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Amman conference on cultural heritage hosts researchers from around globe

By Saeb Rawashdeh - Apr 18,2019 - Last updated at Apr 24,2019

HRH Princess Sumaya Bint Hasan( centre) accompanied with Professor Hani Hayajneh( third from left) and President of Yarmouk University Zeidan Kafafi( forth from left) iat the opening of the conference on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Yarmouk University)

AMMAN — Every nation in the world can lay claim to its own unique heritage, which “constitutes precious wealth that belongs not only to each individual nation and people, but also to humankind as a whole”, professor Hani Hayajneh said on Tuesday.

Hayajneh’s remarks came during a conference which ended on Thursday, titled: “Cultural Heritage: at the Intersection of Humanities and the Sciences”, launched by HRH Princess Sumaya in Amman.

The event, organised for the first time in Jordan by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, gathered around 100 scholars from Jordan and abroad, with some researchers coming from South America and Japan.

According to Hayajneh, who is the ambassador scientist at the Humboldt Foundation in Jordan, the development of cooperation and exchange in the fields of culture is beneficial to all parties involved.

“It helps to strengthen mutual understanding and friendship between people of all countries, and will do good for the harmony and progress of human society,” he underlined.

The three-day meeting was held in Amman, Irbid and Madaba and aimed to connect the fields of humanities, history, anthropology, philology and social sciences.

“Alexander von Humboldt was born on 14 September 1769 in Berlin; this year we are celebrating his 250th birthday — all year long,” the German Ambassador to Jordan Birgitta Siefker-Eberle said.

Moreover, the foundation works in the spirit of Alexander von Humboldt, the ambassador continued, adding that it has a long-standing history in Jordan, with many research fellows and award winners present in the Kingdom.

Nevertheless, the world has seen first-hand how ongoing wars and hostilities can hinder the preservation efforts of monuments and archaeological sites, but also the intangible cultural heritage, Constanza Farina from Amman’s UNESCO office said, adding that the chaos of conflict disrupts efforts to safeguard the traditions or living expressions “inherited from our ancestors”.

Farina emphasised the contribution of the Arab region to civilisation, “which gave birth to science, writing, mathematics and law”.

President of Yarmouk University Zeidan Kafafi said the conference was “something of a dream come true” as Jordan played host to so many distinguished researchers hailing from different parts of the world.

“I would like to praise, in a very special manner, the fine feeling and deep insights of the Hashemite Royal Family, particularly that of HRH Highness Prince Hassan and Princess Sumaya, for stimulating and motivating the academic arena and promoting our valuable cultural heritage in Jordan,” Kafafi said.

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