AMMAN — In recognition of the importance of cleaning and preserving historical sites as not only an investment for the present, but also for the future, the Department of Antiquities (DoA) at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has been at the forefront of efforts to preserve Jordan’s invaluable heritage treasures.
As tourism stands as a key driver of Jordan’s GDP, the DoA has launched various campaigns to maintain the Kingdom’s popular historical sites. Many initiatives also aim at raising awareness and encouraging the local community to be active participants in conserving Jordan’s heritage.
Recently, DoA focused their efforts on three historical sites in Mafraq, Al Mamlaka TV reported.
However, domestic tourists suggest that the DoA should intensify efforts to conduct regular cleaning campaigns, while also educating the public on the importance of historical site maintenance — especially in Petra.
Jordanian Aya Masa’deh, 30, told The Jordan Times that when she visited Petra, she was awestruck by the beauty and significance of the ancient city.
“It is crucial to keep Petra clean and well-preserved, not only for the sake of history, but also to provide an enjoyable experience for tourists like me,” Masa’deh told The Jordan Times.
Sadeen Shanak, another tourist, told The Jordan Times that regular maintenance, the availability of washrooms and regular cleaning are crucial for ensuring repeat visits to Jordan’s historic sites.
“The authorities should pave the path behind the treasury for improved movement within Petra, and to attract a wider segment of visitors, especially kids who need strollers and people with disabilities who use wheelchairs,” Shanak added.
Economist Wajdi Makhamreh acknowledged the crucial role that historical sites play in bolstering the local economy.
“With tourism being a significant contributor to Jordan’s GDP, these historical sites act as magnets, attracting visitors from around the world. Therefore, it is essential to preserve and maintain these sites, not only for their historical significance but also as a means to sustain and improve tourism revenue,” Makhamreh told The Jordan Times.
Economist Husam Ayesh told The Jordan Times that preserving the Kingdom’s historical sites ensures a continuous flow of tourists, stimulates economic growth, creates job opportunities, and supports local businesses.
Experts in archaeology and heritage preservation agree that regular cleaning and maintenance campaigns are imperative.
“Over time, exposure to weather elements and human interaction can cause wear and tear, potentially leading to irreversible damage to historical sites,” archaeologist Nidal Zboun told The Jordan Times.
“Regular cleaning campaigns not only restore the exterior of these sites, but also prevent further degradation, ensuring that future generations can experience the magnificence of our historical heritage,” Zboun said.
Removing soil from ancient buildings and historical sites, which causes ongoing deterioration of the stone, is also essential for preservation, he added.
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