April 2020

by Mohammad Al-Khatib

By driving south from Amman to the Dead Sea, one reaches the Wadi Araba region and then the beautiful villages of Gregira and Faynan. These are havens where one can escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life and enjoy the Jordan’s beautiful landscapes.

Once you will arrive at those two villages you would be overwhelmed by peace, rest and welcoming feelings by not only its people but also its fresh air, greenish mountains, solid rocks, soft sand, amazing blue sky and colorful birds. The people of Faynan and Greigra are so kind and generous. At this place, you will find generosity, kind-heartedness, humility, pride and authenticity. It’s the place where you can taste the true meaning of good hospitality and the authentic Arabic coffee, which is a symbol of generosity and is presented at all the Bedouin tents as a welcoming gesture.

This distinctive desert region of Wadi Faynan is renowned for the splendor of its natural landscapes. It has mountains and valleys, soft rocks and sand, caves and traces of ancient communities and civilizations; all of these are combined into one landscape. The sunsets are spectacular and night skies provide a blanket of shimmering stars.

Although living in such a beautiful landscape, the communities of Faynan and Greigra are facing social and economic challenges. There is widespread poverty and unemployment. These and the deterioration of services and means of communication are having a particularly deleterious impact on women. Our ‘Archaeology into Business in Faynan (ABIF)’ project is focused on seeking to empower women to develop economic independence and security. The project starts with the concept that every woman is capable of leading and effectively contributing to her society, if provided with the opportunity to develop her potential capacity and talents. ABIF seeks to provide the women of Faynan and Greigra with the opportunity of working in the handicrafts field, drawing inspiration for new products to sell to tourists from the rich archaeological sites in their surrounding landscapes.  During the period of ABIF, we will provide capacity building and training sessions to selected women in Faynan and Greigra so that they can manufacture and sell handicrafts to improve their socio-economic status and enhance the region’s attractiveness to tourists.

I will never be able to forget the happiness on the women faces, their commitment and eagerness when the ‘Archaeology into Business in Faynan (ABIF)’ project was launched in Faynan.

To learn more about our work in Wadi Faynan and follow future developments, you can find the link to the project’s website here.  You can also stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for all the latest news and updates.

Breathtaking views of Faynan

Members of ABIF team visiting Faynan with Dr Carol Palmer, CBRL Director

Greigra and Faynan Municipality

ABIF team members at Greigra and Faynan Municipality