaji and his delegation arrived Thursday and were honored in a dinner at the new Anderson Pavilion in Smale Riverfront Park. He also toured the Cincinnati Art Museum in Mt. Adams and several city parks with Parks Director Willie Carden Jr. 

On Friday, Biltaji will attend a CincyStat meeting. He plans to launch a similar data-driven program in Amman to improve government efficiency and wants to observe a local session to see first-hand how it works. City Manager Harry Black recently implemented CincyStat in an effort to improve services, save money and enhance accountability.

Amman will be Cincinnati's ninth Sister City. Plans are underway to add a tenth city – Netanya, Israel – later this year.

Cincinnati's other Sister Cities are Munich, Germany; Mysore, India; Nancy, France; Kharkiv, Ukraine; Harare, Zimbabwe; Liuzhou, China; Gifu, Japan; and New Taipei City, Taiwan.

The International Sister City program was created by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956 as a citizen diplomacy initiative designed to promote mutual understanding. Sister City relationships are exchanges to develop links for economic development, tourism, arts and community development.

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