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‘Garden of the Good’ launched in Jordan to celebrate ‘the righteous’

By JT - Oct 30,2017 - Last updated at Oct 30,2017

AMMAN — Officials from the Italian embassy, Gardens of the Righteous Worldwide (Gariwo), a non-profit organisation that deals with culture, education and memory, and EcoPeace Middle East, on Monday inaugurated a “Garden of the Good” at a public park in the north of Jordan, according to a statement from Gariwo.

The garden, inside the Sharhabil Ben Hassneh EcoPark, includes seven trees planted in memory of Jordanians who dedicated their life in the service of their nation, like Jordanian Air Force pilot Muath Al Kasasbeh, who was captured and burned to death by the Daesh terror group after his jet crashed over Syria early 2015. 

This is the second Gariwo-sponsored garden in the Arab world after Tunisia, the statement said. A representative of the Ministry of Culture, along with several parliamentarians, local dignitaries and families of the honoured Jordanians, attended the event.

Delivering a speech on behalf of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano, Italian Ambassador to Jordan Giovanni Brauzzi said Rome commended the “setting up of the Garden of the Good” in Jordan to celebrate “the righteous”.

“We wish to honour those people who devoted their entire lives to upholding good, even if it meant to sacrifice their own lives in the name of the ideals they believed in. People who were always able to differentiate between right and wrong. People who started on a courageous path towards change; people who defended a civilised coexistence and invested in the progress of their society,” he added.

“We wish to honour the righteous who, with their wisdom and humanity, were able to look beyond the limits of the historical periods they lived in, thus anticipating daring choices in favour of achieving peace and stability in the Middle East.” 

“We wish to honour all martyrs who refused to retreat in the face of absolute evil, fanaticism and terrorism, offering their own lives to ensure the safety and security of their compatriots and defend the dignity of every human being.”

Other trees planted at the Garden were dedicated to fallen and living Jordanians. They include late prime minister Wasfi Tal, assassinated in 1971 in Cairo; Rox Bin Zayed Al Azizi, who wrote over 70 books and research paper on local heritage; Anis Dababneh, the founding father of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature; and  Ismail Khader, known as “the giant of the Jordanian song”.

A tree dedicated to Zaha Jardaneh Manko, who funded a pioneering pilot centre focusing on the physical, mental and emotional development of children in Amman and to Haifa’a Al Bashir (1931-present) Jordan’s first female teacher at the Salt School, were also planted in the park. 

Gariwo Founder Gabriele Nissim, a journalist and essayist who has “dedicated his life to the remembrance of good actions in the face of massive acts of human evil”, said Jordan was chosen to host this garden because the Kingdom is “a symbol of tolerance and co-existence between Christians and Muslims, and a builder of peace worldwide”, according to the statement.

“Jordan is an exemplary country in the face of the issues of our time. It welcomed millions of refugees, it is on the forefront in the defence of the environment, it is a wall against the terrorist threat. With this garden, which honours with a tree two great women, Jordan launched an important message for the whole Middle East: the equality between men and women,” Gabriele Nissim, Gariwo Chairman said. 

“Remembering two victims of terrorism means telling the world that the battle against terrorism can be won by teaching young people about the fundamental value of human life.”

On Tuesday, Italian Ambassador to Jordan Mr Giovanni Brauzzi is scheduled to host a ceremony, in the presence of Minister of Culture and Antiquities Nabih Shuqqum, to unveil a commemorative stone inside the Italian embassy in Amman to commemorate this initiative, the statement said. 

 

EcoPeace Middle East is an organisation that brings together Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists to promote cooperation in favour of the protection of shared environmental heritage to advance both sustainable regional development and the creation of necessary conditions for peace in the region, concluded the statement.

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