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'Karak Souk' launched as tribute to terror victims

By Suzanna Goussous - Mar 25,2017 - Last updated at Mar 25,2017

The Jabal Amman Residents Association and the Ministry of Tourism organised an open market on Friday in Karak to honour the victims of last year’s attacks, promote tourism, creativity and home-based businesses (Photos by Suzanna Goussous)

KARAK — The Jabal Amman Residents Association (JARA) on Friday organised the “Karak Souk”, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and iJordan events company to honour the victims of last year's attacks, promote tourism, creativity and home-based businesses.

Under the patronage of Minister of Tourism Lina Annab, a memorial wall displaying the names of victims from last year's terrorist attacks was installed in the plaza behind the castle.

Owners of around 70 local businesses took part in the open market to showcase their goods.  Chairman of JARA Zaid Goussous, who is the former minister of tourism and antiquities, said the souk aims at remembering the soldiers fallen in the Daesh attack last December.

“It took some time, because the castle was closed due to the terrorist attack. We will now start the idea of Souk Jara in Karak, where three-quarters of the participants are from Karak, and only a small portion from Amman,” he said.

Paintings, music, hand-made accessories, photographs narrating the history and heritage of Jordan and Karak were exhibited at the souk, targeting people from different backgrounds, Goussous explained.

When the summer season starts, the souk will officially be open to the public, he said, to attract more tourists and Jordanians from across the Kingdom. 

Khader Kawwas, vice president of JARA, said the market, located on the space behind the castle, celebrates the victims of the terror attack in Karak, and promotes domestic tourism.

The souk seeks to promote local products from the Karak community, especially initiatives owned by women in the southern governorate, according to Kawwas, who said it would “give them a chance to market their goods”.

“Today, we celebrate a national day of celebrating our martyrs who were killed in the Karak Castle [in mid-December],” he told The Jordan Times.

He added that Souk Jara in Amman usually hosts women and small businesses on booths over the summer, but, with the mobile souk in Karak and other governorates, owners of businesses and initiatives will have an easier method to showcase their creations.

Not only will the souk promote domestic tourism, but it will also develop communication between people from different areas around Jordan, Kawwas said, adding that the tourism minister said transportation would be available to and from the souk area.

Lana Saqqa, managing director at iJordan, said the idea was to involve the local community in the event.

“Two months ago, we made a visit to the castle and… there were no tourists, even all the shops and restaurants around the castle had all closed down. This inspired us to do something for the tourism in Karak, since it has a major role,” she said.

Organiser Murad Majali from iJordan said art, accessories, and home-made meals will constitute a unique display in the Karak souk.

Of the 70 businesses present at the souk, supported by USAID, Ministry of Tourism, and JARA, 60 were from Karak and 10 from Amman, Majali said.

Those who are willing to participate  in the summer open market may contact the association, Kawwas said.

Souk JARA was launched 11 years ago to introduce a flea market in Jabal Amman. It receives visitors from Jordan, Lebanon, the Gulf, Europe, the US every year, organisers previously stated. 

 

Seven security personnel, two civilians and one tourist were killed in the terror attack in Karak, located some 140km south of Amman, on December 18.

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