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Cultural preservation to bring bedouins of region to Jordan

By JT - Oct 16,2019 - Last updated at Oct 17,2019

AMMAN — Bedouins from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories will gather in Wadi Rum on October 19 with the aim of safeguarding bedouin culture and heritage against threats posed by conflicts, marginalisation and displacement.

The gathering is part of a wider project called Cultural Corridors of Peace. The project supports the bedouin in documenting, sharing and safeguarding their “living memory and intangible cultural heritage”, according to a statement from the project organisers.

By doing so, the project aims to help bedouin communities tackle prejudice and discrimination, promote their culture and identity and raise awareness about the value of their communities, traditions and ways of life, the statement said.

At the three-day gathering, bedouins will celebrate their shared heritage through activities such as erecting a bedouin tent, preparing traditional food and coffee, practicing crafts, exchanging music, songs, stories and poems and exploring the use of natural resources for survival in the desert.

Hospitality, identity, customary law and the role of women in bedouin societies are just a few of the topics that will be discussed at the gathering. Knowledge of the historic routes that bedouins followed across the region will be shared as well as their experiences of changes brought about by sedentarisation.

HRH Prince Hassan will receive the participants at the historic site of Humeima to " offer a platform to hear bedouin voices from the Levant and share insights on the issues faced in safeguarding their heritage", the statement said.

“This project is a unique opportunity to address the needs of the bedouin, whose identity and livelihoods have been historically suppressed by the geopolitical decisions of others. We want to enable the bedouin to voice who they are and the future they seek for their children. We wish to reconnect older and younger generations, reconnect families across the borders with Syria and beyond, and work for social justice and equal rights for these communities,” director of the project Aphrodite Sorotou was quoted in the statement as saying.

The event will be documented and filmed. This material will be added to an online Open Access Archive of bedouin cultural heritage, which will be accessible to anyone hoping to learn more about this culture. The material will also be used in an exhibition in Beirut, Lebanon in December 2019, the statement noted.

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