Khubeizeh Festival celebrating spring, bringing people together

(Photos: Ameer Khalefih/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Khubeizeh Festival, in its 7th edition this year, is organized by the not-for-profit company “Children of the Valley” to coincide with Valentine’s Day.اضافة اعلان

Founder of the company and initiator of the festival Mohammad Atiyeh says the festival, held between February 14 and March 21, is meant to be a “green Valentine, rather than the red, more violent” traditional Valentine, and coincide with early spring in the valley, when “all the goodness of earth is coming out”.

Photos Gallery 
(Photos: Ameer Khalefih/Jordan News)

Born in the Jordan Valley, “on the other side, in Jericho” Atiyeh has worked for months “to achieve the twinning of Shouneh with the Jericho municipality some three, four years ago”. Since then, it has become a tradition to have a delegation from the Jericho municipality attend the opening of the festival.

Khubeizeh (a species of the mallow genus Malva in the family of Malvaceae) is most common in the Jordan Valley.

“Once we decided to call it festival, we started reading about Khubeizeh, only to find out that it is one of oldest plants documented, considered by many ancient cultures as both food and medicine”.

Held, at times, under the slogan “Al Khubeizeh tajma’oun” (Khubeizeh brings us together), the festival indeed sees big numbers of attendees, many expatriates, “from many different countries and places, like Germany, France, Yemen, Italy” attend.

The program is focused on the weekends, “because this is when people are free to come from different cities to enjoy the warm climate in the Jordan Valley”. A farmers’ market is set up on the occasion, with all kinds of fresh, local produce sold, and local women sell their products.

The expressed goals of the festival, says Atiyeh, are to bring together consumers and producers, reduce the cost for the consumer and increase the benefit of producers, help women, and women societies sell their home and farm produce, raise awareness about Khubeizeh as a healthy food item, increase local tourism, and create some jobs, even if temporary.

“We depend on volunteers, and I wish to commend them for their help,” Atiyeh, who says some 2,000-3,000 people are expected to have participated in the festival this year, said.

Read more Around Jordan