28 April 2019

by Nebras Maslamani

A member of the Greigra village has established a new annual event to recognise Jordan’s heritage, market local women’s products, and spread awareness among young children and visitors about Faynan.

Dr. Fatima Alsa’eediyyen, the headmistress at Hai Al Sharif Naser Co-Essential School in Greigra town in Southern Jordan, has held an event called The Cultural Heritage Day at her School since 2008. This initiative is not the only one she has started to enhance the region. Dr. Fatima Alsa’eediyyen has also been involved in planting trees and shrubs around Wadi Faynan, in addition to educating others about protecting their beautiful landscape, archaeology, and environment.

This year’s Cultural Heritage Day was under the patronage of Sharifa Nofa Bint Nasser, daughter of Sharif Nasser Bin Ali, who supported the establishment of Greigra town and the first school in the region in 1976. The OPOF project and the Council for British Research in the Levant supported this year’s event to increase the exposure of their work and raise awareness of Faynan’s cultural heritage.

Once Sharifa Nofa, and the CBRL team including me arrived to Greigra, we received a generous welcome from the local community, which is always the case with the Bedouin in Jordan. Young students were wearing traditional clothes sewed into traditional embroidery (thoups), weaved and embroidered headbands (osba), and traditional scarfs (hatta). The event started by chanting the national anthem of Jordan together with all the attendees. Sharifa Nofa and Dr. Fatima Sa’eediyyen gave speeches, students presented poetry that they had written, and they performed a traditional dance (dabka). Local women presented their artistic work from recyclable handmade products to natural soaps.

Patron Sharifa Nofa Bint Nasser giving speech at Cultural Heritage Day
Sharifa Nofa Bint Nasser giving a speech during the Cultural Heritage Day at Hai Al Sharif Naser Co-Essential School

Dr. Alsa’ediyyen plays a major role in creating a healthy learning environment for her students, as she creates the opportunity for learning instead of waiting for one. OPOF hopes it can continue her wonderful work for Faynan.

Cultural Heritage Day opening, cutting the ribbon
©Fatima Alsa’ediyyen

Visitors watching events at Cultural Heritage Day
©Fatima Alsa’ediyyen