5 February 2020

by Nebras Maslamani

Our Past Our Future All Together in Faynan (OPOF) project team including the Project Principal Investigator, Professor Steven Mithen, and Dr Carol Palmer, Director of the Council for British Research in the Levant, invited the Department of Antiquities in Jordan to visit Wadi Faynan to observe the progress in Faynan Museum during the implementation of previous projects funded by the AHRC over the last two years and during the currently ongoing OPOF project. Other project collaborative parties who were able to join included the team at the Council for British Research in the Levant, University of Reading, University of Petra, and University of Jordan.

The Director General of the Department of Antiquities, his Excellency, Mr. Yazid Elayan, alongside with the Director of Museums and Awareness, Ms. Samia Khouri, the Director of General Director’s Office, Mr. Ghassan Al-Deir, and Faynan Museum Curator, Mr. Ali Alhasaseen, spent a day in Wadi Faynan.  The group was pleased to be joined by representatives from the Wadi Araba Development Company and the NGO Future Pioneers for Empowering Communities (FPEC) who wished to learn more about the Faynan cultural heritage and on-going projects.

Group of people talking

Discussing the plans to develop the Museum into a community hub with members of the Faynan community

Group of people standing around display case in museum

Viewing the museum displays established by the AHRC Funded ‘Discovering Faynan Heritage’ project

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Ms. Samia Khouri, Director of Museums for Jordan with his Excellency Mr. Yazid Elayan, Director-General of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan and with members of the OPOF team within the museum

People looking at piece of paper with plan on

Professor Steven Mithen, Nebras Maslamani and his Excellency Mr. Yazid Elayan, discussing the future plan for the museum

The day began with a tour at Faynan Museum, followed by a walk along part of what will soon become the Faynan Heritage Trail. Discussion focused on how the museum can be developed to become a community hub and the exact locations of where the information boards for the heritage trail will be erected. Overall, all parties worked towards developing a shared vision for promoting and  preserving Faynan heritage.  After a rewarding day full of accomplishments, we ate lunch at the recently established Wadi Ghweir Camp, that is led by a cooperative from the Faynan community.

People standing on rocky ground People on rocky mound
Dr Fatima Al-Nammari (University of Petra), His Excellency Mr. Yazid Elayan, Director-General, Professor Steven Mithen, (University of Reading) and Firas Bqa’in (Council for British Research in the Levant) on the path of the future Faynan Heritage Trail

We are grateful for all the support provided by the Department of Antiquities in Jordan and the people of Faynan and Greigra in Southern Jordan, and we hope that our collaborations continue to contribute to sustaining the cultural heritage of Jordan through community engagement, conservation, quality education, and sustainable participatory projects and programs.