AZRAQ — The Ministry of Government Communication commenced its experimental field tours for journalists and media professionals under the “Tafaseel” (in English, Details) programme on Saturday, aiming at enhancing the role of developmental media in empowering underprivileged communities and giving their inhabitants a platform to express themselves and their concerns.

The Tafaseel programme is designed for the media sector to highlight the challenges, achievements, and opportunities of the local communities outside Amman during the 25 years of King Abdullah’s reign, Minister of Government Communications Muhannad Mubaidin told The Jordan Times.

“My role is to highlight, convey, and produce content that suits these communities, empowers them, enhances their presence, and showcases their cultural heritage,” Mubaideen said.

The minister’s remarks came during a tour in Azraq, located some 100 kilometres east of Amman, which included visits to key landmarks such as the Shaumari Wildlife Reserve, the Azraq Wetland Reserve, Azraq Municipality and Azraq Castle.

At the 22 square kilometre-Shomari Wildlife Reserve, the first natural reserve in the kingdom established under the directives of late King Hussein, Supervisor Obaidah Alkhraisheh said, “The reserve played a crucial role in the conservation of the Arabian Oryx, which saw its first breeding in the Middle East here in 1978.”

The reserve also focuses on the re-settlement and protection of other threatened species such as wild Asian reds, Reem deer, and the blue-necked ostrich, and it has recorded 193 types of plants.

At the Azraq Wetland Reserve, Manager Hazem Hreisha described it as a natural heritage site and a bird migration route.

Established in 1978, the 74 square kilometre reserve hosts 350 of the 440 bird species recorded in Jordan.

He added that the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature has successfully rehabilitated 10 per cent of the reserve since its drought in the 1990’s.

Hreisha said that in 2023, the reserve welcomed around 28,000 visitors, half of whom were Jordanians, emphasising the need for enhanced tourism awareness through media channels.

Mubaidin and media representatives also visited the new Azraq Municipality. Mayor Yahya Zain Aldin discussed the district’s demographics, noting that 70 per cent of its 21,000 residents are women.

He highlighted youth unemployment and the necessity for diverse investments to create job opportunities and enhance living standards.

Journalists received a briefing on Azraq Castle from Head of the Technical Department at the Department of Antiquities Wissam Asaid. “The castle, significant across various Islamic, Byzantine, and Roman eras, once served as a crucial intersection for caravan routes.”

The tour concluded with a visit to the Azraq Development Project, a royal grant initiated during King Abdullah’s visit in 2008.




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