US ambassador launches Umm Qais preservation program

7. US Umm Qais Presser
US Ambassador Henry Wooster speaks at a press conference announcing the start of a US-funded restoration program in Umm Qais, on November 2, 2021. (Photo: Handout from US embassy)
AMMAN — US Ambassador Henry Wooster celebrated the beginning of a new US-funded antiquity restoration project at the historic site of Umm Qais Tuesday in partnership with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities and the nonprofit organization Turquoise Mountain.اضافة اعلان

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, according to a US embassy press statement.

“Even among Jordan’s many wonders, Umm Qais is special. This ancient city represents the history, culture, religion, and tradition of multiple civilizations 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.”

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. The project will create more than 150 jobs for local artisans, laborers, and people interested in helping to protect and celebrate the centuries of heritage at Umm Qais.

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

Previous US ambassadors to Jordan have supported preservation projects in Petra, Qasr Al-Mashtta, and the Roman Nymphaeum fountains in Amman’s downtown, among others, the statement said.

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