Jerash tentatively prepares for annual festival

(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock)
IRBID — Stakeholders at the Jerash Festival are optimistically preparing to resume their celebration this year.

The festival, paused due to COVID-19, is typically an important summer source of economic stimulus and a popular celebration of Jordan’s cultural heritage. اضافة اعلان

Director General of the Jerash Festival Administration Ayman Samawi told Jordan News: "We started working on the preparation after June 15th. This was a step by the government with the aim of relieving and entertaining citizens, despite the current conditions represented by the COVID-19 pandemic."

Despite the late start of preparations for the festival, the Ministry of Culture, the Jerash Festival Administration, and the Jerash Governorate are working hard to ensure its success, within public safety standards. As the managing director, Tariq Al-Momani, told Jordan News, "The final decision is linked to the approval of the prime minister and the development of the epidemiological situation as well. And things may become clearer after the meeting between the concerned parties next Thursday."

The measures that have been taken are strict, according to Samawi. "The measures will be strict to ensure the health of citizens and tourists is safeguarded. Entrances for visitors to the stadium will observe the need for social distancing, as well as the distribution of the seating places. Sanitizers and face masks will be available in sufficient quantities for attendance.

This will be in cooperation with the Epidemiology Committee and the Ministry of Health.”

“Our need to hold the festival (is because of) many benefits, including reviving the cultural exchange we used to have in previous years, in addition to the fact that the Jerash Festival is one of the biggest promoters of tourism in Jordan, specifically for tourists from the Arab Gulf.”

“The long-term goal of the Ministry of Culture is for the Jerash Festival to be a fully cultural festival, where entry is free for most cultural performances,” Samawi went on. “As for this year, we are seeking to reduce ticket prices, and there will be no increase in prices as a result of the new procedures.” He also emphasized the “the aim of encouraging Jordanian citizens first, and tourists second, to engage in various cultural performances.”

The administrative organization of the festival is not affiliated with any external organizing bodies, as Samawi said. “The great organization and follow-up team of the Jerash Festival administration is a team of experienced and skilled people in their field.

They are also a large group of specialists in several aspects, including those responsible for organizing performances; others are for promotion and media, and some specialize in focusing on cultural exchange between many other Arab and Western countries.”

Deputy Governor of Jerash Hamad Al-Karazna insisted on clarifying that the arrangements for the Jerash Festival are still on the drawing board, and during the meeting next Thursday, the organizers will have more clear results regarding the procedures that should be and the identification of responsibilities of each of the concerned parties.

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