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Celebrating heritage: PNT launches 2024 Heritage award on 35th anniversary

By Saeb Rawashdeh - Jun 14,2024 - Last updated at Jun 14,2024

HRH Princess Dana Mired (third from the left) with winners of Petra National Trust Award (Photo courtesy of Petra National Trust)

AMMAN — Marking the thirty-fifth anniversary of the founding of Petra National Trust (PNT), PNT launched the 2024 Heritage Award to honour outstanding national efforts, both individual and institutional, aimed at preserving and sustaining heritage. The winners of the top three positions were announced last week during a ceremony held under the patronage of HRH Princess Dana Firas at the Roman Odeon Theatre in the downtown. The event was attended by European Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Makram Qaisi, Haitham Batihi, CEO of the Jordan Kuwait Bank and other dignitaries.

This award was launched in collaboration with the European Union Delegation — Jordan and the Jordan Kuwait Bank to highlight leading projects and initiatives in the field of cultural heritage preservation in Jordan, the organisers said, adding that it aims to encourage individuals and institutions to participate in initiatives and projects that contribute to the conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage.

Princess Dana Firas drew a parallel between the Heritage Award that celebrates 35th anniversary of the founding of PNT as well as the Silver Jubilee of His Majesty King Abdullah’s ascension to the throne.

On the other hand, Schinas stated that the award aims to honour and highlight outstanding efforts in cultural heritage preservation, stating that there is no better place for such awards than Amman, a city with a rich culture and deep history.

Minister Qaisi emphasised the importance and necessity of launching this award, stating that Jordan is a homeland of heritage, noting that Jordanian heritage is deeply rooted in the blessed land, encompassing customs, traditions, cultural heritage, archaeological sites and social practices.

Regarding the winners of the inaugural award, the first place was awarded to the project for the rehabilitation and development of the tourist trail on the southern slope (Jabal Qala’a site), executed by the Department of Antiquities. The second place was shared by the Jordanian Heritage Kitchen project, implemented by the House of Heritage and Arts Association, and the Shrouqi project by Raed Nael Zabin, while the third place went to the ACOR Digital Archive project, carried out by the American Centre of Research, the organisers concluded.

The scholar Fadi Balawi, representing the Department of Antiquities, expressed his gratitude to HRH Princess Dana Firas for this initiative, which encourages the preservation of Jordanian heritage. He noted that the project idea emerged from a wise royal vision and the Department of Antiquities’ commitment to the sustainability and preservation of archaeological sites in Jordan. The project developed a new tourist trail linking the Jabal Qala’a site with the downtown area.

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