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Book launched to help children engage with country’s heritage

By Saeb Rawashdeh - Apr 21,2021 - Last updated at Apr 24,2021

From left to right: Director General of the Department of Antiquities Ahmad Shami and writer Rasha Dababneh and Asma Abaza, Sela’s outreach officer during a book launch on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Allison Mickel)

AMMAN — Sela for Training and Protection of Heritage, a non-for-profit company based in Petra, on Tuesday launched a children’s book with the aim of engaging them with the Kingdom’s heritage.

The book, titled “Karam and the hand of Hercules” and authored by Rasha Dababneh, tells the story of Karam visiting the Amman Citadel and interacting with the giant Hand of Hercules that lies there beside the Temple. One of the characters in the book is an archaeologist, who explains to Karam about this fascinating science, said Sela’s Vice President Maria Elena Ronza.

Director General of the Department of Antiquities Ahmad Shami delivered the opening remarks during the event, highlighting the importance of acquainting children with the Kingdom’s heritage.

“The idea of this book was developed and produced within the Sela’s activities as part of the Newton-Khalidi funded project ‘Learning from Multicultural Amman: Engaging Jordan’s Youth’,” Ronza said.

Within the project activities Sela has been tasked by Durham University to design a series of archaeology- and museum-themed activities for school-age Jordanian children to be implemented at different museums in Jordan, in schools or on site, she said.

Sela also designed, developed and tested several prototypes for archaeology-themed toys, including the book, Ronza said.

Furthermore, in cooperation with Jordanian museums, Sela created 10 customised educational boxes for five museums with the aim of explaining the concept of stratigraphy (study of rock layers) to schoolchildren, she said.

Each box contains layers of coloured sand and replicas of objects from the museum, Ronza said.

The boxes were donated to Amman Citadel Museum, Dar Saraya in Irbid, Umm Qais Museum, Jerash Museum and Madaba Archaeological Museum, Ronza said.

When children arrive to the museum, Ronza said, either a teacher or the museum staff will distribute an activity sheet, which is designed as a treasure hunt. The activity sheet includes a map of the museum with highlighted locations, a list of objects with pictures and a brief description, a fun fact that could catch children’s attention and a colour-coded diagram representing the stratigraphic sequence in Jordan.


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