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US ambassador launches antiquity preservation project in Umm Qais

By JT - Nov 02,2021 - Last updated at Nov 02,2021

AMMAN — US Ambassador Henry T. Wooster celebrated the beginning of a new US-funded antiquity restoration project at the historic site of Umm Qais Tuesday. 

The project is implemented in partnership with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities and the nonprofit organisation Turquoise Mountain, according to a statement from the US embassy. 

The project will create more than 150 jobs for Umm Qais community members, who will play a hands-on role in preserving and protecting their heritage.  

“Even among Jordan’s many wonders, Umm Qais is special.  This ancient city represents the history, culture, religion, and tradition of multiple civilisations dating back thousands of years.  For this reason, preserving and protecting Umm Qais is important to me,” Ambassador Wooster said.  

“I’m glad to use the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation to support our efforts here,” he added.

The project will restore the Hawsh Al Rousan courtyards area of the old village of Umm Qais using traditional building and restoration techniques.  

After completion, community members will set up a maintenance system and plans for future use of the shared, public space.  

Through the US Department of State’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, US ambassadors work with host countries to fund culturally significant projects in countries where they serve, the statement said. 

The department has funded 20 different projects in Jordan since the programme’s inception in 2001 — totalling about $3 million for restoring and protecting historical sites and antiquities in the Kingdom.  

Previous US Ambassadors to Jordan have supported preservation projects in Petra, Qasr Al Mashtta, and the Roman Nymphaeum fountains in Amman’s balad, among others.

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